Learn Italian the quick and easy way! Whether you re learning Italian for the first time or just brushing up on your skills, this updated edition of the bestselling Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide is the ideal way to master the language at your own pace. In fifteen simple lessons, you ll learn how to engage in everyday conversations from ordering at a restaurant to asking for directions to making special arrangements with a hotel concierge. Written in a lively, personable style by a native Italian, this practical guide combines the quick-reference virtues of a phrasebook with the learning tools of a full-fledged language course. Designed to acquaint you with the basic skills you need to speak, read, write, and understand the language, Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide, Second Edition demystifies grammar, common usage, and pronunciation with step-by-step lessons on numbers, days of the week, telling time, and special rules of speech. It also includes extensive vocabulary and culture notes. Mini-dialogues from real-life situations provide a vibrant introduction to Italian culture and customs while a fun assortment of exercises, self-tests, and practice activities constantly reinforces your reading and conversational skills.
About the Author
EDOARDO A. LEBANO is Professor of Italian and Director of the Center for Italian Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is also the author of Buon Giorno a Tutti!, a first-year Italian textbook also published by Wiley.
Read an Excerpt
A Self-Teaching Guide
Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide is a simplified and practical beginner's course for anyone who wishes to learn Italian. The program is designed to provide self-learners, students in adult education courses, and students in beginning language courses with a general knowledge of the Italian language as it is spoken and written today.
In presenting almost all major grammatical structures of the Italian language, the book follows an essentially practical and linguistic approach, gradually building up a vocabulary of well over eleven hundred of the most commonly used Italian words. All explanations of grammatical points stress the basic and the indispensable and are, as much as possible, concise, simple, and to the point.
The text consists of (1) fifteen regular lessons; (2) three review lessons, immediately following lessons 5, 10, and 15; (3) an appendix with the answers to the exercises, including those in the review lessons; (4) an appendix with the conjugations of regular verbs, and one with the conjugations of avere and essere and irregular forms of the stem-changing verbs encountered in the text; and (5) an ItalianÐ English vocabulary, listing words presented in the fifteen lessons.
Each of the lessons begins with a list of useful words (Parole da Ricordare, Words to Remember), most of them related to the topic of the Dialogo that follows, portraying events, situations, or problems in everyday life. Following the English translation of the dialogue, several points of grammar are introduced in a step-by-step procedure. The exercises, rather than being grouped together at the end of the lesson, come immediately after the explanation of relevant grammatical points, thus giving students a sense of building effectively block by block. By checking the results of this immediate practice with the answers provided at the end of the book, students can clearly assess the progress they are making.
To make the best use of this text, carefully read the Pronunciation Guide, then proceed as follows:
- Always read and repeat aloud each of the words listed in the Words to Remember. Practice writing them, and keep in mind their meaning in English.
- Read the entire Dialogo, and repeat each sentence several times until you think you know it quite well. Then check the English translation of the Dialogo to see how much of it you were able to understand by yourself.
- Take your time in learning the content of the various grammatical points. When you have completed the first section, do the exercise(s) before going on to the next section. Check the answers in the back of the book to see how well you did.
- Analyze your mistakes, and if necessary, reread the grammar explanation. If your mistakes concern vocabulary items, review Words to Remember before continuing with the lesson.
Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide will not turn you into a polished speaker of Italian overnight. It will not enable you to deal immediately with every Italian text. But it will give you the basic tools to understand, speak, read, and write simple Italian. It opens the gate to a very gratifying experience: understanding and appreciating the language and the culture of Italy and its people. Buon lavoro--enjoy your work!
--E. A. L.
Table of Contents
Basic Expressions.IN UN RISTORANTE DEL CENTRO (In a Downtown Restaurant).ALLA STAZIONE FERROVIARIA (At the Railway Station).COMPLEANNO IN FAMIGLIA (A Family Birthday).IN UN ALBERGO DI MILANO (In a Hotel in Milan).A FARE LA SPESA (Grocery Shopping).IN UNA BANCA DI FIRENZE (In a Florentine Bank).UNA VISITA MEDICA (A Medical Examination).IN UN NEGOZIO DI ABBIGLIAMENTO (In a Clothing Store).UNA TELEFONATA (A Telephone Call).UNA GITA DOMENICALE (A Sunday Outing).ALL'AGENZIA DI VIAGGI (At the Travel Agency).ALL'UFFICIO POSTALE (At the Post Office).DAL MECCANICO (At the Mechanic's).IN CERCA DI LAVORO (Looking for a Job).Review Lesson 3 (1-15).Appendices.Italian-English Vocabulary.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My husband and I each purchased a copy of this text as we are using it in a ten-week Italian class. We have also purchased copies for our adult children who are accompanying us to Rome in October.
"Italian - A Self-Teaching Guide" I ordered this book to supplement my study of Italian using Rosetta Stone, and really like the way it teaches the basics right from the beginning. The first chapter, "Basic Expressions", begins with eighteen basic (essential) phrases, several explanatory sentences about titles and salutations, and then an exercise using the things you've just learned. Prior to ordering the book, I had read a review from someone who liked the book but was disappointed there was no CD included with it so he/she could actually hear the correct pronunciation of the words. Since I have the Rosetta Stone program, I didn't need the CD but can understand how it would be helpful. For me, though, this is a terrific book and a perfect companion to Rosetta Stone!
This is a very good teaching aide in terms of grammar and vocabulary. The exercises are well-constructed and beneficial in reviewing the lessons just learned. The major shortcoming is not in fact with the book; rather, in order to obtain maximum benefit in learning any language, one needs to hear the language spoken and the individual words pronounced. The book attempts to describe pronunciation, but there's no substitute for hearing it. I originally purchased the book as a classroom text, but the class was cancelled.
About 2 years ago, I decided to take up Italian, and this book is where I started. Beyond a terrific & thorough introduction to the language, it has proved to be a trusty companion that I can consult again and again. The chapters are well paced and perfectly arranged, and the exercises are frequent enough that they really solidify the concepts. The only bad thing I can say is that it leaves out a fair number of very common colloquialisms, but those are things anyone would be equiped to pick up on their own after having used this book.
I have read other self-study books for Italian and was always left with many grammar or usage questions which the authors seemed to assume anyone would be able to figure out. Lebano's 'Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide' doesn't make the student struggle and guess as to why certain things don't follow grammar rules. Instead, the grammar and language exceptions are explained clearly and thoroughly, making absolutely no assumptions that we should know any better. This helps to reinforce the understanding of those exceptions. Each chapter is set up to engage the reader, first with a vocabulary and phrase list, then a dialogue and corresponding exercises and grammar rules and explanations. Although it's only 15 chapters, you'd be kidding yourself if you thought you could learn a chapter a week and make it stick. If you are really dedicated to learning Italian, I'd recommend this book to start with.