Planning a trip to Rome? Vacationing in Venice? The Standard Deviants can help you learn the basics of Italian. Using the Standard Deviants own brand of humor, mnemonics, visual devices and memory builders, learning Italia... more »n is fun and easy! The Italian DVD 2-pack includes Parla Italiano: Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives and Parla Italiano: The Basics.« less
"I was satisfied with both VHS tapes as a grammar overview of Italian, but anyone wanting to "learn Italian" from them is bound to be disappointed. This was a review course only. Both tapes 1 and 2 were fast-paced run-throughs of the basics of counting, days and months, and the rules of grammar, construction, conjugation and word agreement. They teach very little actual Italian conversation. The viewer will see and hear less than 30 simple sentences on both tapes combined, and they are only used to illustrate a quickly stated rule of the language. Again, these tapes are a valuable review of the rules for already-established students of the language. They are not for teaching the language. It's too bad someone can't come up with a 20-volume set that would teach Italian from simple to complex, like the PBS French (Carpetz) tapes do so well."
Speak Italian like an American
Rich Needham | Tempe, AZ USA | 06/23/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"While watching the first DVD in this set (Italian Basics), I have discovered several inconsistencies (and I haven't even finished it yet). I was hoping to learn Italian in an entertaining way, and to learn to speak it like a native (with correct pronunciation and emphasis). They got it half right. The DVD effectively uses visuals, repetition, and dialogue to make learning some basic Italian easy and memorable. But in the first three lessons I have already found a multitude of words or letters that were pronounced in at least two different ways each, which is sloppy, to say the least. The problem for a new student is knowing which is the CORRECT pronunciation (and, YES, there IS a correct pronunciation). I will have to rely on OTHER sources to teach me which is the correct pronunciation. I wonder how much else they got wrong? Ultimately, there are some valuable tidbits of information on this DVD, but don't expect to sound like anything but an American speaking Italian."
It's OK, but...
P. Levine | Washington, DC USA | 02/01/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"like one of the reviewers said, the instruction of pronunciation is wrong, especially with single vs double consonants. The instances that comes to my mind are r/rr and z/zz. With the r/rr, they pronounce "caro" and "carro" the same way, with the trilled sound. In reality "carro" has the trill whereas "caro" does not. The "r" in "caro" is pronounced more like the "dd" in the English word "ladder".
The other single/double consonants also taught incorrectly are "z/zz". A single "z" in Italian has a "d" sound in front of it, like in "ad zone". The "zz" is taught to sound the same as the single "z" when in reality it has a "ts" sounds like in "hits" or "ritz".
Even though I'm from an Italian-American family, I know minimal Italian but enough to know how letters are pronounced. Personally, I wouldn't waste my money with this DVD."
taylorja | Charleston, SC USA | 08/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This has been one of the most helpful items I've used to learn a language. I recommend it to anyone wanting to learn Italian. These videos are modern and up-to-date. They're fun, and definitely not boring. I love the role playing that they do because it helps everything sink in and stay in your memory. What else can I say, but bravissimo!!"
Great place to start!
C. M. Whipps | Corvallis, OR USA | 12/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These DVDs were great for learning some basics of Italian. The format that might be considered a bit campy makes these programs fun to watch. The combination of audio, reading, and visuals (cartoons, skits, dialogs, etc) cater to almost anyone's learning style, especially those who get bored trying to learn a language out of a book. This combination really helped me remember a lot of little things that came in handy during my trip to Italy. These programs are (as advertised) for beginners and if you've already got the basics, this may not be the product for you. Nonetheless, this was a great starting point, with a fun approach to learning. Ciao!"