The Standard Deviants' modern approach to learning and understanding makes difficult subjects accessible and even enjoyable. Recommended by over 500 educators and professors, the Standard Deviants DVD is the ultimate way t... more »o relax and learn. Our unique approach to education helps you learn in a way that is different from anything you've ever experienced. The Standard Deviants DVD combines award-winning educational content with cutting-edge technology. With enhanced flexibility and interactive tests and quizzes, the Standard Deviants DVD gives you immediate feedback while providing you with the ability to design your own program and learn at your own pace. "Italian: The Basics" begins by building a rock-solid foundation of Italian pronunciation and the alphabet. Next, the program introduces the viewer to concepts such as formality, constructing numbers from one to one hundred, subject pronouns, adjectives, and Italian dialogues to reinforce Italian grammar. But the Standard Deviants don't stop there-they close the program with an exploration of Italian's two anchor verbs, essere and avere.« less
"It's simple and painless, but not perfection. In fact, as another reviewer noted, it often sounds as if no experienced Italian speaker was around for the final edit. The Deviants cast read the prompter well, but there are inconsistencies in pronunciation that might confuse a novice - and this really is beginner's level. I studied Italian with a native-speaking Italian tutor, and am a Spanish speaker, so I warn newbies that consistency is really important, and it's lacking here. With no expert was on hand to fix the mistakes, or catch simple nuances that are missing, you might learn a few things you have to unlearn later. Many of the company have no command of the language at all - it's funny to hear a guy say he speaks "only Italian" with a heavy American accent. To sum up, not a waste of time, but hardly a gem."
P. Levine | Washington, DC USA | 02/01/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Too Much English. Not enough Italian
Robert C. Johnson | Grand Junction, CO | 06/19/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is heavy on the English and short on the Italian. It spends way too much time on the word "ciao" and cute skits (mostly in English) on its pronunciation. Meanwhile, it gives you a very complicated set of rules (again primarily in English) for the pronunciation of vowels and consonant combinations which it whips through in blinding speed and are probably only appropriate for persons wishing to major in Italian as a career. Its very short on vocabulary building and you will learn only a very few words of Italian and Italian phrases. Its filled with fluff and skits which try to be cute (and usually fail) and are mostly in English. I really cannot recommend this DVD to anyone. You won't learn much Italian words and phrases from it."
Speak Italian like an American
Rich Needham | Tempe, AZ USA | 06/23/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"While watching this DVD, 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 examples 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."
Italian basics taught by native english speakers
Amalfi Coast Girl | Mid-Atlantic, USA | 08/23/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you are looking for an extremely basic Italian lesson this is it. The tape covers the following: 1. Italian alphabet 2. Pronouncing vowels 3. Pronoucing consonants and double consonants 4. The formal/informal distinctions 5. Days of the week 6. Months 7. Numbers to 100 8. Subject Pronouns
Beyond this there is very little on the DVD.
Pros: 1. It covers the basics in detail 2. Since it is a DVD you will see the word while hearing the word which is useful
Cons: 1. There in not enough on the DVD for even a basic conversation 2. The DVD is taught by native English speakers so the accent is not correct.
Overall, I do not recommend this DVD unless you have no background with Italian. However, if you are looking for something that covers the most rudimentary basics you might enjoy this DVD. Just be warned, it will teach you Italian as spoken by Americans not by Italians."