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#1: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: DonnaPellegrin PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:34 pm
Hi Everyone!

Since starting my Italian genealogy a few years ago I have actually picked up quite a few Italian words on my own. Still, I want to learn more of the language. This summer I decided that it was time to start taking Italian classes. I was surprised to find that there really were none offered in my area! So, I decided to try Rosetta Stone software. I got a great deal on it from a lady who bought the software and never found time to use it (about half price). I'm really just getting started. I've completed four lessons so far. It is really too early to know if I like the "total immersion method" that is used. Sometimes I just get confused. Still, I find that I am learning to think in Italian. And I am very happy about the way the program checks my pronounciation. I speak into a microphone and the program gives me a green light or a red light. I think I might try to find a textbook for a more traditional approach to learning Italian. That way if I get confused by the program I will have a reference to find out what I am missing. I think the combination might work. I have to tell you I am having a hard time with the masculine/feminine nouns and matching adjectives. I can't imagine that I will ever get that right. I'll be able to understand someone speaking Italian long before I will be able to speak it.

I'm just curious if anyone else out there has used Rosetta Stone.


#2: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: ElevenLocation: New York PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:38 am
I have looked at their site. I think their programs are very expensive.

I began picking up bits and pieces of italian when I was a small child. I recall my grandmother talking to me in italian and I would answer in english. Simple things, tho..all in her sicilian dialect.

My mother spoke napolitano dialect...and once she married my father, mixed a little sicilian in.

I know a lot of italian phrases. I understand very simple, common things. I know a lot of words..but I dont know enough to converse.

I have a book I bought many years ago. Berlitz. I didnt learn much from it.

I also picked up more words when I began genealogy..but, ya know, a lot of those words didnt stick..and I have to look them up again. What stuck, is what I learned as a child.

I feel that now, if I learned italian..who would I talk to? All my italian speaking relatives are gone..and if you dont use lose it.

Good luck to you. Its not impossible for someone to learn and retain another language. I just didnt have much luck with what I learned after childhood.

#3: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: CaroleLocation: Valtellina - Near Lake Como PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:58 am
I have always advised (from the depths of my profound wisdom ) that the very best way to consolidate what you learn from programmes like Rosetta Stone is to spend some time in Italy where you have NO contact (or very little) with English speakers...

OK, I'm also not daft enough to realise that this is out of the question for many - far too expensive! But there are 'little things' you could do to assist you to understand conversational Italian. Because one of the mistakes many make (in my opinion), is to try and avoid practicing what they know - however little that might be - with an Italian speaker. Or to 'listen' to an Italian speaker. Remember, there is no shame in saying 'can you speak slowly/say that again please' - they won't mind, I promise you.

Another good way is to buy and read kids comic books written in Italian - simple words and illustrated action for small change... and read giornale anything you can find in Italian OUT LOUD... get used to hearing in with your ears - not just your mind. Are there any small Italian run shops where you live (deli, baker restaurant etc.)? Try going there with your shopping list written in Italian and practice with them...

Skype is a pretty good tool too and enables you to peak to Italian speakers (like me), use them for conversation without feeling like a fool. and it's free!!!

#4: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: DonnaPellegrin PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:35 am
Eleven, I share many of your thoughts on the topic. I looked at Rosetta Stone many times before but never bought it until I found it at half price. I also bought the Berlitz book called Step by Step Italian a few years ago and was not able to stick with it. Perhaps if it had been used with a class it would have been more beneficial. And I have some Living Language cassettes that I bought 20 years ago that taught me a few important sentences like, "Where is the bathroom?" And I share your frustration with looking up the same words over and over again. I'm always kicking myself for that.

Carole, that is great advice. I know that I need to use it, use it, use it. And I think at this point I will. I actually have many books written in Italian that I use for researching my family history. ANd a few "dual language" novels that I bought and read in English. And I have three movies in Italian with English subtitles that I enjoy watching over and over again. And there are some very interesting Italian websites that I like to visit. All should be good practice for me! And I look forward to all of it. I think it will be a long, long time before I can actually talk to anyone in real time. Lordy, I can't imagine being good enough to know which verb tense to use. But its a goal! Perhaps someday...

By the way, how come I can only see the last three forum messages instead of the last ten? Anyone else having this issue?


#5: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: RobertLocation: London, UK PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:01 pm
Rosetta Stone is very expensive but I did try their free trial a few years ago (when it was rather more substantial than it seems to be now) and found it excellent. Even today (some 4 years later) I can remember those lessons clearly. I have since tried several more affordable language packs and finally settled on Pimsleur - does not have the pics but retention and speed of learning is good.

#6: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: ElevenLocation: New York PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:49 pm
The unfortunate thing..for myself is..I came from fluent speaking italians. There was no good reason why they shouldnt have taught us..then. I am only happy, I know, the little I have learned back then. It really helped me when I saw my first italian document, with that mile long, written out year. I knew all of the numbers.

I have wanted to learn more, many times. But, like I said..I dont have much use for the language, anymore, unless I take up talking to

#7: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: charliemisLocation: Philadelphia PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:36 pm
Have you checked the local high schools in your area ----- I have taken about 3 or 4 night school courses (usually 1 night per week for about 10 weeks) and it has really helped me to learn enough Italian to converse (in person, on the telephone and via email) with my Italian cousins......I also had some basics from listening to my Dad as a child, but I just listened and answered in English. I have also been fortunate to have traveled to Italy many times, but it has been a lot more fun now that I can communicate a little.

I have also seen Rosetta Stone for sale on ebay....there are usually both new and used copies available.

#8: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: BonValLocation: Florida PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:11 pm
Embarassed I 'know' I've mentioned this a few dozen times before - but hey - I'm typical 'old' - I repeat! Confused I got frustrated because there were no local classes and my dear Val didn't want to feel like he was talking to himself - so although he offered pronounciation corrections and limited coaching, I finally signed us up for DISH - I told him it was to treat him to soccer and news from home, Wink but I got to watch daytime TV and variety and game shows - it meant that I sat with a dictionary and translated - and learned! I learned enough that I can muddle through conversations with friends and inlaws when we visit overseas now!

#9: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: CaroleLocation: Valtellina - Near Lake Como PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:21 am
The advantages of having the ability to speak other languages can never be stressed enough. Not only the possibility to travel with ease throughout the world - or even within ones own country these days. But to be able to embrace different cultures, to savour different cuisines - oh so many things.

Like this young lady here, who was able - at a moment's notice - to save the day for her boss... How brave she is! Don't risk missing out on such opportunities! Cool


#10: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: JoeBLocation: Chicago Area PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:53 am
Played it 3 times before I stopped laughing... Joe B.

#11: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: DonnaPellegrin PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:10 am
Thanks for the laugh, Carole.

I was actually stunned to learn that there were no Italian courses offered in my area. Neither at the high schools, at the community college, or at the University. There are very few Italians in this area so I suppose there was no interest. But I'm enjoying the computer based program at this point. It's actually fun and I can go at my own pace and that is working for me so far. I took my laptop to my kids' karate lesson the other day and sat in the car and spoke Italian.

There are 4 units in Rosetta Stone Level One. Each unit has about 5 lessons. Each lesson is further divided into smaller parts. I have now completed unit one and I am starting into unit two. I've learned some very basic vocabulary: colors, six numbers, a few nouns and pronouns, a few verbs in present tense, and a few simple sentences. Mainly, I sense that the first unit was about learning the sounds of the language and pronouncing the sounds correctly. I have really enjoyed it so far. I will keep you posted on my progress. Smile


Last edited by DonnaPellegrin on Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

#12: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: ElevenLocation: New York PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:32 pm
That was another thing that I worried about..when considering those. I know a lot of words..and phrases. I can say in italian many simple things. I know all of the numbers, most of the colors, all of the months, most of the days of the week. I know a lot of foods. I could go on and on with what i know..but, I dont understand everything. I was standing in a dept store once looking for socks. This italian woman was closeby. As one of the sales people passed..she tried talking to her. The woman, of course, had no clue as to what she said. I had to take a few steps over and say..she wants to know if these socks are for girls, for children. I understood what the woman was if it was english..but, thats not always the case. If that italian woman ever started to talk to me more..forget I wouldnt have understood everything. I did understand her saying thank

I think I am beyond their first program, but I cant be sure.

#13: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: DonnaPellegrin PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:33 pm
Oh yes, lesson one of unit one was very basic and my guess is that you are beyond this point. I did not grow up with anyone speaking Italian so all that I have learned have been words that I looked up and translated for the purpose of my family history. I think I am learning from this program the same things you learned so long ago from being exposed to Italian speech. I can't tell you how many times I have read and written the word "dieci" in the last 5 years. Hundreds? Thousands? But until yesterday I never heard it pronounced - and boy was I surprised. All this time I had been calling it Dee Cee. Imagine my surprise to find out it was supposed to be Dee A Chee.

The last lesson of unit one was called the "milestone". In this lesson I took part in a "conversation" with some people in photographs. This forced me to put together simple sentences. For example in one photgraph I am shown that I have a cup. Then someone asks me, "Lei ha una tazza?" and I have to answer, "Si, Io ho una tazza." The whole lesson was kind of a culmination of what I had learned so far. I had learned "Si" and "io ho" and "una tazza" and part of the milestone was for me to put them together in my mind in a simple sentence.

I'm still trying to decide if the method is working for me. I can tell you that it has been fun and I am enjoying it. So...I'll keep you posted.


#14: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: ElevenLocation: New York PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:24 pm
Learning can be fun. I remember when I bought that berlitz book, it had to be about 25 years ago and my sister bought the same book. Both of our husbands are italian too. My husband "should" be able to speak..because it was spoken daily in his home...but, he knows about the same amount as I do..and my sis and bro in law, a little less.

This one night, books in hand..we decided to have coffee at my house..and only talk italian while we had coffee and dessert. Well, we had more laughs that night. It started out ok..I you want a cup of coffee?, I knew from childhood..and they understood..we knew sugar and milk..but when we got to the dessert part..things got tricky..with us trying to look things up etc. Also, we tried some light conversation..which really got funny. I think our kids thought we were flipping By the end of this coffee session, we were talking english.

About 10 years ago, I went with my sicilian aunt, to the house of some people that they have known forever (since italy). They all speak english. I took my family history papers, etc with me. My aunt was trying to explain to the other woman..exactly what this she switched to italian. She would say a sentence or two to this woman..then turn to me and say..I said......but, before she could tell me, I would say..I know what you said. This went on for this whole conversation. I didnt grasp every single word..but, I knew exactly what she was telling the woman. This has happened to me many times..I know the entire conversation...but...not always. Sometimes, what they are saying is greek to

I do have the habit tho, and so does my husband, in using a lot of italian words, in with the english. So much so that my children know what I am talking about and sometimes use the same Now, even my grandkids are catching on. Most of them definitely know when we are telling them to BE QUIET!!

#15: Re: Anyone learning Italian with Rosetta Stone? Author: nucciaLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:41 am
Italian (or rather the Calabrese dialect) was the first thing I learned to speak at home. My parents came from Italy in 1957 and 1961 respectively and I was born two years later. Mom could barely speak any English and never really thought to talk to us in proper Italian although she can speak it beautifully. Regardless, we continued speaking Italian to our parents until we were in high school, and even after both my parents became fluent in just seemed natural.

While I now understand Italian fairly well (and I guess I can somewhat speak it if I try hard enough and think carefully first, I still feel out of my comfort zone. Ask Simy. She came here expecting to learn English and left talking Calabrese instead! I think I found that the words themselves are not that herd - it's the pronunciation thats the killer. If you don't get that from the get go then you will have a harder time, like me.

As for the post question..I see all the posts and not just the last three. Is the problem fixed for you now?

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