Learn Italian with The Pimsleur Method

Speak Italian like a native!

It’s now possible to speak and understand a foreign language effortlessly. The world-famous Pimsleur Method™ combines well-established research, most-useful vocabulary and a completely intuitive process to get you speaking right from the first day. All Pimsleur® courses feature real-world context and flexible vocabulary enabling you to learn your new language in a fluid, natural way. It’s the simplest way to start speaking a new language today.

Italian is the official language of Italy and San Marino, and an official language of Switzerland, Croatia, and Slovenia. It is spoken by about 66 million worldwide. Learn Italian today with Pimsleur. READ MORE »

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Customer Reviews

Here’s what other customers have had to say about Italian Phase 1, Units 1-30. If you have anything to share about your experience with a Pimsleur title, please go to the page for that title and write a review.

Reviews for Italian Phase 1, Units 1-30

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REVIEWS SUMMARY

by PowerReviews
PimsleurItalian Phase 1, Units 1-30
 
4.4

(based on 30 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • It works (27)
  • Easy to use (25)
  • Perfects accent (24)
  • Portable (23)
  • Fun (22)

Cons

  • Too fast (4)
  • Pricey / poor value (3)
  • Time commitment (3)

Best Uses

  • Travel (26)
  • Self-improvement (23)
  • Fun (19)
  • Family background/heritage (12)
  • Business/work (8)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Traveler (22), Business person (9)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

I'm a Pimsleur convert!

I have traveled to Italy 5 times, but even after taking a year of Italian in college, 6-months with a private tutor, and a month-long immersion course in Tuscany, I never felt...Read complete review

I have traveled to Italy 5 times, but even after taking a year of Italian in college, 6-months with a private tutor, and a month-long immersion course in Tuscany, I never felt comfortable speaking Italian with locals, always getting tongue tied over verb conjugation or verb tenses and ended up just speaking English feeling since I felt that what I was about to say may not be correct Italian.

After taking the first 30 lessons of the Pimsleur method, this most recent trip was a completely different experience. I traveled in Italy for two weeks and for the first time felt like I was able to initiate conversations with locals, answer their questions, and it was a great feeling! I couldn't believe it! The Pimsleur method gave me a whole different perspective on speaking a foreign language and made me confident in putting sentences together without worrying about it being exactly perfect. Every day, some local would compliment me on my Italian, even though what I can currently speak is still very much rudimentary. But I think they were just impressed at how much I was trying to speak and how much I was able to converse, no matter if I may have used a wrong verb tense a few times. They understood me and were excited that I was using their language.

Before Pimsleur, I always learned languages in classes by memorizing verb conjugations and tenses of verbs and memorizing vocabulary, doing a lot of written work. But all that memorization and writing never got me very far since my brain was trying to translate what I wanted to say in my head so I wasn't able to spit out a complete sentence in a timely manner. With Pimsleur, the entire learning process involves actually speaking - repeating after the speaker, answering the speakers questions, and "thinking in Italian," so that the Italian words you are saying start to become natural to your spoken language, and you're no longer trying to translate from English to Italian in your head to say what you want to say. You just know the answer in Italian! I quickly became a serious believer in the Pimsleur Method and have already told countless people I know who love to travel to try it out before their next trip and that it will completely change their travel experience!

I guess my only only complaint was that out of the first 30 lessons, we spent several lessons talking about family relationships - wives, husbands and kids, how many kids we have, who is older, younger, etc. and that didn't seem very relevant for the beginning Italian lessons, especially for travelers. I would've loved to have spent those lessons learning more about descriptions and adjectives of what we want/need at restaurants/shops/tourist destinations/etc - further/shorter, the most/least, the best, what kind of sauce/fish/pasta/wine is this, what someone recommends, etc. and also spend more time on being able to ask more questions about public transportation - the buses, metros, where to buy tickets, how to get a ticket validated, how many stops until you get to your destination, etc. That would've been more helpful for the first 30 lessons. Also, a phrase that I had to look up on my own that was very nice to be able to say to locals who helped me was "Thank you very much for your assistance!" That should be one of the first phrases they teach you when learning a new language.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

good and also frustrating

two complaints:
1. the reading material function is questionable. while helpful to see the words and how they are pronounced, there is no translation so you don't know what you are saying....Read complete review

two complaints:
1. the reading material function is questionable. while helpful to see the words and how they are pronounced, there is no translation so you don't know what you are saying. adding a translation would help with building vocabulary.

2. as the responses become more complex, i found that the amount of time given to reply was too short, making for a frustrating experience. i realize that the program tries to increase speed, however, an addtional few seconds would have been more helpful to me. Also, as sentences become more complex, it was harder to understand/hear the pronunciation of the words by the native speakers. yes, they were speaking at the native pace, which is fine and an important goal to reach, but.....there are lessons that what i heard is just one blur of sound and the individual words were harder to distinguish.

i am currently on lesson 14. i have had to revisit lessons multiple times starting at lesson 12 given what i wrote above. this is not a negative criticism of the program, more an exercise in frustration in progress.

all that said, am i learning the language, as of lesson 14...YES.

Reviewed by 30 customers

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5.0

I will always use PIMSLEUR

By DianaD

from Austin, TX

About Me Traveler

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Fun
  • It Works
  • Perfects Accent
  • Portable

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Self-improvement
    • Travel

    Comments about Italian Phase 1, Units 1-30:

    I have used Pimsleur for both Spanish and Italian lessons and it works extremely well for me. The audio format and bite-size chunks allows me to listen to it on the go, while doing chores around the house, on a walk, etc. which is perfect for my lifestyle. If it required sitting at a computer I would not do it.
    Also I was taking Spanish lessons with a teacher and after 6 months of those classes I felt that I was getting more from the Pimsleur lessons due to the way it sinks into my memory better. I highly recommend it to everyone!

     
    5.0

    This worked - Loved it!

    By Maria

    from Minden, NV

    About Me Traveler

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • Fun
    • It Works
    • Perfects Accent
    • Portable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Just for fun
      • Travel

      Comments about Italian Phase 1, Units 1-30:

      Absolutely delighted with this product. I tried Rosetta Stone and it just didn't jive with my way of learning. Pimsleur Italian had me speaking basic sentences in conversation so I could learn in context and understand the whys of different verb and noun endings. Even with only 15 lessons before my last-minute trip to Italy, I was able to very naturally speak basic (very basic!) sentences. Can't wait to get over jet lag and finish the next 15 lessons and move on to the next set. I've been recommending this product to everyone!

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Pace quickens too much, too early.

      By Bubba

      from Phoenix, AZ

      About Me Traveler

      Pros

      • Easy to use
      • Perfects Accent

      Cons

      • Too Fast

      Best Uses

      • Just for fun
      • Self-improvement
      • Travel

      Comments about Italian Phase 1, Units 1-30:

      I agree with this fellow reviewer-2. as the responses become more complex, I found that the amount of time given to reply was too short, making for a frustrating experience. I realize that the program tries to increase speed, however, an additional few seconds would have been more helpful to me. Also, as sentences become more complex, it was harder to understand/hear the pronunciation of the words by the native speakers. yes, they were speaking at the native pace, which is fine and an important goal to reach, but.....there are lessons that what I heard is just one blur of sound and the individual words were harder to distinguish.

      After the first 14 units, I found it difficult to understand the pronunciation. In turn, my pronunciation became sloppy and imprecise without a way to correct it.

      I have learned a lot, but have some concerns about purchasing future lessons.

       
      5.0

      I'm a Pimsleur convert!

      By 5-time Italian Traveler

      from San Luis Obispo, CA

      About Me Traveler

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to use
      • Fun
      • It Works
      • Perfects Accent
      • Portable

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Business/Work
        • Self-improvement
        • Travel

        Comments about Italian Phase 1, Units 1-30:

        I have traveled to Italy 5 times, but even after taking a year of Italian in college, 6-months with a private tutor, and a month-long immersion course in Tuscany, I never felt comfortable speaking Italian with locals, always getting tongue tied over verb conjugation or verb tenses and ended up just speaking English feeling since I felt that what I was about to say may not be correct Italian.

        After taking the first 30 lessons of the Pimsleur method, this most recent trip was a completely different experience. I traveled in Italy for two weeks and for the first time felt like I was able to initiate conversations with locals, answer their questions, and it was a great feeling! I couldn't believe it! The Pimsleur method gave me a whole different perspective on speaking a foreign language and made me confident in putting sentences together without worrying about it being exactly perfect. Every day, some local would compliment me on my Italian, even though what I can currently speak is still very much rudimentary. But I think they were just impressed at how much I was trying to speak and how much I was able to converse, no matter if I may have used a wrong verb tense a few times. They understood me and were excited that I was using their language.

        Before Pimsleur, I always learned languages in classes by memorizing verb conjugations and tenses of verbs and memorizing vocabulary, doing a lot of written work. But all that memorization and writing never got me very far since my brain was trying to translate what I wanted to say in my head so I wasn't able to spit out a complete sentence in a timely manner. With Pimsleur, the entire learning process involves actually speaking - repeating after the speaker, answering the speakers questions, and "thinking in Italian," so that the Italian words you are saying start to become natural to your spoken language, and you're no longer trying to translate from English to Italian in your head to say what you want to say. You just know the answer in Italian! I quickly became a serious believer in the Pimsleur Method and have already told countless people I know who love to travel to try it out before their next trip and that it will completely change their travel experience!

        I guess my only only complaint was that out of the first 30 lessons, we spent several lessons talking about family relationships - wives, husbands and kids, how many kids we have, who is older, younger, etc. and that didn't seem very relevant for the beginning Italian lessons, especially for travelers. I would've loved to have spent those lessons learning more about descriptions and adjectives of what we want/need at restaurants/shops/tourist destinations/etc - further/shorter, the most/least, the best, what kind of sauce/fish/pasta/wine is this, what someone recommends, etc. and also spend more time on being able to ask more questions about public transportation - the buses, metros, where to buy tickets, how to get a ticket validated, how many stops until you get to your destination, etc. That would've been more helpful for the first 30 lessons. Also, a phrase that I had to look up on my own that was very nice to be able to say to locals who helped me was "Thank you very much for your assistance!" That should be one of the first phrases they teach you when learning a new language.

         
        4.0

        I would buy this product again

        By corina

        from ca

        About Me Traveler

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to use
        • Fun
        • It Works
        • Perfects Accent
        • Portable

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Family background/Heritage
          • Just for fun
          • Self-improvement

          Comments about Italian Phase 1, Units 1-30:

          I use as a supplement to taking Italian classes. I like that the sentences are broken down into segments to make it easier to remember and understand. I do not like the reading exercises. They do not correlate with lessons and some of the phrases do not seem to make sense even to my Italian instructor.

          Displaying reviews 1-5

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