Friday, January 14, 2005

Lesson 1 - to be, questions

Most italian words have a stress on the last but one syllable. As always, there are many exceptions to this rule, so be sure to consult your dictionary.

Pronunciation is rather easy, definitely easier than with many other languages. There is nothing that can substitute hearing to native italian speakers on cd or audio, though. At some later time, a short pronunciation guide will be included at this page. Until then, there are few pronunciation guides on the internet.

"to be" - "essere" - inflections:

Iam - i sono
you are - t sei
she is - lei è
he is - lui è

we are - noi siamo
you are - voi siete
they are - loro sono

Antonio is spanish. Antonio è spagnolo.
Is Antonio spanish? Antonio è spagnolo?

As you see, in the case of questions, the word order in the sentence remains unchanged.

Vocabulary:

a Milano / in Milano
di Milano / from Milano
studente / student (male)
studentessa / student (female)

Help with vocabulary drills - flashcards on your PC

Vocabulary drills are substantial, yet the most routine, part of any language learning.
I will suggest some tools here, to help you with this task.

SuperMemo and FullRecall, are both flashcard software, and both have a free version available as well.

Their biggest advantage is that, once you feed them with your vocabulary lists, they will test you on the vocabulary words automatically. Over the time, they will adjust the testing to your knowledge, testing you more frequently on the words that you seem to have biggest problems with, and less frequently on the words that you know well. I will stay at this explanation, if you are looking for deeply theoretical stuff on how these work, look at the websites. Especially SuperMemo web is full of often scientific material about retention and learning.

As other, alternative, flashcard learning software, Pauker and MemAid come to mind as well, both free, and both of them can be found on SourceForge.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Learn Italian - introduction

Hello and welcome all the interested learners of the Italian language.

I know a blog is not the most appropriate for posting a free Italian language lessons online, but it will serve as a temporary repository of my thoughts and present a work in progress.

Once I will find more time, I will take all those coming Italian lessons, polish, reformat, add a stuff here and there, correct anything necessary, and post on this web as a nicely formatted and easy to follow course.

Until then, the lessons will be posted on any day that I will find some free time, a step by step. Maybe it will be more like a simple single recipes for Italian than a language course. Whatever, once it is finished, and once I have enough time for it, it will be oveworked into something nicer.

I hope you will like it anyway.