Inspired to learn Italian

I took an “Italian for Travelers” course from our local county adult education department starting in January ’05, then immediately took the same course from the same good instructor again.

Simultaneously, I began working on the Pimsleur language program from Audiofy Corporation (3502 Scotts Lane, Building 12, Philadelphia, PA 19129; 866/472-8346,, doing a lesson every now and then in my car, listening to the Italian CDs.

To choose a CD language course, I tried all such beginner courses that were available in my local library. I chose Pimsleur because the pronunciation was clear and because it did not require any reading, making it possible to use while driving.

In May ’05 I spent two weeks in Tuscany. Everywhere I went, I carried a small Italian/English dictionary which included a short grammar summary and a fair number of irregular verb conjugations. As I went along, I did look some things up.

While I certainly could not read a newspaper or a historical marker, much less hold a social conversation, I was able to do the basic traveler’s tasks: buy train tickets, order in a restaurant, buy stamps, etc. I was delighted by how well I did with my limited Italian, including managing two unexpected encounters with Italians who spoke no English.

I have a poor memory and no special gift for languages, but I was inspired by that trip to continue studying Italian.


McLean, VA