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Monday, March 23, 2009

Corriere della Sera: Corriere TV

It's not surprising that newspapers in Italy are providing more multimedia content. CorriereTV is a selection of news videos that one can watch and listen to on the Corriere della Sera web site, one of Italy's leading newspapers.

There are dozens of channels, and viewers can watch news stories about events in Italy, international events, economic news, cinema, and more!! It's an easy site to navigate, the videos have great clarity, and the audio files are crisp and clear. There is also a section called Appuntamenti in which various staff of the newspaper do videos on special topics. The Italian journalist and writer, Beppe Severigni, does a show called Punto Italians, and there are segments on health and film by other correspondents of the paper. There are also Telegiornali segments on general news and a Telegiornale segment dedicated to economics and business (i.e., stock market, business news, etc.).

What I like about this site is that the news stories are a decent length (just a couple of minutes or less, although some of the Appuntamenti are longer) which is a great way to practice your listening skills without drowning in a sea of words and expressions you might not know.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Practice Italian With Audiobooks! (updated)

The great thing about audiobooks is that not only can you practice your listening skills but you can also read along if you have the book as well. This can be a great way to double check your comprehension of anything that you've listened to. I think that it is important to hear Italian being spoken by as many different kinds of accents and voices as possible since the way language is spoken is different just like it is in your own native language. I think that this throws people who are learning Italian because they don't always recognizes the differences in their own language.

So where do you find audiobooks?

There are several places that you can find them. Some of the RAI sites have them online that you can stream and listen to. The links for those (Terzo Anello) can be found in the sidebar. Another great site for audiobooks is Il Narratore. Some of them are free to download while others must be purchased. If you're looking for a larger selection, check out an online bookstore, such as Internet Bookshop Italia. To do a search for audiobooks, simply type the word audiolibro in the search box, and you'll receive hundreds of hits.

Another up-and-coming place to purchase audio books is from Lapo Art Films, a company based in Tuscany. They currently have a very enchanting and well-done version of Pinocchio for purchase and, as they have informed me, are in the process of creating future audiobooks. In the meantime, you can listen to excerpts through Itunes (do a search for Pinocchio published by Lapo Art Films) or on their web site (also via RSS feed here:

I've listed below some audiobooks that you might find interesting to purchase (you'll probalby have difficulty finding them in American libraries so they'll have to be downloaded or purchased):
Many English books are translated and then made into Italian audiobooks. By doing the search that I mentioned above, you might find many Italian audiobooks for works that you might have already encountered in English.

If you know of another place to find purchase or download audiobooks, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Omnibus Life

A show that I recently starting watching online is Omnibus Life with Tiziana Panella and Enrico Vaime and is one of the many captivating programs that La7 produces.

Omnibus Life is a morning show, beginning around 930am in Italy, which talks about current events and interesting happenings, usually with a more social and/or cultural bent. The episode embedded here is from March 11, 2009 and discusses the business around tarot cards and tarot readings, which are extremely popular in Italy but are often used to prey on innocent people by extracting money from them.

Many of the guests are writers, commentators, lawyers and officials from the government, and the show attempts to discuss issues of the day. If you're looking for other video topics, click on the link "Tutti i video" that is located in the left sidebar on the Omnibus Life web site. The show runs for about thirty minutes. It's a great way to practice your Italian listening skills, pick up some new vocabulary, as well as learning about current events in Italy.