I know how hard to it is when you're first learning Italian to find resources that aren't too difficult to use, but keep plugging away at your listening skills. You will be surprised at how much better they become the more you practice. For the more advanced speakers and listeners, always try to find time in your day for a little Italian listening to keep your ear used to the language and its pace.
I'll be back in 2011 with more interesting sites to review and profile as well as some new ideas for learning Italian. Below is a list of some of my favorite tools, apps, and sites for learning Italian that I profiled in 2010! I hope that you will continue your Italian language learning odyssey in year(s) to come!
Enjoy and Buone Feste a tutti!
- I have to say, hands down, that my favorite discovery in 2010 has been Podcaster! This is an app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad that allows users to download and store podcasts on their phone without having to sync up to Itunes. It's a great app for your phone or iPod and is very versatile because it allows you to pull together dozens of podcasts into one location. So if you like sports, news, current events, or history, there are tons of podcasts that you could pull into the app and listen to at your leisure. The app is easy to use, and the developer is very responsive to feedback, too! Recent updates allow users to download podcasts in the background as well as put the app "to sleep" (especially useful if you enjoy listening to podcasts at bedtime like me!)
- Learnitalianpod.com is another one of my favorite sites that is always doing something new. They have a series of podcasts and a learning center for all levels as well as podcast courses for intermediate and advanced levels, too. I love this site for beginners because they have a course for those of you who may want to learn Italian but do not know where to begin. Pay them a visit, download their podcasts, and subscribe to their learning center! You will not be disappointed!
- Maxmondo.com is a superb site geared to intermediate/advanced learners. It is so hard to find materials for intermediate and advanced users. Subscribe to their audio newsletter which comes with a pdf transcript that you can follow along as well as exercises and helpful vocabulary. This is a very well developed online product that is a must for your Italian language learning arsenal! They also have free short podcasts that you can download as well.
- L'Italiano in Famiglia is an online course developed by the "Ufficio Scolastico Provinciale di Brescia" and has been specifically developed for those who seek to learn Italian as their second language or for those who do not have access to Italian courses in their area. This features videos that profile a family, following them around as they do and take part in various activities. What I like is that no only is there an audio component, but there's a visual one, too! Seeing and hearing together can most often aid in understanding or at least help to provide a context to the situation -- this can make learning new words and expressions much easier. While the dialogs and acting can be a bit "odd" at times, it is a well done course with accompanying materials.