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carla1604Friday 03rd of June 2005 04:12:56 PM
Learning italian - links - Hello everyone, :) :)
Here are some helpful links for learning italian:

Free italian courses on the web (with audio files)

Free online dictionaries
(you can download a 30 days trial version with italian/english/italian glossary)

grammar websites



audio clips with transcriptions and english Phrases

(realplayer is required)

(literary pieces - both pdf and audio files read by professional speakers)

links to online TV and radio stations

I'd suggest you to learn the basics (grammar and most common expressions), then look for an italian language partner to practice (e-mail exchange, text Classroom and voice Classroom). At least, that worked the best with me.
Ask me for any help you may need. I'm also available to practice on MSN or Yahoo. If you have any questions, please post them in the Italian discuss.
:) :) :)

MeryFriday 03rd of June 2005 06:29:44 PM
- Hi Carla,

This is a very useful post, thanks a lot for all the great links! :)

I also have a question for you. I am a complete beginner in Italian, so my question might sound a bit stupid. When I was in Venice and Rome, I heard quite a lot of people saying 'excuse me' in Italian. Some of them used the expression 'scusa' and others 'scusi'. Can you please tell me the difference between the two? Scusa seems to be more used.

Apparently there are also different ways to say thank you in Italian. I think grazie is supposed to mean thank you, but I sometimes heard people say something like grazi or grazia. I'm a bit lost...

Anyway, thanks in advance for your response Carla :D
carla1604Friday 03rd of June 2005 07:10:18 PM
- Hi Mery,
I think no question is stupid. :) In fact, you remarked a very subtle difference of pronunciation.
Both scusa and scusi mean “excuse me”, the difference is that “scusa” is informal and “scusi” is a formal expression.

In Italian, as well as in French, there’s a difference between formal and informal speech.
When you want to be formal in French, you use the pronoun “vous”. In Italian we use the pronoun “lei” (3rd person feminine singular pronoun). Though it’s feminine, it applies to men also :D
I think “scusa” = “excuse-moi” and “scusi” = “excusez-moi”.

Regarding “grazie”, there are no other ways to say thank you. The word “grazie” is to be pronounced “grązie”, with the tonic stress on the first syllable. The “e” in grazie is always to be heard and it sounds like the french é. The differences you heard are probably due to a non-standard pronunciation of people you talked to. In Italy there are many different Italian pronunciations according to the region the speaker is from.


Phlame64Friday 03rd of June 2005 08:06:16 PM
Websites - I found these websites very useful and well made, i'd also suggest these:
MerySaturday 04th of June 2005 08:12:30 PM
- Merci infiniment Carla for this clear explanation :D

I might come back later with more questions :p Since I am back from my Italian trip, I really feel like learning Italian.

Phlame64, thanks for the links! The audio files and exercises are really useful :)