Each book in the Conversational language series is a product of the collaboration of native English and native Italian, Spanish, or French speakers, so that the true meaning and use of each language comes through.
The native English speaker, and primary author of the series, Kathryn Occhipinti, is a medical doctor in the United States and holds a college degree in the English language. After many years dedicated to
learning the Italian language of her family, first during high school, then in college, and later throughout her adult years, she has developed a simple, organized way to introduce the romance languages
to adults interested in learning quickly and easily for travel purposes. The book and audio practice guide grew out of actual classes which are offered to the Italian American Society of Peoria, Illinois,
for adults who want to learn Italian for their trips to Italy to visit family and friends.
The English translation of the dialogues specifically uses the Italian sentence structure, rather than the "proper English," in order to emphasize the correct method of thinking in the Italian language. When a phrase would not be easily understandable in English using the Italian-based translation, additional English verb endings or phrases are provided in parenthesis. Subject pronouns, for instance, almost always left out of Italian conversation, are included in the English translations in parenthesis. The Italian verbs are color-coded in green in an attempt to make Italian verb conjugation and sentence placement more understandable to the English speaker. Our motto at the Italian American Society is, "If you want to speak in Italian, you must first learn how to think in Italian!"
For the first book available in the conversational language series, Conversational Italian for Travelers, Kathryn is joined by the Italian editors Simona Giuggioli and Arnaldo Mariani.
Arnaldo Mariani is a Professor of Latin and Italian languages
who teaches in Capistrello, Italy.
Simona Giuggioli is the owner of the Italian School of Dallas. She was born and raised in Italy and moved to the US in 1999. She studied marketing in London, England, and graduated from the University of Hawaii. She has been working as a translator and a teacher of Italian since 1996.
Simona Giuggioli provides up-to-date translations of the sample phrases important for every-day conversation in Italy today in the dialogues and vocabulary sections of the text, and has also offered invaluable insight into current grammar and verb use. The Italian taught with Professor Giuggioli's help is not "textbook" Italian, but rather true, "conversational" Italian, with all the idiomatic expressions one might expect to hear every day!
The Conversational Italian for Travelers Audio
Dialogue Practice Guide is a separate textbook with an audio version which can be downloaded directly into a personal MP3 player from this web site.
The audio guide brings the Italian of the textbook to life, and is an invaluable aid for committing to memory the vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and numbers sections. Listen as native speakers say simple and then ever more complex sentences using the grammar and vocabulary which corresponds to each chapter of the text. This is an especially useful aid for the study of verb conjugations, which is the main focus of the guide. The unique way each group of sentences builds upon the ones before in each section will allow for practice, practice, practice, conjugating those verbs, without the boredom that can otherwise come with the usual rote memorization.
Using these materials, the Italian student can read a phrase in Italian, see the Italian sentence structure in the English translation, and then listen to a conversation with a native Italian speaker!
Conversational Italian for Travelers can be ordered bound, as a traditional textbook, or in loose-leaf form, with perforated holes for a spiral binder.
Download single chapters or the entire book as well, to keep as notes in a spiral binder. After reading each chapter through from beginning to end,
the separate pages of the book can be reorganized to
create individualized reference books.
The "Important Phrases" section of each chapter has been specifically created so that these pages can be removed and re-filed together to create a book of travel
Use the second set of numbers in the bottom right hand of the page, which end in "IP" to keep the correct order, from 1(IP) in the first chapter to 18(IP) in the last. And, of course, to keep
those important travel tips near-by, pull all of the Cultural Note sections, numbered (CN) as an additional travel guide.
Need to have vocabulary, numbers, or idiomatic expressions close by? Re-organize those pages as needed with the (VO),(N) and(ID) pages. Having trouble remembering all those verb conjugations and rules? Make your own verb reference book for easy accessibility with the (V) numbers! Each section is color-coded as well, to help with creating these individual reference books.
But, most of all, enjoy your visit to Italy! Even a beginning knowledge of Italian will enhance any visit and make one feel more at home. Don't worry about too many details, but just relax and try to think and speak in Italian as much as possible. Any attempt to speak the language is welcomed by Italians as a show of respect for their culture. In bocca al lupo* e buon viaggio! Good Luck and have a good trip!*In bocca al lupo means literally, "In the mouth of the wolf," a reference to the fable of Romulus, founder of Rome, who is said to have been abandoned and raised with his brother Remus by a she-wolf.