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hello all,

we will be going on our Med cruise in oct. (joy!) for those of you that have been there - do we need to speak some italian? do most europeans speak english? i speak some spanish but very little. our cruise is concentrated mainly in italy. gratia! :)

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In our experience you can get by in English only, HOWEVER, if you learn a few phrases in Italian and at least try to speak it, even really badly and even just a little bit (DH constantly used Spanish words) you will make big inroads and have a much more enjoyable time. At least learn the basics, please, thank you, hello, toilet, one, two, three.....

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hello all,

we will be going on our Med cruise in oct. (joy!) for those of you that have been there - do we need to speak some italian? do most europeans speak english? i speak some spanish but very little. our cruise is concentrated mainly in italy. gratia! :)

 

If you have a serious interest, try Rosetta Stone. My DH is picking it up pretty quickly.

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gratia! :)

 

Did you mean 'grazie'? ;)

 

Some knowledge of Italian will help you in your travels and an effort to speak their language is appreciated by locals. Many Europeans speak English, but not all. If you are traveling independently on your port days, it will be especially useful. Most Italy travel books have a page of "Italian Survival Phrases" (as per Rick Steves' books).

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If you have a serious interest, try Rosetta Stone. My DH is picking it up pretty quickly.

 

I've heard that Rosetta Stone is excellent. But as you say, you want to have a serious interest... due to the cost.

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I've heard that Rosetta Stone is excellent. But as you say, you want to have a serious interest... due to the cost.

 

We used Penton's Learn in Your Car Italian - 3 CDs for $20 at Border's. We never got past the first CD, but we learned enough to manage in a non-tourist cafeteria in Florence, and to tell the Naples cabdriver who wanted to drop us at the wrong ship, "no, no, prossimo!" Yes, most people in the tourist trade have some English, but at the lower levels often it is "waiter English" or "cabbie English" - they can understand the normal food orders and destinations, but if you need to communicate something more complex, you quickly reach their limits.

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We didn't know any more than a few basic words of Italian when we were on our Med cruise. Everyone we encountered in shops or restaurants spoke English, though they seemed to appreciate our fumbled attempts to speak the few words we knew. I'm sure you won't have any trouble being understood in the main tourist areas.

 

Do you have an iPod? If so, you can get Italian lesson podcasts through iTunes. Some are free. I would have done this if I had had an iPod prior to our Med cruise - could have been learning Italian during my daily commute in the weeks before the cruise. I may still do it, so I will be ready for my next visit to Italy. :)

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I am in the same situation as you. I have been doing some research and I want to save the money on my research to spend on doing things out there. I went to the library where it's FREE. it's such a magical word. I was at work with some down time when I put in what i thought was going to be a DVD but it was actually a cd in a dvd case. I then imported it all onto my iTunes and made copies of the small phrases that it teaches you.

 

I rediscovered how using the library system can really save alot of money to get the same information as buying it. I have gone through a few books including Frommer's guide and several Rick Steve's guides to europe dvds

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Since we are booked for a November 2009 cruise, I figured I have enough time to learn some Italian. Fortunately, I discovered that I have full access to Roseta Stone through my local library and can pull it up at any time on any computer. The first time I went to Europe, I took a class in conversational German and found it did help, and when we were in a restaurant in Spain, had a bunch of schoolkids speaking with us to practice their English!

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What does DH stand for? I keep seeing that word, I thought it was The Husband? NO? hehehhe :) Help!!!

 

Dear Husband (but the 'D' could mean other adjectives, depending on how you feel about him that day.:D )

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I've heard that Rosetta Stone is excellent. But as you say, you want to have a serious interest... due to the cost.

 

We paid a fortune for all three levels, but he is very serious and spends at least one hour per day. I do a little over the weekend. The program is better than I anticipated because you have headphones and it picks up the dictation in your voice. You actually set it to whether you are male or female and the difficulty level. It will not advance if you do not pronounce the words correctly. It also has writing but right now he is skipping that as he can't type in English very well :)

 

It is pictures and visual the way a child learns. You can download a free sample (leson 1) of any language over the internet or pick up the dvd at any location.

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Fortunately, I discovered that I have full access to Roseta Stone through my local library and can pull it up at any time on any computer. quote]

 

How does one do that? Is it actually downloaded to your computer? Do you have access to the latest versions and what do you do about the headphones? (I guess purchase them seperately for about $30.00?) Having the program on your computer it automatically goes back to where you left off.

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Thanks for the info Jade! Is it easy to to have two users set up on it, i.e. do you sign in and it goes back to where you left off, and same for your husband?

 

Bravo ... the BBC site is great! Thank you.

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We also get FREE Rosetta Stone from the library--only they didn't have Greek. We used it for Italian and it did help our "ear".

Since we tend to travel on our own and off the beaten track it is important to know a little bit of the language. People always say--oh everyone speaks English. But when you travel to out of the way places that is not true.

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People always say--oh everyone speaks English. But when you travel to out of the way places that is not true.

 

You're lucky to be able to get Rosetta Stone from your libarary...I will drop some hints at mine.:)

 

We've come across quite a few non English speaking people in European countries .... and our 'sign language' only goes so far. We've learned some Italian, Spanish and French through the years, but I could certainly improve on it. One problem I have found is that when I communicate effectively to ask a question, the person I am asking gets the impression that I am more fluent than I really am and will fire back an answer so quickly that I don't have a clue what they've said. So, while it's great to be able to ask a question, understanding the answer is equally as important. :o

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wow. thanks all of you for your input. my sister has spent several months in italy studying and she suggested Pimsleur's Italian I. i have completed lessons 1-10 but i have 20 more to go. i try to speak it everyday to keep it fresh but i gotta tell ya - if someone fires off a string of italian at me i will be stuck! hopefully i will have enough in my brain by october to get by. :p

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Thanks for the info Jade! Is it easy to to have two users set up on it, i.e. do you sign in and it goes back to where you left off, and same for your husband?

 

Bravo ... the BBC site is great! Thank you.

 

One License is good for two computers, and you can put four users on each one. So, I click on my name and it goes to where I left off and DH clicks on his and it goes to where he left off. He also set himself up twice as he wanted to skip over all the writing (you tell the computer what to download). It also scores you (if you want). He's already studied twice today.

 

I mentioned people were getting this for free (they actually have a full refund policy for 6 months) but he feels we already paid and it's working great, he's learning Italian and it's worth the money. I think most people buy the package with Level 1 and Level 2, but we went overboard and bought Level 3 too. Also, we found the Kiosks will take off 10% if you ask, so the price is almost the same as Amazon. We could have saved another $15.00 bucks or so in tax but figured the women who was helping us deserved a little commission and she gave us her private cell phone in case he had any questions (retired high school language teacher who works one day per week).

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With the library version, I have to log into my library account and access the language program through a library link, so it isn't really downloaded to my computer. I've just started, so haven't used earphones yet, but I did see an icon on the program menu. I'll take what I can get for free!!:)

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We have been there many times, if on a cruise you hit ports where English is spoken. We have never had a problem. If out in the countryside you might have a little problem. English is spoken almost everywhere, but small towns might not have as many people speaking English.

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I took an adult continuing education course at the local high school before our first time to Italy in Feb of 07. It was very helpful.

 

I also like the free podcasts by "Jane and Mario" you can get through itunes. They teach you little situations at a time, they are very amusing, and they have real accents so you can tell what it's supposed to sound like. The bbc sight is also very helpful.

 

It all depends on your comfort level. My husband is just happy knowing how to ask for a 2euro gelato : )

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We've come across quite a few non English speaking people in European countries .... and our 'sign language' only goes so far. We've learned some Italian, Spanish and French through the years, but I could certainly improve on it. One problem I have found is that when I communicate effectively to ask a question, the person I am asking gets the impression that I am more fluent than I really am and will fire back an answer so quickly that I don't have a clue what they've said. So, while it's great to be able to ask a question, understanding the answer is equally as important.

 

Fortunately the Italians speak with their hands too. This often helps in interpretation. On my second trip to Italy I had practiced asking for directions. I must have done a good job so the person answered me in rapid fire dialect. I don't think that this is an issue any more but that was in the 70s. Fortunately his hands gestured the directions that he was saying. I did get to the train for Pompeii.

Fran

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