Firstly as a lover of languages in general, I would like to say how inmpressed I am with this site. You’ve managed to provide a platform with lots of free lessons in a style akin to Pimsleur or Michel Thomas but in a much more affordable way. Diolch!

As an English teacher living in Italy I also see the benefits this method would have for many of my students. We are really lucky that as native English speakers we have so many innovative approaches to language learning that focus on speaking. This is probably a consequence of our inherent dislike of grammar. Many of my students out here in Southern Italy have an extremely high level of grammar because the school system is still very book based. While they an frequently tell me the difference between a direct and indirect object they often have trouble being able to construct whole sentences when they speak. They (and many other Italians) would really benefit from this style of course as there is little focus out here on actual speaking.

Seeing as you guys already offer English-Spanish and Spanish-English I was wondering if you had any plans to offer an Italian course? Its a popular language for English speakers and as I mentioned above something like this would really benefit Italians. As Im living out here and my wife is also Italian, if you were interested in offering an Italian course, we would be happy to help, if you needed any volunteers that is.

Anyway great courses and thanks again, or as my Dutch course has taught me Dank u well.


Ohhhh … it’s seen from the Moon we’re neighbours (I mean Slovenia and Italy) because here in Slovenia the things are not much different at least not in schools. Evening language classes might be a bit different especially for kids, but still … many are based on “gramar and dreadful lists of words come first”. :slight_smile:

Benvenuto a SSi @Owaingwyndwr.

I tag @stella here as she would surely be interested in some conversation as she’s language teacher. :slight_smile:

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Grazie, puno hvala and thanks :smile:

The grammar approach seems to be European wide. I do think grammar is important, but it does ultimately depend on what your objectives are when learning the language. Many of my students are forced to learn Chaucer and study British philosophers I’ve never heard of. Its part of an old system and its not really my place to criticize because these students leave school as very knowlegeable people in terms of the history and culture of the English speaking world. Thats fine if the aim is to educate people to be able to read Medieval English, but not if they actually want to learn how to speak it.

We English speakets are very lucky (the world learns our language) but at the same time very lazy when it comes to grammar. But the upside of that is that we tend to emphasize spoken language.

Somewhere in the middle there is a perfect education system where people can speak fluently but also understand the nuancesof grammar.

Thanks for the welcome anyway, this seems like a nice community :smile:

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Wow, you really seem to read minds! I was walking home today and I thought just how lovely it would be if SSI offered courses in Italian and also in Napoletano and Siciliano dialects, which I happen to love very much and which sometimes seem more expressive and beautiful to me than the official language. I teach Italian and my stepfather is Italian from Sicily (though living in the north, near Modena).
Anyway, piacere di conoscerLa, @Owaingwyndwr ! Insegno l’inglese e l’italiano in Russia e sono molto felice ogni volta che trovo qualcuno che parla l’italiano e ama questa lingua stupenda.

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You wouldn’t believe, but I understood each word and the whole written. So, I didn’t forget that much I believe. :slight_smile:

You’re welcome. and YES IT IS! :smiley:

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Of course I believe it, I know that you can speak Italian:) We spoke it just about a month ago, didn’t we?:slight_smile:

Ciao Stella, o piacere è sempe mij comm diconn’ cca…or as they say here in Naples, the pleasure is all mine. Nice to meet you and Tatiana. I’ve been out here for 4 years now but already spoke Italian back in the UK. Unfortunately, because I have to speak English all day for my job, my Italian hasnt turned into native speaker level yet, but I hope to get there eventually.

Yes, I agree the dialects are really interesting and differ a lot from north to south. If you’re interested in Napolitano then check out the film “Benvenuti al Sud“ which really plays on the north-south stereotypes. But there’s loads of cool phrases in Napolitano such as “C’amm fa?“ “what can we do?“. The best way to start though is to learn the ways Neapolitans speak with their hands-that is a language of itself!

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Welcome to the forum, and thank you very much for your kind words… :sunny:

We are hoping to roll out a few new languages next year, so I’ll definitely bear your kind offer in mind (although we’ve had a few previous offers for Italian - but maybe we could end up spreading the load)… :sunny:

And we’ll be revisiting the whole English course thing again next year - that old English-Spanish stuff is several important iterations off the pace now, and needs updating (and murdering, and hiding, to be honest).


Yes, we did. My Italian was quite awkward as I forght the tenses and quite4 some words, but still it was nice to revive some of my knowledge. I’m preocupied with Cymraeg right now but there surely will come the time to continue my revival of knowledge of it. :slight_smile:

Oh, @aran your colorful expressions always bring smile on my face. :slight_smile:

Nice to meet you too.


Sounds great for next year then with the potential new languages. Obviously if you’ve already had volunteer offers then I completely understand if you have already agreed something. But just as an idea seeing as you have North and South Cymraeg, if you did want to have a different accent for southern Italian (which can be very different from the north), we’d be happy to help.

Looking forward to the Spanish course updates, but murder? I hope no one gets bumped off as a result of one of my posts :wink:

Anyway really great site. Pleased to be here and will update you all on my Dutch progress :smile:


Grazie mille, I will check this film out. I became interested in these two southern dialects mainly because of my love for classical music - a lot of songs I love are sung in the dialect. But I’m also glad that the dialects are the living language for some people - Russian, which is my native language, is more or less uniform due to the fact that most people were taught to read and write standard literary Russian after the revolution by teachers who sometimes were from other parts of the country and so the dialects disappeared at some point. It’s convenient for foreigners, but is a bit sad all the same.

I have to deal with a different problem - most Russian schools seem to think that the “communicative approach” (which here normally means that the textbook will be by Oxford or Cambridge university press and that students will be allowed to talk a lot in class) is the crown of the ELT evolution. What I personally find annoying about this, apart from the “forget about accuracy, focus on fluency” part, is that these textbooks take much care to be as “intercultural” as they can and so students (who are genuinely interested in the British culture) hardly ever learn anything at all about it. I was requested some years ago by my teenage students to give them a short series of lessons about English literature (we didn’t do Scottish, Irish or Welsh writers because of the lack of time), because they felt uneducated and the coursebook didn’t tell much about it.


Another lover of la bella lingua here too. I’d love to see Say Something in Italian.

I totally agree about how Italians seem to know so much more than us here in the UK about grammar terms. I noticed this when I went to Bologna for a language course. The teachers would just explain stuff by using grammatical terms, like, 'ok, to use the pluperfect, we have to use the imperfetto and passato prossimo (in Italian, of course) and I personally loved this style of teaching because it made sense to me, but many students were less comfortable (mostly the ones from the UK and the USA). I was then speaking to the teachers during coffee time and I said how in the UK, there’s a whole generation (if not more) that were not taught grammar in school, including myself. They couldn’t believe it!

Having taught Welsh to adults, it’s clear that there is not one ‘best’ way of teaching or learning a language. Some people always want more grammar, some people think there’s already too much in the course. We need as many different platforms as we can so that everyone can learn in their own way, or take a little from each different method. I know some students of mine who totally switch off when I start speaking about Welsh grammar because they have an amazing ability to pick up languages by ear, which is where courses like Say Something in…come in really useful.

Mi piacerebbe molto vedere Say Something in Italian qui!


I’m definitely very keen to cover as many dialetti as possible - we just need to make sure we get the interface issues sorted out… :slight_smile:

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This is, perhaps, the proof to why the dialects should be just as much cherished and protected as the official languages:) I find that the Sicilian dialect in this song has so much beauty, tenderness and lyrical depth that it could never be substituted with the official “Florentine” Italian.


CIao, It would be marvellous Aran if you could start Italian on SSI site. Ive found the spanish great but would really love to do Italian- any time scale yet for this?

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Unfortunately, it’s hard to put time scales on this, because it depends on the software development we’re in the middle of, which has been going on for well over a year now. We are currently field testing the basic model (which is going well) and we’re building a fix for something we’ve kind of skirted around with our other languages, but which we can’t avoid any more with Russian! Once that is ready, we’ll be ready to get going again with Italian - it might be this month, if we’re lucky, or it might get problematic and take a few more months.

I’d really love to be able to give you a more definite deadline! Not least because I’d be very grateful to have SSiItalian before we go to the intensive two weeks just over the Italian border from Monte Carlo…:wink:

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I’ve chatted with @stella the other day about what problems in Russian could occur (nothing about your testing and stuff!!! to be clear at the beginning of all I’m saying) and we established Slovene could be fairly counted in these problems too. So, I presume, when Russian will be ready and out, there should little trouble be left for Slovene aswell except for duality though. As much as I know only Polish also has duality too … :slight_smile: So ------------- Slavic languages sorted … :slight_smile:

Italian could go with Spanish model for sure. It’s very similar.

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All sounds very exciting! I can already imagine it being similar to the Dutch one too:

“I want in Italian is Io voglio.
To learn is Imperare.
To learn Italian is imperare Italiano.
I want to learn Italian is?”.

Will there be a course for Italians to learn English based on the same English-Italian course? If so I’ll be recommending it to my friends out here in the south!

(Io) Voglio imparate l’Italiano. :slight_smile:

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Hi Aran,
Thanks for the realistic answer. I will definitely sign up once it is up and running.

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