Italian Now! L’italiano d’oggi! (Level 1)
March 10, 2013
Author Marcel Danesi, Ph.D.
Publisher Barron’s Educational Series
Publication Date 2005
Skill Level Beginner
This book by Marcel Danesi was the most basic Italian text I used. It is a book you can truly use from a starting point of zero Italian knowledge; other beginners’ books that claim you can start from nothing often work better with a little knowledge.
Italian Now! L’italiano d’oggi! says something in its preface that I think is both true and important about the way the information is delivered: in “brief units (instead of long and complicated chapters), with digestible information in them.” So many books and other learning programs are not realistic about how quickly information can be absorbed.
In combination with Pimsleur Italian audio lessons, Italian Now! helped me get to the point where I was able to manage all the other Italian grammar books I had much more effectively.
What I didn’t love about this one was that it felt very kid-oriented, in the layout and in the exercises, with illustrated dialogues and crossword puzzles. Nonetheless, the pacing was excellent, there was lots of great drilling, and I learned a ton.
A new edition of Italian Now! came out in 2012. I haven’t seen that one, so please be aware that this review applies to the 2005 edition.