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Oxford Take Off in Italian [Hardcover]

Tania Batelli-Kneale
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

January 2004
"Oxford Take Off In Italian" is designed specifically to meet the needs of beginner speakers learning Italian on their own. It offers a comprehensive Italian language course for anyone from the absolute beginner to the student who wants to brush up. This course book is also available as a pack with audio content on CD (0198603088), or on cassette (019860307x).
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

Product Description


`Review from previous edition Review from previous edition an excellent way to learn' Customer review

`concise, simple, and allows you to work at your own pace' Customer review

`an enjoyable way to learn' Customer review

`The audios drill you in language exercises, widen your vocabulary, and draw you into the dialogue. Whether you are a complete beginner, or want to brush up a forgotten skill, this is for you.' Writers' Bookshelf

`this attractive boxed set is the best all-rounder: it is well-organised, easy to use, and quite demanding as the Italian is spoken at a fairly realistic speed.' Five Star Review in The Daily Telegraph

`The best all-rounder: it is well organised and easy to use.' Daily Telegraph

`Review from previous edition an excellent way to learn' Customer review --This text refers to the CD-ROM edition.

From the Publisher

numerous tables --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best beginner Italian course I ever saw! April 23 2002
I wonder why no one rated this course yet - because it`s splendid! Clear explanations, all the needed basic vocabulary, interactive written and oral excersises - this book will make you speak Italian from the first chapters! I just love the activity "Your turn" which requires your ability to use all the new grammar and vocabulary from the chapter to build conversational phrases. You can also always look up or listen to the answers to the questions to make sure you answered them right. The other good thing is that all the recording was made by native Italians which can really help you with pronauncation.
There is only one disadvantage: sometimes answering to the questions requires just a little vocabulary not known to you yet - though, it`s always a good idea to keep your dictionary close to you when learning a foreign language, isn`t it?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally...a learning program that focuses on listening and speaking! Aug. 27 2008
By Keith A. Preble - Published on Amazon.com
Format:CD-ROM|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Having read and reviewed dozens of books on learning Italian, I have to say that this is one of the best resources that I have ever seen. I only gave this item four stars because there is some room for improvement. Below I'll outlines the positives, describing the item in greater detail:

1: If you purchase this item, you'll receive a set of CD's that have activities and dialogues that are shown in the book. Some activities on the CD's are not in the book and require you to work on your listening skills. This is a HUGE plus -- not many books do this. There is a "review CD" that is billed to be used in your car since it doesn't require the book. The extra material in the final CD will help you practice your listening skills without relying too much on the book.

2: You will also receive a book which has all the lessons. Each lesson is divided into parts with sections on Italian grammar. The explanations are clear and concise and exercises follow to help your learning. I find some of the explanation to be a bit short, but for beginners the amount of learning is concentrated into small lessons might work well. I would follow up a second grammar book to help improve on certain concepts that are presented. Also accompanying this is a travel dictionary and phrase book. I wouldn't say that this is the greatest travel dictionary, but it is adequate. The last dozen pages is the most useful section and includes important phrases you are likely to encounter.

3: There is an access code to access the materials that are online. The online materials contain mp3's as well as extra exercises and activities to further improve your understanding of the language.

The main function of this book is not to become a grammar genius but to get your ear used to hearing the language and getting your mouth moving to speak Italian. In this regard, this book is A+ -- not enough Italian sources engage your listening and speaking skills. For the price of this kit, you certainly can't go wrong. If you follow the program faithfully, practice speaking and listening to the dialogues, you can't go wrong. The CD's feature instructions on how they can be used as well as pointers for improving and using what you have learned. I wish something this comprehensive existed when I began learning Italian. Absolute beginners will benefit the most from this book. If you've had any classes in Italian and are looking to improve and practice what you learned, you could also benefit from this kit.

Great product from Oxford!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent old school language kit Oct. 19 2008
By Rane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:CD-ROM|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The Oxford Take Off in Italian language learning kit consists of a booklet and 5 CDs. This is an old school learning kit, the type you listen to in your car on the way to work. There is no software to go with the kit. It teaches speaking and listening proficiency, but don't expect to learn to read and write in Italian. It is primarily designed for tourists and travellers. You will not become a fluent speaker, but will be able to get by pretty well on what you learn.

How well someone is able to learn with this kit will, of course, depend on the individual. People who learn languages easily will find it the most useful. People who struggle with languages will probably need something a little more sophisticated, with supporting software.

The biggest advantage to this kit, as opposed to software like Rosetta or something like Pimsleur, is the price. This is a very affordable language lesson. I think it is ideal for someone who isn't sure if they want to commit to learning a language. It will allow you to experiment before investing 100's of dollars into a bigger system.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for what it promises Aug. 27 2008
By Seven Kitties - Published on Amazon.com
Format:CD-ROM|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This product is not an attempt to teach you to MASTER Italian, but to give you a good foundation in the language, with a focus on travelling/tourism. As such, it's great and offers a surprising amount of material--much more vocabulary, for example, than you normally get in your 'quickie travel' language items. The lessons are each broken up into five mini-units, really quite bite sized pieces, that introduce a few new items while reviewing old ones.

At first, jumping back and forth between the CD and the book seems like it's going to drive you crazy, but it really doesn't--both the book and the CD prompt you when to switch and what to do. And the CD track format makes it easy to relisten to a dialogue.

However, the CD format also makes it a pain in the booty to *FIND* a certain track. There is no 'key' to the track listings, so if you want to start lesson three, you have to poke and poke till you find the right track. Ruinous? No. Annoying because it's so easily avoidable? Yes.

This is a British product, so SOME of the translations (calcio = football 'soccer' to us US types) may need a little tweaking, and the narrator (a native Italian speaker)'s British accent is a bit wonky--sometimes it sounds posh-London, sometimes almost Cockney.

The online support includes all new dialogues and activities for the units, neatly broken down; but does slow a computer down if you're on dialup.

There is no visual support to this item, which seems a lackluster use of online supplements, so if you're a visual learner, this might not be the ticket for you. Auditory learners will be in heaven, and the activities switch up enough--you repeat phrases, then you ask questions, then you write a few answers, etc--keep even the shortest attention span engaged.

I took a year of Italian in college, (egad, almost twenty years ago!!) so I'm not a 'new' learner. I figured this product would refresh what I had forgotten to allow me to pick up where I left off, as if I'd just left off, and move on. I've found it, with that purpose in mind, to be fun and engaging; challenging, but also allowing me to build confidence in the language. Is it going to replace Rosetta Stone? No, especially not for visual style learners. Is it a DARN good budget friendly and fun option? Definitely.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by someone who speaks Italian! (not me) Sept. 16 2008
By Nick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:CD-ROM|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
While I was hard at work trying to study the Oxford Take Off Spanish, I gave this to a friend who already speaks Italian passibly (4 years in college, so she's more of an expert than I) to get her input on how it compared to both how she learned at the University level, and her opinion on how well a language-challenged person such as myself would get along with this course.

The verdict is that her experience with the Oxford Take Off in Italian mirrors how I felt about the Latin American Spanish version: It's a decent way to get the basics covered, along with laying the groundwork for learning more Italian. The materials themselves consists of a phrasebook and 5 CDs, which is pretty standard across most of the language learning kits that I've seen, but they all vary on how well they pronounce the words and how much time to give you to repeat the phrase. I tried another competitor's Italian product a few years ago, and I got more frustrated because it wasn't clearly enunciated and I had what seemed like half a second to repeat it.

So, my friend gives this an excellent review and I trust her judgement and will start working on this after I master Spanish, or at least master the art of making a fool out of myself in Spanish.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good but vocab is frustrating July 23 2012
By Bill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:CD-ROM|Verified Purchase
I previously got "Take off in German" for a trip to Austria and that one was very effective in refreshing my German. I bought this one to learn Italian. Overall it follows the same format and builds pretty well for beginning to intermediate level speaking and reading focusing on common situations a traveler might face. The problem with this one is, some very useful words are left out of the Vocabulary sections in the chapters and the glossary in back, like "a volte" for sometimes and "pochi" for few. You can guess what the words mean in the context of the dialogues, but I always like to be sure.

The speakers on the CDs/mp3s speak at a pretty rapid pace, which in the end is a good thing, but it's frustrating in the beginning. I'm about half way through and I think I'm finally getting used to it. I maybe would have liked them to back off the pace a little in the beginning. Italian has so many vowels that run together, I'd like to hear how they blend together better in the beginning and sort of become one sound in the end.

So bottom line: Pretty good, but buy a basic Italian-English dictionary to fill in a few holes from the text.
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