Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
User avatar
Neo-Stoic75
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 18, 2024 7:15 pm
Languages: English-GB (N); Deutsch; Norsk; Frysk; Others: Plattdeutsch, Fering, Englisc (Old English)
x 22

Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Postby Neo-Stoic75 » Sun May 19, 2024 11:35 am

Hey all!

Does anyone out there (especially English speakers) have experience in learning to read academic Italian? I'm starting from scratch. For some reason, the best manuals/guidebooks in Germanic linguistics seem to be written in Italian.

This will be my first foray outside the Germanic languages.

Can anyone suggest an efficient and quick way to get up to speed with a fairly advanced reading knowledge in Italian?

One can easily find "reading knowledge" books for academic French and German, but I cannot find anything similar for Italian.

Many thanks for your thoughts/experiences!

Ed
3 x

rowanexer
Yellow Belt
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:37 pm
Location: UK
Languages: English (N), Japanese (N2), French (B1), Portuguese (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=19019
x 330

Re: Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Postby rowanexer » Tue May 21, 2024 9:21 pm

I haven't used it but there is a free online textbook that could be helpful.

Italian for Reading & Translation
https://wisc.pb.unizin.org/italianreadi ... this-book/
4 x

Cainntear
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3705
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:04 am
Location: Scotland
Languages: English(N)
Advanced: French,Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
Intermediate: Italian, Catalan, Corsican
Basic: Welsh
Dabbling: Polish, Russian etc
x 9146
Contact:

Re: Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Postby Cainntear » Wed May 22, 2024 4:01 pm

Neo-Stoic75 wrote:Hey all!

Does anyone out there (especially English speakers) have experience in learning to read academic Italian? I'm starting from scratch. For some reason, the best manuals/guidebooks in Germanic linguistics seem to be written in Italian.

This will be my first foray outside the Germanic languages.

Can anyone suggest an efficient and quick way to get up to speed with a fairly advanced reading knowledge in Italian?

One can easily find "reading knowledge" books for academic French and German, but I cannot find anything similar for Italian.

Many thanks for your thoughts/experiences!

Ed

I am going to say something that regular readers will be unsurprised with me saying: do the Michel Thomas audio courses. They do not focus on academic language, but they teach you the grammar far quicker than anything else. Any course that is specifically dealing with Italian for study purposes will be slower to teach you the grammar.

I think the Italian course is arguably his weakest*, but I still recommend it in the highest terms.

*It is only the fact that his teaching system is fixated on the verbs that might make this untrue, because his German course absolutely fails to deal with the complexities of the noun system in German. This might make the German a weaker course, but that all depends very much on point of view. Very different weaknesses.
2 x

User avatar
Deinonysus
Brown Belt
Posts: 1229
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:06 pm
Location: MA, USA
Languages:  
• Native: English
• Advanced: French
• Intermediate: German,
   Spanish, Hebrew
• Beginner: Italian,
   Arabic
x 4676

Re: Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Postby Deinonysus » Wed May 22, 2024 4:57 pm

Weirdly, as an English speaker, learning academic Italian will probably be easier than learning colloquial Italian. This is fairly universal for Romance languages, although it's the most stark for French. This is because the more academic and highbrow the language gets, the more cognates it shares with English because we get most of our academic terms from French and Latin.

For example, take a look at the first panel of the comic Valérian:

Valerian.png

The text is complete technobabble, but even with no knowledge of French, try to look through it and see how many words you can understand. It's probably more than you'd think!

So because English already uses so much Romance vocabulary in its academic language, you will basically get academic Italian at a very heavy discount once you know some basic vocabulary and grammar. So my suggestion would be to start with colloquial Italian without worrying about academic language specifically. My recommendation for training reading comprehension would be Assimil.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
7 x
/daɪ.nə.ˈnaɪ.səs/

Cavesa
Black Belt - 5th Dan
Posts: 5021
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), French (C2) English (C1), Italian (C1), Spanish, German (C1)
x 17983

Re: Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Postby Cavesa » Wed May 22, 2024 7:21 pm

Academic in what area?

Overall, I'd recommend just doing a general coursebook, you can just do it less actively, as you don't need to learn everything strongly enough to use it. Around B1 or B2, start reading lots of texts of the kind that interest you, while also taking into account their probable difficulty.

So, you can start with popular science in that area, or a coursebook for teens, then move on to some texts for students getting introduced to that field (awesome for the vocab in right context), and then finally the scientific articles and similar stuff.
4 x

tritiumoxide
White Belt
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2022 9:36 am
Languages: English (N), Norwegian (B1), Spanish (A2), German (rusty)
x 40

Re: Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Postby tritiumoxide » Wed May 22, 2024 7:34 pm

My suggestion would be to find a copy of Italian Without Toil (not too difficult to find on eBay or the like for cheap, or even on Archive.org, if that works for you) and just read through it. Audio might help calibrate the voice in your head while reading if you're not at least familiar with Italian pronunciation and phonology, but it will likely also slow down your read, so you can choose how to prioritize that. For my first foray into learning French, I read through New French With Ease only checking in with the audio occasionally (I chose it mostly because liaisons were marked the whole way through and I figured I at least had a chance of hearing it mostly correctly in my head while primarily focusing on reading). I did this because reading French was a priority and I just didn't have the bandwidth for going through the lessons like I normally would with audio-only a few times, audio with text a few times, then audio with translation, etc. Granted, by that point I had been through two beginner Spanish courses (Spanish Without Toil and Assimil's latest Spanish), which obviously did assist both my assimilation of French vocabulary and grammar, however, English itself affords quite a bit of comprehensibility to the Romance languages as well (though more with vocabulary than grammar). This gave me enough of a base to start reading French philosophers with the help of Readlang and Wiktionary (being exposed to the etymology of new words helps them get super well connected and stick much better in my brain). It also opened up that growing stack of French-based Assimil courses for Ancient Greek, Middle Egyptian, Sanskrit, etc. that were on my to-do list, among others.

My reason for suggesting Italian Without Toil rather than a newer book is that the language they use in it is a bit more formal and educated than any materials teaching "modern colloquial Italian" and I strongly suspect it will overlap in style and vocabulary with academic works much more so, plus its coverage of grammar is more substantial than most other beginner courses. Also, as suggested above, with most Romance languages, the vocabulary outside of the core (less frequently used) is actually the most stable across them, and hence with the Romance lexicon English inherited from Norman French (often the Romance way of saying something it quite similar to the "fancy" way of saying it in English), so I agree with Deinonysus above, many of the more technical terms will be quite familiar both due to them having cognates in English or being international words. Since you are looking into Germanic linguistics in particular, you could perhaps supplement this with, say, a concise German grammar in Italian (Norwegian and Old English might be possible to find, but much harder) or even an Italian-based Assimil for German (or maybe even Dutch since it's halfway between German and Frisian anyway). You'll very quickly get the hang of how to talk about language in Italian. Also, I should say that, yes, I'm suggesting Assimil because I love Assimil, but a big part of why I love Assimil is that they get you started immediately with the language and just walk you through it. All of the older courses mostly skip right past the "unpleasantries" of greetings and small-talk and get to actual communication, which seems to be what you want.

Best of luck!
5 x

BeaP
Green Belt
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2021 8:18 am
Languages: Hungarian (N), English, German, Spanish, French, Italian
x 1996

Re: Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Postby BeaP » Thu May 23, 2024 8:09 am

You can start with any bilingual course, Teach yourself, Colloquial or Michel Thomas. I'd try to get hold of an old-fashioned Italian textbook that is based on the grammar-translation method. These books were mostly published before the 90s, they contain much longer texts and aren't really focused on communication.

I'll link some new books that I like, on the Loescher site always scroll down, you can look at some sample pages. Books from Italian publishers are usually available on Amazon. You can also consider using a German textbook/grammar made for Italian speakers and vice versa. Google 'grammatica tedesca' (German grammar), work your way up from the simplest beginner articles and take notes of the vocabulary used in the explanations. Use google translate or DeepL. As you already speak German and know these rules, you probably won't misunderstand things.

A great bilingual grammar that also includes the most basic vocabulary. There's a separate version for English speakers:
https://www.loescher.it/dettaglio/opera/O_B2506/GP

Some monolingual textbooks with reading materials about culture:
https://www.almaedizioni.it/catalogo/materiale-complementare/cultura-e-civilta/
https://www.loescher.it/dettaglio/opera/O_3708/Parliamo-di-arte
https://www.loescher.it/dettaglio/opera/O_B3826/Arte--religione--societ--
https://issuu.com/loeschereditore/docs/balboni_civilt___interno

A monolingual textbook for students who would like to study at an Italian university:
https://www.loescher.it/dettaglio/opera/O_34354/30-e-lode
5 x

User avatar
Neo-Stoic75
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 18, 2024 7:15 pm
Languages: English-GB (N); Deutsch; Norsk; Frysk; Others: Plattdeutsch, Fering, Englisc (Old English)
x 22

Re: Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Postby Neo-Stoic75 » Fri May 24, 2024 5:42 pm

Wow, thanks so much to everyone who took the time to reply for your very thoughtful comments and advice!

I have so many good-looking bits of advice and links, I now have to decide which to follow up first.

I've taken for now the advice of using the grammar-translation approach to heart and ordered this title:

https://amzn.eu/d/7Mr42ff

In the past, I've worked through "Living German" and found it very thorough for the grammar. I have also purchased a Michel Thomas beginner's module, thanks! I will also follow up the academic Italian course, thanks, rowanexer. And I'll definitely follow up on your links, thanks, BeaP!

Thanks again, everyone, it's much appreciated!

Ed
2 x

Kraut
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2718
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:37 pm
Languages: German (N)
French (C)
English (C)
Spanish (A2)
Lithuanian
x 3327

Re: Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Postby Kraut » Fri May 24, 2024 10:23 pm

Your profile looks like that of a linguist, you may get bored with pure course books.
You may access interesting things more quickly by using apps.

SIMPLE TRANSLATE is a popup: click on a phrase in English and it translates into Italian. Click on something Italian and it gives you the English equivalent. LINGVANEX also has audio.

LEUNG'S POPUP dictionary combined with PERPLEXITY (YOU.COM or IASKAI) search will deliver as a popup what you tell them in a prompt. Here is an example:

https://www.perplexity.ai/?q=Explain the meaning of the phrase and its parts in detail in English. For each of the meaningful chunks provide 3 example sentences in Italian and put their English translation in brackets: three example sentences for the first chunk, three example sentences for the second chunk, three example sentences for the third chunk etc. :$$


## Meaning of the Phrase

The phrase "Lisbona, la bolla del prezzo delle case: così turisti, pensionati e nomadi digitali hanno aumentato il prezzo del nuovo paradiso" can be translated to English as "Lisbon, the housing price bubble: how tourists, retirees, and digital nomads have driven up prices in the new paradise."

Let's break it down into meaningful chunks:

1. "Lisbona, la bolla del prezzo delle case"
- This part refers to the housing price bubble in Lisbon.

Example sentences in Italian:
a) Lisbona sta affrontando una bolla del prezzo delle case senza precedenti.
b) La bolla del prezzo delle case a Lisbona sta causando preoccupazione tra i residenti locali.
c) Gli esperti avvertono che la bolla del prezzo delle case a Lisbona potrebbe scoppiare presto.

2. "così turisti, pensionati e nomadi digitali"
- This part identifies the groups contributing to the housing price increase: tourists, retirees, and digital nomads.

Example sentences in Italian:
a) I turisti affluiscono a Lisbona in cerca di esperienze autentiche.
b) Molti pensionati scelgono di trascorrere la loro vecchiaia nella soleggiata Lisbona.
c) I nomadi digitali apprezzano la vivace scena startup di Lisbona.

3. "hanno aumentato il prezzo del nuovo paradiso"
- This part indicates that these groups have driven up prices in Lisbon, now considered a "new paradise."

Example sentences in Italian:
a) L'afflusso di stranieri ha aumentato il prezzo delle case a Lisbona.
b) Lisbona, il nuovo paradiso, sta diventando sempre più costoso per i residenti locali.
c) Il prezzo del nuovo paradiso di Lisbona è stato spinto al rialzo dalla domanda esterna.

Translation to English:

Lisbon, the housing price bubble: how tourists, retirees, and digital nomads have driven up prices in the new paradise.

Lisbon is facing an unprecedented housing price bubble. The housing price bubble in Lisbon is causing concern among local residents. Experts warn that the housing price bubble in Lisbon could burst soon.

Tourists flock to Lisbon in search of authentic experiences. Many retirees choose to spend their golden years in sunny Lisbon. Digital nomads appreciate Lisbon's vibrant startup scene.

The influx of foreigners has driven up housing prices in Lisbon. Lisbon, the new paradise, is becoming increasingly expensive for local residents. The price of the new Lisbon paradise has been pushed up by external demand.


The AI did not put the translations in brackets, but in bulk below. You will have to rephrase the command or arrange it in the bidirectional format.
-------
DEFINER is another popup translator which also provides audio
Last edited by Kraut on Sun May 26, 2024 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

Lawyer&Mom
Blue Belt
Posts: 997
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:08 am
Languages: English (N), German (B2), French (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7786
x 3820

Re: Italian for reading knowledge (academic Italian)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sun May 26, 2024 7:16 am

Honestly if you want to get good at academic Italian I would just start reading articles in Italian. English borrowed so much of its academic language from French it’s hilarious. I’ve probably told this story before, but when I was studying in Germany I took a history course designed for French Erasmus students. All of the readings were provided in both French and German. Despite the fact that I had studied German for three years and had never studied French, the French academic readings were much easier for me.

I bet you can understand most of this article:

https://it.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_in_italiano

Pick articles on subjects you are already familiar with and go for it.
3 x
Grammaire progressive du français -
niveau debutant
: 60 / 60

Grammaire progressive du francais -
intermédiaire
: 25 / 52

Pimsleur French 1-5
: 3 / 5


Return to “Practical Questions and Advice”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest