Online English-Italian dictionaries
The dictionary at http://www.wordreference.com/enit/ includes (for many words, though not all) the possibility of hearing the pronunciation.
The Oxford Paravia dictionary is available at http://oxfordparavia.it/.
The Hazon Garzanti dictionary can be accessed at: http://garzantilinguistica.sapere.it/. Consultation is free, but you will need to register your e-mail address to obtain access to the dictionary.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE USE OF LUISA
You will find the LUISA icon in the “Italian” section of the “Warwick tree” – i.e. the “Novell-delivered ...” window.
- Double click on the LUISA icon.
- FROM NOW ON YOU CANNOT USE THE MOUSE – THE LUISA PROGRAMME DOES NOT SUPPORT IT.
- To enlarge the screen press ALT+Enter (Return) – don’t worry: it hasn’t really crashed!
- Use the arrow keys to scroll the items. Enter (Return) to select, except in the final screen where it says “F9=continuare”, where you press F9 to continue. (The instructions are all there at the bottom of the screen, though in Italian.)
- For every correct answer, you will get a variety of responses in Italian, such as “Esatto!”, “Giusto!”, “Bene!”.
- If you get an answer wrong, you are told so (again in a variety of ways), and you are given a clue as to what it should look like. Press continue, and you will be able to correct it. If you get it wrong twice, you will get a chance to do it again at the end of the exercise. You also have the option of seeing the correct answer by pressing F8.
- If you press ? you can see a reminder of the grammatical points involved. Press F10 to exit the Help.
- If you get to the end of the exercise, you will get a score. Type in anything that looks like a surname and initials – unfortunately it is not really possible to save your score, and the programme will crash when you press Enter, but this is the way it works.
- To leave any screen, just follow the instructions. Esc (in some cases followed by S for Sì) will exit LUISA completely, or you may be given the opportunity to press “un altro tasto” (“any other key”) to go back to the main menu.
Accents in LUISA are created as follows: Type in the required vowel, then press
* (asterisk – so, you will also need to press the uppercase key) to produce the grave accent (e.g. è)
' (apostrophe) to produce the acute accent (as in “perché” – but you will not be using this very often in LUISA)
Other expressions you may see in LUISA:
La risposta è sbagliata – the answer is wrong
No, mi dispiace – no, I’m sorry (the answer is wrong)
Riprova più tardi – try again later
mostrare risposta – show the answer
uscire – to exit, to leave
lasciare menù – to leave the menu
Vuoi veramente finire l’esercizio? (S/N) – do you really want to end the exercise? (Y/N)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE USE OF GRAMEX
Gramex is probably more suitable for post-beginners, since it introduces more advanced vocabulary and structures even in the basic ‘articles’ exercises.
It is, however, quite a good resource, and you should keep in mind it exists, and perhaps have a go anyway, as long as you can understand enough of the sentence to be able to produce the correct answer. NB – When you do the ‘definite articles’ exercise, ignore the option gl’, because it isn’t really used.
You will find the Gramex icon in the “Italian” section of the “Warwick tree” – i.e. the “Novell-delivered ...” window.
- Double click on the Gramex icon
- Click on Continuare
- Select one of the options; for instance, Gli articoli
- Click on Conferma la selezione
- Read the grammatical explanation. This appears in Italian, but you can display an explanation in English by clicking on InfoGram (to go back to the main programme from here, close the window by clicking on the X in the right-hand corner). Click on Continua
- Enter a number to specify how many questions/exercises you want to do, and click on OK to confirm your selection
- Click on Continua
- Click on the correct answer for the first numbered gap in the exercise; you’ll get feedback from the programme. Select Continua to move on to the next numbered gap or the next exercise. You can select Spiegazione to see a grammatical explanation for the specific exercise (only available in Italian, I’m afraid). By placing your cursor on Traduzione and keeping the left-hand button of your mouse pressed down you can see an English translation of the sentence in the exercise.
- To exit Gramex, click on Esci and confirm by clicking on Sì.
USING THE INTERNET TO LEARN ITALIAN
- London Metropolitan website. Go to http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks – This is a useful and fun way of revising some of the basic elements of Italian. We have bought a licence for this, and in order to access it you need to type in the username warwick and a password, currently lang89 (both username and password need to be all in lowercase). There are two levels, Beginners 1 and Beginners 2.
- www.italica.rai.it – Select Lingua on the right-hand side, then click on Corso di lingua for the course “Dentro l’italiano”.
- www.bbc.co.uk/languages – Select Italian and see what’s on offer.
- www.virgilio.it (Italian search engine)
- www.rai.it (the website of the Italian state television)
- Italian newspaper websites (for instance, www.repubblica.it, www.corriere.it … - or, if you are interested in sport, why not have a look at www.corrieredellosport.it or www.gazzetta.it)