Review of Linguaphone Italian
All the programs that made my final cut are individually excellent, and Linguaphone Italian is no exception. While both Rocket Italian and Fluenz Italian are relative newcomers to the language instruction industry, Linguaphone is one of the pioneers – it was the first company to combine written instruction with audio recordings, so long ago that the original recordings were made on wax cylinders. Given that history, I rather expected Linguaphone’s educational philosophy to be traditional, and it is.
The full Linguaphone Italian program (of which Linguaphone allTalk is only its downloadable product) includes stacks of books and a few CDs. The Linguaphone developers probably feel they’ve really gone “out of the box” to produce this 16-hour Mp3 download and pare its typically voluminous printed output down to a single vocabulary book. It is a viable way to learn Italian online, at least in theory – but the strength of Linguaphone’s philosophy is in its written materials, not its auditory ones.
As Linguaphone lacks any interactive components, I felt the whole thing seemed a little sparse. In short, the problem with Linguaphone allTalk Italian is exactly the opposite of Fluenz Italian; while Fluenz felt like too much course for the average traveler’s needs, Linguaphone allTalk seemed too little.
If you are new to learning Italian, then you’ll have much more fun using Rocket Italian.