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I'd like to introduce you all to my big hobby after languages: making videos.
I combined the two on my multilingual site with several videos about my travels and other subjects, in 7 languages. This has really helped me to practise my languages as I travel. But instead of just making the videos about different random topics in several languages, I am now starting on a long-term project of making videos about languages as I learn them or travel to the country where they are spoken.
Today I will share the first one of these with you! This is a short video (less than 3 minutes long) I made about how to start learning Italian while I was passing through Rome again this year. There's only so much you can say in 3 minutes, so it's mostly a light-hearted video that obviously can't be so detailed and is not to be taken seriously! Most of all, it was a good excuse for me to dress and act silly around Rome!
You can watch it embedded through Youtube in English, or through Dotsub in Italian with English subtitles.
Italian: a funny 3-minute introduction
(video in English)
I will be expanding on particular points relevant to Italian in several posts on this site in future (words similar to English etc.), but for the moment I can definitely share some links with you that may be useful! If you know of others, then please do share them in the comments below. Note that some of these have equivalents in other major languages (Yahoo Answers, Blog search etc.), so these links aren't necessarily only relevant to Italian learners!!
http://www.wordreference.com Great free online dictionary with an excellent, active and helpful forum for asking for translations of particular terms
http://it.answers.yahoo.com and http://answers.yahoo.com Another forum, the famous Yahoo Answers, but in Italian! If you have intermediate Italian, then ask a question (in Italian) about the language in the Società e Culture –> Lingue section. A huge amount of natives are only too eager to help. This is great for getting extremely quick answers for questions or having small text reviewed, for free. Note that the answerers are non-linguists (and sometimes mostly teenagers) so you should wait until you have several answers to be 100% sure. For beginners in Italian, use the second link for the same site in English and post your question in the Society and Culture –> Languages section. When writing in English, usually the wordreference forum is much better; non-natives would be answering in the English version of the Yahoo Answers site, and once again there are a lot of teenagers with time to kill there…
http://italian.about.com Interesting blog for beginner to intermediate learners. Includes regularly updated articles and free resources for learning the language.
http://www.marinajonica.org/ A blog entirely in Italian written by an Italian (and good friend of mine) about Montegiordano in the beautiful Calabria region in the south of Italy. Italians blog too, so if you do a search for a topic that interests you (technology, music, etc.), but in Italian, then you can practise by reading modern content written by natives regularly. http://blogsearch.google.it is a good search tool for finding such blogs.
http://www.irishpolyglot.com/it It's only fair that I should get to promote my own site too! Watch any of my videos in English first, and once you know what it's about, watch its equivalent in Italian and see how much you can understand. I am far from a perfect speaker, and still have an accent (as you can hear in the Dotsub video embedded above), but I have a native proofread any dialogue before recording so you know that at least what I am saying is correct! As I mentioned in the video, twitter is a good way of practising each day with an Italian status update. Feel free to follow my regularly updated Italian twitter! It is not proofread, so I can't guarantee that there are no occasional mistakes. 😉
The Internet is full of sites in Italian; anything you can find in English (news, sports, blogs etc.), you can almost certainly find it in Italian!! A quick search on Google will give you a list of radio stations and even some live streaming video that you can watch/listen to.