We have discovered two interesting books that are optimal for our readers who are in love with everything Italian but do not have a good handling of the language and that gives them an handicap when traveling. We contacted the author, Doctor Kathryn Occhipinti and asked a couple of clarifications regarding these books….
Doctor Occhipinti, what was the spark behind the birth of these books?
As a physician, I am considered a third-generation Italian-American success story; on the other hand, despite the fact that I was raised with Italian food and celebrating Italian holidays, the Italian language remained a mystery. At home, Italian was a “secret language” spoken between my parents and grandparents. I was to be “American,” and this meant no home instruction in my family’s native language. Later in life, I realized that this phenomenon had happened to an entire generation of Italian-Americans!
On my first trip to Italy, I discovered that I did not know very basic Italian words to get around comfortably. The courses in school had taught me Italian words like “pencil” and “book.” But, when I arrived at Malpensa airport outside of Milan, I needed to read the English translation for the word “customs” and did not know even one easy Italian phrase to ask a taxi to take me to my hotel!
And this realization brought you to write these books?
Well, back home, I began to teach informal-group Italian lessons for the Italian-American Society of Peoria. Ten years later, these lessons have become the Conversational Italian for Travelers series of books, a combination language and travel book for Italian-Americans wanting to go back to Italy to explore their roots. Of course, these unique language and travel books are perfect for any adult and are now available on amazon.com as well Learn Travel Italian.
Can you tell us more about them?
To answer your question I’ll quote my own author page: “Conversational Italian for Travelers is truly different from other Italian language books, not only because it includes my unique travel and culture insights but also because I developed my materials while teaching, so they are very practical and include material not found in other books…
My Phrase Book (Conversational Italian for Travelers – Just the Important Phrases) is also really different. Not just a list of phrases, it provides a method for the traveler to create his own phrases so he can get around Italy easily and comfortably. And of course, there is a special section on reading those Italian menus – well-organized by how the Italian menu is laid out and with my insights into Italian food!
Most importantly, my books are friendly and combine travel tips and humorous anecdotes that truly make learning the Italian language come alive! FREE interactive dialogues are found at Learn Travel Italian.”
So we may definitely say that these books are a helpful, if not indispensable, tool for travelers to Italy who do not know the language! We thank the author and provide you with some further information from the Amazon site, as supplied by the author:
Don’t speak Italian? Learn Conversational Italian! Discover “important phrases” and get travel tips for your dream vacation to Italy! If you are Italian-American or simply love all things Italian, you need to check out this new series of books: Conversational Italian for Travelers by Kathryn Occhipinti. These books are now available on Amazon.com with FREE interactive dialogues on the Learn Travel Italian website.
The Conversational Italian for Travelers series is truly unique in its approach to language learning. This book is specifically designed with the adult traveler in mind. Each chapter begins with a dialogue about Caterina, a young Italian-American woman who travels to Italy to visit her Italian relatives. As Caterina boards a plane, train and taxi in the “Transportation” unit, the reader is introduced through the dialogues of the story to the vocabulary and phrases they will need to do the same while in Italy. Staying in Italy for a while? Continue on to the second unit, and discover how to fit into Italian “City Life.” Maybe most importantly, there are three full chapters in Unit 3 detailing Italian dishes and how to read those Italian menus!
Already have your dream vacation to Italy planned? Take along Occhipinti’s pocket travel book called, Just the Important Phrases. This book is your traveling companion in Italy, lightweight and small enough to slip into a pocket or purse. This handy book keeps all those “important phrases” and explanations of Italian food readily available for when you go out on the town. Read recent reviews of this book from popular travel bloggers Travelling Weasels and MargieinItaly.
There is something for everyone offered by this series of books and interactive materials by Kathryn Occhipinti. Whether you want to learn a little bit of Italian or a lot – Conversational Italian for Travelers has everything you need to know to enjoy your trip to Italy!