(Note: This post was written by Laurel Regan and originally published in a separate blog called “Insalata di Alfabeto”, which was later merged with Alphabet Salad.)
No matter where you might place yourself on the Italian language learning spectrum, from rank beginner learning your A-Bi-Cis to fluent speaker who sometimes dreams in Italian (oh, how I wish I was at that stage!), a great activity that will enrich your learning and help you to familiarize yourself with the words and cadence of the Italian language is listening to Italian audiobooks.
One excellent provider of free public domain audiobooks is LibriVox, with a current catalogue of nearly 5,000 titles in a wide variety of languages. A quick search of the LibriVox site indicates that within their extensive catalogue are at present 284 Italian language titles available for download in a variety of subscription methods and formats (e.g., podcast, mp3, ogg).
What a fantastic resource!
While I am not particularly a fan of English language audiobooks, I absolutely love having the option of listening to someone read to me in Italian! So far I have downloaded and listened to podcasts of Le avventure di Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi and La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri, and often have them running in the background while I’m occupied with something else. While I am currently at the stage where I understand very little – really, nothing more than the odd word here and there – this simple exercise is helping to give me a real feel for the flow of the language.
And you know, the more I hear of the Italian language, the more I want to hear. I actually find myself craving it – wanting to learn more and more, to drink it in as much as I can – and having this wonderful free resource available has been an excellent way to satisfy the craving.
Give it a shot! You have nothing to lose!