Italian lessons (1914) PDF by Alfonso Arbib-Costa

Italian lessons

Italian lessons

Great book to begin your Italian studying Journey. One of the easiest languages for English speakers. This book encouraged me to study Italian, Most words are pronounced as they are written, and most words are similar to English.  you can even guess their meaning easily. Just use Google translate app for listening to the sounds if you do not have an Italian friend. 

The Italian language, as it had been forming in Tuscany, was not adopted for many centuries by the people of other parts of Italy in familiar intercourse. 

It was preeminently a literary language, created by the great writers of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, a perfect instrument for the epic stories, for the lyric expression of thought, for the eloquent presentation of questions political, social or philosophical, but ill-adapted to the dialogue of everyday life. Such was the Italian language — the language of Dante, Petrarca, and Boccaccio, perfected by Machiavelli, Tasso, and Ariosto. And, with it, the dialects peculiar to each region held tenaciously to their existence: Venetian or Lombardian, Sicilian or Piedmontese, they were hardly understood beyond their provincial limits. But in the last fifty years, conditions have been steadily undergoing many changes and modifications. 

Following the political and administrative unification of the peninsula, while the young generations, coming from all parts of the country, intermingle each year in the National Army, under the influence of compulsory education and of the diffusion of newspapers, the literary language, proclaimed the official language of the new kingdom of Italy, becomes more and more the language of the people, spoken and understood by everybody, while the dialects * hj§e their importance from day today, and it is only the illiterate and the absolutely ignorant who are unable to express themselves in any other way. At the same time, the literary language is transformed, softened and enriched by new words and idioms, and it is now capable of expressing fully all the thoughts and all the feelings. In this course of lessons in Italian, now offered to English-speaking students, the author has intended to use throughout the book the language at present spoken by educated people in Italy, and used by good modern authors. The conjugation of verbs has been treated according to modern and tried systems. 

This work is intended to be merely elementary, no mention has been made of those defective verbs and irregular forms that are only to be found in poetry or in the older classics. The author desires to express his gratitude to Professor C. A. Downer, head of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures in the College of the City of New York, for the permission which he has kindly given him to use in part the method of his excellent First French Book in the compilation of these lessons. Not only has the arrangement of the subject matter been taken, with slight modifications, from Professor Downer's book, but several model phrases and sentences in the English exercises have been used.
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