Michael San Filippo is a writer, editor, and Italian tutor.
Michael San Filippo studied in Italy as a graduate student for over three years, first at the total-immersion language school Eurocentres Firenze. He has written Learn Italian in a Hurry and Everything Learning Italian and co-written The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture. Michael currently conducts private tutoring in Italian for students of all levels and abilities.
Michael San Filippo earned a Master of Arts degree in Italian Studies with a concentration in museology at the Middlebury College Italian School Abroad program in Florence, Italy.
By Michael San Filippo:
Learning a language is like learning a new way of life and increases your appreciation for other cultures. Communicating in another language expands your horizons in profound ways. Welcome to the About.com Guide to Italian Language!
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Q: What's the most effective way to learn Italian?
A: Start studying! Whether it's reading an Italian textbook, taking a language course at a university or in Italy, completing workbook exercises, listening to a tape or CD, or conversing with a native Italian speaker, any method is appropriate. The shotgun approach is recommended to avoid burnout and frustration. Most important, spend some time every day reading, writing, speaking, and listening to Italian to become accustomed to the target language.
Q: How can I use this site to learn Italian?
A: The About.com Guide to Italian Language is an innovative way to study the language in a virtual-immersion environment. The GuideSite has regularly updated feature articles, an Italian For Beginners section with grammar lessons, vocabulary building drills, interactive workbook exercises, quizzes, in-depth information on verb conjugations, an audio phrasebook and study guides. Other features include Word of the Day with audio and a free weekly newsletter.
Q: Where can I find information and resources on specific Italian language topics?
A: Our content directory has thousands of hand-picked, annotated links to the best Italian Language content on this site and on the Internet, arranged by topic and compiled by the Expert.
Q: Where can I find a penpal to exchange Italian/English?
A: On the About.com Italian Language Forums community members can meet an online penpal, post a note, or ask a question. There are many lively discussions on language, culture, and current events in both Italian and English. Also, see the Pen Pals content directory, which had hand-picked, annotated links to the best content on this site and on the Internet.
Q: How can I practice my Italian?
A: The About.com Guide to Italian Language has bilingual and Italian-only forums where visitors can post messages on grammar, language schools, and homework questions.
Q: What resources are there for children at the About.com Guide to Italian Language?
A: Teach your child the Italian ABC's and practice counting from 1-20 with illustrations and audio at Italian For Children. Also see the the Children's Italian content directory, which has annotated links to Italian language learning sites featuring nursery rhymes, counting exercises, videos, children's songs, and cartoons. It's never too early to learn a foreign language!
Q: I'm traveling to Italy and want to make the most of my stay. How can the About.com Guide to Italian Language help me?
A: The How To's section provides quick, step-by-step instructions on learning how to pronounce vowels and consonants, decipher an Italian menu, conjugate verbs, ask for directions in Italy, convert Celsius into Fahrenheit, tell time in Italy, and other essentials related to the Italian language. Survival Phrases has essential Italian words and phrases with audio for travelers.
Q: Is it true they don't serve spaghetti and meatballs in Italy?
A: Che vergona! Questa tradizione gastronomica è un'americanata! Il primo piatto (typically pasta) is served separate from il secondo piatto—the meat (or protein) course. For mouth-watering recipes, suggested menus, and a dictionary of Italian food terms, explore the About.com Guide to Italian Food.
Q: The statue of David in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Firenze was carved by Michelangelo, no?
A: Not exactly! The triumphant David stands in self-assured perfection under the rotunda designed just for him at the Galleria dell'Accademia. He was brought here from Piazza della Signoria in 1873 after a stone hurled during a riot broke his left wrist in two places. In addition, the sculpture is surrounded by a Plexiglas barrier after a 1991 attack upon it by a hammer-wielding frustrated artist (luckily, the only damage was a few minor nicks on the toes).