Before today’s rant, here’s a quick reminder about this week’s new Italian ‘easy reader’ ebook, Natale a sorpresa.
Until Sunday night, it’s priced at just £5.99, thereafter the usual easy reader price of £7.99, which is about the price of a large beer in the pub we were in last night.
As a language-learner myself, I’d regard that as value for money, for eight chapters of original material which are available nowhere else. But make your own decision, don’t take my word for it.
E poi, many thanks to the various people who wrote with positive feedback about Wednesday’s article. These things take me hours to write, so it’s nice to know people read them and find them entertaining, useful or both.
And to the two club members who wrote complaining that the topic had nothing to do with learning Italian (which is half-true, actually there was a metaphor in there somewhere), and besides, why can’t I write in Italian?
To those two, I’d point out that the Internet is chock full of Italian bloggers just crying out for your attention!
So if you’d rather read articles in Italian, do feel free to ignore my missives, or unsubscribe from the club mailing list, and spend your time on something more relevant or appropriate.
Honestly, you won’t be missed. One lady informed me that it was criminal how I could get away with extracting money from people in this way – I should go to jail! Or at least be ashamed of myself.
To which I would reply that in 2019 we have spent close to twenty thousand British pounds on writers and teachers who were/are tasked with producing/editing/recording material for learners of Italian.
And that the vast majority of said material for learning Italian is completely free for anyone to use, for example, the thirty articles on Dante’s Inferno and the close to one hundred and fifty easy Italian news bulletins.
In addition, there are the several thousand pages of content to be found on the club website itself, some dating back years but highly-regarded by search engines because it is authoritative and free (Google ‘learn Italian online’ and you’ll find us, as many people do.)
My ‘job’, and the role of articles like this one, is to remind people to use what we produce, whether old or new, free or paid for, to make progress towards their goal of understanding and speaking Italian better.
And to suggest how. And to answer their questions. And to try and keep everyone interested during what is, let’s face it, a long and sometimes demotivating process.
Since I started the club back in 2012, we’ve had over twelve million ‘page views’, currently running at around ten thousand a day. Yesterday the ‘A1 Beginner-Elementary‘ page was looked at five hundred and fifty times, and around a thousand of our audio recordings were played (Soundcloud tells me we’ve had two million plays since 2012, and that doesn’t include the ‘easy news’ recordings, which are hosted elsewhere).
These numbers, of course, are a drop in the ocean, a mere flea bite, compared to what a venture capital-funded, professionally-marketed website/app such as Duolingo (“The world’s best way to learn a language”) can boast.
But then I suppose they don’t work from their kitchen tables, or huddled in front of a two-bar electric fire in their garages.
Whatever, I won’t be writing in Italian, because most of our users wouldn’t read my articles if I did. And also, as the rude lady surmised, because I am not an Italian native-speaker (that doesn’t offend me – I’m more disappointed not to have been born Swedish…) so it would, in any case, be more difficult and much more time-consuming.
However, Italian or English, three times a week I have to think of something original to write that will encourage club members to give it a go, to keep at it, and to feel positive about the progress made. And all the while selling stuff, to pay the bills and provide work for people who need it (I don’t, I own a language school.)
For instance, as far as I am aware, none of our ebook writers had ever published anything (except Giovanni, who’s an award-winning script writer) before working with us.
And some of our online teachers are just starting out with their teaching careers, so need a break. Others are old hands but, in a notoriously poorly-paid profession, value the extra cash.
OnlineItalianClub.com: I started it, I keep it going (with the help of many other people), and I am PROUD of it.
Or, if what we do is not what you need, unsubscribe.
A lunedì, allora.
And here’s the usual P.S. to remind you to listen to and read Thursday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news.
If you don’t know the Italian for ‘vulcanic erruption’ (it’s not hard), this is your chance to find out – for free!