Today I have something difficult for you, but also something easy.
Take your pick, or do both, it’s up to you!
But that way, while being familiar with the mantra that you can’t please all the people all the time, I’m hoping to get as many club members as possible doing something useful to improve their Italian.
The ‘hard’ thing is today’s new ‘Italian Native Speaker Conversation’, a FREE audio with transcript for you to listen to, read, and generally be inspired by!
“Ti arrabbi mai con te stesso?” (Do you ever get angry with yourself?) is one of the questions the interviewer asks. There’s some good stuff in this one.
But be aware that it’s ‘normal’ in terms of speed and complexity, rather than being simplified for learners, and so not for the faint-hearted!
Hear it here: Cosa ti fa arrabbiare?
It’s also linked to from the ‘New’ page on the club website, along with previous interviews from this series.
A full list of the conversation prompts from which the interviewer selected her questions can be found here.
And conversation prompts on other topics are here.
So, what about the ‘easy’ thing???
A new, ELEMENTARY-LEVEL ‘Book of the Week’!
This week’s ‘Book of the Week’, a half-price, easy-reader ebook, is called ‘Colpo di forbici‘.
And I’m going to confess, right here and now, that it got a ONE-STAR REVIEW!
I really didn’t understand that a “chapter” was going to be between 7 and 11 sentences long. I thought for £7.99 I would be getting a dual language reader, not 8 paragraphs of Italian text and a similar number of translation. A very poor value, indeed.
We do have a dual language reader version of this story, but this isn’t it. This is the ‘easy reader’ version, which has audio and comprehension questions but does not have an accompanying English translation.
I suppose Ann made a mistake, if not several. So I replied
Yes, Ann. That’s why we have a free sample chapter, which you can download and check out before making a decision to buy.
A1 level ebooks are intentionally very short, as they are aimed at people who know almost nothing of the language.
If your level is better, you could download free sample chapters of higher level ebooks until you find something that might match your idea of value for money.
Or ask for a refund. If, despite my efforts, you bought something unsuitable for you, I would be happy to repay you, or offer an ebook which is appropriate to your level and learning preferences. If you’re unsure, just email me your level and I will be happy to suggest something suitable.
Did I sound annoyed? I hope not, though I was furious!
Not so much at the bad review, because I think those are quite helpful. They make the positive feedback look more genuine (which it is) while showing that negative feedback gets through, rather than being filtered out to make the ‘product’ look better than it is.
No, it was more the fact that, if she’d just written to me, we could easily have sorted it out to her satisfaction.
I could have suggested something more suitable to her level, with longer chapters (like last week’s book of the week), or just refunded her payment.
Instead, I never heard from her again, which is a shame.
Life’s too short to mess about over £7.99 (£3.99 this week!)
Anyway, the other twenty or so reviews were all four or five star, which is pretty typical.
With a few early exceptions, if I don’t like a story myself and think it would be worth the price we charge, I just don’t publish it.
So, ‘very poor value’ or not, what’s this week’s story about?
Antonio and Martina have been married for forty years and together run their own hairdressing salon. Naturally, they know everyone’s secrets, and like to help people if they can…
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online at soundcloud.com)
- download a FREE SAMPLE CHAPTER (.pdf)
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at elementary level or above
- N.b. Your e-book will be e-mailed to you within 24 hours of purchase
- Normal price £7.99. This week JUST £3.99!
Sounds fun? Want to give it a try?
It’s half the usual price all this week, but don’t be an ‘Ann’ about it.
Start by downloading the free sample chapter, take a look at that.
Check it works on your computer, tablet or phone.
Write and ASK ME FOR HELP if there’s a technical issue, or if it’s too easy or too hard.
Then, if everything seems as it should be, go buy a copy!
For about the price of a beer, I don’t really see that there’s much to lose. And like I said, if you make a mistake, we can fix it.
Anything that gets you reading and listening to Italian has got to be a good thing.
It’ll be one more step down that long road to mastering the language.
And hopefully, an enjoyable one!
The French, German and Spanish versions of this story are also half-price this week, if anyone’s interested.
Click the links below to find them in our online shop (don’t forget to view the free sample chapters before you buy…)