Score: 8/10

Pros:
this shortened version of the all-audio Pimsleur Italian lessons introduces the basics of spoken Italian directly; the strengths of the complete Pimsleur course are still relevant to this version

Cons:
audio only; in many ways starts you off and leaves you at the beginner level; drawbacks of full Pimsleur course apply here


Pimsleur Conversational Italian: Learn to Speak and Understand Italian repackages the first 16 lessons of their full course, Pimsleur Italian Level 1. Over the course of several hours, you’ll immerse your ear in Italian with this program spanning 8 CDs worth of audio files.

The bulk of what I can say here about the audio explanations, examples and practice exercises you’ll be exposed to simply repeats my review of the full course (link in the pros/cons above). Read that review for a better sense of how the Pimsleur method works for Italian, as well as what kind of Italian language learning experience you can expect to get out of these “sessions” (lessons).

For students looking to speak a bit of Italian and get a feel for Italian words, phrases and basic sentences, Conversational Italian offers a great audio introduction to the language. If you learn well with this highly acclaimed method, move on to that more robust full version. I still recommend this shorter course for travelers, language enthusiasts and curious learners, as well as those not convinced that “the Pimsleur way” is the preferred way to learn this bella lingua.