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Having problems with Italian 3

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happianway@yahoo.com
Posts: 0
Burbank, California
United States
Registered:
Sep 15, 2011
Oct 18, 2012 at 10:56am

I am very frustrated with Italian 3. The new teacher, though I am sure is a nice person, just does not have the same gift and style of teaching as Sonia Gil. For example, when I got to Session 3, suddenly, words were introduced with no detailed explanation of what, why and when they are used, as Sonia faithfully and expertly did with EVERY SINGLE LESSON in Italian 1 and 2. (I am one of those people that learning languages does not come easily to.) In Session 3, for example, phrases such as "quel passaporto", and "quello stadio" with absolutely no explanation when and why you use these. (Why is it not "quello passaporto" or "quel stadio". Also, I was completely confused by the introduction, again with no explanation of the phrase, "Quei palazzi". "quel" and "quei" had never been introduced in the course before and to suddenly have it introduced without an explanation IS MOST CONFUSING. As I said, I'm sure the new teacher is quite adequate for someone with a talent for learning languages or a background in Italian, but I really miss Sonia's careful explanations of every detail of her lesson. (The instructor merely directed the student to look at 3 very confusing graphs with no explanation of what was being taught). Up to this point, I was really enjoying my lessons with Sonia. Is there any way Sonia can be put something on this website with explanations of this and other things that are not explained in detail? Thanks for listening, and I hope I can get back to progressing in my Italian and enjoying my lessons!

andy@fluenz
Posts: 0
France
United States
Registered:
Feb 6, 2011
Oct 19, 2012 at 9:33am

Hi, Thank you for posting. Sorry for the frustration, but hopefully we can help you clear some questions up.

The reason why Sonia is not teaching Italian anymore is that we wanted a native speaker for the more advanced levels, just as we did with French and Mandarin, but Sonia led the development team for Italian 3 and was involved in deciding which contents would be taught in Italian 3, as well as the way in which these should be explained. As for lesson 3 of Ialian 3, I wouldn't say that Sophie "merely pointed to 3 different GRAPHS and told us to memorize them! What?? No explanation at all of when and why we are supposed to use words, "quel' quei, quegli, and many others." She spends more than 3 minutes explaining the use of quel, quei etc and providing examples. I'll try to explain it again: The words "quello" and "quella" are the equivalent to the English word "That". In both languages, they can be used as pronouns (that is, replacing a noun) or as an adjective (accompanying a noun). Let's see it with an example in English first. You can ask something like:
- Which sandwich do you want?

You can asnwer in two ways to this question:

- I want that sandwich. In this case "that" is working as an adjective, it's accompanying the noun "sandwich" and helps specify which sandwich you want...you want "that sandwich" not "this sandwich", the same way you could say "I want the small sandwich".

Now, if you answer "I want that sandwich" to "Which sandwich do you want?" you are repeating "sandwich" which could be avoided by simply saying "I want that (one)". In this case "that" works as a pronoun, it's replacing "sandwich".

Italian works in exactly the same way:

- Quale panino vuole? Voglio quello. = Which sandwich do you want? I want that (one).

- Qual è la sua valigia? Quella = Which is your suitcase? That (one)

This is the use we taught in levels 1 and 2: quello and quella as pronouns and their plural forms: quelli and quelle. You use "quello" when referring to a masculine noun and "quella" to refer to a feminine noun. "Quelli" is the plural form of "quello" and "quelle" is the plural form of "quella". So the only thing different to the English "that" and "those" is that in Italian words have gender while in English they don't.

What Sophie explains in level 3 is the use of these words when they work as adjectives. As any other adjective, they have to agree in gender and number with the word they're accompanying to. What is different to other adjectives is that "quello" and "quella" imitate the definite article, that's why she says: "The words quella and quello have the articles La and Lo within them. So actually it’s like having the word quel and adding the right article at the end" .
You say:

- La valigia = The suitcase, but you say "L' amica" = The friend(f). The final "a" of the article "la" is dropped because the noun accompanying it starts with a vowel. Well, what Sophie explains is that "quella" and "quello" work like articles so you'd say: "Quella valigia" (That suitcase) but "Quell' amica" (That friend(f)".

The same happens with masculine nouns. She says: "For masculine nouns you have to follow the rules for articles, too." And then she gives some examples:

Lo stadio The stadium
Quello stadio That stadium

L’ aeroporto The airport
Quell’ aeroporto That airport

Il negozio The store
Quel negozio That store

Watch out for this one, it’s not queil, but quel.

More examples:

Voglio comprare quello
(I) want to buy that one

Vedi quello stadio?
Do (you(i)) see that stadium?

Vedi quell’ aeroporto?
Do (you(i)) see that airport?

Vedi quel negozio?
Do (you(i)) see that store?"

happianway@yahoo.com
Posts: 0
Burbank, California
United States
Registered:
Sep 15, 2011
Oct 19, 2012 at 9:56am

Thank you very much Andy G. That was a very good explanation, except I still don't understand why it's "Quel negozio" and not "Quello negozio" and also when do I use the word "quei, like in "Quei palazzi" ? That really threw me!!! Is there a Fluenz page or some other website that explains these things? Thank you so much for taking so much time to assist me. I really appreciate it. Are there any Fluenz teachers we can email when we get stumped on a problem? Again, thank you for taking the time to help me! Most sincerely, D.S.

Tony K
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United States
Registered:
Aug 19, 2011
Nov 14, 2012 at 4:29pm

You use "quello" with masculine singular nouns that start with s + a consonant and z. You use "quel' with all other masculine singular nouns that start with a consonant. quello stadio, quel negozio, quello zaino, quel libro.

You use "quegli" with masculine plural nouns that start with s + a consanant and z. You use "quei" with all other masculine plural nouns that start with a consonant. quegli stadi, quei negozi, quegli zaini, quei libri.

CLynnMill
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Tuscaloosa, AL
United States
Registered:
May 1, 2013
Jun 28, 2013 at 10:26pm

I paused the video and wrote down the graph... not only to reference but writing it down helped me process it.

Darro
Posts: 0
Surrey
United Kingdom
Registered:
Jun 15, 2013
Nov 21, 2013 at 12:06pm

Hi the best thing to do is print of the rules in either a table form from Fluenz or you will find one on the interent, It is explained in Fluenz but brushed past very quicky. Place the table on your wall look at it everyday and after a week you will find you have learnt it with out trying....

Konstantin Prinz
Posts: 0
Ennetbaden, AG
United States
Registered:
Jan 26, 2011
Jan 9, 2014 at 7:05pm

Chiming in on Sonia vs Sophie: Yes, on amazon people complain about Sonia not being a native speaker. But really, it makes perfect sense to learn from a NON native speaker. The native speakers all learned immersively as kids, they don't share the problem space we are in like Sonia did. Working on your accent is the last bit you need to do in learning a language...
I found Sonia so much more engaging as a teacher. I am in Session 2 of Level 3. The voices in 1 & 2 were different and great. Level 3 sounds like a bored person reading down a list. I ploughed through Levels 1 & 2 in all night sessions within less then a week. But reaching Level 3 I find my motivation deteriorating. No dazzling smile from the screen, and the English of Sophie is so monotonous, that I have to rewind often because my thoughts trailed off. never happened with Sonia...
I do hope Sophie gets the hang of it and the later sessions get better.

Riff251
Posts: 0
Webster, NY
United States
Registered:
Mar 7, 2013
Jan 10, 2014 at 4:31pm

Sophia was a little stiff in the beginning, but once she settled into the routine her presentation became very relaxed and natural. I actually enjoy Sophia's tutorials as much as Sonia's. And you'll soon see that Sophia has a beautiful smile too. :)

Kristin F.
Posts: 0
United States
Registered:
Jan 10, 2012
Jan 11, 2014 at 8:26am

I agree with Riff251….Sophie obviously got feedback at some point to smile, because she does plenty of it in later sessions. And seems more at ease. I enjoyed Sophie too, and when I go back to older sessions with Sonia (whom I also enjoyed) the stark contrast in pronunciation is much more obvious to my ear.

Ed Selby 2
Posts: 0
Littleton, Colorado
United States
Registered:
Mar 29, 2013
Jan 11, 2014 at 11:41am

I guess I am backwards. I was frustrated with Sonia's speed (slow) and much happier with Sophie when I got to Level 3. It just seems to be a matter of preference for (?) whatever.

Laura
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United States
Registered:
Jan 26, 2011
Jan 27, 2014 at 2:01pm

The Quello, Quel issue is gone over in one of the podcasts of Italian 1 so if you do the podcasts then they do explain it.

melizza
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United States
Registered:
Apr 23, 2012
Feb 17, 2014 at 4:24pm

Andy, what makes Sophie's explanation incomplete is that she never discusses the root of the word, which appears to be "que-". I had to watch the video a few times before I understood what was going on. It is indicated (if only quickly) that quello/quella/quelli/quelle can be used as either pronouns or adjectives, but never where to start when forming the correct version. She also does not discuss the odd-to-native-English-speakers construction "That (one) store" ("Quel negozio") which would have cleared things up.

Laura
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United States
Registered:
Jan 26, 2011
Feb 20, 2014 at 10:30am

I actually love Sophie compared to Sonia. I liked Sonia fine, but I found her to be too slow in her speech and in the lessons. But I realize that everyone's learning style is different. Though I happen to like the faster speed of Italian 3, it is a surprise when you get to it. Depending on how you feel about learning languages it's either a nice surprise or a scary one. If you found it a scary one I would suggest you simply calm down and tell yourself the truth- Which is you have the ability to redo lessons as often as you like. :)

I still don't understand the problem with "Quel vs Quello" being discussed here though. In the podcasts Sonia goes over the explanation of that wayyyy back in Italian 1 podcast #8. So if you're having trouble perhaps you should review the podcast.

melizza
Posts: 0
United States
Registered:
Apr 23, 2012
Feb 20, 2014 at 1:26pm

Laura, it's not scary or panic inducing. As Fluenz's brand is based on explanations rather than rote or mindless learning, when something is not fully explained, it can create a gap in learning for people who want to go a little deeper. You may be satisfied in being able to come up with the correct form–"quello stadio" or "quel negozio"–but some people want a fuller overall understanding of the language.

Andy quotes from the lesson: "The words quella and quello have the articles La and Lo within them. So actually it’s like having the word quel and adding the right article at the end." However, "quel" cannot be the root. It's "quei ristoranti" and "quegli stadi". Further, if "Voglio il biglietto" can be stated as "Voglio quello" (pronoun) this explanation is also confusing because it's not "lo biglietto" but "il biglietto". Actually, the more you are paying attention, the more confusing the explanation provided is. If you're not so curious about the structure, the information provided will allow you to get the right answer and you may be happy with that.

Level 1 podcast 8 provides even less explanation. Sonia simply states that when you want to say "that ticket" rather than "that one" in referring to a ticket, it's "quel" not "quello". She never mentions the words "pronoun" or "adjective".

Apolonia D.
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United States
Registered:
Jul 30, 2012
Feb 21, 2014 at 6:08am

Ok, I'll try to explain this in a simple way. First of all you have to distinguish between adjectives and pronouns. Adjectives modify a noun, while pronouns replace a noun. Some words can be used as adjectives OR pronouns, depending on whether they're replacing a noun or they're modifying it. Quello (That) is one of this words, both in Italian and in English. Let's see an example in English first:
- Which ice cream do you want? I want that ice cream.
Here "that" is acting as an adjective, it's modifying "ice cream". You want "that ice cream", not "this ice cream".
- Which ice cream do you want?I want that one.
Here you don't want to repeat "ice cream" when answering, because it's not really necessary. The speakers know what they are referring to, so instead of saying "ice cream" again, you use a pronoun to replace it: "that one". You say "that one" because you're referring to one ice cream, in the singular, but let's suppose you want more than one, then you'd have to use a plural pronoun:
- I want those ones.
In the first two levels of Italian you are taught "quello" and its feminine and plural forms as pronouns, not as adjectives. This is translated as "that one":
- Voglio quello = (I) want that one. Here you're referring to something previously mentioned, you are replacing a singular noun.
- Voglio quelli = (I) want those ones. Here you're referring to several things previously mentioned, you are replacing a plural noun.
The problem is in Italian there are feminine forms, and in English there are not. In the previous examples you were referring to a masculine noun, "gelato". If you were referring to a feminine noun, then you'd have to use a feminine pronoun as well:
- Voglio quella = (I) want that one(f). The ending in "quella" tells you that you're referring to a feminine noun previously mentioned, let's say it's a beer, which in Italian is feminine, "birra".
- Voglio quelle = (I) want those ones(f). Here it's feminine plural, because you are referring to several beers, and we said that's feminine.
So whenever you're using "quello" as a pronoun you only have four forms: quello and quelli for masculine nouns (singular and plural), and quella and quelle for feminine nouns (singular and plural). So you really don't have to know which article uses the noun they're replacing, you only need to know whether they are feminine or masculine nouns.
Melizza, Sofia's explanation about using "quel" and adding the article to it refers to "quello" being used as an adjective, not a pronoun. Let me know if you understand so far and once this is clear, I'll explain the use of "quello" as an adjective.

melizza
Posts: 0
United States
Registered:
Apr 23, 2012
Feb 21, 2014 at 8:20am

Apolonia, thank you, but I understand how to use these words as both pronouns and adjectives. I was trying to explain what is lacking in the video explanation, namely, what is the root word that we're working with? Fluenz lessons would normally call that out and say something about it before presenting it.

Apolonia D.
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United States
Registered:
Jul 30, 2012
Feb 21, 2014 at 10:21am

Well, I don't know if you're understanding correctly, because you said: "if "Voglio il biglietto" can be stated as "Voglio quello" (pronoun) this explanation is also confusing because it's not "lo biglietto" but "il biglietto"." As I said, Sofia uses that explanation for "quello" as an adjective, not as a pronoun. To use it as a pronoun you don't have to know which article uses the noun it's replacing, you only need to know whether it's a feminine or masculine noun.

We could say that the root word is "quello" (just as you could say "piccolo" is the root word for "piccola", "piccoli" and "piccole") and it is regular when used as a pronoun, so all you have to do in that case is change the ending depending on what you're referring to. The problem is that "quello" as an adjective is irregular. Sofia doesn't say "quel" is the root, she says when quello is an adjective it's "like having the word quel and adding the right article at the end". This is not true in some cases (as she states later on), precisely because of the irregular nature of "quello", but it's helpful to understand the logic behind it. For the feminine, it is true:
- Quel + la = Quella
- Quel + l' = Quell'
- Quel + le = Quelle
For the masculine it's true in these cases:
- Quel + lo = Quello
- Quel + l' = Quell'

The rest of cases are very irregular and you just have to learn them by heart. Please let me know if this is clearer now.

melizza
Posts: 0
United States
Registered:
Apr 23, 2012
Mar 13, 2014 at 12:34pm

Again, I do understand; I'm not sure what you are hoping to achieve by insisting that I don't. I've stated why I think it's a vague explanation and I still think so, despite your reiteration of the explanation in question. A lot would have been cleared up if Sofie would have provided the explanation that you did: "'Quello' as an adjective is irregular." You're right that she doesn't state that "quel" is the root, but that is implied because the explanation is vague. I figured it out without your explanation, but it would have been clearer if that vital fact would have been included in the lesson.

Susan Green
Posts: 0
Keller, Texas
United States
Registered:
Jan 26, 2011
Jul 6, 2018 at 6:08pm

I have so enjoyed Fluenz Italian 1 and 2 and felt successful. Since starting Italian 3 I am not digesting anything. This is my first time in Fluenz commons and came here to see if it is just me and feel better that it is not but it doesn't change the fact that the program changed. I definitely want to be challenged but thought I could leave constructive criticism here for the programmers.
I cannot understand the speakers during the tutorial anymore- new voices- no emotion and going so fast. I will take the suggestion to print out the chart and write it down re articles thank you but I feel this important lesson has been fast tracked and without proper understanding I cannot move on. Ive taken this lesson 3 times and am still not comprehending the explanations. I am very frustrated and don't think its Sophia it seems as if the process has changed and not enough attention placed on consistency. Hoping to move forward...............

ntucker
Posts: 0
Ione, CALIFORNIA
Registered:
Sep 29, 2017
Jul 23, 2018 at 6:50pm

I had the same problem in beginning Level 3. It really sped up. However, I just finished Level 5 and the speaking gets much faster. Sophie opens up more as the levels go on, and I love her sharing cultural practices in her introductions. I am reviewing Levels 3-5 in preparation for my trip to Italy in September, and even though my comprehension is better, some of the dialog in Level 3 is really hard to understand. Just stick with it, it all gets (harder, but) better.

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