Berlitz Italian Vocabulary Study Cards

<p>
These Italian vocabulary study cards from Berlitz were a pleasant surprise. I liked the choice of words included; they are of general interest, varied, not too specialized.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
Buy them and you will learn things like "lip" (<em>il&nbsp;labbro</em>), "ugly" (<em>brutto/a</em>), "plastic" (<em>la plastica</em>), "elephant" (<em>l'elefante</em>), "cucumber" (<em>il cetriolo</em>), "carpenter" (<em>il falegname</em>), and my personal favorite, "toilet paper" (<em>la carta igienica</em>).&nbsp;</p>
<p>
The content on each card is minimal, as is appropriate for flashcards. You are not given the plurals for nouns--only the singular form, accompanied by the definite article--with one exception I noticed, where there were separate cards for "pill" (<em>la pillola</em>), and "pills" (<em>le pillole</em>).</p>
<p>
Odd. But I suppose we do live in a pharmaceutical age.</p>
<p>
The design is cheerful (blue on the English side, white on the Italian side), the cards are a reasonable size, and they come in a sturdy box for storage. They are in fact very similar to the Italian flashcards from SparkNotes that I really liked but that are now out of print.</p>
<p>
One gripe for me about these flashcards, though, is that the English and Italian content on each card is oriented in the same direction. I believe it to be an inviolable principle of flashcard design that you must flip the word orientation on the back; if the English on the front points north, the Italian on the back must point south. The flipping ergonomics are just better that way.</p>
<p>
If you're under 25, you probably won't care, but I am not, and just before writing this review, I went through all 1,000 cards in the box. Now my right forearm hurts from the repetitive sideways twisting motion.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
Still, Berlitz got the content and general design right, and it's a cute box of language to have on your shelf. The company&nbsp;offers flashcards in this same series for French, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese, which I will try to review for this site shortly.</p>

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