Think In Italian (formerly “Ripeti Con Me”) by Italian polyglot Stefano now offers two libraries of online lessons. The first one is a course that’s similar in style to Glossika but fixes many of the problems I have with it. It teaches the language intuitively and requires you to speak throughout the lessons. Not everyone will love the lesson style but it’ll definitely improve your speaking rhythm and understanding of Italian. The second one is a huge collection of bilingual readings with audio that could replace LingQ if you are frustrated by its organization of the library. New features include live tutoring, a community forum, and a mobile app.
Think In Italian (formerly “Ripeti Con Me”) by Italian polyglot Stefano now offers two libraries of online lessons. The first one is a course that’s similar in style to Glossika but fixes many of the problems I have with it. It teaches the language intuitively and requires you to speak throughout the lessons. Not everyone will love the lesson style but it’ll definitely improve your speaking rhythm and understanding of Italian.
The second one is a huge collection of bilingual readings with audio that could replace LingQ if you are frustrated by its organization of the library.
New features include live tutoring, a community forum, and a mobile app.
The lesson materials are fairly basic but well-structured.
Previously taught materials are reviewed frequently in new sentence patterns.
The price is fair for what’s included in the lessons and on the website.
The focus on Italian culture, names, and places.
The manner in which things you’ve learned come up later on in future lessons.
The lessons and recordings have better spacing than Glossika. The reading materials follow the same format.
I DON’T LIKE…
It’s not a particularly exciting course. There are no game elements to keep you motivated.
Not everyone will like the lesson style where key concepts aren’t explicitly taught.
One great thing about having created this website is that I get to see and try out lots of new language learning products.
More often than not, my favorites are those that don’t get a lot of exposure from other places. Maybe they’re created by a small team or just one person and are competing against massive companies with huge marketing teams.
A couple of years ago, Stefano Lodola — Italian teacher, translator, polyglot — reached out to me and asked if I’d consider trying out his new Italian course: Ripeti Con Me.
His course is largely inspired by Glossika, a product that I’m very familiar with. Although I think Glossika is useful, there’s quite a bit that I dislike about it and a lot that could be improved upon.
That’s what Stefano did with Ripeti Con Me. He made a better alternative to Glossika for Italian learners.
What is this course all about?
The idea behind this course, as well as Glossika, is that you’ll improve your Italian by speaking lots of sentences.
Sentences come up again at varying intervals, but you’re not simply parroting the sentences. As you go through the course, small changes are made to the sentences, moving different components in and out.
In this way, you’re learning new words and how sentences are formed. Grammar isn’t explicitly taught through the sentences, but you’ll begin to pick up the various grammar points on your own.
For learners that prefer a more traditional approach to learning grammar, Stefano has also provided free grammar lessons on his website. These lessons all contain links to the relevant audio lessons in the Ripeti Con Me course.
I tried out this course with zero knowledge of Italian and within a few days was able to figure out some different verb forms and gender usage. More importantly, I found myself able to say full sentences and be able to substitute in and out various pieces to express different meanings.
Neither Glossika nor Ripeti Con Me is the flashiest or most exciting course. There are no games, points, or any of that extra stuff. You’ll have to be self-motivated to really keep up with it.
That said, it’s not difficult to do a bit each day.
Using Ripeti Con Me
The course materials are available through a simple online platform. You can browse through lessons by level, grammar topic, or take them in order.
Lessons last approximately 30 minutes and you’re meant to complete one lesson each day. Currently, there are 215 lessons available but additional lessons have already been designed and will continue to be added. In each lesson, there are 30 sentences for you to learn.
Each day, you’re meant to listen to 3 audio files that will get you thinking in Italian and speaking throughout. There are three parts – Part A, Part B, and Part C and you’re meant to go through them in that order.
In Part A, you’ll hear Stefano first say a sentence in English. After that, he’ll say the sentence in Italian and you’re meant to just listen. Then, he’ll say the sentence one more time in Italian and you’re meant to shadow him – saying the same sentence while he’s still saying it.
One nice feature of these audio lessons is that you can adjust the playback speed if you need to.
In Part B, you’ll hear Stefano say the sentence again in English. Then, there’s a pause where you’re meant to say the sentence yourself in Italian. It’s alright if you can’t remember everything, just do your best and say what you can. Then, he’ll say the sentence again in Italian and you’re meant to shadow it.
In Part C, Stefano will say each sentence once in Italian and you should shadow his speaking each time.
You’ll notice that Stefano does have a bit of an Italian accent when speaking English, but it’s not a problem. You can understand everything he says.
Each audio lesson also comes with a transcript.
In it, you’ll see each sentence written out in Italian and English. The grammar that is emphasized in the lessons is bolded. You can toggle the Italian and English text on and off to see one individually, both, or none.
One thing that I really like about the lessons is how they progress. Initially, I struggled to keep up but I found that much of what I learned in one lesson was reviewed in a later lesson using a different sentence pattern.
Why I like Ripeti Con Me more than Glossika
As I said before, Ripeti Con Me was inspired by Glossika. While it’s fairly similar, there are quite a few differences. Or rather, things that Glossika does poorly that Ripeti Con Me does much better.
Glossika uses the same sentences for every language. They completely ignore the cultural differences.
Ripeti Con Me is made specifically for Italian. The sentences use Italian names, places in Italy, and reference various unique aspects of Italian culture.
Glossika’s audio recordings are really rushed. There is often not enough time to say the sentences. Some of the sentences are far too long and they progress through the sentences at a very fast pace.
Ripeti Con Me is paced much more appropriately. The sentences aren’t unnecessarily long and the amount of time between recordings is more reasonable. You won’t feel as rushed to try to spit out a sentence, only to get cut off by the audio.
Ripeti Con Me’s lessons also progress at a more natural pace. They build upon previous lessons much better and re-emphasize points throughout.
Glossika isn’t suitable for beginners. You’d want to have at least reached an elementary level before using it.
Ripeti Con Me starts at a lower level and focuses on essential vocabulary. The slower pace makes it much more accessible to new students.
Although I think Ripeti Con Me solves many of the problems that Glossika has, there are still a few weaknesses.
Not everyone will be thrilled with the style of lessons. Similar to Glossika, Ripeti Con Me isn’t for everyone. A lot of people aren’t going to love learning in this style. The lessons are fairly dry and don’t include much in terms of explanations
The second issue, which isn’t necessarily a problem, and is also shared with Glossika and most other resources, is that Ripeti Con Me probably shouldn’t be the only thing you use to study Italian.
It’d be best to also use other resources along with it.
As a complete beginner of Italian, I felt like I would benefit from a more concerted effort to learn proper pronunciation. While I felt like my pronunciation definitely improved from speaking a lot, I could tell that I was still making mistakes that would require more attention that’s beyond the scope of this course.
Additionally, combining this course with resources like Anki or Memrise to help review words could be useful, though there’s enough repetition throughout the course that it may not be necessary.
You may also want to listen to some Italian podcasts as a way to get more passive listening practice.
There are a few different payment options for gaining access to the Ripeti Con Me course. You can either subscribe for $39.80/mo or annually, which comes out to be $29.75/mo. If you really like the program, you can make a Lifetime purchase of $980.
The most popular subscription grants learners access to both the Ripeti Con Me material as well as over 600 bilingual texts with audio for reading practice.
All of the subscription options come with a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee.
If you’re learning Italian and considering using Glossika or LingQ, I’d strongly recommend using Ripeti Con Me and other resources available on Think in Italian instead.
It fixes many of the problems that make it hard to recommend Glossika. The slower progression of the courses, Italian focus, improved spacing with the audio files, and the manner in which the lessons build upon each other make it a much better course.
Ripeti Con Me can definitely help you improve your Italian, especially speaking. It’s very easy to avoid speaking while studying a language but this course forces you to start speaking Italian right away.
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