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Italian Language Drill

A comprehensive Italian Language Drill program covering vocabulary, verbs, grammar, and aural comprehension for about 1.5 years of college-level Italian study.

Microsoft Windows

Download the Italian Drill Self-Extracting ZIP Archive.
Prefer a ZIP Archive instead of a self-extracting executable? If so, click here.

Macintosh

Program is complete and will be available soon.


The main screen of the Windows Version


Choosing a drill - shows a sample of the drills which have been created


The main screen of the Macintosh Version


Introduction

I have never thought of myself as being very gifted with languages. Of four years of high-school Spanish, I remember only 'Hola', 'Los Estatos Unitos', and 'mis mis tus tus' (what you say when calling a pet animal).

Imagine my horror at discovering that Peabody required all students to take 2 years of a foreign language. I began to panic. But then, just like an engineer, I thought "is there a computer program I can write? And this is how the Italian Drill program came into being.

It is now 5 years later, and the program has grown into a pretty comprehensive drill program. It covers the entire first year and about half of the second year of a college level Italian program. It is wonderfully patient, and will drill you forever on verb conjugations or vocabulary. For me, other than being married to a native Italian speaker, this is the best way to learn a language.

Note: This program follows the structure (chapters and lessons) of 'Adesso!: An introduction to Italian' by Marcel Danesi (in case you want to follow along).

P.S.I ended up getting an 'A' in both years of Italian.

Installation

Once you have downloaded the zip file, decompress the contents. If you downloaded the Self-Extracting Archive, just double-click on it. It will decompress itself automatically.

After extracting the contents of the zip file, you should have a single folder, called "Italian Drill". Inside the folder double-click on the "lang_drill.exe" program to run the drill.

After opening the drill, be sure to use the "Help" button to learn how to use it.

Modifying the Drills

Inside the "ItalianDrill" folder you will find a PDF ("Language Drills.pdf") file which describes how you can create your own drills.

Drills are pretty easy to create. All you need to do is edit text files in the "Drills" sub-folder. In each text file there is one question per line, with the Italian answer on the left, then a vertical bar (as in "|" ), and then the English answer on the right.

It starts to get tricky when you want to create optional words (in Italian, most of the subject pronouns are option), or to allow for various simple synonyms. The drill files have a special syntax for these situations (and others), all of which is described in the PDF file.

System Requirements

The windows version should run on any Microsoft Windows operating system equal to Windows 98 or better.

The Macintosh version should run on any Mac OS X operating system equal to 10.2 or better.

I am posting this software in the hopes that it will drive more traffic to my website. So, if you want to help me out, then please link to http://www.pnelsoncomposer.com. The link to the partwrite software can be found at: http://www.pnelsoncomposer.com/software/italiandrill.

Thanks! Paul