This innovative aid to the study of Italian was published in 1867 by Maria Francesca Rossetti (1827-76), the older sister of Dante Gabriel, William Michael and Christina. A scholar and teacher of Italian, she was later to publish A Shadow of Dante, a guide to the Divine Comedy, also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection. Her purpose here, as she explains in her preface, is to demonstrate idiomatic Italian usage by providing short passages translated very literally into English, so that the 'unnatural' English phraseology demonstrates the correct Italian construction. The passages are to be translated back into Italian, with the help of some supplied vocabulary and an opening chapter which elucidates some of the more difficult aspects of Italian grammar, often by comparing Italian with French usage. The technique had long been used for Latin and Greek prose composition, but was innovatory for modern languages.
Exercises in Idiomatic Italian
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