REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: What They Didn’t Teach You in Italian Class (contest ended)

Published on: January 12, 2018 | Last Updated on December 4, 2021
What They Didn't Teach You in Language School

What They Didn't Teach You in Language School

Learn Italian slang and more…these little books are the perfect companions for your trips abroad.

Congratulations to sweepstakes winner, Susan Smoaks!

Savvy travelers know the importance of being able to speak the local language. It enhances a person’s ability to immerse oneself in the place and culture—from understanding directions and street signs, to being able to handling emergencies or sticky situations (e.g. What do you yell when you’re on a crowded train and feel the hand of a pickpocket in your pants? How do you tell an Italian flirt to get lost?)

Speaking the language

For the reasons above and others, travelers are increasingly taking advantage of opportunities to learn languages through courses and apps, many of them available for free. It is estimated that Duolingo has 200 million registered users around the world. Each day, more than 200 million people rely on Google Translate, available on some browsers and also as an app!

A new 2018 survey of travel trends by American Express reports that 15 percent of the more than 2000 respondents traveled “to experience new languages and customs” last year, and 20 percent (5 percent more than last year) plan to do the same in 2018.

The “What They Didn’t Teach You in Class” Series

The “What They Didn’t Teach You in Class” series (available in French, Italian, Russian, German and Spanish) promises to provide the slang expressions and practical words travelers are likely to need on trips abroad. It focuses on “real expressions” used by locals rather than the phrases typically taught in language school. Not much larger than the size of a passport, these trim 5×7 hardcover books can easily be slipped into a purse or backpack.

Ulysses Press has come up with a new and highly practical tool that should appeal to travelers at many different levels of language proficiency:

  • Those with little or no fluency
  • Those students (of all ages) who haven’t yet achieved fluency before embarking on a trip;
  • Those who may have forgotten what they learned in language school (whether recently or many years ago); and
  • Those who know the language well but want to master the informal slang.

What They Didn’t Teach You in Italian Class

What They Didn't Teach You in Language School

I reviewed the 192-page Italian version of the series and was impressed with the excellent organization of the book. Divided into nine chapters, I could easily figure out where to find the right words I needed.

The chapter on “Friends and Flirting”, for example, mentions that Italians like to connect. If you’re hanging out in a bar—whether for espresso or an apertivo—you’ll know the phrases that can arm you with confidence to speak without crossing a line.

If you are a compulsive shopper (a real risk of traveling to Italy), you’ll feel empowered enough to know the difference between asking for a push-up or sports bra (regisseno).

Warning: Some of the idioms and phrases in these books are extremely explicit—and include terms you might not want to use!

The book makes for a provocative travel, and sometimes humorous, companion.


What They Didn't Teach You in Language School

What They Didn’t Teach You in Language School

The publisher of the series, Ulysses Press, is offering one lucky reader of MoreTimeToTravel a three-book set. The set includes one copy of “What They Didn’t Teach You in Italian Class” and two other companion books, “What They Didn’t Teach You in Spanish” and “What They Didn’t Teach You in French.” A total of three books!

To be eligible, simply subscribe to the MTTT newsletter by February 15, 2018 (see the top of the right sidebar) and leave a comment below saying that you did.

The winner will be randomly selected and announced on this website.

Need the book sooner? The Italian version and any of the four other languages are available both on Kindle or hardcover on Amazon.

Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a copy of the Italian book for review.

  • Reply
    Theresa Moore
    January 13, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I subscribed – would love to win the trio of What They Didn’t Teach You books

  • Reply
    Christine Geaney
    January 16, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Hello Irene,

    I am happily subscribed to this news letter, enjoyed the packing for river cruises and found it very enlightening. By the way, the last time I learned another language was over 25 years ago, Spanish, I retained the sentence ‘Su casa es rojo’. How many red houses could I possibly walk into before the locals would say what??!!:-) This prize would definitely help my language skills and get me around Rome without offending anyone by using the wrong terms. And, the size is handy enough to keep discretely close-by in a wristlet. It could be considered an undercover civil diplomacy package;-)

    Christine Geaney

  • Reply
    Kim Henrichs
    January 18, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    These books look great!! I’m a subscriber.

  • Reply
    Diane Heinze
    January 18, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Would like to win the “What They Didn’t Teach you in Italian Class” and the other two on Spanish and French. Fun!!

    I have subscribed to More Time to Travel.

    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Marilyn B
    January 18, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Already a subscriber and am happy to be. Books look great – I need to brush up on my very rusty Spanish, and my goal has been to learn Italian. So perfect set.

  • Reply
    Faye H
    January 19, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    I to already am a subscriber and love the tips presented here. It sound like these books would be extremely useful!

  • Reply
    Marie G.
    January 20, 2018 at 3:55 am

    I subscribed. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply
    Sara S
    January 20, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Subscribed! Thank you!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2018 at 9:23 am

    I subscribed – looks like a great set!

  • Reply
    Theresa Jenkins
    January 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm


  • Reply
    Travis Johnson
    January 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm


  • Reply
    rich bart
    January 20, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    i subscribed!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    I subscribed! We’re just starting to travel (Italy in May!) so this would be so perfect.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Subscribed! Thank you!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2018 at 12:16 pm


  • Reply
    February 1, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Subscribed! thank you so much!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Subscribed – great articles. Would love these books as I’m planning to take the family to Europe this summer!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    I have signed up for the newsletter. I would enjoy learning slang expressions in these languages. I hope to travel to Europe in the next year and it might come in handy!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2018 at 10:21 am

    subscribed to the MTTT newsletter!!

  • Reply
    susan smoaks
    February 9, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    i am an email subscriber. thanks for the chance to win.

  • Reply
    Jill Rivera
    February 11, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    I subscribe. I would love to win the trio of What They Didn’t Teach You books. I have the Russian version of What They Didn’t Teach You Books. I would love to have the rest of the collection.

  • Reply
    Sharon Yarrell
    February 12, 2018 at 3:39 am


  • Reply
    Jennifer H.
    February 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    I have subscribed.

  • Reply
    John H.
    February 13, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    I subscribed.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2018 at 7:28 pm


  • Reply
    Natosha Miller
    February 14, 2018 at 6:33 am

    Always loved French and learning a new language. However, I would love to learn somethings that I wouldn’t be taught in school ☺. Sounds like a wonderful collection of books☺ Subscribed

  • Reply
    Rose Santuci-Sofranko
    February 14, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    I am subscribed to you at the email attached to this post. Thanks and God Bless!

  • Reply
    Laurie Emerson
    February 14, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    I am a subscriber.

  • Reply
    Shakeia Rieux
    February 15, 2018 at 6:22 am

    New subscriber

  • Reply
    February 15, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I have subscribed.

  • Reply
    Buddy Garrett
    February 15, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    I subscribed to the newsletter. Viola!

  • Reply
    Philip Lawrence
    February 15, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    I would like to win the book on Spanish to increase my ability in speaking Spanish.

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