"Il commissario Montalbano"
Is "Il commissario Montalbano" series suitable for beginners? I read somewhere that it's in the Sicilian dialect and, therefore, is not recommended for beginners...è vero? I would appreciate your opinions, grazie in anticipo! Vi auguro una buona serata!
I've been told by Italian native speakers that even they struggle with the series due to its heavy use of dialect. It didn't even make our C1 course's recommended reading list, so it's definitely not suitable for beginners.
There are some dialogues in broad Sicilian dialect, but most of the rest is in Italian, with a few dialect words every now and then.
I would strongly advise to choose an edition with subtitles (the best combination would be with both English and Italian subtitles that can be toggled).
However, for a beginner any series would be hard to follow, because the actual spoken language poses several difficulties.
Montalbano is by far the best series produced by Rai television company over the past 40 years, so it is well worth watching, regardless of the language purposes.
I have the Rai App on my phone in the US and I watch "Eredita". I like it because the language is fairly easy (it's a game show) and they spell out the words (it's like built in Italian subtitles). I stink at the game, but I write down the words. You also learn about Italian culture.
Mi piace ascoltare le professoresse (con i miei occhi chiusi, ovviamente) ;)
It is a fantastic series but very difficult for beginners and those more advanced. There is a lot of Sicilian dialect - but, with the surtitles it is wonderful to watch and it is definitely possible to follow much of the easier conversations. I have tried to read the books, with the aid of the Montalbano dictionary, but it is still quite tricky but fun to try. Anyway, enjoy this great detective and breathe in Sicily.
It would be good for learning a few common Italian phrases at least ("avanti," "buona giornata," "grazie mille," "commandi," etc.). Same with other subbed Rai serial crime dramas and programs found through MHz and elsewhere perhaps (Don Matteo, Detective De Luca, Inspector Manara ... ). Moreover you would be learning more about Italian culture(s), a critical context for learning the language at any level.
In any case, the "standard" version of any language is a dialect with an army and a navy, linguists point out, so my advice (to myself as well as others) would be to jump in and immerse oneself in language learning wherever and whenever possible. Specifically, watch a subbed Montalbano episode, foreign-language film or show simply for pleasure the first time around, then to study the language after that.