Learning Italian with my Downtime

Lately I’ve been driving/traveling a lot, and I have a feeling that will be happening a bit more due to my newfound flexibility in where I can work. It’s been pretty standard that I listen to music or play games (or you know, read a book), but I’ve decided to try something different. See, the New Year’s Resolution I feel I’ve been slacking most on is learning Italian. I haven’t put an ounce of effort into it; that’s going to change. I’ve decided to give Duolingo a try.

My basic plan is this: whenever I have downtime, I’m distracted, or am traveling, instead of playing a game or listening to music, I’ll do  few lessons in Duolingo. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’ll be able to speak Italian a bit better (right now I can say, “Io capisco un po l’italiano“).

The lessons seem pretty straight-forward; there are photos, term matching, and even speaking lessons. The best part is that it’s free. As I progress, I’ll document my experience and review the app itself a bit more. Right now it seems like at the end, I should be able to both speak and write at least basic Italian!

One aspect I’m hashing out still is the driving bit; I think I’d like to try to find some lessons ‘on tape’ to listen to in the car. Obviously I can’t do interactive lessons while behind the wheel. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m open to them.

Are you/have you tried learning a new language? What low-cost solutions do you recommend? I’d love to try out Rosetta Stone, but at $150-400, that’s out for be as I have to start saving money.