I learnt some conversational Italian using the Pimsleur audiobook series. It's pretty decent for learning, much better than my experience with Rosetta Stone. It got me through my 2 week vacation in Italy, and the locals are very happy that you're giving it a go instead of going the arrogant tourist route and expecting everyone to speak English.
It doesn't really matter if you can't speak Italian properly, though:
It's quite different. The sentence structure is not the same and you have to get used to how pronouns are used differently, for instance:
- I drive the car.
- (Io) guido la macchina.
Io is usually left out because it is inferred from the form of the verb (different for every person). When you use a pronoun instead it moves to stand in front of the verb:
- I drive it.
- (Io) la guido. (I-it-drive.)
Negation comes before both pronoun and verb:
- Jeg gïør det ikke.
- (Io) non lo faccio. (Jeg-ikke-det-gjør.)
And vocabulary wise there are many roots in common with English, so many words you can guess. But there are also many roots that don't appear in English. Typically words that come "later" in human history, like "organization" = "organizzazione" are borrowed, while words that came early are not "foot" = "piede".
Yes, I do like it. For some reason it's my favorite language just after English. I don't speak it really, I have some understand of basic stuff mostly related to football articles but that's about it. Oh and I can understand Italian commentators from time to time. When I went to Italy though I was like "ok, which language is this?" since it sounds different somehow and they are kinda fast with it I didn't understand a single thing I think.
I'm very busy with studies and everything but once I get time (hopefully before I finish uni) I'd like to learn it.