a book for learning Italian/ an Italian language book

wolfbm1

Senior Member
Polish
Hello.

"I went to Italy. ... A friendly waiter taught me a few words of Italian. Then he lent me a book. I read a few lines, but I did not understand a word."
Source: Alexander, L. G., 1979 New Concept English - Practice and Progress. Longman.

If I want to retell the part about the Italian language book, can I say "A waiter lent me a book for learning Italian."

I think I can. What do you think?
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I would expect "a book for learning Italian" to be a book specifically written to instruct people in the Italian language. From the context you have provided, the book the waiter gave the writer was simply a book written in Italian, offered with the hope that it would help him learn Italian.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Your sentence "A waiter lent me a book for learning Italian" implies to me that the book was some kind of book for learning the language. The original version "Then he lent me a book. I read a few lines, but I did not understand a word" suggests to me that the book was written in Italian but wasn't actually designed for people learning the language and so that's why you didn't understand any of it.
     
    Last edited:

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thank you. :)
    If it had been Giovanni Boccaccio's Decamerone, then I wouldn't have understood any of it. Anyway, "a book for learning Italian" is an idiomatic expression.
     
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