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Italian is one of the most popular languages for English speakers to learn because of its similarities to English as well as other Romance languages. But that doesn’t mean that learning Italian is a breeze! It takes dedication and practice. But with the right study tools, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
This article compiles some of the best ways to learn Italian into one list. Whatever your learning style, you can find a way that works for you. There are traditional ways of learning, like studying with an Italian tutor or a using textbook, and there are more modern ways such as language apps and podcasts.
There’s so much to love about Italy – the sights, the food, and of course, the language! There are 68 million Italian speakers, and it’s one of the most spoken languages in Europe and the world. Italian is the language of arts and civilization. Rome has over 2,500 years of history, and some of the most famous painters, including Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli came from Italy.
Apart from art and history, knowing Italian is also helpful in the modern day. Italy exports some of the most renowned brands in the world and is an important market that many international companies want to break into. It’s also a major hub for fashion and is the home of many famous brands such as Armani and Gucci. So whether you like art, history, fashion, or even Italian food, this guide will show you some of the best ways to learn Italian. Soon you’ll be able to order a spaghetti alla carbonara or espresso in perfect Italian.
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Table of Contents
Italian is considered to be an easy language for English speakers to learn, but there are tips and tricks you can use to learn Italian even faster. The best way is to use a variety of different resources. There’s no one perfect study tool that can help you learn everything, so it’s best to use several. For example, you can learn the basics of grammar with a book or an app, but it’s more effective to improve speaking by practicing with an Italian teacher.
It’s also helpful to immerse yourself in the language and culture to get as much exposure as you can. Even if you can’t spend the summer in Tuscany, you can immerse yourself right at home. YouTube channels and podcasts let you listen to how people actually speak the language. There’s also a big Italian movie scene that has produced many entertaining movies. Depending on your level, you can watch with or without subtitles.
Language apps are one of the best ways to learn a language. They are affordable and very convenient. You can spend 5 minutes and complete a quick lesson, or dedicate a longer amount of time if you can. Rocket Italian, Babbel, and Mondly are three options that have quality content and will help you start speaking Italian quickly.
Rocket Italian is the best choice for improving all aspects of Italian. It has detailed audio lessons that focus on conversations between native speakers. Then they break down the conversations to teach important grammar, vocabulary, and speaking topics. Each lesson includes practice activities to reinforce what you learned. You can try Rocket Italian for free for 7 days or read more about it in this Rocket Italian review.
Babbel is another comprehensive app that focuses on all aspects of the Italian language like reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It has short lessons with interactive practices and questions. It’s a good choice for people who can’t dedicate a lot of time to studying each day because you can complete the lessons quickly when you have a few spare minutes. You can try a free lesson on Babbel or read more about it in this Babbel review.
Mondly is the best choice for beginners because it has quick and interactive lessons that teach the basics of Italian in an entertaining way. It uses technology that tracks your progress and lets you learn in new ways. For example, there are augmented reality (AR) lessons that make learning come to life. You can try Mondly free for 7 days or read more about it in this Mondly review.
If you like a clear and structured way to learn a language, taking an online Italian course is an excellent option. The courses are laid out in a way that takes the guesswork out of learning. You know exactly what to study next and each lesson builds on what you’ve already learned so you can see steady improvement. Italian Uncovered, Saga Baldoria, and Ouino Italian offer in-depth courses that cover all of the important language learning skills.
Italian Uncovered uses a story to help you learn Italian. The course follows one story throughout. You listen to a chapter, entirely in Italian, and then take video lessons that explain what you heard and dive into important grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. There are also lesson notes and practice exercises to help reinforce what you learned. Italian Uncovered offers a money-back guarantee, and they will refund your money if you don’t like the course.
Saga Baldoria is the Italian course made by Gymglish. You receive a customized lesson in your email inbox every day. The lesson includes a video and different practice exercises that test what you learned in the video. You are given immediate feedback about your answers so you know exactly what was correct/incorrect and why, something not many other apps and courses offer. You can try Saga Baldoria for free for 7 days or read more about it in this complete Gymglish review.
Ouino Languages is a comprehensive computer program and mobile platform designed to be an all-in-one stop to learn Italian. It focuses on the most important language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It’s self-guided so you can choose what lessons you want to take and in what order. There are 5 different types of lessons, that cover grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. You can try each of the 5 types of lessons for free to see if you like Ouino Languages.
Studying Italian with a tutor is one of the most effective ways to learn. However, it can be costly and time-consuming to take in-person lessons. Thanks to the growing popularity of online learning, there are now thousands of Italian tutors teaching classes online. Italki, Preply, and Verbling are 3 large platforms that can help you find a qualified tutor. They are safe and secure so you know your payment is protected.
Italki is a massive online language learning platform. There are currently over 800 Italian tutors available. To find a tutor that’s a good fit for you, you can search with different filters like where the teacher is from, lesson types, and availability. Most teachers offer a discounted trial class so you can see if you like their teaching style. You can also read more about it in this italki review.
Preply is a platform that’s similar to italki, and currently has over 1,000 tutors to choose from. You can browse the teachers’ profiles to read past reviews, see what languages they speak, and check their availability. And since teachers set their own lesson price, there is a wide range to choose from. You can take a discounted trial class to see if you like the teacher or read more about Preply in this review.
Verbling only hires tutors with previous teaching experience so you’ll be taking lessons with a teacher who knows how to teach. Each teacher has a video so you can “meet” them before you take a lesson. You can also read their profiles which include important information like what languages they speak and what their specialties are. If you’re interested in Verbling, you can take a free trial lesson with the teacher of your choice or read more about the platform in this Verbling review.
Books are a classic way to study. They can be used as part of a language course or as a way to self-study. They are convenient and can be taken anywhere. There are many Italian books out there, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. The three books below, Complete Italian All-in-One, Complete Italian Step-by-Step, and Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide are three books that have excellent ratings and reader reviews on Amazon.
Complete Italian All-in-One combines 5 different workbooks into this extensive volume. It focuses on grammar, vocabulary, and conversation. There are concise explanations and practice exercises with an answer key in the back of the book so it works well as a self-study guide. The book also includes access to a mobile app for additional practice. You can see what other Italian learners thought of the book here.
Complete Italian Step-by-Step combines the beginner and advanced books of the Step-by-Step series so it’s appropriate for all levels. They use a building block approach to teaching Italian grammar and vocabulary so each chapter builds on the last one. Reviewers of the book liked that it’s laid out in a logical order, and has practice exercises with answers in the back. You can read more reviews here.
Italian: A Self-Teaching Guide is a good way for beginners to start learning the language and for previous learners to use it as a refresher. The book focuses on everyday situations and teaches the basic grammar and vocabulary needed to navigate them. There are also cultural notes so you can learn about Italian culture while you learn. Reviewers recommend using this book alongside another resource, such as an app, to practice pronunciation and listening. See what other reviewers had to say here.
Watching YouTube videos is entertaining. But instead of watching another funny cat video, you can use it to study Italian! Some channels focus on teaching Italian in a more traditional way, like you are studying in a classroom or taking classes with a private teacher, while others have entertaining videos about Italian life and culture. Best of all, it’s a completely free resource and a great way to hear how Italians really speak.
Lucrezia is an Italian language teacher that posts video lessons about Italian grammar and vocabulary. Some are easy and short for beginners, while others are more extensive and completely in Italian for advanced learners. She posts new videos every few days and there are already hundreds of videos available for you to study.
Dolce Vita with Luca & Marina is a YouTube channel that features a husband and wife duo. Luca is a native Italian speaker and Marina is an English teacher that lives in Rome. They have tons of videos that teach the Italian language, as well as videos about life in Italy and Italian customs. They even have a “Learn Italian in 30 Days” series which is a well-organized playlist of videos that teaches the very basics of Italian. You can even purchase a pdf workbook that accompanies the lessons.
LearnAmo’s YouTube channel has tons of videos. Some cover language and vocabulary topics, and others teach about Italian life and culture. This channel is better for intermediate and advanced learners since the videos are mostly in Italian, but beginners can watch them with English subtitles. They frequently post new episodes and already have over 400 videos for you to view.
Podcasts are a perfect way for busy people to squeeze in some language learning practice. All you need is a phone (or another device) and a pair of headphones. Podcasts are a great way to improve listening and understanding. And there is such a wide range of topics, you’re sure to find something you enjoy listening to. ItalianPod101, Italy Made Easy, and News in Slow Italian are educational and entertaining options that have hundreds of episodes for you to start learning with.
ItalianPod101 is both an online platform and app with hundreds of podcast lessons that teach language topics like grammar, conversation, and speaking. There are 5 levels that go from absolute beginner to advanced, so there’s something available for everyone. Each lesson comes with a transcript and extensive lesson notes. The online platform also has tons of additional resources to practice vocabulary and new content every week. You can try ItalianPod101 for free or read more about it in this ItalianPod101 review.
Italy Made Easy was specifically designed for English speakers to learn Italian. It explains important concepts in English and then you listen and practice them in Italian. There are hundreds of lessons available, and you can follow the course in order, or choose what you want to study. The Italy Made Easy membership gives you access to all of the podcasts, available courses, access to the online community, and more.
News in Slow Italian is exactly what it sounds like: podcast episodes of news stories spoken at a pace that Italian learners will understand. There are episodes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The news stories cover topics like arts, politics, and opinions. Each episode has a transcript with translations of important words and phrases as well as practice exercises. You can try News in Slow Italian free for 7 days.
Learning Italian can be a fun way to expose yourself to a new world of culture, food, and art. But it doesn’t have to be difficult! Finding the right tool(s) to help you practice is vital to your success. All of the resources on this list can help you reach your Italian learning goals. Hopefully you found something that is right for you. Since most offer free trials, give them all a try to see what’s best for you! Ciao for now!
Want to learn more? Check out our Italian resource page.
It takes about 600 class hours to reach a proficient level of Italian. The US Department of State classifies Italian as an easy language for English speakers to learn because of the similarities the two languages share.
To see how long it will take you to learn Italian, you can check out this Fluency Calculator.
The best way to learn Italian quickly is to study a lot and use multiple resources. There’s not one perfect way to learn Italian and each tool has its different strengths. For example, you can learn a lot of vocabulary quickly by using a language app, but you might need an online tutor to practice conversation.
There are many ways to learn Italian at home depending on your learning style. One way is to take an online Italian course. This is a structured way to learn and you will always know what to study next. Or if you need a more flexible method, using a language app or listening to a podcast are great options for learning on the go.
Italian is not considered a difficult language for English speakers to learn because of the similarities between the two. If you know another Romance language, such as French, Spanish, or Portuguese, it will be even easier to learn Italian since it’s closest to these languages.
The best way to become fluent in Italian is to practice with native speakers. If you are a beginner, using an app or book are great ways to achieve a basic level. But once you reach an intermediate level, taking classes with a teacher or having a language exchange partner will help you take your Italian to the next level.
There are quite a few resources to learn Italian for free, such as YouTube videos, podcasts, and apps like Duolingo. Most language resources will give you a free trial or let you access some free content so you can test it out before deciding if you want to buy a subscription.