ItalianPod101 Review: Is it Right for You? (Features and Cost)
An interesting and effective way to listen to Italian
ItalianPod101 teaches you the language through listening, and it’s really effective. The audio-based lessons are perfect for people learning on the go because they are short and practical. There are also extra practice exercises to enhance your studying, especially when it comes to vocabulary. ItalianPod101 is a solid way for beginners to start learning. The advanced lessons are also better than most other Italian learning apps.
- Free access to some lessons
- Developed course with lots of materials
- Listen to native speakers
- Expensive subscription to access all content
- Unclear course structure
- Not enough exercises to practice difficult grammar topics
Related Language apps
Table of Contents
ItalianPod101 is a language learning platform and mobile app. It is one of the 34 languages offered by the Innovative Language company. All lessons are audio or video-based. In each lesson, you listen to a dialogue between 2 native speakers, and then the dialogue is broken down into important grammar and vocabulary topics. There are also additional study materials and practices.
How Long Will It Take You To Learn Italian?
What is your current level?
What level do you want to reach?
How many hours will you study each day?
ItalianPod101 is good for all levels, but especially for beginners. Because most of the lessons use English to explain different language and cultural topics, beginners will not get lost and will understand from their first lesson. The advanced levels are also quite good. The intermediate and advanced levels of ItalianPod101 are some of the most developed that I’ve seen.
ItalianPod101 offers a free lifetime subscription, but you only have access to limited content. They also offer 3 other subscription levels that give you more lessons and study materials. A Basic subscription costs between $4.00 and $8.00 per month. A Premium subscription costs between $10.00 and $25.00 per month. A Premium+ subscription costs between $22.87 and $47.00 per month. The more months you buy, the cheaper the price.
In my opinion, the Premium subscription is the best deal. With the Basic subscription, you only have access to the lessons, but not many other features. With Premium, you get all of the lessons and content available. The only thing you don’t get is access to a 1-on-1 tutor which is only for Premium+ subscribers.
The Premium+ subscription on ItalianPod101 isn’t worth it. It gives you access to a tutor, but they review your written exercises – they do not teach live classes. If you want to take classes with a native teacher, you can try italki or Preply for cheaper lessons. Even apps like Babbel and Rosetta Stone are now offering individual and group classes.
ItalianPod101 Free Trial
ItalianPod101 offers a 7-day free trial. You only need to enter and confirm your email address. No credit card information is needed. You have access to all learning material available with a Premium subscription during this time. The only part you cannot access with the trial is the feedback from a personal tutor, which is only available with the Premium+ subscription.
ItalianPod101 offers a few discounts. When you create your account, you will be offered a $1 deal that gives you access to a Premium subscription for one month, which usually costs $25.00.
Students can get 20% off a year-long subscription. You do not have to have a student email address to get this deal. During the week of my free trial, I was offered different coupons and discounts through email and the online platform. It’s definitely worth signing up for a free account to see what discounts they offer!
ItalianPod101 Review: How It Can (or Can’t) Help You
Getting started on ItalianPod101 takes less than 5 minutes. You enter and confirm your email and you are ready to start the 7-day, free trial. You do not have to enter credit card information to start learning.
There is no placement test. You choose what level is best for you based on a few criteria they provide. If the level is too hard or too easy, it’s easy to change levels. There are 5 levels available: absolute beginner, beginner, intermediate, upper-intermediate, and advanced. I know a few words in Italian, but not too many, so I started with absolute beginner so I wouldn’t miss anything.
There are a lot of challenges language learners face, whether you’re just starting out or have already achieved some level of fluency. Let’s take a look at whether or not ItalianPod101 can help you overcome these common challenges.
Challenge #1: Is ItalianPod101 Good for Beginners?
Yes! ItalianPod101 is very good for beginners. The lessons start from the basics, such as greetings and talking about family. There is always a conversation in Italian, but they speak slowly and then break down the conversation to teach vocabulary and grammar. I do not know much Italian but did not feel overwhelmed when listening to the beginner lessons.
Challenge #2: Learning & Remembering New Words
ItalianPod101 is an excellent tool for learning and remembering vocabulary. There are tons of vocabulary practices, mostly using flashcards. A lot of the vocabulary practices are free too! You can learn from different lists, such as 100 Most Common Words, transportation, useful phrases for a phone call, and more.
Challenge #3: Understanding & Speaking to Native Speakers
ItalianPod101 is useful for understanding native speakers. Because each lesson is led by two Italian speakers, it is very helpful to hear a fluid conversation and how to say certain words and phrases.
But there are no opportunities to practice speaking. There are no speaking exercises. Even if you have the Premium+ subscription, your 1-on-1 tutor is giving you feedback on written work. If you want to practice speaking, you will need to use a different language learning app, like Pimsleur or Busuu. There are also apps that connect you with an Italian language exchange partner, such as HelloTalk.
Challenge #4: Making Language Learning a Routine
ItalianPod101 makes language learning easy. You can access your content from the online platform or mobile app. They are synced so if you start a lesson on one, you can finish it on another. It’s also possible to listen to the lessons on the go. While you won’t be able to do the practice exercises in your car, you can still listen to the lessons while you are driving or commuting.
ItalianPod101 Review: Overall Learning Experience
In my opinion, ItalianPod101 is an effective app for learning Italian. There is tons of content, and they constantly upload new lessons. There is always something new to learn. The audio lessons can get a bit boring at times, but I like the style of the lessons and how each one explains vocabulary and grammar.
Italy is a super interesting country too, and it’s just as important to learn about the country and people as it is to study the language. One unique feature of ItalianPod101 is the emphasis they put on learning Italian culture, as well as the language. I learned a lot about the country – different cities, holidays, and more – just by listening to the lessons.
ItalianPod101 Review: Areas of Improvement
ItalianPod101 is effective, but there are a few areas where it could improve. I wish there were more ways to practice grammar. It’s not the most glamorous part of language learning, but it is important. Each lesson does teach a little grammar, there are only a few practice questions to make sure you understand the topic. But this isn’t enough for the complicated topics. Other apps, such as Babbel or Rocket Languages, provide more grammar explanations and practice activities.
The lessons can sometimes get repetitive in ItalianPod101 too. All lessons follow the same structure: dialogue, vocabulary practice, grammar explanation, and sometimes a cultural topic. Some of the other language courses on Innovative Language have more videos, which helps to add some interest. ItalianPod101 doesn’t have very many though. After 2 or 3 lessons each day, I was ready to stop. Yabla and FluentU both use lots of videos so you can choose what you are interested in watching at the moment. Lingopie is another awesome option for this.
ItalianPod101 Alternatives and Competitors
ItalianPod101 is a productive way to start learning Italian, but maybe it isn’t right for you. The good news is that there are many alternatives to choose from. If you want to take live lessons, then Verbling, italki, or Preply are good choices. Apps like Pimsleur and Rocket Languages also have audio lessons if that is what you like. If you want to watch videos to learn, Lingopie or FluentU might work for you.
ItalianPod101 vs Yabla
ItalianPod101 and Yabla both have interactive lessons focused on listening or watching lessons. But Yabla uses videos and ItalianPod101 uses mostly audio. Depending on which ItalianPod101 subscription you get, the prices are pretty similar. I like ItalianPod101 more because there is more of a course structure to follow, and Yabla does not provide that guidance. If you like learning with videos though, Yabla is the better choice. You can see if Yabla is right for you in this review or try it for free below.
ItalianPod101 vs Pimsleur
ItalianPod101 and Pimsleur have audio lessons that you listen to and then complete practice exercises. Pimsleur offers more exercises that help you understand what you learned though. Depending on which subscription you get, Pimsleur may be a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it. Both are excellent apps for learning, but Pimsleur is better because it works more on speaking and pronunciation. You can learn more about the pros and cons of Pimsleur in this review or try a free lesson below.
ItalianPod101 vs Babbel
Babbel and ItalianPod101 break down the lessons in a similar manner by using a dialogue to practice vocabulary and grammar. Babbel’s lessons are shorter and more visual and there is less listening and more reading. Spanishpod101’s lessons are more audio, so you can do them while on the go without looking at the screen. With the different subscription levels, ItalianPod101 is the less expensive option, but Babbel offers a more well-rounded way of learning. You can read more about Babbel in this review or try it for free below.
ItalianPod101 vs Rocket Languages
ItalianPod101 and Rocket Languages are similar apps. They both use audio and video lessons combined with lesson transcripts, flashcards, and other practice exercises. However, Rocket Languages has different types of lessons, like reading, listening, and watching videos in order to keep you focused. You pay for lifetime access to Rocket Languages, so it’s a bigger upfront cost than the monthly subscriptions to ItalianPod101. You’ll be able to access the course forever though, so it may be cheaper in the long term. To see if Rocket Languages is right for you, read more about it in this review. You can also try it for free below.
ItalianPod101 Review FAQ
ItalianPod101 is an online platform and mobile app to help you learn Italian. The course offers a wide variety of audio and video lessons. There are more lessons for beginners and intermediate level than for advanced speakers.
ItalianPod101 offers a Free Lifetime Account, which is truly free and you do not have to enter credit card information. With the free account, you get access to 100+ lessons, new daily lessons, vocabulary and phrase lists, and more. If you want access to all of the lessons and features available, you will need a paid subscription.
ItalianPod101 is a good way to learn Italian. There are many audio and video lessons to complete. There is more content for beginners and intermediate learners than for advanced.
You do not need to enter any credit card information to have access to some of the content or try a 7-day, free trial.
About This ItalianPod101 Review
This is an independent ItalianPod101 review, and the company has not sponsored this article. To write this review, I used the 7-day trial to the app and used it for a few hours to thoroughly test its content and features. I also found additional information on the ItalianPod101 website to verify my findings.