What is the best way to learn Italian?
Should you buy a textbook? Is it more effective to use software or an app? What about immersion? Does it truly encourage you to learn organically, as a toddler would?
Is it really necessary to know all that grammar?
There isn’t a single tool that will teach you everything you need to know to master the Italian language.
In fact, you’ll probably wind up using a variety of tools to cover all of your needs, from learning the grammar to polishing your pronunciation to expanding your Italian words.
How To Learn Italian?
For sure, there’s not only one way for learning Italian.
The world is moving faster than ever and the learning methods are unlimited. We have access to all kinds of courses, mobile apps, and books to help us learn everything we need.
In terms of learning a new language, it’s even better, so let’s take a look at each option you have, and see the advantages and disadvantages.
Many would argue that the easiest way to learn the Italian language is with the help of language apps.
Mobile apps are getting more and more popular, and most of them are promising to interactively teach you how to speak a foreign language. Now, as with anything else in this world, they have some pros and cons.
These apps are amazing for building vocabulary. They provide audio and visual support, helping you associate the image with the word.
Besides that, they can be much more relaxing than a course, offering you to take your lesson from wherever you are.
Some of these apps focus a lot on grammar, but not necessarily in a good way. You won’t be able to master Italian just from using them.
The ideal app for your language learning should focus on speaking because usually, that’s the most overlooked skill and also the hardest to practice if you’re alone.
In that sense, I strongly recommend the Italian audio course “Ripeti con me!”
For a free option, check out free Italian audio lessons for total beginners and these Italian lessons on Youtube.
A popular app for beginners to learn Italian on their own is Duolingo.
Surprisingly enough, with a well-designed learning resource, you can have practice speaking even when you’re alone.
The biggest downside of these apps is that you won’t receive any feedback or explanations.
Some of them are mechanical and repetitive. Besides that, some aspects are very hard to understand without a teacher nearby.
Anyway, it’s good to keep one on hand and practice new words on your way to work.
Indeed, foreign language apps are the best way to learn Italian if you know how to use them.
The courses always seem like the best options. You are part of a group, you can ask questions, you will receive feedback, and have someone to talk to.
Of course, courses require a certain level of commitment and resources, and you can’t lose a module or work at your own pace.
In most cases, you will need to review all the information you received and make sure you are prepared for the next course.
Since the best way to learn Italian depends on many factors before you go ahead and choose a course, you must look out for these two aspects:
- Your purpose – there are courses with different specifics. Some are designed for business, others will prepare you for university, and there are the general ones. You should pay close attention to this aspect before choosing, as it needs to be useful for you.
- Method of teaching – there are many approaches when it comes to the method (see language learning vs language acquisition). An Italian teacher may work by books, another one make their own materials. This is not as important as the purpose, but if you want to be able to access the materials online, for example, you should make sure you will have the possibility.
If you have a very dynamic personality and you would rather fail and try again until you get it right, classes may not be the best choice for you.
You have to follow the rules and develop your grammar and vocabulary along with the others.
1-on-1 classes work much better than group classes. With the internet, you don’t even have to go to school. You can take an Italian lesson on Skype, for example.
If you don’t want to spend money, there’s plenty of free Italian lessons online.
For a very long time, television shows were the main way of having access to a second language. Of course, now we can choose whether we want to watch an Italian movie or not.
Why is it a great idea? Because with Italian tv and movies you get to hear native speakers and test your language skills.
If you are just beginning though, it can be very confusing and you may have a hard time understanding most words. That’s not the best way to learn the language on your own if you can barely understand a single Italian word.
The best way to use media as a way of learning Italian is to combine it with an Italian course or an app.
They were created to provide the native speakers with a form of entertainment, so most things are created for them, not for a beginner language learner.
Entertaining short Italian stories, Italian news websites, and news in slow Italian are endless sources of material.
If you’re a beginner, start with resources specifically designed for non-native speakers.
Communication skills in a foreign language are fundamental in the real world. Immersive learning can dramatically boost them.
Immersive learning of Italian would require you to travel to Italy and learn from natives. Without prior knowledge, this can be a very hard task and it can take a lot of time.
The good part is that it gives you the opportunity to learn the language from native Italian speakers, and also adapt to their lifestyle.
You would have to speak it every day and in every situation, so it can definitely overwhelm you if you’re not the adventurous kind.
For some people, this is the best option of learning Italian fast, but others would rather go ahead and find different and less expensive methods of learning.
In my opinion, this is the optimal way to learn Italian if you have time, time and you’re confident enough to go through the initial pain of not relying on your native language.
This is really the easiest way to learn Italian.
Learning by yourself with a manual
Another great option is to buy yourself an Italian textbook. You can start by learning from it, but it may be hard to achieve your purpose this way.
You wouldn’t have any kind of feedback, meaning you won’t know if what you are doing is right.
This is a method that can take a tremendous amount of time and devotion in order to see some results. The good news is that you can learn at your own pace and exactly what you want.
Make sure you don’t skip any important parts in the process.
Nowadays, textbooks are hardly the best way to learn Italian on your own.
In addition to textbooks, there are practical resources like lists of the 1000 most common Italian words or basic Italian phrases to get ready for your next trip to Italy.
You can learn basic Italian for travel before going to Italy.
Italian grammar lessons can help you figure out grammar rules, but they won’t make you fluent.
So now, what is the best method of learning Italian? That’s discussable.
Best Way To Learn Italian: is there only one?
Actually, the best way to learn Italian is to combine all the methods.
You can start attending an Italian course, where you learn the basics and use the application to start mastering the vocabulary.
Only these two combined can give you a massive boost into the language.
It also helps to use an Italian language study planner so that you don’t get lost on the way. Choose one of the study schedule templates and stick to it.
Then, you can start watching Italian movies and shows and listening to music. You will start listening to what you learned and will have a much easier time understanding what they are saying.
Ultimately, you can start planning your trip to Italy and experience the language for yourself.
You can start practicing from the moment you land in an Italian city.
From ordering your taxi to checking into your hotel and ordering your first course, it’s the perfect opportunity to start learning even more!
The Italian people are very nice, and they will completely understand, appreciate, and help you in your efforts to learn their language.
Can you Learn Italian On Your Own?
Can you learn Italian on your own? Of course!
What’s the most effective way to learn Italian at home? I’ll tell you!
Learning a new language is always an adventure, but it doesn’t have to be a hard one. In the European Union, there are over 60 million native speakers spread across the continent.
And let’s be fair here. Learning a new language is fantastic! You get to know a new culture, learn about their different habits, specifics, and even similarities.
When it comes to learning Italian on your own, Italian for beginners may seem confusing at the start.
You don’t know exactly what to do or what to expect (how long does it take to learn Italian?), and the truth is, you may need it for a certain purpose.
It’s not a hard process, but it’s a process that takes time and resources.
It all depends on you and on how much and how often you are willing to practice.
Tips For Learning Italian
As you can see, there are several options and approaches to learn Italian.
All you need to do is find the solution that works for you.
The secret formula to getting it to stick is in your mindset. If you want to learn Italian and set aside time each day to do so, you will.
Here are my tips to make your learning successful:
Find someone to practice with
Learning Italian on your own can be discouraging. In that case, go find someone to practice with.
It doesn’t have to be a native Italian speaker or an Italian teacher. It can just be someone who is as eager to learn as you are.
And chances are, that you will find someone in one of your groups. If not, you can simply join a learning group on social media and find your learning partner there.
How to learn Italian fast? With someone!
For many, a language exchange is the best way to learn Italian for free.
Put labels around your house
This is one of the tips for learning Italian that you hear often.
It may take some time to learn every word you need to use, so this can be a very easy way of memorizing the vocabulary.
Simply put sticky notes with the words on the objects you use, and see them every time you look at that object.
You will have a very easy time learning everything. This is one of the common study tips to learn foreign languages that you hear from polyglots.
Create verbs cheat sheets
In general, when you start learning the grammar of a language, you can have a very hard time understanding the verbs. In order to make your process easier, you can start making a verb cheatsheet.
This is easy to do, useful and I will give you an example. Keep these nearby whenever you practice.
Mnemonics work, too, for common Italian words and Italian numbers.
However, remember that this alone is not the best way to learn a new language.
Change your phone’s language settings
The best way to learn Italian on your own is to surround yourself with that language.
Even though this change can be confusing at first, it’s a great way of getting accustomed to the new vocabulary.
You already know everything that’s on your phone, so you will only need to start practicing the Italian words.
Watch Italian shows and movies
You can find many movies voiced in Italian. Simply put your usual English subtitles and start listening carefully to what they are saying.
Make sure you note down the unknown words so you can check them out later.
This is a good way to learn Italian for free if you already understand intermediate Italian.
Read Italian books
Reading is a great way to master any language. You will see how every word is spelled and its position in a sentence.
At first, keep a dictionary nearby, as you may find words you never have seen before, but after a while, you will be able to deduce these words based on the context.
Some people don’t dare to follow these tips for learning Italian because readings can be intimidating when you don’t understand.
Write as much as you can
Just like reading, writing is also a very important exercise.
Whether you write on paper or on a computer, it helps you learn how the words should look and it will give you the confidence needed to start talking.
If you enjoy writing, this is the best way to learn Italian and improve your range of vocabulary and grammar patterns.
By the way, you should also get enough sleep because actually, you can learn Italian while you sleep.
Sleeping is the best way to learn a new language for free when you’re lazy.
You choose the best way to learn Italian
Is it hard to learn Italian?
Learning Italian is not hard, but you need to find the method that suits your needs, especially if you want to learn it by yourself.
It’s a long process and you will only be able to master it by speaking and learning from native Italian people.
There’s always something new and very specific to discover, and at some point, you may want to take the time and visit Italy.
And not just to learn the language, but also to learn more about the people, their history and habits.
It’s a very beautiful country with a lot of things to see. From the marvelous Colosseum in Rome to the Duomo di Milano you won’t have the time to get bored.
Read about the Italian experiment of Leonardo da Vinci and learn Italian with Lucrezia Borgia.
Today is the perfect time to get yourself up and start learning. I showed you the best way to learn Italian on your own, and now it’s your turn to start getting it done!
Check out Ripeti Con Me and start speaking Italian today!
Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!