In this post, you’ll find information about how to learn Italian for free.
We’ll talk about free Italian audio and video lessons. We’ll teach you the Italian alphabet, how to pronounce words, and how to conjugate verbs.
We’ll also give you some tips on writing in Italian.
Let’s get started!
5 ways to learn Italian for free
You can learn Italian with our free grammar lessons. There are lots of examples and straightforward explanations.
You could also check out our blog posts about Italian vocabulary, culture, and traditions.
You could join a book club or a language exchange and try to find new Italian friends. This way you’ll get to practice speaking and listening a lot!
Read more about 5 ways to learn Italian for free.
Free Italian lesson
We’ll now give you a free Italian lesson.
Let’s start with some greetings!
The most popular hello in Italian is ciao. Amazingly, it doesn’t just mean “hello”, but also “goodbye” and can be used at any time.
Buongiorno means “good morning” or “good day”. Buon pomeriggio means good afternoon to someone, but it’s pretty formal. Buona sera can be used as a good evening greeting.
Ci vediamo means “see you around”.
Here are the numbers from one to ten: uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque, sei, sette, otto, nove, dieci.
Have a look at this video to listen to the pronunciation:
These are the days of the week:
- Monday – lunedì
- Tuesday – martedì
- Wednesday – mercoledì
- Thursday – giovedì
- Friday – venerdì
- Saturday – sabato
- Sunday – domenica
Check out our free Italian lessons.
Free Italian audio lessons to learn fast
You probably agree with us that listening to the news in Italian is definitely a great option, but it’s too difficult for beginners.
That’s why you should start with easy Italian audio lessons.
Just so you know, a well-structured Italian language audio course should build your speaking confidence at a rapid pace; get you used to a native voice as well as challenge you throughout.
Here, we’re giving you a preview of easy Italian language lessons.
This material is useful only if you repeat what you hear. That’s how you make your learning experience active.
In this audio, you’ll learn how to say “I am…” in Italian!
More precisely, you’ll hear the following dialogue:
Are you Italian?
No, I’m from the U.S.
No, sono americano.
What’s your name?
Come ti chiami?
Listen and repeat file A:
Learn how to say “I have…” in Italian!
Here’s the dialogue you’ll hear:
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Hai fratelli o sorelle?
Yes, I have a brother.
Sì, ho un fratello.
Do you have the keys to the house?
Hai le chiavi di casa?
Listen and repeat file A:
Learn more with free audio lessons to learn fast.
30 friendly Italian video lessons for beginners: Dolce Vita!
Watching Italian video lessons on Youtube is an excellent way to get used to listening to native speakers from day 1.
It is a great way to practice listening on your own. Many of these videos come with captions, supporting text, or visual aids to help you understand.
We recommend listening to Dolce Vita, a small but popular channel made by Luca and Marina.
You’ll find a playlist with 30 Italian video lessons for total beginners.
The hosts will teach you common words and phrases, and show you how they’re used in real-life situations.
This playlist covers the very basics of the Italian language.
However, passively watching a 7-minute Italian video lesson won’t make you fluent.
That’s why I recommend the Italian audio course Ripeti Con Me to complement the video lessons.
Read more about 30 friendly Italian video lessons.
The Italian alphabet
The Italian alphabet is a Latin-based alphabet and it consists of:
- 5 vowels: A – E – I – O – U
- 16 Italian consonants: B – C – D – F – G – H – L – M – N – P – Q – R – S – T – V – Z
- 5 foreign consonants: J – K – W – X – Y – Z
All of these letters are also found in the English alphabet, but their Italian pronunciation is not the same!
Let’s have a look at how to pronounce the Italian alphabet:
A Aah (as in “father”, just more open)
E Eh (as in “end”, a bit closer)
G Gee (as in “jeep”)
H Ah-kka (it’s a silent letter)
N Enne / Eh-nneh
O Oh (wide “o” as in “front”)
R Eh-rreh (you have to roll your “r”!)
U Oo (as in “moon”)
V Vee or Voo
Learn more about the Italian alphabet.
Italian pronunciation guide
Let’s now talk about the pronunciation of vowels and consonants.
Italian vowels are short, clear-cut.
It should be noted that a, i, and u are always pronounced the same way; e and o, on the other hand, have an open and a closed sound that may vary from one part of Italy to the other.
Most Italian consonants are similar in pronunciation to their English counterparts; the consonants c and g are the only exceptions because they vary depending on the letters that follow them.
In Italian, double consonants are pronounced much more forcefully than single consonants.
Here’s a video about Italian sounds in Italian:
Check out our blog post with a detailed Italian pronunciation guide.
Italian verb conjugation made easy: the ultimate guide
The verb conjugation is a process of changing a verb in some way to indicate different meanings such as the person or number of people performing an action.
In simplest terms, conjugation is when you turn a verb like “run” into “ran” or “running” or “will run”—depending on what it is exactly you mean.
In Italian, this is done by changing the ending of the verb.
In practice, this means that verbs like “cook” or “talk” will have different endings depending on who is performing the action.
Verb conjugations are relatively limited in English.
However, in Italian, they’re pretty obvious and it’s impossible to overlook them.
In the Italian language, verbs can be grouped into three distinct classes based on their endings:
- -are: parlare (talk), entrare (enter) and nuotare (swim)
- -ere: scrivere (write), leggere (read) and vedere (see)
- -ire: costruire (build), sentire (follow) and colpire (hit)
Read more about Italian verb conjugation.
Italian writing styles and examples to write like a native
Writing is one of the main skills you’ll develop in your Italian learning process.
This is why it’s important to have templates or guides to use as examples.
When we write a piece of text, we have to make sure we know whether we can use an informal style or we have to be formal.
WhatsApp messages, for example, tend to be written in an informal way.
There are some abbreviations you might find handy, like cmq (comunque – anyway), grz (grazie – thanks), qlcs (qualcosa – something), tvb (ti voglio bene – love you), and xò (però – but).
They are mainly used by teenagers but if you’re in a hurry you can use them!
Emails can be formal or informal. If you’re writing a formal email, you have to use the polite “you”: Lei, and its corresponding verb conjugation.
For instance, instead of asking “come stai?” (How are you? – informal), you have to ask “come sta?” (How are you? – formal).
On the other hand, essays have to be written in a formal style.
You can use some of the following words: Prima di tutto/ Innanzitutto (first of all); in conclusione (to conclude); ad esempio (for example); invece (instead); oppure/ altrimenti (otherwise).
Read more about Italian writing styles.
How to write an email in Italian in 4 simple steps
Writing an email requires a specific structure.
You have to organize it into short paragraphs and use the right opening and closing formulas.
If you’re addressing a friend you can start with Caro/Cara (Dear) or a simple Ciao (Hi).
You could also write Buongiorno (good morning/afternoon) or Buonasera (Good evening).
If you do not know the person you’re writing to, you can use one of the following adjectives: Gentile (literally, “nice”, but it’s used like a formal “dear”), Egregio / Egregia (this is a very formal form).
These adjectives will be followed by the title of the person you are addressing or their surname preceded by the abbreviation Sig. (Signore – Mr.) or Sig.ra (Signora – Mrs.)
You should introduce yourself, by saying “Sono (+ name)” (I’m…) or “Mi chiamo (+ name)” (My name is…).
Then you can thank them for something with a grazie (thanks) or apologize for something with scusa (sorry – informal) or scusi (sorry – formal).
Then you would explain the reason why you’re writing in more detail. This would be the main body.
To end the email, you can say Distinti Saluti, Cordiali Saluti, or Cordialmente, which stand for the English “sincerely” or “regards”.
If it’s a rather informal email, you can end with Un abbraccio (A hug) or A presto (See you/Speak soon).
And don’t forget your name!
Read how to write an email in Italian in 4 simple steps in more detail.
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