How long does it take to learn Italian if you know Spanish?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
The length of time it takes you to learn a new language depends on a variety of factors, including your age and learning style.
In general, adults tend to learn a foreign language more slowly than children. If you have a daily time scheduled to learn, you will have a better chance of sticking to it and reaching your goals.
You may find that it takes you over a year to become fluent in the Italian language.
It’s important not to get discouraged if you don’t see quick results. Remember that learning a new foreign language is a long-term investment.
Learning a new language can also be a challenging mental exercise and a great way to keep your brain healthy and active. The more active your brain is, the better chance it has of staying young and fit.
The difficulties of learning Italian when you know Spanish
The first thing you will notice when you start learning Italian is that it’s not your native language.
This means that you will have to work a lot harder to understand vocabulary and grammar rules. This can be frustrating, especially when you already know another language.
The main difficulty here comes from the fact that you already know Spanish (both romance languages).
Because you have another language in your brain, you can easily confuse the two. This is especially true when it comes to grammar rules.
You may be so used to Spanish sentence structure that you just assume it’s the same in the Italian language. If you are not careful, you can fall into a dangerous spiral of confusion.
You might be able to guess the meaning of words based on their Spanish equivalents, but you won’t truly understand them unless you understand the grammar rules.
Advantages of knowing Spanish when learning Italian
If you are an English speaker learning Italian, you will likely find that your translation skills are very useful in more than one situation.
If two speakers are speaking too quickly for you to keep up, you can use your translation skills to slow them down and help you understand what they are saying.
As mentioned above, you may also find that you can guess the meaning of Italian words based on their Spanish equivalents, making it easier to quickly understand new information.
If you are a beginner at Italian who knows Spanish at an advanced level, you will also be ahead of the curve when it comes to grammar rules.
Spanish and Italian are very similar in terms of grammar, so you will be able to apply many of the rules you already know. One way doing so is by joining a community forum where you can practice with other students, ask questions and solve doubts.
Learning Italian for Spanish speakers offers several advantages, including:
Italian and Spanish share many phonological similarities, making it easier for Spanish speakers to learn Italian.
This shared linguistic background makes it simpler for Spanish speakers to pronounce Italian words correctly, understand Italian speakers, and even guess the meaning of new words based on their Spanish equivalents.
Italian and Spanish share a lot of grammatical rules and structures. Spanish speakers may find it easier to learn Italian grammar than speakers of other languages.
Spanish speakers can often use their knowledge of Spanish grammar to understand the grammar of Italian, making the language-learning process more efficient.
Learning Italian enables Spanish speakers to communicate with native Italian speakers more effectively.
Moreover, communicating in Italian and Spanish can be valuable in various professional settings.
Enhanced cultural appreciation
Learning Italian allows Spanish speakers to appreciate Italian culture better, including literature, music, and film.
Spanish speakers may also be able to gain a deeper understanding of the connections between Spanish and Italian culture.
Italy is home to many global companies, and being able to speak Italian can open up career opportunities in fields such as tourism, business, and education.
Moreover, speaking Spanish and Italian can be an advantage in jobs requiring interaction with Spanish-speaking and Italian-speaking clients or colleagues.
How long does it take to learn Italian for a Spanish speaker?
Spanish and Italian share many phonological similarities, making it simple for someone who speaks Spanish to speak Italian.
Spanish speakers can frequently understand a good amount of Italian (and Portuguese, for that matter), usually in written form but also frequently in spoken form, even without any prior formal training.
If you’re a Spanish speaker give yourself a solid 6 to 9 months of hours of study to fully understand, assimilate, develop fluency in the Italian language, and speak like native speakers.
Bridging the Romance languages with ease
Learning a new language is always challenging, no matter how many similar words you already know or if you’re a complete beginner.
Every new word you encounter adds another layer of complexity to your vocabulary. The difficulty level often comes down to the grammar rather than just the words themselves, which makes things even trickier for Italian language learners.
Knowing two languages is challenging, but it can be done. You just have to be ready to put in the effort, have strong motivation and make sure you enjoy the process.
If you’re a native English speaker find out how long does it take to learn Italian if you speak English. What if you speak French? How long does it take?
Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!