Italian for beginners: top 8 Pains of learning + solutions

stefano lodola italian teacher
Italian language tutor, course author. MEng, MBA. Member of the International Association of Hyperpolyglots (HYPIA). After learning 12 languages, I can tell you that we all master languages by listening and mimicking. I couldn’t find an app to recommend to my students, so I made my own one. With my method, you’ll be speaking Italian from Lesson 1.
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Embark on the Italian language journey with ease! Discover why learning Italian might feel tough and get practical tips to overcome common struggles, making the process enjoyable and effective. 🇮🇹✨

  • Embrace Comprehensible Input: Forget about cramming grammar rules. Dive into material you can mostly understand and let your brain naturally absorb the language like a sponge. 🧠💦
  • Speak Up, Even If It’s Just to Yourself: Shake off the embarrassment and chat away in front of the mirror. Every spoken word is a step towards fluency. 🗣️🔍
  • Be Smart with Resources: Don’t let time and money drain you. Use the best apps and tools to learn efficiently, even during your commute. 🚗💡
  • Make Mistakes Proudly: Messing up is part of the process. Laugh at the blunders and learn from them. They’re proof you’re trying! 😄📚
  • Age Is Just a Number: It’s never too late to learn. Older learners bring life experience to the table, which can be a secret weapon. 🕒🛡️
  • Fit Learning into Your Life: Busy schedule? Craft a study plan that works for you. Consistency trumps cramming any day. 📅👌
  • Travel Not Required: You don’t need to jet off to Italy to learn. Immerse yourself in the language right where you are. 🌍📚
  • Memory Fears? Keep Going: The more you use Italian, the stickier it gets. And if you do forget? The joy of relearning is a pleasure of its own. 🧠🔄
  • Find Joy in the Process: Mix it up with fun materials. Watch Italian movies, listen to music, and laugh at the quirks of the language. 🎥🎶

Does it have to be so hard to learn Italian?

It takes a whole life to master our mother tongue. Fortunately, we always have the chance to learn new things and words, correct our mistakes, and improve our speech.

All the more with Italian for beginners!

With a foreign language, things are even harder and it’s all right.

learning italian for beginners

However, there are other factors involved as well:

  • It could be something you are doing: you lack motivation or time, you fail in making it a priority, you can’t make enough time, or you don’t try hard enough to find the right materials.
  • Your timing might not be the best: the older you get, the harder it is to master a foreign language. Kids have a sponge-like mind and, until puberty, their procedural memory is considerably more active – tasks related to unconscious skills, like dancing, riding a bike, or understanding subtle language rules, are much easier for them. Adults, on the other hand, are less good at implicit learning, so it’s harder for them.
  • You haven’t set your standards right: mastering a second language is complex. What are you interested in? Speaking, reading, listening, or writing? It’s hard to achieve all of them at once. And how about the proficiency levels?
  • You might have picked the most difficult language: you might not know it yet, but different languages belong to different difficulty categories, depending on how much learning time and effort they require.

Anyway, did you know there are ways to enhance your brainpower?

I can recommend the best nootropics for studying languages.

They won’t do magic, of course, but they’ll help your brain stay more focused.

Pains and pleasures of learning a foreign language

The pains of learning a new language

Here’s a list of troubles that language learners commonly experience during their studies:

  1. I don’t know how to study a language!
  2. I’m embarrassed because I can’t speak!
  3. I’m frustrated because I’m wasting time and money!
  4. I’m nervous because I make mistakes!
  5. I fear that it’s too late to start!
  6. I regret that I don’t have time!
  7. I feel discouraged because I can’t travel/ live in___!
  8. I fear that I’ll forget it after I quit studying!

As you can see, we’ve highlighted all of the negative emotions learning a new language might trigger.

If you ever found yourself saying or thinking one of the above sentences, let us tell you it’s totally fine and understandable because you’re starting a new challenge, and you’re jumping into a new adventure.

However, there are solutions to these “problems”. So, don’t give up!

In the next sections, for each pain, you’ll find a video with further information.

Why is it so hard to learn a foreign language

#1 I don’t know how to study a language!

This is the fundamental pain of learning Italian for beginners: “I don’t know how to do that!”

We all study languages at school but usually don’t use the best method to study them.

In fact, many don’t know how to study languages effectively.

Yeah, what’s the best way to learn Italian on your own?

Some people even believe that you can learn a language while you sleep.

Actually, the point is not how to study but how to learn Italian.

That’s the same difference between treating a disease and curing it.

You want to cure it.

You want to learn that language.

If you want to know how language learning works, embrace the concept of comprehensible input and spaced repetition.

#1 pain of learning a new language: I don’t know how to study a language!

#2 I’m embarrassed because I can’t speak!

In the case of Italian for beginners who already understand a bit, there’s a unbalance in skills.

If you’re a beginner, speaking Italian can be embarrassing because you might be able to understand, but you have the feeling you cannot speak.

Well, that’s common and it’s usually not your fault but it’s due to your study method.

Also, you’re too modest! You probably know more than you think.

If you don’t believe us, try talking to yourself in Italian in front of the mirror and you’ll see!

You only live once! So you might as well try to practice every time you have the opportunity to do so.

#2 pain of learning a new language: I’m embarrassed because I can’t speak!

#3 I’m frustrated because I’m wasting time and money!

It takes time and money to learn a language, as with any other skill.

Indeed, it takes more to master Italian for beginners than for speakers at an intermediate level.

However, it shouldn’t take too much time or too much money.

If you choose the best app to learn Italian, you’ll make progress much faster.

If you find it hard to make time to study, think about the dead time in your schedule, for example commuting time.

You can actually learn Italian in the car with the right tools.

#3 pain of learning a new language: I’m frustrated because I’m wasting time and money!

#4 I’m nervous because I make mistakes!

Italian for beginners who don’t want to leave their comfort zone can be frightening!

Yes, we are all nervous because we make mistakes all the time.

Well, put up with it. That’s the way we learn.

In other words, you should make mistakes as a sign that you are learning.

It’s totally normal to make mistakes and if you set realistic expectations you will not be frustrated.

Diversifying your study material can help. For example, you could learn Italian idioms, Italian sayings, Italian proverbs, Italian quotes, or even Italian swear words, just for a laugh.

Participating in a forum specifically made for students can be useful too. Why? Because you will be practicing skills while putting to the test what you’ve learned so far.

Additionally, you can meet students just like you and form a study group where mistakes are encouraged as a way for learning.

#5 I fear that it’s too late to start!

In the case of Italian for beginners in adult age, it might be too late to sound like a native.

Well on the other side it’s never too late to start and learn a language at a decent level.

It might take a bit longer if you’re older but you can certainly make it.

You can reach a relatively high level in a relatively short time and communicate correctly and effectively.

So it’s never too late to start learning Italian for beginners.

#5 pain of learning a new language: I fear that it’s too late to start!

#6 I regret that I don’t have time!

You might regret that you don’t have enough time.

However, it’s still possible to master Italian for beginners with a busy life.

If you follow a study plan you know where you’re supposed to do and how well you’re doing and you will not be frustrated.

Use this language learning schedule maker to find which plan works best for you.

#6 pain of learning a new language: I regret that I don’t have time!

#7 I feel discouraged because I can’t travel/live in _____!

Many regret that they cannot live or travel to the countries where they speak the language they’re learning.

Well, it certainly helps to be on the spot and communicate with locals, but that’s not necessarily to improve Italian for beginners.

After all, basic Italian for travel like giving directions is needed only if you visit Italy.

Read the inspiring story of Jonty Yamisha, who learned the Kabardian dialect of the Circassian language, his ethnic language, without ever going to any country where that language is spoken.

He even created his own method to learn languages.

#7 pain of learning a new language: I feel discouraged because I can’t travel / live in _____!

#8 I fear that I’ll forget it after I quit studying!

If you don’t speak a language for a while your level will probably drop, but you never completely forget.

Free Guide
How to Learn Languages Fast

The good news is that it’s more difficult to forget something that you learned and used for a long time.

In other words, it’s easier to forget Italian for beginners than for advanced speakers.

That’s why Italian for beginners is only the first step to building a solid memory.

After all, even if you were to forget everything, you would still enjoy the process, right?

#8 pain of learning a new language: I fear that I

What’s your pain?

Did you find your pain in learning Italian for beginners on this list?

Naturally, you cannot – or should not – just say that you weren’t born for this and give up. It could be harder for you, but not impossible.

And there are definitely some things you can try to smooth your way a little bit. Here is what you need to do:

Instead of learning chaotically, come up with a strategy, like starting from the 1000 most common Italian words.

It also helps to find amusing study material like idioms or hand gestures.

Try to put your practice in writing on a daily basis: there is no secret that handwriting is one of the most effective ways to memorize.

Don’t take the fun out of your learning process: if you just read grammar all day long and listen to plain, school-like conversations, there’s no wonder you are getting bored.

italian for beginners pain of learning

Have you thought about watching a movie or the news in Italian, without the subtitles? Or listening to music in that foreign language?

Also, there are lots of Italian-for-beginner courses on the Internet. If you’re looking for something free, you can find free Italian courses pretty easily too.

Another option is to look for good Italian books for beginners or Italian podcasts for beginners.

In any case, you have lots of options to learn Italian, so we highly encourage you not to give up!

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