Learn Italian online: the best tools and resources to master the language

You’ve decided you want to learn Italian, but you don’t want to attend a class. Don’t worry: you can still speak the language a get to a good proficiency level even without attending face-to-face lessons! Let’s discover the best resources to learn Italian online.
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Why learn Italian online?

Several online platforms for language learning have appeared in the last few years. They offer a wide series of resources to those who want to learn a language on their own.

Learning a foreign language online is possible and has many advantages.

Think about it: in the past, learning a new language implied taking face-to-face lessons or spending hours on workbooks.

Today, thanks to the massive use of the Internet, we have access to several online learning resources (audio, video, etc.) that make language learning easier and more engaging.

That’s not all. Online language learning is flexible: you can adjust your schedule to your needs.

This means that you can decide when you want to learn and how much time you want to dedicate to studying.

And you can study from wherever you want: you only need a device and a stable Internet connection!

What’s more, when you learn Italian (or any other language) online, you can use different resources and implement them.

For example, you can watch a YouTube video and read the news in Italian. Or you can listen to Italian music and look for the meaning of the words in an online dictionary.

Let’s dig deeper into how to learn Italian with online resources.

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How to learn Italian online?

There are many ways you can learn Italian on the Internet. You can choose among different resources – it doesn’t matter which one you choose but rather your method.

In other words: the motivation and the efforts you dedicate to learning Italian can determine the results more than the tools you use.

Look for the meaning of new words with Italian dictionaries

The first, essential resource you need when you decide to learn Italian online is a reliable Italian dictionary.

A dictionary can help you find the meaning of unknown words and discover new words and expressions.

You can find different types of online dictionaries. Let’s see them.

An Italian-Italian dictionary is the best dictionary because it allows you to find the translation of the word and its explanation in Italian.

In this way, you can expand your Italian vocabulary and find synonyms for the Italian words you’re searching for.

The most authoritative Italian dictionary is probably Treccani, launched by the Treccani Institute (the first institute to create an Italian encyclopedia).

You can look for the meaning of a word, its synonyms, and antonyms. There’s also an exhaustive encyclopedia service.

If you’re not very comfortable with Italian, you can use bilingual dictionaries, which give you the translation of the word in your language.

Here are two of the most popular bilingual Italian dictionaries:

  • Word reference. It offers an Italian-English and an Italian-Spanish dictionary. You can also use the Forum section, where you can ask questions or look for clarifications.
  • Collins English-Italian Dictionary. It is straightforward to use: you just need to enter the word in the search box.

There’s another interesting tool when it comes to online dictionaries. It consists of a combination between a simple dictionary and translation tools like Google Translate.

Such tools are known as contextual dictionaries and are a great resource for discovering new vocabulary. How do they work?

You can enter one or more words or also short sentences: the server will look for results within a database of the text and show the result within the context.

A contextual dictionary could be an excellent tool for finding the meaning of Italian phrases, idioms, and words in context.

The most popular contextual dictionary is probably Reverso, which offers a wide variety of features: you can listen to the pronunciation of words, visualize the language keyboard, and look for synonyms.

Listen to Italian audio

There’s no doubt that one of the best ways to learn a new language is to listen to it!

Listening helps you improve your comprehension and pronunciation, learn in an engaging and entertaining way, and get used to hearing the language.

The Internet offers a wide variety of audio resources to learn Italian: you just need to choose the one that works for you.

Learning Italian with podcasts is useful to understand how Italians use words and expressions in their daily life.

You also improve your listening comprehension by listening to a native Italian speaker.

Most often, the speaker talks at his natural speed, and that’s a great way to push your limit forward and increase your understanding of spoken Italian.

Learn more about the best podcasts to learn Italian.

You can also learn Italian with audio lessons. These lessons consist of conversations or short stories based on real-life situations.

In general, each conversation introduces you to new vocabulary and grammar patterns. In this way, you’ll learn more smoother than you’d do with a textbook.

Conversations and short stories are ideal for beginners who want to approach the Italian language, but advanced learners can get some benefits too by learning more complex words and expressions.

Often, these dialogues come with an Italian transcript and an English translation. In this way, you can read the story aloud, underline the words you don’t understand, and get the global meaning of the story.

Learn more about Italian conversations.

There are many other ways to learn Italian with audio resources – one of the funniest and most entertaining is listening to Italian music.

Music evokes emotions, and the human brain is programmed to memorize and react to emotions.

When you listen to a beautiful Italian song, the words and expressions will stick in your mind easier than if you study in a textbook.

Learn more about Italian songs.

Read the news in Italian

Intermediate and advanced learners can sharpen their Italian skills by reading the news in Italian.

Not only does it help you expand your vocabulary, but it also keeps you informed about Italian culture and society.

What’s more, the news is published every day: this means that you’ll never run out of content, and you can continually have fresh resources to learn Italian.

There’s a huge choice of websites where you can read the news in Italian. Some of the most popular are:

  • Ansa (an acronym for Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata): the leading wire service in Italy.
  • Internazionale: a weekly magazine that collects articles from newspapers and magazines all over the world.
  • EuroNews Italy: a collection of news about politics, society, culture, and sport.
  • Il Sole 24 Ore: one of the most authoritative Italian newspapers for business news.
  • Gazzetta dello Sport: the most popular Italian sports newspaper.

Learn Italian online with Italian lessons

Learning Italian online doesn’t mean learning alone – there’s no doubt that learning on your own is good, but sometimes it is not enough.

Many websites offer online Italian lessons: it can help you if you feel you’d need to integrate the material you use with a course.

There are different options available: among them, you can take an Italian course or find an Italian tutor.

In the first case, you get access to Italian lessons. In general, the course is divided into modules and programs, and each lesson focuses on a different topic.

All you need to do is sign up for the course (and pay the subscription fee if it’s required), choose your level, and start learning.

In the second case, you can schedule a set of online lessons with an Italian teacher.

The lessons often are on Skype, Zoom, or similar platforms – which means you can be flexible about the time and location of the class.

You can choose how many lessons you want to attend, but it would be better to have at least one-hour lesson per week.

The main difference between online classes and face-to-face lessons is that in an online class you’re alone with the teacher.

This means that you can be constantly followed and monitored, and you will receive personal feedback about your progress and your mistakes.

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Remember to check out this post about Italian language classes prices.

how to learn italian online

The best Italian courses to learn Italian online

A well-structured online course should make you speak Italian from day one.

So, whether you choose a Skype lesson with a native speaker or an audio lesson, be sure to pick a method that increases your speaking skills at a rapid pace.

After all, many people who study a foreign language want to learn how to speak and communicate in that language.

Italki

Italki is the largest platform that connects students with language tutors. It acts as a database of teachers where you can find the one that suits your needs.

The platform is easy to use and offers various services, including a complete search panel that allows you to choose the tutors according to their hourly price, their country of origin, the languages they speak, and their availability.

Italki (and other similar platforms) could be a good option to find Italian tutors.

Check out this review of Italki to learn more about the platform.

Ripeti con me!

Ripeti con me! is an online course focused to make you think and speak in Italian.

The course is structured in audio lessons; each lesson covers a different grammar pattern and introduces new vocabulary.

The lessons are designed to make you speak: you listen to a native Italian speaker and repeat what he says.

In this way, you learn the correct pronunciation of each word and learn useful vocabulary.

What’s more, by repeating what you hear, you will naturally retain new words and sentences.

In a little time, you will improve your Italian pronunciation and think naturally in Italian.

Learn more about Ripeti con me! in this review.

Learning Italian online: final thoughts

Learning Italian online takes an adequate amount of commitment.

You need to find reliable resources and choose a proper method.

Otherwise, your progress will be slow and inconstant, and you risk giving up learning.

Plan your goals and targets before choosing a method: what do you want to learn? On which aspects of language learning do you want to focus?

Once you’re clear about your goals, you can find the most suitable resources.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes: it’s inevitable. But if you’re aware of them, it will be easier to correct your flaws.

A language tutor can help you in this aspect as he can point out your mistakes and give you advice about how to improve.

Last but not least, learning Italian online can be entertaining and also funny if you choose the proper resources.

Be sure to make the learning process engaging: when you’re having fun, learning becomes much easier!

Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!

Claudia

100% Italian. Passionate about traveling and languages.

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