Are you using Italian to talk to your friend? Or, do you have an Italian business client?
No matter what your reason is, there are benefits as to why you should learn Italian.
What is the benefit of learning a foreign language?
There’s not just one benefit of learning a foreign language. There are many!
Learning a foreign language is always an excellent idea.
It’s all about learning a new skill and discovering a whole new world with new structures and ways of thinking.
Learning a new language makes you see the world through a different lens.
It even makes you more employable, because you have more chances to get a job.
Also, your brain will be grateful when you get older because when you speak a foreign language you do a huge effort to exercise your memory.
Let’s now focus on the benefits of learning Italian.
What is the benefit of learning Italian?
As we already mentioned, there are many benefits when it comes to learning Italian.
Let’s focus on the main one: communicating with Italians and learning about their culture.
One of the most obvious benefits is that you’ll be able to communicate with Italian speakers.
You’ll have lots of people to practice Italian with because Italian is spoken by around 85 million.
By connecting and communicating with Italians in their native language, you’ll be able to grasp the subtilities of the Italian culture, which is amazing!
Just think of Italy’s history, art, music, literature, architecture, landscapes, food, wine…
You’ll be able to learn much more about all of that if you do it in Italian.
Most Italians do not speak English, so if you move to Italy or have Italian friends, you will definitely get the chance to practice Italian.
Other benefits of learning Italian
Another great benefit of learning Italian is that it’ll be easier to learn other Romance languages, such as Spanish, French, Catalan, and Portuguese.
This is because they are similar in terms of sentence structure, grammar, and vocabulary. In fact, they all share the same ancestor: Latin.
You’ll appreciate the Italian culture much better. For example, if you like opera, you will be able to understand the world’s most famous operas in their native language.
If you enjoy reading, you’ll be able to read novels and poetry directly in Italian.
Reading a book in the original language is always much better than reading it translated.
You’ll be able to enjoy Italian music, poetry, and art without the need for a translator.
Also, Italy is the nation with the most UNESCO Heritage sites, so it is a great tourist destination!
Last, but not least, Italian is a very phonetic language, which means every word is pronounced exactly how it is written. So, you won’t find it hard to pronounce Italian if you just learn some simple rules.
If you want to give it a try, check out our audio course.
If you decide to learn Italian, you’ll definitely agree on the benefits we just mentioned.
Why learn Italian? Because it’s beautiful!
Why learn Italian?
Or, since we all learn eagerly something we like, why should you like Italian?
If I were to pick one top reason to learn Italian, it would be because it’s beautiful.
If you ask anyone to name the most beautiful language in the world, quite a few would answer “Italian”.
For hundreds of years, what is now Italy was divided into regional kingdoms and lacked a cohesive government with an official, administrative tongue.
As a result, Italian was fashioned by the people who needed it to express themselves creatively. Writers and poets shaped their style and vocabulary over centuries, with beauty and sound as some of their primary considerations.
But each region had its own dialect: Piedmontese, Romanesco, Napoletano, Siciliano, Lombardo, to name a few. But ultimately, it was Tuscan that prevailed.
Perhaps this is no coincidence. Tuscany, with its rolling hills, vineyards, and river valleys is one of Italy’s most inspiring regions.
It gave birth to the Renaissance and remains an epicenter of language, art, fashion, and tourism.
The peculiarity of the Italian language lies in its musicality, its melodic and gentle being.
If you listen to Italian music to learn this beautiful language, choose the right Italian songs because some lyrics aren’t exactly what you’d say in real life.
Italian idioms, Italian sayings, Italian proverbs, and Italian quotes make excellent study material because of the emotional reaction they generate.
By the way, even Italian swear words sound beautiful!
Even commuting time becomes pleasant if you learn Italian in the car.
Throughout the world, Italian is renowned as one of the most loved languages there is.
Why learn Italian? Several authors in history have celebrated it:
(Italian is) the best composed language in terms of fluency and smoothness — James Howell, historian
I’m really in love with this beautiful language, the most beautiful in the world. I just need to open my mouth and unintentionally become the source of all the harmony of this celestial idolatry. Yes, dear sir, for me there is no doubt that angels in the sky speak Italian. — “Confessions by Felix Krull”, by Thomas Mann, writer
No European language has just as noble ancestries (…) no language was ever more perfectly ordained to express human emotions — “Eat, Pray, Love”, by Elizabeth Gilbert, writer
Reasons to learn Italian
- Being able to communicate with Italians in his or her language is an incredible gift.
Knowing the language makes you a local no matter where you are, opening up your world literally and figuratively. You will be shaped by communities. You will be humbled by the kindness of strangers. Why learn Italian? You will build lifelong friendships.
- Language skills can be a significant competitive advantage that sets you apart from your monolingual peers.
Employers are seeking professionals who can communicate seamlessly with customers in new and expanding overseas markets, as well as serve and sell to a large foreign-born population here at home. So, why learn Italian? Whatever your career aspiration—with language skills added to the mix, you’re ahead of the crowd!
- The many cognitive benefits of learning languages are undeniable.
People who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask, and better listening skills.
If that weren’t enough, as we age, being bilingual or multilingual also helps to stave off mental aging and cognitive decline.
- Language is the most direct connection to other cultures.
Being able to communicate in another language exposes us to and fosters an appreciation for the traditions, religions, arts, and history of the people associated with that language.
Greater understanding, in turn, promotes greater tolerance, empathy, and acceptance of others. News in Italian is also a valuable insight.
- Any language learner can attest to making his or her share of mistakes while discovering a new language—often in front of an audience.
It’s a necessary part of the learning process! Learning a language means putting yourself out there and moving out of your comfort zone.
The upside is the amazing sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when conversing with someone in their native language.
- Studies show that decisions made in your second language are more reason-driven than those made in your native language.
Contrary to popular assumptions, when we deliberate in a second or third language, we actually distance ourselves from the emotional responses and biases deeply associated with our mother tongue. The result? Systematic and clear-headed decisions based on just the facts.
So, why learn Italian? Because pleasures outweigh pains!
Why learn Italian? Travel, work, or…?
There’s plenty of reasons to learn Italian:
- Wanting to travel to Italy is the #1 reason people choose to learn Italian.
Why learn Italian? From the rolling hills of Tuscany, to the canals of Venice, to the astoundingly gorgeous beaches of Cinque Terre, Italy is full of intoxicatingly gorgeous landscapes. It abounds with fascinating history, great museums, delicious food, and so much more.
Basic Italian for travel includes giving directions, ordering at the restaurant, etc.
- Approximately 63 million people around the world speak Italian as their first language.
It’s ranked as the 20th most-spoken language in the world. That’s pretty high on the list when you consider that there are around 6,500 different languages spoken in the world today.
Italian is not only the official language of Italy – but it’s also one of the official languages of Switzerland and parts of Croatia and Slovenia.
Why learn Italian? There are Italian speakers living in almost every corner of the world, from Canada to Venezuela to the Philippines.
- Why learn Italian? Food!
My favorite of all the reasons to learn Italian!
Italians are the masters of pesto, carbonara, ravioli, and risotto. Italy is also home to fabulous desserts like gelato, tiramisu, zeppole, and cannoli.
It’s a country known for its excellent wine and one-of-a-kind coffee tradition. It’s no surprise that many passionate foodies decide to learn Italian.
Some of them want to learn to spin pizza dough alongside the best of the best in Naples. Others just want to better understand the etymology behind their favorite dishes.
- Many opera singers and opera aficionados choose to learn Italian.
During the Renaissance, Italy was the birthplace of opera. Italian is a lilting language that lends itself well to musicality.
Many of the most well-known operatic works were composed in Italian. Opera lovers are sure to recognize many Italian names, such as Puccini, Verdi, Rossini, and Bellini.
Even Mozart, who was Austrian, wrote many of his operas in Italian.
So, why learn Italian? If you’re a singer, learning Italian will help you get your pronunciation just right when you perform Nessun Dorma or O Mio Bambino Caro.
If you’re more comfortable in the audience, you can listen to the music and understand the stories without using those pesky, distracting subtitles.
Indeed, opera and classical music are among the top reasons to learn Italian.
Top reasons to learn Italian: art, literature
For high culture, these are the best reasons to learn Italian:
- Italian is the best language for art-lovers to learn
It’s invaluable in the modern art world and can also help you in studying art history. Imagine being able to read Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks without the help of a translator.
Why learn Italian? To understand the titles of great paintings like Boticelli’s Primavera (Springtime) as you make your way through museums, without pausing to consult a guide.
You can communicate easily when you visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or the Borghese Gallery in Rome.
Even in the best translations, something can be lost. If you value the power of words and storytelling, you understand how valuable it can be to read a text in its original version.
Why learn Italian? It will unlock the doors to many incredible works of literature.
You can read classic gems like Dante’s Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy) and modern works like Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili (Invisible Cities), Umberto Eco’s Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose).
Best reasons to learn Italian: fashion, history
- If you’re interested in working in the fashion industry, Milan is the place to be.
Did you know that many people consider Italy the fashion capital of the world? You’ll find many up-and-coming fashion houses there, as well as classics like Armani, Versace, and Valentino.
Why learn Italian? Whether you want to work as a designer, a buyer, an art director, or even a model, speaking Italian can be hugely beneficial for your career in fashion.
- Are you a history buff? In this case, Italian is right up your street.
Whether you’re researching for academic purposes or just for fun, understanding Italian will allow you to understand primary resources from many fascinating eras throughout history.
Why learn Italian? What if you could read the correspondence of the Medici bankers of Florence from the 15th century? With a language as old and storied as Italian, the possibilities for a curious history buff are endless.
Why learn Italian instead of French or Spanish
Italian, French, and Spanish are Romance languages. Why learn Italian instead of French or Spanish?
What about the audience? If you are concerned with using your new language to reach a greater worldwide audience or market, then by far you will find Spanish wins with more than 400 million native speakers.
Italy has more than 60 million native speakers. If you live in Europe, then Italian is more common than Spanish. In the Americas, Spanish is widespread and useful.
So which is the easiest language to learn? According to the US Foreign Service, both Spanish and Italian are ‘Category I’ languages.
These languages would require about half a year of intensive study (about 25 hours a week) for monolingual English speakers.
Why learn Italian? If you learn one language, it will be easy to learn the other. You’ll find that Italian and Spanish share about 80 percent of the same vocabulary.
The FSI ranks Italian and French in the same difficulty for an English learner. However, French has greater lexical similarity (i.e. more shared words and roots) with English than Italian does.
I would also imagine that Italian phonology (i.e. pronunciation) is likely to be easier to learn except there is no real way to quantify it.
One last consideration is that French is the 2nd most studied foreign language after English and should have more learning resources and potential speaking partners than Italian.
Don’t study Italian for exams
According to the Ministero degli Esteri (Italian Foreign Affairs), there are four officials Italian certifications approved CLIQ (Certificato di Lingua Italiana di Qualità): CILS, CELI, PLIDA and .IT ROMA TRE.
They could be useful if you learn Italian for further studies in Italy or to work with Italian partners.
So, why learn Italian? For exams? No, please!
Learning Italian should be fun, right?
There are reasons to learn Italia that can motivate you better than any exam.
So, think of passing an exam as a consequence of your progress, not the purpose of your studies.
What are your goals?
Did you find one or more reasons to learn Italian?
Now that you answered the question “Why learn Italian?”, it’s time to define your goals.
Learning a language is fun per se, but you certainly want to do something with it.
You certainly have a purpose to learn a language! To learn about a specific subject matter? To speak with someone?
Now that you answered the question “why learn Italian?”, it’s time to define your goals! Make them SMART:
- Specific (or Significant)
- Measurable (or Meaningful)
- Attainable (or Action-Oriented)
- Relevant (or Rewarding)
- Time-bound (or Trackable)
For example, instead of having “to speak with locals in Italy” as a reason to learn Italian, it’s more powerful to use “to be able to have daily conversations with locals during my next trip to Italy in summer” as a goal.
- Name at least 3 things that you’ll be able to do if you speak Italian and now you can’t do.
- What are your SMART goals?
- Now you know what you want! Your goals reflect your interests and hint at which areas you should cover during your studies.
- These are your milestones on your way to fluency.
- Draft a study plan based on your level and needs.
Should I study Italian?
You’re the only one who can answer this question. We’ll just be like a therapist and will help you decide.
Since a therapist would usually start with a question, here’s our first question:
- Do you want to study Italian?
Think about it and concentrate on what YOU want to do.
Learning a foreign language is challenging but also very enriching.
- If you don’t want to study Italian, why were you wondering whether you should study Italian?
If your boss asked you to do so because they want you to be able to communicate with potential clients, you should consider finding the motivation to learn Italian.
At the end of the day, your job is important in your life, so you shouldn’t neglect it.
If you have to learn Italian, be positive about it! We just mentioned all the great aspects of learning Italian, so go back and check them again.
- If you do want to study Italian, why exactly do you want to study Italian?
Find some reasons. It might be for work, for love, for pleasure, because you want to travel to Italy because you want to be able to read novels in Italian, etc.
Whatever that might be, analyze your reasons and think about your goals and your interests.
All we can say (or repeat) is that Italian is beautiful, and learning Italian has lots of benefits, like being able to read and speak in Italian, appreciating Italian music and movies, etc.
It’s up to you to find the best way to learn Italian.
As for us, we really encourage you to go for it.
Good luck with your studies!
Still translating in your head? Wanna speak Italian for real? Check out Stefano's courses to think directly in Italian and become fluent fast!