What Is The Best Way To Learn Italian On Your Own?

Do you dream of effortlessly conversing with locals as you stroll through Italy's charming, cobblestone streets? As someone determined to learn Italian independently, making real progress can feel frustratingly out of reach.

You've likely wasted countless hours on tedious textbooks and apps that promise "easy language mastery," only to leave you feeling stuck and unfulfilled. These rigid approaches neglect the very reason you're drawn to Italian - to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and embrace la dolce vita.

But what if there was a more engaging, effective way to absorb Italian at your own pace? A method that forgoes the dull grammar lectures and instead lets you "live" in the language through real-world experiences?

In this article, we're unveiling the ultimate strategy for mastering Italian on your own terms. We'll share techniques that truly resonate, transforming your language journey from a chore into an exhilarating adventure.


Is Italian Hard To Learn?

The short answer is no. In fact, the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) ranks Italian as one of the easiest languages for native English speakers to learn. According to their estimates, you can achieve basic fluency in just 24 weeks, or 600 hours of study. Simply put: if you go to Italy for an intensive course or dedicate at least 9 hours a day, you will reach basic fluency and hold conversations as quickly as 6 months.

Moreover, if you already speak another Romance language, such as Spanish, French, or Portuguese, you'll find that learning Italian is even easier. The similarities in vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure among these languages can give you a significant head start in your Italian learning journey.

Here are the main components of the language broken down by difficulty:

  • Grammar: Italian grammar can be challenging due to the numerous verb conjugations, tenses, grammatical genders, and irregularities. However, with the right resources and consistent practice, mastering Italian grammar is achievable.
  • Pronunciation: Italian is a phonetic language, meaning each letter is pronounced consistently. This makes learning Italian pronunciation, reading, and writing relatively easy. The only potential challenge is learning to roll your R's, but this is not essential for communication.
  • Vocabulary: Many Italian words are similar to their English counterparts, making vocabulary acquisition relatively straightforward and enabling learners to start conversing sooner than expected.

So, while mastering any new language requires effort and dedication, you can rest assured that Italian is a highly accessible and achievable goal for English speakers.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Italian?

Learning a new language is a unique journey for each individual, and the time it takes to reach fluency can vary greatly depending on factors such as your learning style, prior language experience, and the amount of time and effort you can dedicate to studying.

The length of time it takes to become proficient in Italian or any other language depends greatly on how hard, how often, and how efficiently you study. Some language experts recommend studying for at least 20 hours a week to learn the basics in a short amount of time.

Naturally, not everyone is going to have 20 hours a week to dedicate to learning a new language — life is busy, after all! But even with just an hour or less a day and the right techniques, you can become conversational pretty quickly.

Can I Learn Italian In 3 months?

While it's certainly possible to build a solid foundation in the language within this timeframe, it's important to set realistic expectations. In three months, with dedication and the right learning strategies, you can master the basics of Italian grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, allowing you to engage in simple conversations and navigate common situations.

Can I Learn Italian In 1 year?

If you make learning Italian a consistent part of your daily routine, you can achieve a significant level of proficiency within a year. By immersing yourself in the language through daily practice, engaging with native materials, and seeking out opportunities to use Italian in real-life situations, you can develop a strong command of the language and communicate effectively with native speakers.

Common Ways To Learn Italian

When it comes to learning Italian, there are several traditional methods that many learners turn to. While these approaches can be effective, they often come with a significant investment of time and money.

Classroom Instruction

One of the most common ways to learn Italian is through classroom instruction, either at a university, community college, or language school. These courses are typically led by experienced teachers and follow a structured curriculum. However, they often require a substantial time commitment, with classes meeting several times a week for several months or even years. Additionally, the cost of tuition, textbooks, and other course materials can add up quickly.

Private Tutoring

Another popular option is to hire a private Italian tutor. This approach allows for personalized attention and a customized learning plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. However, private tutoring can be one of the most expensive ways to learn Italian, with hourly rates ranging from $20 to $100 or more, depending on the tutor's experience and location.

Here are some examples of private Italian tutors with their hourly rates:

  • TutorMe: Offers one-on-one Italian lessons with experienced tutors, with prices starting at $10 per hour.
  • Verbling: Provides private Italian lessons with native speaker tutors, with prices starting at $15 per hour.
  • Preply: Offers private Italian tutoring with experienced tutors, with prices starting at $15 per hour.
  • iTalki: Connects learners with private Italian tutors, with prices starting at $10 per hour.
  • Wyzant: Offers private Italian tutoring with experienced tutors, with prices starting at $30 per hour.
  • Varsity Tutors: Provides private Italian tutoring with experienced tutors, with prices starting at $40 per hour.

Language Learning Apps

There are numerous language learning software programs available that offer interactive lessons and exercises to help you learn Italian and other foreign languages. While these programs can be convenient and allow you to learn at your own pace, they can also be quite pricey, with some costing hundreds of dollars.

  • Duolingo: A free language learning app that offers a comprehensive Italian course with interactive lessons, quizzes, and games to help you learn at your own pace.
  • Memrise: A language learning app that uses spaced repetition and gamification to help you learn Italian vocabulary and phrases, with a large community of users who share courses and resources.
  • Lingopie: Offers language-learning features along with thousands of hours of compelling and original TV shows, movies, music videos, and Netflix originals in various languages.

Immersion Programs

As mentioned earlier, Italian immersion programs, such as studying abroad in Italy, can be highly effective for learning the language quickly. However, these programs often come with a hefty price tag, including tuition, housing, travel expenses, and other costs associated with living in a foreign country.

Here are examples of Italian immersion programs along with their price ranges:

  • Il Sasso, Montepulciano
  • Scuola Palazzo Malvisi, Bagno di Romagna
  • Piccola Università Italiana, Tropea
A photo of Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy, by Cristina Gottardi

How To Learn Italian By Myself?

While traditional methods can certainly be effective for learning Italian, they may not be the most practical or affordable options for everyone. Fortunately, there are alternative approaches that allow you to learn Italian on your own, at your own pace, and without breaking the bank. Read on below as we explore how you can use other strategies to start speaking Italian like a local.

Watch Italian TV And Movies

If you're looking for an engaging, effective, and affordable way to learn Italian independently, look no further than your TV screen or computer monitor. Watching Italian TV shows and movies is a fantastic method for improving your language skills, and here's why: Authentic Language Exposure.

Studies based on Stephen Krashen's Input Hypothesis suggest that language acquisition occurs when learners are exposed to comprehensible input, i.e., language that is slightly above their current proficiency level but still understandable. Watching Italian TV shows and movies can provide this type of input, helping learners improve their language skills through exposure to natural language use.

Italian TV and movies provide authentic exposure to the language as it's spoken by native speakers. You'll hear a wide range of accents, dialects, and colloquialisms that you might not encounter in textbooks or language courses. This exposure helps you develop a more natural understanding of Italian pronunciation, intonation, and rhythm.

Play Italian Learning Games

Playing Italian language learning games is another excellent way to learn the language independently. These games, which can be found on various websites, apps, and even in board game form, provide an interactive and engaging way to practice Italian vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.

By turning language learning into a fun and competitive activity, Italian learning games help you stay motivated and make the learning process more enjoyable. They also offer instant feedback, allowing you to learn from your mistakes and reinforce your knowledge.

Moreover, many of these games are designed to target specific language skills, such as verb conjugation or sentence structure, enabling you to focus on areas where you need the most practice.

Read And Write

Reading and writing are essential components of learning Italian independently. By reading Italian texts, such as books, newspapers, or online articles, you expose yourself to a wide range of vocabulary, sentence structures, and grammatical concepts in context. This helps you develop a more intuitive understanding of the language and improves your comprehension skills.

Whether you're writing emails to Italian pen pals, keeping a journal in Italian, or participating in online language exchange platforms, the act of writing in Italian helps you internalize new vocabulary, practice correct grammar and sentence structure, and express your thoughts and ideas in the language.

Moreover, reading and writing are flexible and self-paced activities that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine, making them convenient and cost-effective ways to learn Italian on your own.

Make Flashcards

Making flashcards is a tried-and-true method for learning Italian vocabulary and grammar concepts on your own. Flashcards allow you to break down the language into manageable chunks, focusing on specific words, phrases, or grammatical structures. By creating your own flashcards, you can tailor them to your individual learning needs and goals, ensuring that you're prioritizing the vocabulary and concepts that are most relevant to you.

The act of writing out the information on the flashcards itself helps to reinforce your memory, and the repetition of reviewing the cards regularly helps to cement the knowledge in your long-term memory. Flashcards are also incredibly portable and convenient, allowing you to study Italian whenever and wherever you have a few spare moments, whether you're commuting, waiting in line, or relaxing at home.

Use Italian Language Learning Apps

Using Italian language learning apps is a convenient and effective way to learn the language on your own. These language apps, such as Lingopie, Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone, offer a wide range of interactive lessons, exercises, and games that help you build your Italian vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation skills. Many of these apps use advanced algorithms to adapt to your learning style and pace, ensuring that you're always challenged but not overwhelmed.

One of the biggest advantages of using Italian language learning apps is their flexibility. You can access them anytime, anywhere, from your smartphone or tablet, making it easy to fit language learning into your busy schedule. Whether you have a few minutes during your lunch break or a longer stretch of time during your commute, you can easily open the app and start learning.

Photo of Manarola, Italy by  Ananthan Loggi

Why Learn Italian: Reasons To Learn Italian

There are more than 63 million people who speak Italian worldwide — that’s 63 million reasons to learn Italian! Knowing Italian can open up a whole new world of social and cultural opportunities for you, from Italy and Switzerland to parts of Africa.

If traveling, working, or living in Italy is on your bucket list, then learning Italian is a must. Italy’s culture is incredibly rich and full of nuances that you will appreciate even more when you can speak the language. Plus, you’ll be able to order the best things on the menu at Italian restaurants!

Other reasons to learn Italian, or any new language for that matter, are that it stimulates your brain, forces you to look at yourself and the world differently, and improves your memory. Really, there aren’t any reasons not to learn Italian!

Related: Best Italian Cooking Shows to Learn Italian

What Is The Best Way To Learn Italian?

While there are numerous methods for learning Italian, one of the most effective and enjoyable ways is by watching Italian movies and TV shows. This immersive approach offers a wealth of benefits that can help you master the language at your own pace, all while exploring the rich culture and history of Italy.

While there are numerous methods for learning Italian, one of the most effective and enjoyable ways is by watching Italian movies and TV shows. This immersive approach offers several key benefits:

  1. Authentic language exposure: You'll hear Italian as it's spoken by native speakers, including various accents, dialects, and colloquialisms.
  2. Vocabulary acquisition: By hearing words and phrases used in context, you'll understand their meaning more easily and remember them better.
  3. Cultural insight: Italian media provides valuable insights into Italian culture, customs, and social norms, helping you navigate real-life interactions more effectively.
  4. Flexibility and convenience: You can watch whenever and wherever you want, making it easy to integrate language learning into your daily routine.
  5. Cost-effective: Many Italian films and TV series are available on affordable streaming platforms or even for free.
  6. Entertaining and engaging: Learning Italian through movies and TV shows is inherently enjoyable, keeping you motivated and making the learning process more effective.

One platform that combines all these benefits is Lingopie, a streaming service designed specifically for language learners. With Lingopie, you can watch a wide variety of Italian movies and TV shows with interactive subtitles, allowing you to easily look up words and phrases as you watch. The platform also offers quizzes and reviewing drills to reinforce your learning, making it a comprehensive tool for mastering Italian through engaging content.

As you can see, watching Italian movies and TV shows is an excellent way to learn the language independently. By providing authentic language exposure, improving comprehension, expanding vocabulary, and offering cultural insight, all while being convenient, cost-effective, and entertaining, this method is a top choice for anyone looking to master Italian on their terms.

Why Lean Italian With Lingopie

Research is increasingly showing that people who watch shows and movies in another language, in addition to using other study methods, have better comprehension, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar than those who don’t. This is where Lingopie comes in!

Lingopie is a unique language learning platform that combines the power of authentic Italian media with advanced learning tools, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to master the language independently. Here's why learning Italian with Lingopie is so effective:

  • Offers a vast selection of engaging Italian content, catering to various interests and proficiency levels.
  • Interactive subtitles allow you to easily look up and save unfamiliar words and phrases while watching.
  • Adaptive learning tools, such as quizzes and flashcards, reinforce your understanding and adjust to your progress.
  • Lingopie provides a personalized learning experience, allowing you to set goals, track progress, and receive recommendations.
  • The platform is accessible from any device, making it convenient to fit language learning into your busy schedule.
  • Learning Italian through authentic movies and TV shows on Lingopie offers an immersive and entertaining way to master the language.

So, why not learn Italian like you learned English growing up? Lingopie has thousands of hours of great international television, including plenty of intriguing Italian shows and films.

The platform is designed for learners of all levels, so it doesn’t matter whether you're at a beginner or advanced level of Italian. Every show comes with subtitles in Italian and English, so you can switch back and forth as you want.

Not only that, but you can click on any word or phrase as you’re watching to get an instant translation. When you’re done watching, you can review what you just learned with built-in word lists and flashcards — convenient, right?

Join thousands of language learners using Lingopie to learn new languages by watching TV today!

Signing up for a free trial is totally risk-free and you can cancel at any time. But we’re pretty sure you’re going to stick around once you realize that Lingopie really is one of the best Italian language learning programs out there!

You've successfully subscribed to The blog for language lovers | Lingopie.com
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Error! Could not sign up. invalid link.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Error! Could not sign in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Error! Billing info update failed.