So, you want to learn Italian? Maybe you’ve tried learning another language before or maybe it’s your first time. Either way, you’re probably wondering what the best way to learn Italian on your own is.
We’re here to fill you in on everything you need to know to get started on your exciting new language learning journey. We’ll also tell you all about one of the best Italian learning programs available to you online: Lingopie!
How Hard Is It To Learn Italian?
How difficult Italian is to learn depends a lot on what languages you already know. If English is your first language, then learning Italian as a second language is roughly as hard as learning Spanish or French.
Italian, Spanish, and French are all part of the Romance group of languages, or languages descended from Latin. This means they are closely related and have a lot in common in terms of vocabulary and grammar.
English is not a Romance language, but it too is heavily influenced by Latin. Because of this, Italian and the other Romance languages are the easiest second languages for native English speakers to learn.
If you happen to already know another one of the Romance languages, then picking up Italian next should be even easier!
The techniques you use to learn Italian also influence how hard it is to learn. We’ll give you some ideas for how to learn the Italian language easily a little later on in this article.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Italian?
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!
By now you might be thinking: “But I want to learn Italian fast!” Don’t worry, even with just an hour or less a day and the right techniques you can become conversational pretty quickly.
If you do have the time and the desire to study Italian more intensively, Italian immersion is a great way to become fluent even faster. One way to immerse yourself in the Italian culture and language is by signing up for one of Italy’s many Italian language learning programs.
Of course, this might not be an option if you're a working professional with a career that takes 40 hours of your time a week. But, if you’re currently a student, check if your university offers study abroad programs in Italy.
According to study abroad guides, Rome is the best place in Italy to learn Italian. Other popular options include Florence, Milan, Naples, and Venice.
Even if it’s just for a few weeks in the summer, studying Italian in Italy can really give you a head start on becoming fluent in the language!
If traveling to Italy to learn Italian isn’t an option, you can still immerse yourself in the language by watching Italian TV and movies. It’s the best way to learn Italian on your own from the comfort of your couch or bed!
How to Learn Italian: Can I Teach Myself Italian?
Traditional classroom instruction and language immersion are always going to be great ways to learn a new language like Italian, but you can definitely learn Italian on your own, too.
Start by dedicating at least 20 minutes a day to studying Italian. You can try different methods to see what the best way to learn Italian on your own is for you.
Here are some of our top suggestions for how to learn Italian at home:
1. Watch Italian TV and movies
As we already mentioned, watching Italian media is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the language without having to leave home. When you watch TVs and movies, you learn by context, rather than by drilling vocabulary and grammar.
Also, when you learn Italian from TV shows and movies, you’re learning the Italian that people actually speak, not just what’s in the textbooks.
If you’re a complete beginner, you can watch Italian shows or films with English subtitles so you understand everything that’s being said. If you already know some Italian or as you get more comfortable, switch to watching with Italian subtitles to improve your listening comprehension.
2. Play Italian learning games
There are all kinds of apps and Italian learning games online if you’re an interactive learner. You can even just download any game and switch the language to Italian to learn words and phrases from context as you play.
3. Read and write
Another great way to learn Italian on your own is by reading Italian books. They could be Italian translations of books that you’ve already read in English or Italian works of literature — it’s totally up to you!
After you finish reading something, try writing a summary of what you just read, in Italian of course. This is a simple exercise that helps you practice what you already know and review what you just learned while reading.
4. Make flashcards
There’s a reason students have been using flashcards to study for generations — they really work! Use cardstock to make traditional paper flashcards or download one of the many flashcard apps to make digital ones.
Anytime you learn a new word or phrase, like when you’re watching an Italian show or movie, make a new flashcard and add it to your stack to study from.
5. Use Italian language learning apps
There are plenty of apps out there designed to help you learn the Italian language on your own. Download a few different ones and try them out to see what you like and find out what works best for you.
Whip out your phone during your morning commute or on your lunch break and get to practicing. Spending even just 10-15 minutes a day learning Italian with an app can help you make progress!
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!
Related: Best Italian Cooking Shows to Learn Italian
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!
So, What Is the Best Way To Learn Italian? By Watching TV of Course!
Hopefully this article has given you plenty of ideas for how to learn the Italian language. If the tips about learning a new language by watching TV caught your attention, keep reading to find out more about how Lingopie can help you with this.
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.
Whereas learning from textbooks and drills can feel like a lot of work sometimes, watching Italian TV and cinema is pure enjoyment! You won’t even realize how much new vocabulary and grammar you’re learning while you’re binge-watching great Italian shows and films.
Think about how influential television is on kids as they grow up. They learn new vocabulary and phrases from their favorite cartoon characters and make small gains in terms of comprehension and pronunciation that add up over time.
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!