They say that Italian is a Romance language. Every year, thousands of people learn Italian around the world. For learning Italian language, there are many resources available online, which you can use independently or in supplement to your Italian language classes.
Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, and Vatican City—all wonderful cultural and art centers. Learning this beautiful language will open up a new world for you; a world full of love, beauty and sweetness of life.
(Note: We are not affiliated with the websites and apps recommended in this article. These are resources that I found the most useful in learning Italian.)
Listen to songs
This is another great way to learn how to construct Italian sentences, to learn a lot of new words, and to learn to speak italian.
Songs are short, and you can spend enough time on one song to analyse the language bit-by-bit; and they are a great source to learn Italian for free.
You do not have to listen to Italian Opera if you are not into that kind of music, but there are a number of great songs you can learn with.
How to learn Italian language through songs:
Choose an Italian song whose rhythm and meaning you like
Arrange the Italian lyrics in juxtaposition with their English translations
Take a printout of the Italian-English lyrics
Connect new Italian words to their English meanings (through distinct marks or underlines)
Understand the song’s meaning, word-by-word
Listen to the song as many times as it takes to know it by heart
Where to learn:
Start with one song, and then move on to learn more songs. When you have learnt five songs like this, you will feel very confident about your learning of the language.
Write, recall and practice
Writing is the golden rule to learning. You do not need any set time to sit and write what you have learnt. Do it any time. It is easy to learn something that you repeat mentally or by writing.
Write the Italian words and phrases you remember, wherever and whenever. When you can’t recall something, look it up, and then get back to writing.
You can even mentallyrecall Italian words related to something you are doing. Just think of the Italian names of the objects around you, or how you would say something in Italian. This helps you remember words and sentences. It gradually helps store all the repeatedly recalled information in your permanent memory.
You can learn italian online free using the resources in the first three points of this level, and then practice your grammar and test your knowledge of the language by taking some Italian tests, activities and exercises.
Duolingo Italian course is also a fun way to learn the basics of Italian in just 5 minutes a day. Its Italian lessons cover vocab, grammar, phrases, etc.. You can set higher a goal of 10-20 minutes of learning per day. I haven’t explored this website much, but it seems to be getting very popular these days.
Learn Italian – Level 4
Recommended study time: 30 minutes per day, for 20 days
Till now we have covered resources that teach you to read, listen and understand Italian language. Now we will cover points which will also help you speak Italian.
Watch movies: How to (or not to) watch movies to learn a language
Some people suggest watching movies to learn a language, and some people warn against it.
We say that you have to start watching movies or TV series at the right stage of your learning process.
When you know a lot of Italian words, and can construct short sentences, you can start watching shows or movies to learn how words are pronounced, and how the language is spoken in its everyday form.
If you start watching Italian movies too soon in your learning journey, then you might find it very difficult to catch up with the dialougues; and it will be difficult to focus on both the storyline and language of a movie, at the same time.
How to learn Italian language through movies and TV shows:
Select a movie or TV whose storyline interests you. It’s really important that you enjoy what you watch.
If you’re watching a movie, watch it two-three times. The first time you can focus on the storyline, and watch it with English subtitles.
The second time, when you know what’s happening in the movie, you are free to pay attention to words, rhythm, etc. Watch the movie with Italian subtitles this time.
The third time, you will have a better hang of things. You will start recognising certain words and sentences, and the whole process of learning the language will become easier and fun.
If you’re watching a TV series, you will come across similar sentences and words in different episodes, as the characters tend to have defined personalities and way of speaking. So you do not have to watch an episode repeatedly if you do not wish to.
You can note down the words you find interesting or would like to look up the meaning of later. Do not pause the movie or show to look up a meaning, as it makes the whole process quite monotonous.
When you hear familiar words while watching a movie, it really helps them stick.
Most importantly, make sure you are entertained by what you watch. It helps you learn better.
Write diary, letters and monologues
One wonderful way to practice a language is to create content in it—not just words and phrases, but full sentences, like you use in a conversation.
When you write a diary, a letter to a real or imaginary person, or a monologue, you tend to use the words you know, and sometimes you have to search for new words or phrases to say what you want to.
This helps you practice your knowledge of the language, and learn new things—how some sentences are constructed, how a thing can be said in a different manner, how you can use the same word in different contexts.
I personally love writing letters. This helps me learn to communicate my thoughts in Italian, which is a wonderful thing to be able to do in a new language. Also, while writing a letter, I get enough time to construct apt sentences.
Once I have written a satisfactory letter, I read it aloud a few times, and revisit it often, so that the sentences and their construction stay in my mind.
(We are not affiliated with the websites and apps recommended in this article. These are resources that I found the most useful in learning Italian.)
Communicate: How to read others’ body language to improve your speaking skills
Once you know the basics of a language, communicate in it with people who are fluent in it. At an advanced level, no Italian lessons can match the knowledge and confidence you can gain through conversing with someone who knows the language.
Learn how to speak italian by engaging in conversations, in person. You can even find online Italian classes and tutors to help you practice speaking Italian.
When you are communicating with others in a language, this is what you ought to look for:
New words and idioms: You can learn new words, idioms and local idiosyncrasies of the language while talking to native Italians.
Pronunciations and manner of speaking: Listen to how certain words and phrases are spoken. Repeat what you learn. Say it out loud, and let your tongue get used to it.
Expressions: It’s not only important to listen, but you also have to watch.
Read the expression of an Italian listener when you are speaking to them. This will tell you where you made a mistake.
Their expressions—a slight frown, a change in the smile, a tilt in the head, etc.—might tell you if you made a mistake while saying something.
If you have a good rapport with the listener, do not hesitate to ask them if you should have said it differently, else look it up when you go home.
I learnt this trick from a Tedx video by John Sloan, where the speaker talks about his experience of learning Korean, and how paying attention to other’s expressions helped improve his language.
You can watch that video here:
The trick is to pay attention while both talking and listening.
We hope you find these resources helpful in learning Italian online and offline. You can use these methods and techniques to learn any language. All you need is up to 30 minutes a day of study time and some motivation.
Remember to have fun with the language you are learning, and you will learn it even faster.
Let us know if you would like us to include any other cool resources for learning Italian here, or if you have any question about any part of the two articles from the Learn Italian or Any Other Language series.
We will keep bringing you more edTech resources and tools to make learning accessible.