Best Way to Learn Italian – 7 Expert Tips

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Written By Francesca Stephens

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Italian is hands down one of the most beautiful languages in the world.

So it’s no wonder you’re trying to find the best way to learn Italian.

Lucky for you, Italian is relatively easy to learn.

Of course, that depends on your native language and previous experience in learning languages.

But for English speakers, Italian is actually considered one of the easiest languages to learn.

Your goals are also an important factor. Maybe you just want to learn the essential phrases useful for traveling, and maybe you want to become a fluent speaker.

Regardless of your reasons, there are several steps you can take to make your learning process easier.

Allora, cominciamo!

7 Best Ways to Learn Italian

If you’re wondering what is the best way to learn Italian, you should ask yourself a couple of questions first.

For starters, what type of learner are you?

Are you a visual learner or do you study better if you listen to audio tracks?

Do you need clear guidance or do you prefer complete freedom and flexibility?

Also, how much time are you willing to commit to your Italian lessons?

And finally, do you have a specific goal in mind?

All of this is important to determine before you start looking for learning sources.

Italian lessons

Traditional language schools are a classic choice. But even if you attend Italian classes in your town, there are some extra things you can do to improve your skills.

But these days many people choose to learn a new language on their own.

And that’s also a great option, especially if you want to focus on a specific skill or topic.

Either way, you have to find what works best for you.

1. Use an Italian learning app

The best way to learn Italian on your own is by using an Italian language-learning app or taking an online Italian course.

There are many great options online – from fun gamified apps to practical podcast-style lessons.

Some platforms even offer a full language course.

For example, Rocket Italian works both as an app and as an online course. It will provide you with linear lessons designed to take your skills to the next level.

Rocket Italian, created by the company Rocket Languages, combines audio tracks, pronunciation practice, writing exercises, and culture lessons.

And it features interactive activities and exercises to ensure you retain the words.

Rocket Italian

Using an app could also be the best way to learn Italian for travel. You can focus on practical vocabulary, most commonly-used words, and popular expressions.

Some apps for learning Italian are designed to prepare you for real-life situations.

Also, they use smart technology, adaptive algorithms, and modern only study tools to make your learning experience effective and enjoyable.

You just need to find an app/course that fits your learning style, schedule, and goals.

Using an app to learn Italian will also help you develop learning habits.

Most of them provide short, bite-sized lessons. This will help you to fit language learning into your daily routine without feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

It’s important to take lessons regularly, and language apps will definitely allow you to make that happen. They can even remind you when it’s time to study.

And they use gamified features to keep you motivated. You can earn points, unlock levels, play games…

There’s no doubt: language learning apps and online courses can enrich your learning experience and help you learn Italian in a quick and easy way.

2. Talk to native speakers

However, nothing will put you on the fast track towards fluency like talking to native speakers.

Finding a reliable learning source is essential, but you also need to practice speaking in actual conversations.

Best way to learn Italian

Talking with native speakers will help you pick up the accent and intonations.

It will help you understand the nuance of the Italian language.

And it will undoubtedly improve your conversational skills and boost your confidence.

The trick is to just go for it! Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.

Speaking to an Italian friend or meeting local people while you’re traveling would be ideal. This would put you in a relaxed situation where you can talk about random stuff without feeling stressed or judged.

You would get feedback only if you ask them for it.

And you would have a chance to learn the slang, observe their mannerisms, and listen to the language at its natural pace.

But if you don’t have a chance to talk to Italian people, you can find them online.

Language exchanges are a nice way to get in touch with a native speaker and offer to teach English or your native language.

And some language apps and online programs offer a chance to get guidance from a teacher. This is a more formal way of acquiring conversational skills.

Best ways to learn Italian by yourself

Well, if you’re serious about learning Italian, finding an online tutor is a good idea.

Virtual one-on-one Italian classes would allow you to get direct feedback, corrections, and suggestions.

Nevertheless, talking to Italians in any way will undoubtedly help you learn conversational Italian, increase your comprehension, and enhance your communication skills.

3. Plan a trip to Italy

Where to find native speakers if not in Italy?

Yes, spending some time in Italy would do wonders for your speaking skills.

Apart from having a chance to meet local people, you would find yourself in situations where you have no choice but to speak Italian. Speaking Italian will become a necessity.

You’ll also read Italian signs and menus, hear it on the street, and so on.

Plus, there are so many wonderful places to see in Italy.

Italian immersion language programs

Rome, Florence, Milan, Sicily… Each place has its own charm.

However, if you want to be “forced” to speak Italian, you should visit smaller towns and villages. You won’t come across a lot of tourists there so you’ll have a better chance to meet locals (who maybe don’t speak English.)

And if you really want to master Italian, you can find an Italian language immersion program.

Immersion language programs are by far the fastest way to learn Italian.

They use the target language for instruction and communication – that allows students to learn a foreign language in a similar manner to the way that they’ve learned their first language. Lessons are usually combined with practical application and cultural visits.

But even if you can’t or don’t want to apply for such a program, visiting Italy will certainly help you understand the Italian language and culture a little better.

4. Listen to podcasts

If you can’t travel to Italy at the moment, you can immerse yourself in a language in other ways.

It’s important to talk to native speakers, but you can also benefit from listening. Luckily, the best apps to learn Italian feature audio lessons voiced by native speakers.

For example, Rocket Italian’s audio lessons are centered around natural dialogues.

But you can also listen to Italian podcasts.

Find a podcast focused on a topic you’re interested in. If you’re just starting out, find a simple, comprehensible topic or a casual conversation.

Learning Italian

While listening to podcasts, try to pay attention to the words you hear multiple times. They are probably commonly-used words you can use in everyday conversations.

And if you don’t know them, write them down and look them up in the dictionary later.

But even if you simply listen to podcasts while you’re commuting, jogging, or cooking, you’ll hear how the Italian language flows and how people talk in real life.

Italian radio stations are also a nice way of hearing the language. You can find plenty of them on the Internet.

And don’t forget about listening to music. You can even turn it into an exercise if you write down the lyrics and try to translate them.

The important thing is to surround yourself with the language as much as you can.

5. Read and write in Italian

Reading and writing in Italian is just as important as listening.

Written and spoken Italian can be quite different. But once you grasp the basics, you’ll figure out how the language works and be able to read effortlessly.

However, in order to do that, you need to read and write a lot.

Try to read an Italian book. Or a children’s book, if you’re a beginner.

You can also find your favorite book in Italian translation.

After you read it, you can write a summary of the book in Italian. That’s a nice little exercise that can help you improve your writing.

If you’re using an app to learn Italian, you’ll probably get writing practice.

But you can also create your own writing exercises.

For example, you can write your next grocery list in Italian. Or you can find a recipe you like and translate it.

That would also be a nice opportunity to try some nice Italian recipes.

Best way to learn Italian fluently

When it comes to reading, you can also read Italian magazines or newspapers.

Visit an Italian news portal to check international news.

Understanding everything will be challenging (and impossible) in the beginning, but over time you’ll pick up new words and become familiar with the language used in Italian media.

And if you like movies, watch Italian films or TV shows.

You can read subtitles at first, and when you feel confident enough, you can watch it without subtitles.

Try to find a movie with a lot of casual conversations. “Perfetti Scionosciuti (Perfect Strangers)” would be a good choice.

The thing is, you can study Italian even when you’re not really studying. And that’s one of the charms of learning a foreign language.

6. Study smarter

It’s hard to determine the easiest way to learn Italian.

Immersion programs are fantastic, well-structured apps are great, and virtual Italian classes are also a good option for some people.

However, there are some things you can do to make the most of your lesson time.

You can study smarter.

How to learn Italian by yourself

First of all, you should find a learning source that fits your unique learning habits.

And you need to create a comfortable environment without too many distractions.

Also, don’t spend hours and hours with your textbook or an app.

Take short, bite-sized lessons instead.

Well, most language apps and courses are created to deliver short, comprehensible lessons anyway.

Most of them also use a spaced repetition technique. It’s a memory technique that involves repeating (recalling) words at specific time intervals. It’s usually performed with flashcards.

Flashcards are, in fact, a very useful tool.

If you’re using an app to learn Italian, make sure that the app uses effective tools and methods.

But you’re the one that needs to be in charge of your learning process.

Set daily goals or attainable, short-term goals.

Focus on what’s really important to you, or follow the suggested learning path.

Best ways to learn Italian

If you want to learn Italian by yourself, you need to have self-discipline. And if you feel like you need to improve your organizational skills, don’t worry – learning a new language can help you in that.

Moreover, learning languages can improve your memory and cognitive skills.

And it will also help you have a better concentration.

In a nutshell, that’s why it’s important to learn how to study smart – you’ll have a better focus and you’ll be able to do more things in a day. Consequently, you’ll feel more accomplished and motivated.

7. The key to success

Motivation is a very important factor in acquiring any skill.

And if you’re looking for the best way to learn Italian fluently, motivation and persistence are definitely a part of the answer.

Consistency is also essential.

Learning Italian language

Learning a new language takes time. And if you’re not familiar with Italian at all, it will take a while to figure out how the language works.

But if you make realistic, short-term goals, everything will go smoothly.

One of the things you can do to motivate yourself to keep going is add fun to your learning routine.

You can play online games for learning Italian, take part in a challenge, solve quizzes… Many Italian learning apps feature gamified features.

Learning languages can become repetitive, especially if you’re using only one learning resource.

Therefore, it’s good to mix it up a little.

Check if there’s an Italian meetup in your area.

If the answer is no, why not start a conversation club?

It’s important to keep your motivation high.

And another way to do it is to remind yourself of all the benefits of learning Italian.

First of all, learning any new language will improve your memory, sharpen your mind, and broaden your horizons.

But these are only the benefits you already know for sure.

Try to think about your specific goals and what speaking Italian will bring you.

Maybe you’ll be able to talk to your Italian friend. Maybe you’ll qualify for that job opening. And maybe you’ll get to travel around Italy and feel like you belong there.

Traveling to Italy

Moreover, learning a new language can bring you some unexpected things.

You can meet people who will become an important part of your life.

You can gain confidence to acquire some other skills as well.

And we’re sure you can come up with more ideas.

Achieving proficiency in Italian is not an easy task, but it’s definitely a journey worth taking.

Final Thoughts

There’s no single best way to learn Italian fluently. But if you pay attention to the guidelines we mentioned today, you’ll have a smooth learning process.

And you’ll probably progress faster.

However, learning a new language shouldn’t be about fast results. Yes, it’s a great feeling to understand more and more every day, but you shouldn’t rush anything.

That will also help you to enjoy the process.

Learning Italian can be a part of your daily routine, and you will start to look forward to it. That’s the way it should be.

And when you feel discouraged, it’s important to remind yourself why you started to learn Italian in the first place.

It’s a challenging process, but at the same time very rewarding.