Italy is known for its beautiful holiday destinations. However, there are so…
Free resources to learn Italian
Pronunciation is particularly important when learning a new language. This is especially true for Italian, as the correct or incorrect pronunciation of certain words (e.g., "gnocchi") quickly reveals what your language level is. So, how can you improve your pronunciation? The best way is to listen. Be it Italian radio or television, listening will teach you a lot. Some useful links are listed below:
TuneIn Radio: This great website allows you to listen to radio stations from all around the world. Tune in to different stations until your find one that's not too hard to follow.
BBC Italian: A variety of free exercises for beginner and advanced learners.
Podclub: On this website you can listen in to Italian podcasts. The written dialogue is written next to each video so you can read along if the conversation is too fast for you to keep up with.
Italy Made Easy: Manu is Itlaian and his passion is helping others learn and understand his mother tongue. On his channel he's created a playlist called "From Zero to Italian" for beginners, as well as the series "Italian Accelerator" for advanced learners. His videos also include travel tips for Italy and vlog posts about everyday life. All videos have subtitles.
Every Sunday and Thursday, Lucrezia uploads a new video to her channel Learn Italian with Lucrezia. She puts the smaller details of the Italian language under the microscope and explains the differences between similar words. So this is for you if you have trouble deciding when to use "bello" and when to use "buono". As with Italy Made Easy, Lucrezia's videos are divided into different playlists. In addition to the playlist for beginners, you will also find a playlist of Vlogs and stories of everyday Italian life. Lucrezia won us over easily with her friendly nature.
ItalianPod101 is a Youtube channel that complements the website of the same name. The channel is run by a group of different people who upload videos with widely varying themes. Many of the videos also relate directly to everyday life, so there are not only classic learning videos, but also videos on subjects like "the most used Italian break-up lines" and the "top 10 phrases that you must learn in order to fascinate native speakers"..
These two youtubers hold their Italian lessons entirely in Italian, so they're videos aren't suitable for beginners. But for those who can already understand Italian, these channels are perfect for improving your pronunciation and grammar.
Sgrammaticando was originally conceived as a Youtube channel for Italians who wanted to learn more about the grammar of their own language. When more and more non Italians started visiting the channel, Youtuber Fiorella began adapting her videos to an international audience.
Oneworlditaliano. Veronica is an Italian teacher who has also been uploading videos to help those learning Italian since 2008.
Mobile apps are a new method of language acquisition. They enable you to learn languages from anywhere: be it on the train to work, in the doctor's waiting room or at home on the sofa. Here are a few incredibly practical apps:
On the free app, Duolingo, you can learn Italian through quick games and lessons. The app reminds you to continue learning daily. The app gives equal attention to training your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
Memrise: This app was created by experts in the field of brain research and guarantees that you will not forget any new words learnt through the app. See for yourself how quickly you can learn new vocabulary with this app!
If you are willing to spend a little bit of money, you should check out Babbel. It is similar to Duoingo and Memrise, but you just have to pay a small amount.
Blogs offer an exciting and often funny alternative to regular newspaper articles. Here are 4 blogs that are sure to help you reach the next level in your Italian learning journey:
How do the months of the year sound in Italian and what about numbers? You'll find answers to that and much more on The Italian Experiment.
Ilearnitalian.net: This blog includes loads of exercises for you to take part in. It is arranged into 3 categories: "Blog"; "Grammar Lessons"; and "Songs". The "Songs" section provides a long list of Italian songs, handpicked to help those learning the language.
On the blog, Italianoautomatico, Alberto lists tips for learnign Italian. His treasure trove of pointers includes book and video recommendations, as well as his own podcast.
Italianeveryday: This Tumblr account aims to teach people a new Italian word every day.
Children's books are particularly suited to beginners of and language, as the text is almost always written in a simpe form. On The Italian Experiment you can read fairy tales in Italian, such as "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Litte Pigs".
For a few more book suggestions for learners of different abilites, take a look at this list of Enjoyable Books for Practicing Italian.
How good is your Italian? Find out by taking our Italian test.
Do you have any other websites, blogs, YouTube channels or podcasts to suggest that we missed? If yes, please write to us on Facebook or Twitter so we can make our list even better.
The Italians are known not only for the zeal of their spoken language, but also for their animated gesticulation, which expresses so much more than you might think! If you want to know what these hand gestures mean, check out the very informative video below. Enjoy!