Learning Italian connects you with a rich culture steeped in old world history and tradition. From the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside to incredible sculpture and paintings of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. However, there’s more to this wonderful country and its people than what’s listed in tourist guides, as well as many benefits of learning to speak Italian. It is the third most spoken language in the European Union with 65 million native speakers, and an additional 14 million second language speakers in the EU. However, although there are small pockets of Italian language and influence in the Americas, most Italian speakers are found in Italy and its surrounding countries such as Switzerland, San Martino, and Croatia.
Italian is also the main language of the Vatican, and the lingua franca of the Catholic Church with most papal documents being written in Italian. Those interested in further study of the history and mystery of the church would find it very beneficial to brush up on their Italian. Italy is also the home of many luxury goods companies from handbags and clothing, to sports cars, and motorcycles. The Italians pride themselves on producing fine, quality goods and only settle for the best.
Of course, Italy is also one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world and holds a top spot on many people’s list of must-see locations. From wandering the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum, to taking a gondola ride through the canals of Venice, or having a quaint week in the countryside to indulge in the traditional food, wine, and lifestyle of the Italian people, there’s no shortage of reasons to visit Italy. And while many people in the tourist hotspots will speak English, if you venture just a short way off the beaten path, you’ll find that speaking Italian will be hugely beneficial.
There are 65 million native speakers of Italian.
Italian is the 3rd most spoken language in the European Union.
Italian is the language which is most closely related to Latin.
Modern Italian is based on the Tuscan dialect from around Florence which became standardized Italian in the 14th century.
There are many regional dialects in spoken Italian, and there are considerable differences between the language spoken, for instance, in Rome, Venice, Milan, and Sicily.
Only 2.5% of Italy’s population could properly speak the Italian standardized language when the nation unified in 1861.
Italy is the county with the most UNESCO sites in the world with 51.
Italian is a beautiful language to speak and listen to. However, the many regional dialects of the language can make it a challenge to learn. The Italian which is spoken in northern Italy in places such as Milan or Venice can vary drastically from the Italian you hear on the streets of Rome and can be almost incomprehensible in the southern regions in places like Sicily. However, thanks to the work of Dante Alighieri in the 14th century, there exists a standardized Italian which all people in Italy are able to speak and understand even if it’s not the language they use at home among their friends and family. For instance, take a look at these differences between Venetian and Standard Italian.
The use of standard Italian based on the dialect surrounding Florence in Tuscany is widespread and used in virtually all newscasts, media, and as a sort of lingua franca between people who speak vastly different dialects. This is also what you’re most likely to learn when you study Italian as a second language. The important thing is not to worry, just do your best, and have fun learning all the different ways you can learn to speak Italian like a native.
There are many different ways you can choose to learn Italian. Many of them are even free on the Internet.
This is the method most of us are already familiar with. It’s very likely that you have at one point or another tried to learn a foreign language already using this method. It’s a really good way to cover all 4 aspects of language learning (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) in a single place. The only problem is that it requires a large time commitment, and many people are unable to fit regular classes into their already busy schedules, and depending on the class, it can also be a bit pricy.
Learning directly from a native speaker in a one-on-one environment is one of the best ways you can possibly learn a foreign language. With this individualized attention, you can master Italian in no time. However, it’s not always easy to find a qualified native Italian tutor, and private lessons, even just once a week, can be on the expensive side. But for those who are serious about learning Italian, this is a preferred method.
Although this method is falling a bit out of style, it was once one of the most popular ways of teaching yourself a new language. If you’re more of the independent study kind of person, you may want to check this out. However, the drawback is that it is a quite solitary method, and unless you have an iron will, it’s easy to get burned out. It also lacks a lot of the social interaction which makes other methods of language learning worthwhile and interesting.
Computer software is becoming a very popular method of learning a new language. Many programs attempt to mimic natural learning which help our minds associate new words directly with the places, things, and situations which they represent instead of having to filter them through your native language via translation. This too is a bit lacking in the social interaction department, and can take a bit of self control to stick with.
This is a wonderful way to get to know a new language as well as experience the cultural context in which it is spoken. One might argue that it’s not possible to truly learn a language without learning the culture as well. However, this one requires the time and money it takes to travel to a foreign country, and not everyone has that luxury. You should also be a bit versed in the new language before you arrive, or plan to take classes there, or you might find yourself in a bit over your head.
There so many websites out there which offer to help you to learn Italian online, a lot of them are even free, or reasonably well priced. If you’re still deciding whether you want to invest the time and energy into learning a new learning a new language, this is probably the route to go. Most of them only cover the basics of the language, and move at a beginner’s pace, so more advanced language learners might not get as much value from them.
Language learning apps are one of the best new tools available to language learners. Now, it’s easier than ever to find and connect with fellow language learners all around the world, and practice speaking with native speakers of practically any language. It’s a language learning revolution, and it’s happening right in your front pocket.
The Tandem app is the best way to learn Italian online for free. With millions of members, Tandem is one of the largest language learning communities out there! With the Tandem app, you can connect with native Italian speakers all over the world and practice by speaking via text, audio message, and video call. Master Italian now and download the app!
Private lessons more your thing?
With Tandem Tutors, you can master the Italian language even quicker. Our Tutors are certified professionals who offer one-on-one lessons anytime, anywhere. With Tandem Tutors, it’s easy to find someone who matches your style and works around your schedule. Your language learning journey begins today — Get started now!