Other than being Italy’s official language, Italian is also spoken in France, Croatia, Argentina, Libya, Malta, San Marino, and Slovenia. It’s also among the four official languages spoken in Switzerland, making it an important language to learn if you’re thinking of having an illustrious career with companies or organizations in any of these countries. Learning Italian can also improve your literacy and English skills. It lays the foundation you need to acquire a third or a fourth language – a matter that grants you a greater sense of personal achievement and bolsters your employability in any industry around the world.
See also: 5 Great Language Learning Tools
1. Try immersion
Fly to Italy or find an Italian family in the U.K., France or any other country where Italian is spoken to host you. With no English to revert to, you will be forced to listen closely to get the right pronunciation and meaning of words. The pressure to communicate back will force you to talk freely and without fear of making grammatical mistakes like it may be the case in a classroom setup. This is known as immersion. Language experts point out it’s one of the easiest way to learn Italian.
2. Lead an Italian life
Walk into Italian restaurants often and ask for menus that are written in Italian. Place your order in Italian and if the waiter or the waitress is Italian, or if he or she understands the language, try and spark a short conversation about the delicacies, ingredients, or even the weather. It builds your vocabulary which you can also nurture by listening, watching or reading the English and Italian versions of the daily news from media houses that broadcast in both languages.
3. Take on fun online Italian courses
Take advantage of the power of interactive online language learning platforms such as chat rooms. It’s a unique way to meet other people who are eager to speak, read and write Italian. Make use of adventurous online language learning tools such as video tutorials and games, which are designed to test your Italian vocabulary and grammar in a manner that improves your mastery of the language.
4. Don't learn hard - learn smart
Don’t leave everything else that matters to learn Italian as this can take away the fun that comes with learning a new language. Pick up the core words first. Note that you only need to know about 1,000 to 3,000 Italian words and the basic grammatical rules to speak the language fluidly. Build up your vocabulary afterwards by setting goals. For instance, you can vow to read an Italian classic or novel to completion within a given period of time.
Take baby steps. Remember that learning Italian is like learning how to ride a bike or how to walk for the fast time. Therefore, you should have the right attitude and determination. Take a deep breath and relax whenever you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, and then try again. It is only through curiosity and constant practice that you’ll speak the Italian language properly.