The UK and Italy have more in common than you might think. For one, you can find plenty of Roman ruins in both countries. There are also few friendly sporting rivalries between the two countries when it comes to football and rugby.
There are around an estimated 200,000 people who speak Italian as their mother tongue in the UK and around 30,000 British nationals live in Italy. Somewhere between 4 and 5 million Brits visit Italy every year and around 1 million Italians come to the UK.
There are also plenty of words in both Italian and English that share a common history which can help make learning Italian that bit simpler.
When you learn a language, it’s rarely easy in the beginning. However, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you quickly improve your level in Italian.
If you’re interested, we have a few of them in this article.
Most students tend to ask the same set of questions:
How can you learn an Italian accent?
How can you learn Italian quickly and easily?
How can you learn Italian quickly and easily?
How can you learn basic Italian?
How can you learn Italian quickly and remember it in years to come?
How can you translate Italian?
How can you buy from Italian websites?
How can you learn to speak Italian for free?
Which are the best Italian courses?
Guidance counsellors, head teachers, and teachers will all tell you how valuable learning a language like Chinese, Russian, or Spanish will be in the future and they’re not wrong. Language learning is really important! However, there are also so many people starting to take up these languages that when they master them, there’ll be tonnes of people who speak them.
Make a list of your goals for learning Italian. (Source: pixabay.com)
Why not look a little closer to home than Russia and China and focus on Italian? While it’s not the foreign language everyone’s talking about, it could be a lucrative choice for the future! Sceptical?
We understand. Italy was hit hard by the recession, after all. Its unemployment rate still remains one of the highest in Europe. However, it’s also the Eurozone’s 3rd-largest national economy.
While everyone talks about Germany and France, you can’t overlook Italy. There are a lot of fields in which Italy excels including:
As we said earlier, millions of Brits visit Italy every year. With nearly 5 million British nationals going a year, Italy remains a popular destination. Most Italians visit London in the UK.
With this massive cultural exchange taking place on a daily basis, you can start to see why learning the Italian language could be a huge advantage.
Businesses are looking for employees who can speak foreign languages beyond a few words and phrases and Italian is one of the lesser-known languages in demand.
Where can you easily learn Italian in the UK? This is an important question to consider if you want to start talking Italian today.
You probably won’t be surprised that most “Britalians” can be found in the capital. However, other cities with large Italian populations include Manchester, Bedford, and Glasgow. These are probably the best places to find a native tutor. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any Italians anywhere else in the country.
There are also decent numbers of Italians in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Southampton, and Newcastle.
Of course, Italy is the best place to learn Italian. (Source: pixabay.com)
That doesn’t mean if you live in a village with no Italians that you can’t learn Italian. In fact, there are plenty of Italian tutors and Italian night classes available up and down the country. Don’t forget that in this day and age, you can also learn Italian online. There are plenty of online resources for anyone interested in learning a new language.
If you’re living in a small village, you could always consider taking to the Internet and finding a webcam tutor who can teach you Italian over Skype.
While Italian tutorials and courses aren’t as commonplace as languages like Spanish and Chinese, that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to find. You just need to know where to look for them.
If you live in a university town, you can contact language departments at the university who will either offer their own courses or maybe put you in contact with a qualified tutor.
This type of teaching is usually more academic than a coffee and a chat and will also probably cost you more, too.
Private tutorials through platforms like Superprof are the first places you should check if you’re happy to pay for your tutorials. You can find both qualified and native tutors near you or on-line.
As you can see, there’s a solution for everyone, no matter where you are in the UK.
It’s human nature to want to learn something as quickly as possible with the least amount of effort. However, don’t run before you can walk.
Italian can be tricky, despite how much of its vocabulary shares common ancestors with English vocabulary. Conjugations can be a pain, for example. Get ready for verb tables!
With that said, it is possible to make learning Italian for beginners easier. As we said before, the vocabulary shares similar roots.
If you listen to certain Italian words, you can probably guess what they mean. This means that nobody really starts learning Italian from scratch.
You’ve already a rudimentary understanding of the roots of a large number of Italian words.
Italian food has given English a lot of words. (Source: pixabay.com)
The pronunciation can be a bit tricky at first. The letter “c” sometimes being pronounced like “ch” and the letter “g” being pronounced like “j”, for example. However, most of the other letters won’t hold too many surprises.
There are also tonnes of Italian words in English that are commonly used.
You see? There are a number of Italian words you already knew! Then you just need to learn a few basic phrases: “Buongiorno” (Hello), “Buona sera” (Good evening), “Grazie Mille” (Thank you very much), “Prego” (You’re welcome), “Per favore” (Please), “Tutto va bene” (Everything’s fine), “Basta!” (Enough!), “Arrivederci” (Goodbye), etc.
Once you’ve got these down, you’re ready to start really learning Italian!
With foreign languages no longer compulsory at GCSE, there has been a drop in students taking them. However, this could be to your benefit as you’ll be more highly sought after if you take Italian lessons at school.
There are even fewer students taking languages at A Level and as a degree. Nowadays, a large number of students taking a language A Level are those who already speak the language as their mother tongue.
Spanish is the only language in the UK that has seen more students taking it as a subject. Fewer students are studying French and German as well. For one, if you choose to take Italian, you’ll definitely be in a small class. This means your teacher can focus more on you and you can get the most out of every class.
Furthermore, the British Council rates Italian more important for Britain’s future than Russian.
Federico Fellini’s masterpiece is considered one of Italian cinema’s most important works. It follows Marcello Rubini’s quest for happiness in Rome and is great for students learning Italian.
There are plenty of recognisable Italian landmarks in film. (Source: pixabay.com)
In fact, the film covers his long journey through the Italian capital, showing off the city’s beautiful architecture in the process.
This film was so successful for Italian cinema that Rome earned the nickname “Hollywood on the Tiber”.
Why not learn Italian and discover Italian cinematic culture, too?
The 2008 film directed by Matteo Garrone covers the story of 6 people involved in organised crime. It won the Canne Film Festival’s Grand Prix du Jury and was made into a TV series in 2014.
Gomorrah is one of the most important Italian films and received favourable reviews as well as doing well at the box office. Italian students can also learn more about the aesthetics of Italian cinema as well as some of the expressions used in modern Italian.
It’s worth a watch before you go to Italy!
Corleone is a biographical series that covers the life of Salvatore Riina, better known as Toto Riina, who was a member of the Sicilian Mafia.
Viewers can relive the adventures of Toto Riina including his arrest by the Italian police while also taking in the beautiful sights of Sicily.
Italy is a beautiful backdrop for visual media. (Source: pixabay.com)
Corleone is especially important for anyone going to Sicily since the show takes place in Sicilian, the language spoken in and around Sicily.
Having a knowledge of the minority languages in Italy would look great on your CV, wouldn’t it?
I Cesaroni is an Italian series that came out in 2006 starring Claudio Amendola and Elena Sofia Ricci.
The series was inspired by the Spanish show Los Serrano. You can follow the woes of Giulio and Lucia, two lovers who end up living together and bringing their children with them.
The series was hugely successful in Italy. It takes place in the Garbatella area of Rome. Learners of Italian can learn more about everyday Italian life as well as Italian used at home.
Everyone knows the story of Pinocchio, the puppet who wanted to be a real boy, thanks to the famous Disney adaptation.
However, Enzo Alo, the director of the Italian version, didn’t like the Hollywood version so he later retold Carlo Collodi’s classic story.
Pinocchio is one of the most famous pieces of Italian literature. (Source: pixabay.com)
This version of Pinocchio takes place in Tuscany. The colours used in the film are incredibly vivid and reminiscent of the Italian Comedia dell’Arte style.
It’s the perfect film for children learning Italian.
The 2009 series was based on the children’s stories written by Elisabetta Dami. The hero, Geronimo Stilton, is a talking mouse and the editor of The Rodent’s Gazette. While Geronimo is a journalist first and foremost, his real passion is writing stories and Italian cuisine.
While the series was never aired on British TV, the DVDs are available. Of course, it’s better to watch this show in Italian rather than watch the English dubs.
The cartoon is highly recommended for young children learning Italian.
You have to read Umberto Eco’s 1980 novel.
The book, which was later made into a film by Jean-Jacques Annaud, is a historical murder mystery set in an Italian monastery. The story takes place in the 14th century making the book rather unique in terms of European literature.
Reading this novel is particularly useful as you can learn about Italian history and theology in addition to learning more about the language. However, you’ll need a decent level of Italian to read the book in its entirety. The Name of the Rose is great for those wanting to perfect their Italian while learning more about the culture.
Since coming out in 2012, the Neapolitan Novels series has been hugely successful. The stories take place at the end of the 1940s and follows the growing friendship of Elena and Lila as they try to create lives for themselves following the Second World War.
The series is even more interesting considering the author has kept their identity a secret. This series is useful for those learning Italian since it also shows us the city of Naples during the post-war boom in the second half of the 21st century.
Who doesn’t love music?
Thanks to the country’s Gregorian heritage and the folklore of the Mediterranean coast, Italian music has always reached beyond its borders.
Listening to traditional Italian music can help you learn more about Italian culture. You can also discover instruments you never knew existed like the chitarra battente, organetto, and pandero.
Classical Italian music is also very popular with the piano being the instrument of choice for many composers.
The piano was invented in Italy. (Source: pixabay.com)
However, you won’t learn much Italian from Vivaldi or Corelli!
If you want to learn Italian quickly, you should focus on songs whose lyrics will help you improve your comprehension and pronunciation. You should actively listen to songs rather than just putting them on in the background. The goal isn’t to learn about the music itself but rather listen closely to the Italian nouns, adjectives, verbs, and structures used in the lyrics.
Here are a few songs that you should listen to if you’d like to improve your Italian:
Vivo per lei
Via con me
La donna riccia
Parlami d’amore Mariù
Tintarella di luna
The French artist Hélène Ségara also brought out the album Amaretti in 2016 of covers of Italian songs.
You should also read the lyrics and their translations if you’d like to learn more Italian. You can start to learn new vocabulary on your own. By regularly listening to Italian music, it’ll be easier to speak Italian, work in Italy, or study in Italy.
So why not learn Italian by listening to some of the country’s biggest artists?
There’s more to learning a language than the traditional methods you often think of: private tutorials or lessons in school. There are other methods that are also very effective.
How Can You Learn Italian On-line? That’s a very good question to be asking in the digital age. There are a lot of specialised websites and apps dedicated to learning Italian. Speaking Italian thanks to the Internet has never been so simple…
You can even benefit from these on-line resources if you’re studying Italian at school or with a private tutor.
You can learn Italian with just a few clicks!
You can’t explore Italy on the internet, though. (Source: pixabay.com)
There are plenty of great sites to discover and, most importantly, a number of them are completely free!
There’s no need to put aside some extra cash for some of these on-line Italian lessons.
Here are a few specialised sites for learning Italian that we think are useful, effective, and fun:
These websites offer courses for a range of different levels! If you’re just starting out, you can still use these sites.
With all these fun exercises, sound clips for practising pronunciation, and basic grammar activities, you’ll have the basics down.
Italian lessons online are a very affordable solution for those wanting to learn Italian on a budget.
If you’re set on learning Italian, it would be foolish not to make use of your smartphone.
Whether you’re using iOS or Android, there are plenty of free apps for both platforms! There are also plenty of apps that have been made to help make learning Italian more fun.
Whether speaking, writing, listening, or reading, there are games, quizzes, and Italian lesson apps available like:
The best way to learn Italian is immersion. After you’ve taken Italian tutorials, discovered the language and mastered the basics, why not immerse yourself in the language? You could even head off to Rome!
There are so many amazing things in Italy! It’s home to so many wonders. Did you know that according to UNESCO, Italy is home to 60% of Europe’s cultural heritage sites and 40% of the world’s.
That’s a lot! And it’s only a few hours on the plane!
You still have time to head to Italy without getting a visa. There’s currently no limit to how long you can stay. Soon you’ll see that immersion is the quickest way to learn a language.
By immersing yourself every day in the language, you’ll notice how quickly your Italian’s improving. Whether at work, out with friends, or chatting to your flatmates, you’ll see there are plenty of opportunities to practise the language any day of the week.
In short, you can learn Italian quickly and easily. Why not hire a private tutor to help you cover the basics: