There are plenty of lessons on-line that cost nothing. What’s the catch? While there are quality free resources, they can often be hard to find. Don’t worry! We’re here to help!
Free Sites for Learning Italian
There are plenty of resources for those who want to learn Italian without leaving their home.
However, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy and you can do it without putting the effort in!
The BBC doesn’t just focus on English. Did you know that they also have ways for you to learn Italian?
Even if the course is no longer updated, there are plenty of resources available in both English and Italian:
An Italian guide with the Italian alphabet, essential expressions, and cultural facts.
A Facebook Page: BBC Learn Italian to learn Italian via social networks!
An Italian test to evaluate your level after several lessons.
Free on-line lessons: La Mappa Misteriosa, Talk Italian and Dentro l’Italiano.
Italian slang expressions and holiday vocabulary.
Italian vocabulary and grammar.
News in Italian.
If you’re a fan of golf, you can follow it in Italian and combine your love of sport with learning a language.
Loecsen may quickly become your favourite app for learning Italian.
We have to say that the methods are great. There are over 40 languages available but you can choose to just do Italian. The site is simple and easy to use, you’ll never be lost!
You’ll start with a list of essential Italian expressions. Expressions like “Hello”, “congratulations”, “I don’t know”, and “I don’t understand” are shown in Italian alongside pictures and read aloud so that you can practise your pronunciation.
It’s easy to learn basic Italian on-line! With vocabulary, grammar classes, and videos, you’ll have everything you need to get ahead in Italian!
Speaking is one of the best parts of this site. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful Italian accent.
That’s not all there is to Loecsen, though. There are plenty of different types of vocabulary available:
Looking for people
At the bar
At a restaurant
Getting a taxi
At the hotel
On the beach
In case of emergency.
In short, there’s a huge variety of everyday Italian expressions to learn to help you quickly master Italian and head off to Italy! Everything is completely free. With this method, you’ll discover that Italian can be an easy language to study.
You can also find quizzes to test your knowledge. You’ll listen to expression and have to click on the correct translation! It’s a good way to check you understand!
If you can’t learn from your computer, you can also download mp3s and listen to the expressions anywhere and print off the corresponding pdfs so that you can see how to write them!
One World Italiano
In your quest to learn Italian, One World Italiano is one of your best companions. However, when you arrive on the site, you’ll probably not have a clue where to go, let alone where the free Italian lessons are! It might be worthwhile putting it in English first!
Let’s begin with the Italian lessons. You’ll find over 37 units on the site. By clicking on each one of them, you’ll get a lesson related to the unit. There are audio files, tables, and explanations. This is perfect for Italian beginners and includes a thorough programme:
Speaking about Hobbies and Free Time
Family and Work
At the Hotel
Town and Shopping
This Italian academic support is free for everyone so make the most of it!
You should also check out One World Italiano’s free Italian lessons on YouTube. There are great videos presented by teachers. It’s a good idea for those who can’t take real tutorials! The lessons are short and entirely in Italian. Dive straight in!
There's also a page dedicated to exercises. Test your knowledge on specific subjects and see whether your lessons are working.
You’ll find exercises on:
Pronouns, articles, adjectives, prepositions, comparatives, etc.
Exercises and videos from the lessons.
Finally, here are some of the other resources offered by One World Italiano for free.
News in Italian
And even proverbs!
You can also learn Italian through films, songs, articles, and resources on-line.
Free Italian Lessons on Your Mobile
How could we ignore this? You and your friends probably spend a lot of time in front of your smartphones or tablets.
How can you use them to learn Italian for free?
If you didn’t know, you will soon: there are thousands of apps on both iTunes and Google Play. Whether you want to learn French, Italian, Arabic, or German, they’re not hard to find.
However, a lot of them are too academic or boring and learning a language through apps should be fun! Above all, they should be more fun than your Italian lessons at school!
When it comes to learning Italian online, Babbel is one of the best ways to learn on your smartphone or tablet.
Download the app, choose your language, your level, and your age. Now you can start your Italian tutorials! Babbel offers you a complete introduction to Italian.
Beginners and advanced students can enjoy Italian language tutorials focusing on grammar, pronunciation, conjugations, vocabulary, etc.
However, Babbel's tutorials go much further than that. You can also learn about Italian culture and society which is essential for anyone wanting to travel to Italy.
You will also practise your writing, ensuring that you learn all aspects of the language.
The only drawback is that Babbel is a freemium app. This means that while free, certain features are available only to those who pay a subscription. However, there’s plenty in the free version!
We love that the app makes you repeat Italian expressions in order to learn pronunciation more easily!
Learn Italian Vocabulary - 6,000 Words
This is an app for learning just Italian vocabulary, of course!
Learning grammar can be really useful, too. However, it can be tricky to put together sentences in Italian when you know very few words. This is why this app helps you learn 6,000 different Italian words.
The 6,000 words are divided across 140 different topics and the app is highly-rated on Google Play and the App Store.
However, don’t be shocked if you come across the odd English word in this long vocabulary list. In fact, Italian, like a number of other languages, has picked up a few Anglicisms.
To give you a little taster, we've listed the Top 500 of most common words in the Italian language:
|202||stare in piedi||stand|
|294||fino a quando||until|
|422||in grado di||able|
Nemo Italian is another one of the most downloaded apps for learning Italian for free on a smartphone or a tablet. It’s a multi-faceted app and it allows beginners to discover Italian phonetics and refine their Italian accent.
There’s also essential vocabulary and expressions and a focus on speaking and listening skills.
Videos for Learning Italian
You’re probably beginning to understand that there are plenty of different way to learn Italian on your own for free.
While they're really useful, you can’t get to a very high level with them. However, they are handy to start off with if you want to head off to Italy, for example.
For the last of these methods, we’re going to have a look on YouTube. Since being created in 2005, plenty of videos have been uploaded onto YouTube. These videos include “educational” videos offering language learning.
There are plenty of videos to learn Italian for free on YouTube courtesy of other teachers and language courses.
You’ll quickly see that there both good and bad ones. However, some of them are really good. You just have to type “Learn Italian” into YouTube and try out a few.
While this method lacks interactivity, it can do wonders for your comprehension and learning Italian through YouTube videos is a great way to improve your Italian accent.
The Best Movies To Learn How To Speak Italian
“La vita è bella” (“Life is beautiful”)
A masterpiece directed by Roberto Benigni in 1997. It is acknowledged internationally for being one of Italy’s most acclaimed films, ‘Buongiorno Principessa’ (‘Hello Princess’) being one of its most famous lines.
It tells the story of a couple and their son who have been confined in an extermination camp during the Second World War. Despite the horrors the story tackles, the dialogue is very manageable. One of the many positive features of this film is that if you’ve already watched the dubbed version in your language, then the Italian is easy to follow.
“La meglio gioventù” (“The Best of Youth”)
A feature film delivered by Marco Tullio Giordana in 2003 which has since become a TV series. It tells the tale of an Italian family from the 60’s to the present day, focusing specifically on the events of two brothers who live together, Nicola and Matteo, who meet a girl with mental problems who changes their lives.
This film enables you to pick up on key aspects of Italian past like the Sicilian Mafia and the flood of Florence, in a way that’s simple yet fascinating.
“Manuale d’amore” (“Manual of Love”)
A romantic comedy directed by Giovanni Veronesi in 2005, it narrates the 4 stages of a passionate relationship: love at first sight, the process of getting to know one another, heartbreak and the outcomes of betrayal and abandonment, each told through 4 separate couples.
If you’re an enthusiast of this genre, this film will heavily develop your vocabulary on everything romantic.
“Viva la libertà” (“Long Live Freedom”)
A 2003 film directed by Roberto Andò. The lead, Toni Servillo, (also the narrator in the film La Grande Bellezza) relates the story of Enrico Olivieri, a secretary for the opposition party who loses popular support and decides to flee to France, who gets replaced by his twin brother.
The plot is told through the continuous use of humour. Given that the film deals with contentious themes such as freedom of speech and the Italian political system, we recommend this film for students who are of an intermediate level. It’s a great film to learn and listen to Italian accents, seeing as all the actors are Italian.
“Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” (“Cinema Paradiso”)
An Italian classic about a confession of love made at the cinema. Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore in 1990, he won an Oscar and a Golden Globe award for ‘best foreign film’. It is a drama that conveys Italian life after the war, as told through the emotional story of Totò. Totò is a 6-year-old child who goes to ‘Alfredo’s projection booth’ every day to study about movies, cultivating a love for cinema. You will certainly know this film from its soundtrack only, composed by Ennio Morricone and appreciated all over the world.
Can You Learn Italian on the Internet?
It’s a question we need to ask: Is learning Italian for free on-line really an effective way to learn? You could also ask the same question for other languages, too.
Can you really learn a foreign language without ever seeing a qualified teacher or a native speaker?
In the digital age, the answer is yes. However:
There are plenty of sites and programmes that say you can learn a language in one, two, or three months. We recommend being wary of any site that offers language learning in a specific amount of time. This is usually to flog you a package or a subscription.
Don’t forget that everybody’s different when it comes to learning a foreign language. Each person’s memory is different. It’s therefore impossible to say that any person would learn a language in a given number of months. Your ability to learn a language depends on how much time you put into learning the language and the methods you use.
You can learn Italian online but you need to be aware of one thing: Learning on-line is just the beginning.
Unfortunately, becoming bilingual isn’t very achievable in front of a screen. The sites, apps, and videos we’ve suggested are well-rounded.
However, they can only get you so far!
Would you like to get a private Italian tutor? You can find them all over the UK!
Other Ways to Learn Italian
As you’ve probably gathered, you won’t become bilingual just by using free apps or using free Italian lessons on-line! If you want to become bilingual, you need to travel to somewhere the language is spoken and use it in real-life situations where you can learn from your mistakes.
Here’s some advice for learning quickly! Travel!
Are you sick of hanging around the house when you learn Italian? Immerse yourself in Italian in Rome or Florence!
If you want to become bilingual, you need to travel to somewhere the language is spoken and use it in real-life situations where you can learn from your mistakes. What about Sardinia, for example?
Perfect! You can try out your Italian when you’re there! There are plenty of beautiful places in Italy to discover:
Do you prefer the mountains and skiing? Head off to Turin.
Do you like sun, sea, and sand? Sicily or Sardinia would be perfect for you!
Are you a fan of history, art, or architecture? Rome, Florence, or Pisa are all good options!
Do you like shopping? Are you interested in Fashion Week? Milan’s the place to go!
Ask to Be Corrected!
You should always ask a native speaker to correct you when you make mistakes with your grammar, conjugations, or sentence structure. People are usually too polite to correct foreign speakers but if you’re never corrected, you’ll continue to make the same mistakes!
Watch TV in Italian!
Watch Italian TV channels! There are a number available online or through cable and satellite providers: Rai Uno, Rai Due, Rai Tre...
Radiotelevisione Italiana, the national public television provider in Italy, offers 3 channels: Rai Uno, Rai Due, and Rai Tre as well as an Italian news and sports channel. Rai Educational shows documentaries and historical programmes. A wide choice of programmes is available when it comes to watching on-line and you can even download podcasts (although they aren’t available outside of Italy).
The first private channel in Italy broadcasts news, entertainment, and even American series. Part of the Mediaset group, the channel’s website’s video section has a number of clips from the programmes they show.
This commercial channel is also part of the Mediaset group. It broadcasts news, sports, cartoons, and American series like Nip/Tuck, The Simpsons, and CSI. Just like Canale 5, they also have clips on their website.
Rete 4 (Retequattro)
Yet another Mediaset channel. This channel mainly focuses on entertainment, American series, and the TG4 news. Once again, you can find clips on their website.
A private television channel belonging to Telecom Italia Media. This channel broadcasts a mix of cultural programming and American imports. Clips can be found on their video section half way down their homepage.
There’s nothing better than the news the to deepen your understanding of a language! The advantage of televised news is that the journalists are addressing a native audience, rather than learners of Italian, and speak to you as quickly as they would a native speaker.
As long as you’re up to date with current affairs around the world, you won’t get lost! Try to use the subtitles as little as possible! You’ll get the gist and improve over time.
You should watch at least 5 minutes per day. It doesn’t take much time and it will help you to progress quickly!
Listen to the Radio in Italian!
To improve your level, once you’ve watched the news, why not try listening to the radio in Italian? Without the pictures to help you, you’ll have to listen to understand!
There are plenty of on-line platforms offering radio streams from around the world. The choice is yours! Furthermore, by listening to the songs that Italy’s listening to, you’ll also learn more about the country’s tastes and culture. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of the country!
Watch Films in Italian
Italian cinema produces plenty of masterpieces! To start off, you can watch a film you’ve already seen dubbed in Italian. You can put the subtitles on in the beginning: start in English to learn vocabulary before watching exclusive in Italian to help you with your spelling. You’ll soon see that you don’t need the subtitles at all! Just like when watching the news, you won’t understand everything at first!
Here’s a few films from Italian directors that you could watch to get started:
La vita è bella (Life is Beautiful) by and with Roberto Benigni is a film you might have already heard of! For anyone who hasn’t seen it: Watch it! Be careful, though. It’s heavy... Guido and his son are deported to a German concentration camp. Guido, who wants to protect his son from the horrors, makes him believe that it’s a game in which the winner gets a tank!
Youth (2015) from Paolo Sorrentino tells the story of two older gentlemen who meet during their holidays. They both reflect on their lives and the passage of time.
Il mio nome è Nessuno (My Name is Nobody) was made by Sergio Leone in 1973. It’s a classic Spaghetti Western! If you love the genre, you’ll have probably seen it! You could even put it in Italian!
Il capitale umano (Human Capital) from Paolo Virzi is an Italian film with an incredible cast. It tells the same story from the point of view of three different characters. With each person’s retelling, the plot thickens. Who ran over a cyclist and left them for dead? Superprof loves it!
Blogs, which are very popular at the moment, are a great way for learning a language without even realising! You can find traditional blogs teaching you how to speak Italian as well as blogs about a whole host of other subjects.
Learning and Teaching Italian
This blog can help you to learn a lot about:
History and culture
Pronunciation and the art of conversation
There are plenty of useful articles to learn how to speak about your family in Italian, learn the formal and informal pronouns, the 10 most common pronunciation errors you should avoid and the two different ways to say “I love you” in Italian.
This is another blog in English on Italian. In fact, blogs on Italian seem to be rather popular. You have to pay for most of the resources but there is access to free resources. You can, for example:
Plan a trip to Verona
Find errors in a text
Learn more about the country’s culture.
Would you like to learn Italian through blogs? It’s a better way to learn a modern version of the language as opposed to the literary style used in books.
Blog Di Sport
Do you like sport? Why not use your love of sport to help you to learn Italian?
On this blog you can read articles on tennis, volleyball, football, cycling, and many other sports completely in Italian.
You mightn’t understand everything at the start but once you get the hang of the basics, you’ll start to understand more things like:
Can you really learn a language without understanding the accompanying culture? If you answered no, then the blog Italiano Italia is for you! In this blog, you’ll find:
Articles on Italian culture: from olive oil to the Bocca della Verità in Rome.
Advice for cooking Italian food: from tomato sauce to cooking pasta correctly.
Advice on travelling to Italy
As well as on-line courses.
What else do you need?
Learning Italian: The Right Choice!
Of all the languages that you can learn in school, Italian isn’t one of the most popular.
Languages like Spanish and German are more popular. You can set yourself apart by learning something different!
Italian: A Niche Language
Italian is only studied by 3% of the European Union as a foreign language.
Why not become part of this exclusive group and fall in love with the beautiful Italian language?
Even if you never had the chance to study Italian at school, you can still learn Italian later in life.
Italian: How to Learn It
It’s obviously never to late to learn Italian given how many ways there are to learn a language these days.
However, if you want to learn a language, you need to be disciplined and put in the effort.
Would you like to learn Italian on-line? There are plenty of sites (free or at a cost) that offer resources for learning Italian
Learning Italian for free? There are plenty of different ways to learn. Just be careful when it comes to places offering to teach you Italian in a number of days for free.
If you’re just starting out learning Italian, you need to find the right resources.
I would start with basic Italian: basic expressions and Italian for beginners classes. I you are searching for lessons in your area, use search terms like Italian lessons London, for example, on Superprof to get the best local results.
How Long Does it Take to Learn Italian?
Patsy Lightbown, a professor of Education at Montreal’s Concordia University, recommends between 12,000 and 15,000 hours for a six-year-old to learn their mother tongue.
How long does it take an adult to learn a foreign language?
You should know that there a number of factors to consider when it comes to learning how long it takes for us to learn a language since everybody’s different.
The goal: do you just want to learn a few words so you can travel to Italy? Or do you want to become bilingual?
The time you have: Of course, if you spend an hour studying every day, you’ll learn a lot quicker than you would studying an hour a week.
Language difficulty: For an English speaker, Italian is closer to their mother tongue than a language such as Chinese. This can make things simpler.
Knowing another foreign language: This can help you to learn Italian. You’ve already mastered certain notions of learning a foreign language.
The methods and techniques used: We already gave you a few in this article. The better your techniques, the more you’ll learn! It’s important to use a variety of resources. You learn a language by reading, listening, speaking, and writing it.
Motivation: This is arguably the most important factor when it comes to learning a language! We all know a jack of all trades who’s done a little bit of everything: they learnt a song on piano, knows a few words in Chinese, a couple of salsa steps, but they never mastered any of these things. To avoid being a master of none, you need motivation!
So can you give us a number? If everything perfectly falls into place, you can learn Italian to a good level in as little as three months!
However, you can only learn it in three months if you’re motivated, organised, spend a lot of time practising, use various learning techniques, and have a clear objective! There are a lot of boxes to check.
Why Learn Italian?
Why do you think Mozart composed most of his operas in Italian instead of German? It’s a beautiful language!
While French is often known as a romantic language, the original Romance language is Italian! Italian sounds romantic and musical since most of its words end with a vowel. Sweet words are far more effective in Italian!
According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), most of the world’s heritage sites are in Italy: 60% of the Europe's artistic treasures!
Italy is one of the biggest economies in the world and there are a lot of businesses looking for speakers of Italian and English. Give yourself the best chance when it comes to finding a job!
If you love art, music, design, architecture, opera, or food, Italy is where it’s at! Learning Italian can help when it comes to a variety of different fields. Italy is up there when it comes to culinary arts, interior design, fashion, graphic design, furniture design, and transport, for example!
Italian is Latin’s closest living relative. By learning Italian, you’ll learn more about Latin.
Learn more about the roots of tonnes of English words. If you’ve already learnt Latin, Italian will be a piece of cake!
You’ll learn to speak quickly! While Italian pronunciation can be tricky, written Italian can be easy to understand since no letters are silent like in English. There are exercises in Italian that can help you with your pronunciation (not to mention the grammar).
You won’t need subtitles when you watch Italian films! We can all agree that watching a film in its native language is better than dubbing. It’s horrible watching actors who are out of sync with the audio.
Italian has plenty of words for food! If you love food, you have to learn Italian!
Understand what you eat: For example, when you eat “farfalle”, you’re literally eating “butterflies” (not bow-ties). If, like me, you love “arrabiata” sauce, you’re literally eating “angry” sauce. In short, Italian can help you learn more about food! There’s nothing better than an Italian cooking class to help you learn Italian.
Read between the lines: Italians are famous for speaking a lot with their hands. However, there’s more to it than just that! Italian body-language is almost its own language! You can learn that, too!
Federico Fellini (a famous Italian director) once said that “un linguaggio diverso è una diversa visione della vita” which means “a different language is a different view of life”. Learning Italian will open your mind and help you to understand Italian culture.
Italian, just like learning another foreign language, will improve your mental faculties, problem-solving, and aid memory. Studies have also shown that it can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
In short, when it comes to learning Italian:
You can learn Italian for free as long as you’re willing to put in a lot of time, effort, and work!
On the other hand, if you only do a few online lessons and watch a few YouTube videos, your progress will be limited.
Watch the news in Italian, listen to the radio in Italian, watch films in Italian, etc. This can help you improve your comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar! You’ll also learn more about Italian culture than you would from an online course!
To learn more and become bilingual, you should travel to Italy! Everyday situations with native speakers will give you the opportunity to practise and improve. You’ll see how far you’ve come! To improve orally, there’s nothing better than speaking!