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Learning to Speak Italian
If you want to learn how to speak Italian with confidence, you’ve come to the right place. Rosetta Stone understands that it takes more than memorizing a few Italian vocabulary words and phrases to get to the heart of this romance language. Take the next steps in your language learning journey with an award-winning approach that gets you speaking Italian and practicing your pronunciation from the very first lesson.
Over 63 million native speakers across Europe have found lots to love about Italian. It’s widely spoken not just in Italy, but also in Switzerland, Albania, and Malta. Italian evolved from Latin, so it shares similar sounds with a few other romance languages like French, Spanish, and Portuguese. For instance, the word red in Italian is rosso, while in French it’s rouge, and in Spanish rojo.
Learning how to speak Italian should start with a program that goes beyond the basics of vocabulary. That’s why our Dynamic Immersion® method works to get you speaking and practicing Italian in bite-sized lessons, building towards the confidence to have real-world conversations. Whether you download lessons to learn Italian offline or take language learning with you in Rosetta Stone’s mobile app, you’ll be able to engage in practical exercises that help you speak for yourself.
How to Speak Italian for Beginners
Learning how to speak basic Italian starts with understanding the fundamentals of the language. Italian uses the same alphabet as English, but the pronunciations for some of the letters are different. Getting familiar with the sounds of the most commonly used Italian consonants will help you build towards pronouncing words. For instance, the letter “F” in Italian is pronounced effe, and the letter “N” sounds like enne. These deviations are an essential part of learning how to pronounce and speak Italian words.
Memorizing a few common phrases, like ciao (hello) or arrivederci (goodbye) will also help you begin to speak Italian, but it’s best to practice these in the context of daily conversations. That way, you’ll feel comfortable and confident about how to speak Italian when it matters in real-world situations that deviate from the script. Like any language, programs that teach how to speak Italian are the most successful when they begin with a few simple words and build slowly towards complexity, allowing for feedback and review before moving on to new phrases.
That’s why Rosetta Stone focuses on bite-sized lessons designed to evolve towards speaking Italian confidently. In your first ten-minute lesson, you’ll learn to speak ten new Italian words and put them together with words you’ve learned previously to make six new phrases or sentences. This approach, combined with a Dynamic Immersion® method that puts these new words and phrases in context with real-world situations, is part of what has made Rosetta Stone a six-time award-winner for the best language learning software.
How to Speak and Pronounce Italian Words
If you’ve ever heard an Italian speaker say _amore_, you’ll agree that this romance language is a beautiful one. But as someone just beginning to learn to speak Italian words, you may find your pronunciation leaves something to be desired. Italian is a phonetic language where most words get spoken in the way they are written. However, there are a few tricky rules of Italian pronunciation. For instance, the “h” in Italian is usually silent unless it follows a “g” or a “c” as in words like gnocchi (NO-key).
The best way to get a handle on pronouncing Italian words is to practice, practice, practice. And to get feedback on your pronunciation in real time, so you can correct mistakes and refine your accent. It’s also helpful to immerse yourself in Italian as much as possible, absorbing the inflection and pronunciation of native speakers.
That’s why from your very first Italian lesson, Rosetta Stone’s patented speech recognition engine TruAccent® helps you correct your pronunciation. It compares your voice to that of native speakers, providing instant feedback on improving your accent and getting you closer to being able to speak Italian with confidence.
Learn how to say, “Could you recommend a local restaurant?” in Italian.
Lady on a street sidewalk asking a man for a restaurant recommendation
Learn how to say, "Could you recommend a local restaurant?" in Italian.
Getting Beyond How to Speak Basic Italian
Once you’ve learned to speak a few Italian words and practiced your pronunciation, you’ll be able to build upon what you’ve learned to become comfortable having conversations in Italian. The goal of a language learning program isn’t just about cramming you full of Italian vocabulary. It should also be about encouraging your confidence as an Italian speaker so when you do have conversations in real-world settings, you’ll be able to understand, speak, and be understood.
Rosetta Stone has a language learning program that scales carefully towards speaking Italian like a local, with immersive, practical exercises built around the following language learning strategies.
1: Practical Phrases The most important Italian phrases to learn are the ones you’ll need in everyday life. From buying a train ticket to ordering a meal, Rosetta Stone structures lessons in speaking Italian for beginners around conversational phrases used in context. When you engage with a new vocabulary word, you’ll find it presented as a real-world situation enriched with visual and audio cues that will help you adapt your response. A Rosetta Stone subscription also includes an Italian phrasebook that offers greetings and common expressions you can access on the go.
2: Building Vocabulary As your learning progresses, you’ll be able to tackle more complicated Italian vocabulary. But don’t lose sight of the importance of those words in context. For instance, Italian verbs are conjugated depending on the subject, when the action occurred, the speaker’s mode, and quantity so you’ll need to learn the rules first before you try to memorize the words.
3: Pronunciation and Grammar One of the things that is a hallmark of a native Italian speaker is the ability to roll R’s. It’s also common to roll R’s in Spanish and Portuguese. But this part of the accent can be tricky for foreign speakers and takes plenty of practice, immersion, and feedback to perfect. Listen to a native Italian speaker say azzurro, the word for blue, and you’ll get some sense of why rolling R’s correctly can be so important.
4: Interactive Experiences Once you’ve gone beyond the basics and refined your ability to speak conversational Italian, you’ll need to engage in interactive experiences to build your confidence. Finding native speakers, tutors, or fellow language learners is essential as you take the next steps in your language learning journey. Unscripted conversations where you learn to speak naturally and focus on listening and being understood are the best ways to take learning to speak Italian to the next level.
Ways to Learn How to Speak Italian With Confidence
Can you learn to speak Italian in just a few minutes a day? It’s possible to memorize some basic Italian phrases and vocabulary in a few minutes, but learning to speak Italian with confidence requires more of an investment.
Not only do you need to choose a robust language learning program, but you also want to set realistic goals and expectations for your language learning journey. Italian, like any language, is best learned in shorter, frequent intervals of study with plenty of time for review and practice.
Rosetta Stone has over twenty-five years of experience helping language learners speak for themselves with a curriculum that scales naturally towards speaking Italian like a local. And while there are no shortcuts to becoming a fluent Italian speaker, there are some things you can do to accelerate your language learning.
Immerse Yourself in Speaking Italian
The idea of immersion is to surround yourself with the Italian language as much as you can. Watch Italian movies with the subtitles turned off or listen to popular Italian music on the way to work. You can even immerse yourself in Italian cooking shows, which sounds like the most delicious way to learn words like riso (rice) and pomodori (tomatoes). The concept implies that in addition to being exposed to new vocabulary words, you’ll also unconsciously pick up pronunciation and inflection from listening to native Italian speakers.
Practice Speaking Italian Daily
The cliché of practice makes perfect is true when it comes to language learning. It’s important to spend some time every day speaking Italian, but it’s also essential to review what you’ve already learned and apply it to new situations. Rosetta Stone makes daily language learning easy with bite-sized lessons available on the mobile app, desktop or for download to engage in offline learning when it’s convenient for you. You’ll always be able to pick up learning where you left off with lessons that sync across all your devices. This helps learners progress through the program at their own pace and in a way that builds naturally towards speaking Italian with confidence.
Find Ways to Speak Italian With Others
Unless you’re in Italy, it maybe be tricky to find ways to speak Italian with others. That’s why Rosetta Stone offers opportunities to engage with other language learners and tutors in an online community. Having these kinds of interactive experiences that help you go off script and feel like a local are an important component of any language-learning journey.
Benefits of Learning to Speak Italian
While you may have a very personal reason for learning Italian— like that upcoming trip to Venice—there are also some general advantages that everyone can enjoy from learning another language. In addition to fostering cultural understanding, being bilingual can help you travel with confidence. There’s something empowering about being able to travel to a foreign country and focus on the experience instead of stressing about making mistakes because of the language barrier.
There are many practical reasons for investing the time to learn Italian, but there’s also the pleasure of being able to connect, understand, and have enriching experiences through the power of language.
Here are just a few of the other benefits you’ll enjoy when you learn to speak Italian.
MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH OTHER ROMANCE LANGUAGES
As a romance language, Italian shares some commonalities with other languages across Europe. Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese are all originate from the same language family. By learning one romance language like Italian, you may gain insight and connections to other languages like Spanish and vice versa.
ITALIAN IS AN IMPORTANT LANGUAGE FOR FOODIES
Is there anyone who isn’t interested in Italian food? Knowing not only what’s on the menu but also the ingredients of your favorite Italian dishes can have many delicious side effects in the kitchen and at your favorite restaurant or trattoria.
LEARNING HOW TO SPEAK ITALIAN CAN HELP YOU TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE
Whether you’re journeying up and down the boot or hopping from country to country on your Eurorail pass, learning Italian can help you navigate your journey with confidence. You’ll also be able to have more profound, meaningful experiences with locals when you speak the same language.
ITALIAN CAN HELP YOUR CAREER, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE IN THE ARTS
Speaking another language like Italian is always a resume booster and can even pay off in a large salary depending on your career path. Italy is home to icons of the fashion industry and has a cultural heritage rich not only in food, but also in the arts and music. From Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel to modern-day creators like Dolce & Gabbana, you’ll find speaking Italian can be an inspired choice.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with Italian whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app.
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation.
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.