If you are a complete beginner and want to learn Italian, you have arrived at the right place. In this post, Learning Italian for beginners, I will briefly give you my experience, learning Italian. I remember having relatives around me talking Italian, and I did not understand a word of what they said. It was quite frustrating because I wished I could at least grasp a sentence or phrase here or there, but zero was all I could get. I was about 23 years old then and was a complete beginner. At home, nobody spoke Italian, so I had no background hearing the language.
After I decided to learn Italian, the first I remember was watching videos on Youtube of people talking Italian. I selected videos with people talking about topics I knew well. But still, I could hardly understand a thing. I remember trying to read Italian and could not understand either.
Then I came across Rosetta Stone, and I liked it very much because it had a lot of images. I used Rosetta Stone every day. I set up goals and tried to stick up with them. Rosetta Stone was easy and they took me from the very beginning to an intermediate level.
Things I liked about Rosetta Stone:
I knew nothing of Italian, and Rosetta Stone guided me very smoothly until I built my confidence. Even thou I have no previous knowledge, the lessons with Rosetta Stone were easy to follow. I could spend hours with my laptop and still wanted to keep going.
Things I did not like about Rosetta Stone:
Repetition surely is efficient. But even thou I assimilated a lot of vocabulary by repetition, it got a little boring at times.
If you want to read more about Rosetta Stone, click here.
Simultaneously while advancing with Rosetta Stone, I started to listen to audio files in Italian every time I had a chance. While I was on a long trip, driving to work, waiting in line… I listen to Italian all day.
I selected to listen in Italian only topics I already knew about. And started to note some progress. I went from understanding nothing to understanding 50% of what I heard, in about 8 months. To understand this 50% I had to be fully concentrated. And it required a lot of effort. And, again I repeat, I only heard people talking in Italian on themes I had a background knowledge of. I never listened in this first period, to a random subject.
After this initial stage, I started listening to the radio, and comprehension dropped to about 20%! But, because I was excited with the progress I had made with the audio files, I continued to listen to the radio. Listening to the radio, I was exposed to random subjects. And I continued to listen in Italian all the news and things that interested me.
And after more or less two years of learning Italian, I traveled to Italy. This was like a final test for me! And I was really surprised with the results. I had not been confronted directly with the language up to this point. All my exposure to the language had all been listening to audio and video files on the Internet. I had not had any person to speak in Italian during all my learning up to that point. And I expected to have a certain familiarity with the language but was also expecting a lot of confusing moments. But I was astonished, that I understood practically everything. Wow… I still remember it and it brings a smile to my face. I could walk the streets alone, enter shops, travel from one city to another, find my way in the bank to open a bank account, talk hours with families and friends, and so on. My Italian was very far from being perfect, but I could communicate so easily that it felt as I had spoken Italian for years! I was really surprised. And the people surrounding me were surprised as well.
After that first experience, I have continued to go to Italy, and feel really comfortable talking Italian. So I have decided to open this site and share with all of you what worked for me! I really wish you the best in your journey learning Italian. And if you have any comments or questions, please drop them in the box below. Chao, Chao! 🙂