Learning Italian for beginners

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.

Laptop

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.

Smartphone

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.

Italy_tourists

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! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Learning Italian for beginners”

  1. Hi, Henry! Come stai oggi?
    Knowing multiple languages is more than important apart the fact that it establishes deep connections, cross cultural friendships, and job opportunities. Knowing multiple languages also boost your brain. But, the most important thing for quick language learning is to have someone to be speaking it with. Thank you for this article. I found it so informative. I speak Italian too.

    1. Oggi sono stato benissimo! And yes, you’re right, speaking more than one language has enormous benefits. I also agree with you that having someone to speak with, when you are learning a language helps you learn even faster. But, if you can’t find someone when you’re starting to learn the language, don’t give up. Once you start to speak you’ll find a lot of friendly native speakers. 🙂 It’s great to know you also speak Italian. Could you tell us a bit of your experience learning the language? Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day! Ciao, ciao!

  2. Thanks for sharing this story! I remember studying some Spanish using Rosetta Stone back in High School. There certainly was a lot of repitition but I’d have to say that helped me retain some of it. This was 13 years ago and I still remember quite a bit of words! I have considered using Rosetta Stone again as an adult, sometime in the future! It was neat reading your experience!

    1. Hi! Thank you! Yes, repetition is surely effective. And what I liked about Rosetta Stone was that it had a lot of images. I believe we can remember a word better when we have pined it with an image in our brain. And, if 13 years later, you can still remember what you learned with Rosetta Stone, that’s awesome! I recently wrote a post about the importance of images when we are learning a language. To check it out, click here.
      Thank you for stopping, reading about my journey learning Italian and also sharing your experience with us! I hope to continue hearing about you! Have a nice day! 🙂

Leave a Reply