Those of you that have been following this blog for some time may have noted I place a lot of importance on daily listening the language we’re trying to learn. There are diverse ways to accomplish this but here on this post we’ll specifically address using Italian podcasts.

Every time I share a bit of my experience learning Italian, I always mention those hours I spent daily with my headphones on, listening to audio files in Italian. After some time consistently doing this, even I was amazed with the results.

You can also devote time to listen to people talking in Italian:

You may be surprised how much time of the day you can purposely use for listening. I’ll just mention a few of these occasions:

1. Driving your car.

Young_woman_driving_a_car

2. Commuting to work.

Young_woman_and_yellow_bus_cartoon

3. Cooking.

Young_woman_cooking

4. Washing the dishes.

Young_woman_washing_the_dishes_cartoon

5. Cleaning the house.

Young_woman_cleaning_the_house_cartoon

6. Jogging.

Young_woman_jogging_cartoon

7. Lifting weights (if you train in a quiet environment).

Young_woman_in_the_gym

8. Waiting in line.

People_waiting_in_line_at_a_shop_cartoon

9. Mowing the lawn.

Young_woman_mowing_the_lawn_cartoon

10. Painting the house.

Young_woman_with_creative_art_ideas_cartoon

And the list could go on and on. But you get the point.

Can I listen to Italian all day long?

There are activities you carry out daily where you can not actively listen because what you’re doing demands your full attention. For example, you cannot study for your physics exam and actively listen and learn Italian. Your mind is fully occupied with studying physics.

Young_woman_studying_with_noisy_TV_in the_background

But there are many tasks you do daily that are second nature. In other words, you have done them so many times that you do them without thinking. So while doing these tasks, you could plug your headphones in and make this time even more productive.

What could you listen?

First of all, you must listen to things that are interesting to you. Please, start by listening to things that won’t involve an effort on your part to pay attention to them.

And based on your level of Italian (or any other language you’re learning), you choose the content of the audio. If you’re just starting, you should choose stuff that’s designed for kids. As your level of Italian gets higher, you may have more options.

Do you understand baseball? Once you’ve acquired certain level in the language you’re learning, you could also set your infielders for a double play. In other words, select audio content that enables you to learn something you’re interested in and at the same time learn it in Italian.

So, a boring activity as mowing the lawn can become a very productive time in which:

1. You’ll end up having your lawn mowed.

2. You’ll learn more about quantum physics (although it may seem to be it’s a topic that’s quite advanced, if you’re interested in it, why not listen to people talking about it in Italian?).

3. You’ll progress in your comprehension of Italian.

Using podcasts and audio books in Italian:

Up to this point in this article, this is the most logical way to go. The possibilities and options are vast.

But there’s a platform that I’ve recently joined, personally checked out and I would like to share with all of you.

I didn’t know about this resource when I was learning Italian and I lament I didn’t take advantage of it. But you don’t have to repeat my story.

The platform is called Innovative Languages and it mainly delivers podcasts (but it also has quite a lengthy section of videos).

I joined the Italian unit of Innovative Languages. It is called Italianpod101. Besides Italian, there are 33 more languages on the platform you could learn.

For those of you that have comprehended the importance of listening to your target language as much as you can, I’d advise you to check out Innovative Languages podcasts. Click here to read more about Italianpod101.

Innovative_Language_Logo

Young_woman_winking_cartoon


55 Comments

Yalqun · March 22, 2020 at 5:26 PM

I’ve been a language lover. By far, I speak 4 languages as a native speaker, and I am continue learning new ones. Italian is one of my lists.

I know that listening to podcasts is one of the best ways to study. Because they provide relatively higher quality content and experience. And your advise of learning relating interests to Italian sounds really good. I have never tried that and I think I’m gonna try it out.

Honestly thank you for the content.

    Jonathan Henry · March 22, 2020 at 5:39 PM

    Hi Yalqun. Thank you very much for stopping by. I appreciate you’ve shared some of your experience learning languages and how listening to podcasts helps.

    I’m glad to hear Italian is in your list. Hope to see you again around my humble site soon. Keep well!

    1 · May 24, 2020 at 8:01 AM

    1″‘`–

Rose · March 23, 2020 at 11:33 PM

Honestly, I like this post, simple and straightforward. I like your site, I’ll bookmark it! Not very often you get this cool feeling when you enter a site.

Would newbies as me also benefit from listening to podcasts? My mind has already started rushing thinking in all the podcasts I like in English and how I’ll search for equivalents in Italian.

Does this podcast you mentioned at the end of your post have explanations in English? It would be the ideal for us to get started.

    Jonathan Henry · March 23, 2020 at 11:50 PM

    Hi Rose! Yes, newbies can also benefit from podcasts. And as you’ve mentioned, I also think that starting with Italianpod101 would be your best choice. Yes, they have explanations in English.

Erika · March 23, 2020 at 11:34 PM

I love learning languages. Normally I attempt to learn them slowly over a long period of time, just because of time constraints. But using a podcast to learn a language is honestly something I hadn’t even thought of. And I love podcasts! If I can find some nice podcasts in Italian, I might start using them. I’ve gotten pretty fluent in Spanish, and I’ll now begin with Italian.

    Jonathan Henry · March 23, 2020 at 11:58 PM

    Hi Erika. Having archived fluency in Spanish will give you tremendous advantage when you start learning Italian. Yes, use Italian podcasts. You’re already used to listening to podcasts, now all you’ll do is replace the language! 

Todd Matthews · March 24, 2020 at 10:39 PM

I haven’t been using podcasts and I’ll try them. But I’d like to share with you what has worked for me. 

I’m currently learning the Scandinavian languages of Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish (they’re very similar). And I also like to listen to some of my favorite bands from that area who at times will write and sing their songs in their native languages. So listening to this type of music while working out makes me get familiarized with vocabulary. I check the lyrics and translate them and after sometime I start recognizing some of those words in other songs.

    Jonathan Henry · March 24, 2020 at 11:39 PM

    Hi Todd! Thanks for sharing this insight. Yeah, this is a cool way to complement your language learning process. You enjoy the songs and a the same time you digest part of their culture. Listening to songs in the new language is an excellent idea!

Lawrence · March 24, 2020 at 10:40 PM

Great article and a timely reminder that you don’t just need to sit down and study at a specific time to actively learn.

A few years ago, I taught myself the Thai language via a Book and CD system. I would go through each lessons at least twice and then play them again at dinner time or other non-study times as a reminder and as practice. It certainly is a tactic and method that works.

    Jonathan Henry · March 24, 2020 at 11:53 PM

    Hi Lawrence! I’m glad you’ve found from your own experience that this technique works. Listening during non-study time can really make a huge difference. Thanks for sharing your experience with us here. It’s much appreciated!

Juliet · March 24, 2020 at 10:43 PM

With all this that has been happening in Italy I’ve started to listen to Euronews in diretta, which means I stream it directly in Italian. I have friends and relatives there and I understand the language, at least the basics.

I was planing a trip to go visit my family but with all this, I will have to reprogram my trip. It will give me time to learn a bit more Italian and I will continue to do it with audio content. I enjoy listening!

I’d like to check this Italian podcast you mentioned at the end of your post too. It would be interesting to complement my learning with them. 

    Jonathan Henry · March 24, 2020 at 11:57 PM

    Hi Juliet! Yeah, this that is happening in Italy is terrible. Fortunately during these past three days things seem to be slightly improving.

    Listening to the news is a great way to keep in touch with the language. Good for you!

    I think Italianpod101, aimed at learning Italian, will help you too! Yes, check it out!

David nelson · March 25, 2020 at 12:04 AM

Listening in our native language is important! Listening in a foreign language is even more important!
I hadn’t thought in the relationship between how many hours we actively listen to a language and how good we become at understanding it, but there must be a link. With our native language, we just listened during the first years of our lives and then slowly begun to produce our own words. When we enroll in a chorus, they’ll sit us on the bench for about 3 months, just listening. And then we can begin to sing.
I’ll check this Italian podcast you mentioned. Thanks for this interesting read.

    Jonathan Henry · March 25, 2020 at 11:57 PM

    Hi David. Thank you for sharing with us these 2 interesting points: we listen to our native language for years before we start talking and we have to listen for some months when we join a chorus before we start singing.
    In this age of instant gratification, we all want to talk and sing just from the start. It shows how important listening consistently really is.

Ivan · March 26, 2020 at 12:05 PM

Awesome article! I know and understand a few words in Italian. But after reading your article and connecting it with my own experience, I believe that if I commit to your recommendations of daily listening to the language for a year, I could end up communicate effectively in Italian too. You have encouraged me to try this rather easy technique.
By the way, I like your site a lot! Keep up with the awesome work here. Ciao!

    Jonathan Henry · March 26, 2020 at 1:19 PM

    Hi Ivan. Thank you very much for your good comments about this site and this post. I’m glad you found them useful.
    It’s good you have arrived to this conclusion and please do try this technique. I’d like to hear from you regularly to see how’s it going! All the best with this goal!

Sharon · April 3, 2020 at 6:22 PM

Some great tips here, I’d see students valuing most from this post, especially the crammers coming up to exams!

I only know a few italian words but would love to learn some of the basic phrases that I could use with my italian friends or when I’m on holidays over there.

I like the use of images above too, it makes it more fun to read!

Sharon

    Jonathan Henry · May 24, 2020 at 7:41 PM

    Hi Sharon.

    Yes, we both have met some crammers that would always do that before coming up to exams! LOL

    Welcome on board. There is an app you can use for free to learn some basic Italian vocabulary – and impress your Italian friends. 😉 Click here to check it out!

Steve G · April 19, 2020 at 9:18 PM

Hey there,

way back 50 years ago, I studied a bit of French. I took it in High School and later two semesters while in College.

I have also used traditional language courses, with not much success.

I’d like to try this approach through podcasts. I enjoy listening while doing other activities. Does Innovative language offer anything for French?

    Jonathan Henry · April 20, 2020 at 9:02 PM

    Hey there Steve,

    yeah, it would be good for you to try these podcasts. Yes, Innovative language has French. Check it out by clicking here.

Ro · April 19, 2020 at 9:29 PM

Do you think this method is specific to learning Italian? I learned English from watching cartoons when I first came to this country. Also listening to the radio and listening to people talk.

Italian is kind of close to Spanish, is this directed to people that only speak English or is it good for Spanish speakers as well? I ask because I’ve found that sometimes the feminine and masculine are reversed in Italian vs Spanish and it can get confusing.

    Jonathan Henry · April 20, 2020 at 9:08 PM

    Hi, thank you very much for stopping by and for your comment.

    No, listening to the target language is useful for learning any language. It’s good you already have experience learning a language that way.

    Those that already speak Spanish will feel they have an advantage over those that only speak English when learning Italian. If you speak Spanish, you’re one step away from speaking Italian too.

    These podcasts have explanations in English, so yeah, it’s directed to people that want to learn Italian and at least can understand English.

joshlala007 · April 20, 2020 at 9:37 AM

Thank you very much for such an informative post. I think this applies to all people when they are trying to take up a new language.

The best way, as you mentioned, is to surround yourself with the language by listening to it, speaking it with people or even reading it.

Looking forward to some new post from you.

    Jonathan Henry · April 20, 2020 at 9:13 PM

    Hey there, yeah, exposing ourselves to the language is key. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

Awinikistevie · May 22, 2020 at 12:17 AM

Hello there. This is a nice article that you have got here. I joined the Italian unit of Innovative Languages. It is called Italianpod101. Besides Italian, there are 30 more languages on the platform. I’m excited about this discovery because I can see the potential. And I would recommend these podcasts to those of you that have comprehended the importance of listening to your target language.

    Jonathan Henry · May 24, 2020 at 10:13 PM

    Hi there. Yeah, there is a real benefit in being able to daily listen to the language we want to learn. I’m glad you found Italianpod101.

Sharon · May 22, 2020 at 12:17 AM

I enjoy listening to podcasts. But up to this point they have all been in English. I hadn’t even thought I could incorporate a foreign language into my life by listening to podcasts. But now that I have read it here, it sounds like a great idea.

Italian has been a sort of a dream for me. But until now, I hadn’t come across a viable opportunity as this one. Thanks for this.

    Jonathan Henry · May 24, 2020 at 10:22 PM

    Hello Sharon,

    your comment has made me recall a post I wrote almost 3 years ago on this same site. You may have fun reading it and I really wish it works as an additional encouragement to learn Italian. Click here to check out that post!

    Have a nice day!

Skuchmane · May 22, 2020 at 12:17 AM

Listening is so important. I know there is a difference between listening passively and actively listening. But any of those we employ, they will always render results.

I believe we should try to at least actively listen to our target language an hour a day. But if we can’t, just passively listening can work wonders.

    Jonathan Henry · May 24, 2020 at 10:35 PM

    Yes, your comment is very accurate. For those who may be asking themselves: what’s actively listening and passively listening? I would briefly illustrate it like this: 

    If your main goal is listening to the audios, then you’re actively listening. If your main goal is doing something else and you’re still listening to the audios in the back ground, then you’re passively listening.

    Thank you very much for your comment.

Kirkman · May 22, 2020 at 12:17 AM

Buongiorno! Who doesn’t dream of beautiful Italy: world-class landscapes, breath-taking history, outstanding food, and “Il dolce far niente” culture! Well, not quite niente – which means “nothing”.

There is one little thing I would suggest to all those that are inspired (one way or an other) by the Italian culture. And it’s learning the language. Your input will be way richer. Experiencing Italia as a native is a completely different experience.

I have personally tried different methods for learning Italian and I commend your approach in this post. Using podcast sounds effective. Thanks for this suggestion.

    Jonathan Henry · May 24, 2020 at 10:50 PM

    Hi. I’m glad to hear you enjoy so many aspects about Italy. It’s inspiring just to read your post. Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us.

Smoochi · May 22, 2020 at 12:18 AM

I have never used podcasts for learning a language. But what I can say before hand is that it would be a very convenient method. We can take with us our podcasts where ever we go. And that surely helps us to establish familiarity with the language. I’ll give this method a try.

    Jonathan Henry · May 24, 2020 at 10:55 PM

    Hi! Yeah, it would be a good idea to try using podcasts to learn Italian. And Italianpod101 is completely free to test drive, so you have nothing to lose.

Christine · May 22, 2020 at 12:18 AM

I love Italian! It is such a beautiful language. I learned to speak Italian twenty years ago, and I still speak it, but now I live in Mexico, and since I speak Spanish every day, my Italian is now a little rusty. I would love to take a course to revive it. I still understand it very well and I know that it will all come back to me. Listening to it all day long is a good idea. You can indeed do while doing other activities such as housework. I hate washing the dishes, so listening to an Italian podcast will make it more enjoyable.

I have not heard of Innovative Languages, but I will check it out. Thanks for sharing!

    Jonathan Henry · May 24, 2020 at 11:00 PM

    Hi Christine.

    Yes, definitely using podcasts while doing housework is a great idea.

    I’m sure Italian will come back to you quicker than you think. I also speak Spanish and the similarity between these two languages helps you almost comprehend half of the other language just from the start.

    Wish you the best incorporating Italian into your daily routine.

Justin · May 22, 2020 at 12:18 AM

Hello,

I have quite a bit of experience learning languages. As for now, I can boast of having become proficient in three foreign languages.

So I know listening to our target language is important.

I have already used Innovative languages’ podcasts in the past.

I was looking for more resources and would appreciate finding some that may only be used for learning Italian. Thanks.

    Jonathan Henry · May 24, 2020 at 11:21 PM

    Hey Justin.

    If you live in the UK, you could try an interactive course published by BBC called La Mappa Misteriosa. To read about it, click here.

    There is also another series published by BBC back in 1992. It’s called Italianissimo. This can be watched on YouTube. I discovered this recently and haven’t watched it myself yet. But despite it being old, it seems to be an interesting alternative. Click here to go to the first episode in the series on YouTube.

EliteCarol · May 22, 2020 at 12:20 AM

I’ve always been fascinated with the lifestyle of Italian people, their culture and language moreso. The way Italian rolls off the tongue always sounds like sweet music to my ears. However, I haven’t had the chance to learn the language. The current stay at home order has given me a chance to rectify this as I have more time on my hands. I’ll check out the podcasts discussed in this post and hopefully, I’ll be able to pick up on some Italian words. 

    Jonathan Henry · May 25, 2020 at 1:44 AM

    Hi Carol.

    Yes, using this time at home to learn a new language could be a good investment. All the best with Italian.

Ferra · May 22, 2020 at 12:24 AM

Learning one of the most romantic languages in the world? The answer would be straight YES!! I have learned French, Spanish and Portuguese by using mobile phone apps. For about 3 months it went well but then I got confused because they very similar. If I add Italian to my language learning, I don’t know what would happen with my brain. However, I love learning foreign languages and enjoy the challenge of learning new things. Since I am from Indonesia (a country with a rich cultural background) I’m already proficient in several languages. I speak obviously speak our national language, which is Indonesian, then I also know our local dialect and some other province’s local languages as well.

You’ve given me practical tips for learning Italian with podcasts. Up to this point I have been mainly using Duolingo. Podcasts will allow me to learn the language while doing my day to day activities. I’ll give it a try, for sure.

Thank you for this idea. I’ll bookmark your website for future reference.

    Jonathan Henry · May 25, 2020 at 2:15 AM

    Hi! It’s nice to see you have been trying to learn French, Spanish and Portuguese. And they all have the same origin, as Italian does, which is Latin. Learning them all at once can be a bit confusing. You may found useful a post that also is on this site, that deals with that. Click here to check out that post.

Blessed · May 22, 2020 at 12:26 AM

I have already been using Italianpod101. I find it very useful and I particularly like Consuelo and Desiree as teachers.

I feel I have advanced 3 times more in these 3 last months than I have with other methods I’ve used.

I don’t know if listening to the language we want to learn works for everybody but it definitely works for me.

    Jonathan Henry · May 25, 2020 at 2:49 AM

    Hi! I’m happy to hear about your good experience using Italianpod101. Thanks for sharing it with us.

DorcasW · June 19, 2020 at 1:38 AM

Hello; the most hassle-free way to learn something is to give to it your listening attention as much as is possible. So listening to Italian audio throughout your day will be good fit for your advancement in learning. When it comes to learning a new language, listening to it can be easy. But I disagree with you in the fact that only listening passively can make us learn a language. I believe you must give your undivided attention to details in the language we’re learning.

DorcasW

    Jonathan Henry · June 19, 2020 at 2:44 PM

    Hi Dorcas.

    Thank you very much for sharing your point with us. And you’re right and in fact I agree with you. Listening passively can’t replace the hours we need to devote our undivided attention to details to the language we’re learning.

    Please continue visiting us and sharing your experience. I greatly appreciate it!

Enrique · June 19, 2020 at 6:32 PM

Hi there,

you’re totally right. I’ve used some of the strategies you mentioned in your post. If we’re serious about learning a language, we have to commit ourselves to practice it as much as we can. That, of course, includes exposing ourselves to the language. The more we practice, the better.

I’ve studied French for years but Italian has been on my list. I have a friend from Milan who would talk to me in Italian every now and then. Since I’m a native Spanish speaker, I could understand a few things, but I would like to understand more. 

Thanks for the tip. I’ll check out the Italianpod101 podcast you recommend.

    Jonathan Henry · June 19, 2020 at 8:03 PM

    HI Enrique.

    I can also speak Spanish an I know that Italian is similar. But in my own experience, just knowing Spanish doesn’t enable us to understand Italian. Although, it does help us to learn Italian quickly.

    All the best with this podcast course.

Jenn · July 11, 2020 at 9:11 PM

Those are great ideas! Many times I will listen to podcasts or learning modules while driving, walking, and cleaning. I figure I’m learning something new and still doing the other things I need to do. I have actually listened to German over the past few years. I used to have to drive 30 minutes to work and I would use the time listening to German in the car. 

    Jonathan Henry · July 11, 2020 at 11:47 PM

    Exactly. Most of us miss the opportunity to learn new things when commuting. Engaging in thoughts (without an external input) is also a way of learning but I’m referring to those that simply commute without realizing they can use their time in the process.

Emma Viney · August 5, 2020 at 10:29 PM

Your site’s fun and your ideas are great! Okay, so there are SO many times in my day I can do this so I must do more listening. I just wasn’t really sure what to listen to and where to find it. I’ve clicked through to your page where you review the ItalianPod101. Would you recommend a beginner as I to start listening to this podcast?

    Jonathan Henry · August 6, 2020 at 7:09 PM

    Hi Emma,

    thank you for your kind comment about this site.

    Yes, Italianpod101 could be a good podcast course to start with. They have a lot of content for complete beginners.

Joy · August 6, 2020 at 1:04 AM

Hello there, cool illustrations.

I’m staying at home these days and I would learn a lot of Italian if I implement this strategy. I’m glad we can listen and learn and at the same time carry out our routine. For example, today I have to clean the house so I’ll plug in my headphones.

    Jonathan Henry · August 6, 2020 at 7:10 PM

    Hi,

    It’s nice to see you’ll take action right away. All the best trying out this strategy.

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