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10 Best Websites to Learn Italian

Some say that learning a new language, especially on your own, is like a walk in the park – Jurassic Park more like! The good news is we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you get better at that much-coveted language, in this case, Italian.

Here’re 10 websites to get you jump started and, pretty soon, fluent in the language. For ease of choice, we’re providing you with each website’s highlights, price, and level.

The BBC is a great resource for learning the basics as you prepare for an upcoming trip to Italy. Not only that, but the the website is an excellent supplement for those who are already enrolled on an Italian course.

via BBC

Highlights: The BBC’s language learning website has a wealth of material to give you a taste of everything Italian. It starts off with the essentials: the Italian alphabet, then some vocabulary, basic grammar, then exercises. This website also has a 12-week video drama adventure that’s both fun and interactive. Once you’re comfortable enough, you can go on to learn some holiday phrases and, if you’re feeling adventurous, maybe even some Italian slang. Come il cacio sui maccheroni!

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Price: Free

Duolingo has become a household name in terms of language learning, and Italian is no exception.

Highlights: Although there are no “lessons” per se with this resource, the learner is exposed to quick and straight-to-the-point drills. You are completely in control of how much time you would like to spend on Duolingo: casual = 5 minutes a day, regular = 10 minutes a day, serious = 15 minutes a day, and insane(!) = 20 minutes a day. This kind of choice is why this resource appeals to many learners, along with other features such as repetition of your weakest words and skill level tracking.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free (you can sign up via Facebook, Google, or an email address)

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Highlights: If you are able to catch on to the videos on FluentU, chances are you’ll be able to understand the shows, news and films that native Italian speakers watch. However, FluentU understands that everybody needs a wee bit of help sometimes and therefore incorporates learner-friendly features such as subtitles in English and other languages. FluentU also gives you the option to improve your vocabulary for various contexts and ensures retention by providing you with quizzes.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free, but basic and premium subscriptions are also available on their website

Another frontrunner in Italian language learning is ItalianPod101. This website’s main selling point is its fun and quirky approach to the subject matter. They take pride in throwing those stuffy old textbooks out of the window and engaging the student in a productive, culturally relevant way of learning the Italian language.

Highlights: Lessons are available in both audio and video formats. Flashcards and PDF files are also options. Another great feature is a huge community of enthusiastic learners on ItalianPod101 who are quite happy to interact with you and share their best practices.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free, upgrade to Basic, Premium, and Premium+ also available on their website

Live Lingua just might be the most well-structured Italian language learning resource that’s readily available out there. The materials on these website are the very same ones used by people in foreign service institutes – those who are preparing to be diplomats or foreign affairs staff.

Highlights: The FSI Headstart is a crash-course of the language and draws in the alphabet, numbers, pronunciation and some conversation skills. The FSI Italian programmed course is a de-congested foundational lesson, similar to the Headstart but more focused on mastering the basics. The Familiarization and Short-term Training (FAST) Courses come in two parts and are designed to teach you Italian as quickly as you possibly can. In a nutshell, it is aimed at throwing you in at the deep end by banking on what you already know of language and translating that into Italian everyday life. E-books as well as audio recordings are available for all courses.

Level: Beginner

Price: Free

Similar to some of the websites that we’ve looked at, Memrise likes to inject a bit of fun while helping you learn Italian. The “twist” is that your quest for language learning plays a significant role in the grand scheme of saving the universe. Not only do you get to learn Italian but, more importantly, you get to be a superhero while doing it!

Highlights: Memrise is well-known for instilling a strong vocabulary foundation. It helps you to remember words by pairing them with helpful pictures. Memrise is especially great for visual learners. Progress is also sweet when celebrated with (literally) out-of-this-world milestones, reminiscent of classic family computer games.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free, Pro Subscription available on their website

Though not as comprehensive as the previous websites, Omniglot is a free and practical resource for learning useful Italian phrases.

Highlights: The phrases are well-categorized (singular/plural, formal/informal, etc.) so you never have to worry about saying the right word to the right person at the right time. The audio files are also available for download from their website.

Level: Beginner

Price: Free

If you don’t already know, Italians are big on family (and extended family). That’s why at Online World Italiano the goal is to make learning the language fun, easy and readily accessible to anyone who ever needs it – ohana, right? Nobody gets left behind.

Highlights: Online World Italiano has courses and videos facilitated by native Italian speakers. These lessons draw all aspects of language: grammar, reading, writing, conversation, and exercise to ensure retention.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Some resources are free, but paid courses are also available on their website

The Online Italian Club is a rare find when it comes to Italian language learning. It has a very straightforward approach to materials and is easily comparable to classroom learning.

Highlights: The materials available from Online Italian Club are grouped into the following categories: grammar, listening, dialogues, verbs and vocabulary.The course levels are also arranged according to the Common European Reference for Languages (CEFR), which is extremely helpful when trying to gauge how well your Italian is on an academic level.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free

Iluss uses interactive media to expose the learner to everyday life in Italy. It includes a wide variety of structured and level-inclusive materials.

Highlights: The course materials are divided into several different units: grammar, reading, listening and vocabulary. Their archives also offer some self-assessment tests, interactive exercises and fun learning tips.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free, 3-month and 12-month paid memberships available on their website

There you have it, 10 different websites aimed at helping you understand Italian and boosting your confidence to speak it. Hopefully these resources are able to meet your different needs and purposes. Just remember that with learning Italian, or any language really, you get exactly what you put into it.

So don’t forget to

1) practice as much as you can, and

2) don’t worry about making mistakes.

Also, if you have come across any websites that are great for learning Italian, we would love to know about them. You can tell us in the comments section below. Sharing is caring 🙂

About the Author Charity Johnson

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