Fun Ways to Learn Italian Throughout the Day: A Guide for Busy Learners


Do you want to learn Italian but feel you are too busy? Embed learning in your daily routine and fill all those spare minutes that you might encounter during your day with a dose of language learning.

Incorporating Italian into your daily life makes the learning process more interesting, fun and relevant. Follow these tips for a hassle-free approach to making language learning a habitual, integrated part of your everyday life.

Italian Guide for Busy Learners

Do you want to learn Italian but feel you are too busy? Embed learning in your daily routine and fill all those spare minutes that you might encounter during your day with a dose of language learning.

Incorporating Italian into your daily life makes the learning process more interesting, fun and relevant. Follow these tips for a hassle-free approach to making language learning a habitual, integrated part of your everyday life.

Change the language setting of your apps and gadgets

First of all, change the display language of your smartphone, tablet, computer and GPS into Italian. In order to do this, open your device’s settings, go to the language section and pick Italiano from the list. Then set your browser, home workout apps, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter account and any online computer games you play to Italian too. 

The beauty of this trick is that it exposes you to the language constantly during the day and gradually teaches you to think in Italian. It might be worth making a note of how to change the language back though, just in case.

Read Italian news

If catching up on news over coffee is already part of your morning routine, scan the headlines on La Repubblica, Corriere della Sera or La Stampa instead of Huffington Post.

Although it can seem daunting at first, reading the news in Italian is a great and enjoyable way to build up your language skills while staying informed about what’s happening in the world. 

Start your day well-informed. Here is a list of Italian online newspapers:

Listen to Italian music 

Listening is probably the most important part of learning a foreign language, and one of the easiest to fit into a busy and hectic schedule. Italian music is a fun tool to practice listening every single day.

Make a pump-up playlist of Italian music and listen to it while you run in the park, workout at the gym or do household chores. While exercising and making your house spotless, you will keep up your language skills, expand your vocabulary and get to grips with some elements of Italian culture. Songs and jingles stick in the mind for decades.

Go beyond the obvious choices to find the genres you love. Here is a list of Italian songs.

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Listen to Italian audio books and podcasts

While walking your dog, driving to your kids’ football game, waiting for the bus to arrive, standing in line at the supermarket or preparing dinner, listen to an audio book or podcast in Italian. 

Instead of scrolling through your phone aimlessly, use all those small time slots to brush up on your language skills. There are actually some significant pockets of space and time during the day you can spend practicing Italian. 

Listening to Italian radio, podcasts and audio books will expose you to new vocab, grammar and expressions on the go. Check out the following links:

Try repeating what you hear word-for-word as you listen. This is called shadowing (or echoing), an effective language learning technique to improve intonation, pronunciation, listening comprehension and overall Italian speaking skills. Speak along with the audio to learn the natural pace, rhythm and structures of Italian and build confidence.

Make new Italian-speaking friends

Finding a native speaker to talk to and put your skills into good use is an absolute must if you want to gain conversational fluency in Italian. The earlier you start, the better. 

Make friends with native Italian speakers through language learning apps and social networks built specifically for language learners, such as: 

  • HelloTalk, the world’s largest language exchange app;
  • Italki, a language learning social network with terrific community features;
  • Interpals a versatile tool to chat with people around the world and get a virtual pen pal;
  • Tandem, a language learning app that connects millions of people sharing the joys and struggles of learning a foreign language;
  • Lang-8, a global community of native speakers, where you can find someone to practice Italian with;
  • Lingualia, an online platform that allows you to make new contacts, get questions answered and use the language you want with native speakers;
  • Speaky, a free language exchange app;
  • Livemocha, with more than 16 million registered profiles from 200 countries;
  • Babbel, a social network with a forum where you can chat with thousands of users in the language of your choice.

Conversing with native speakers will help get you fluent the fun way.

Watch Italian movies and TV series

After dinner, sit comfortably on the sofa, prop your feet on the coffee table and put on the Italian dubbed version of a movie, sitcom or TV series you have already watched in English. If the characters speak too quickly, turn on the subtitles to help you catch the words.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t perfectly understand everything straight away. 

That’s not the goal. 

Gain familiarity with the rhythm and sounds of Italian, give your listening skills a boost, enlarge your vocab and take note of any unfamiliar words you might run into, so you can Google them later. 

You will be surprised at how much Italian vocabulary you can learn when you are entertained.

Learn Italian with YouTube

Love watching daily vlogs, tutorials, unboxing videos and product reviews? How about trying to find some in Italian? Learning Italian on YouTube is super easy thanks to the wide range of content available and the opportunity to add subtitles to any video. 

Contrary to those slow, unnatural, stilted dialogues in grammar textbooks, with Italian YouTube channels you can listen to the language as it is actually used, which is perfect for training yourself to understand real-world conversations.

Here’s a look at five fun YouTube channels that will help you beef up your language skills and laugh your head off doing it.

Read Italian books and comics before bedtime

Incorporate some of Italy’s best books and comics into your reading routine. To wrap up the day nicely, you could read a few pages of an Italian book of your choice or the translated version of your favorite novel. Keep a dictionary nearby to look up words you don’t know. 

Children’s stories can be a great place to start for beginners, as they are likely to use simpler language and sentence structures than stories designed for adults.

Comics (fumetti) use colloquial language, and can be used to improve your language skills as well. The pictures boost comprehension and can help you guess words and understand the context. 

Here are Italy’s best comic books: 

Read Italian blogs 

Reading is essential to expand your vocabulary and understand how phrases and expressions are used in Italian. Next time you have 5 minutes, read an Italian blog. 

Articles written by Italian bloggers are extremely useful because they allow you to learn new words and jargon and improve your Italian skills in ways that traditional learning resources may lack. There are plenty of good Italian blogs you can check out.

You probably have already heard of The Blonde Salad, a source of inspiration for millions of people all over the world, and a Harvard Business School’s case study in 2015. Its founder Chiara Ferragni not only looks like an ultra-chic Barbie doll, she was also named the most important fashion influencer in the world by Forbes, has appeared on the cover of Vogue twice, and has collaborated with big names in the fashion and beauty industry, including Pantene and Tod’s.

Known around the world for her unique sense of humor and bold, show-stopping style, Anna Dello Russo is more of a legend than a fashion influencer. A passionate fashionista, she is the editor at large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan, and an avid collector of jewelry, dresses and shoes. Check out her blog Annadellorusso.com.

Here are some other good Italian blogs and online magazines:

Have you found creative ways to incorporate language learning into everyday life and learn Italian throughout the day? Share your own tips with us in the comment section below.

About the Author

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Jessica is a native Italian speaker, a passionate linguist and a proud Grammar nerd. She has a lifelong passion for English and studied Linguistic and Cultural Mediation at the University of Milan. She currently works as a freelance translator and copywriter.

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