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Sight-seeing at the ancient ruins of Pompeii, a romantic gondola ride along the canals of Venice, or a visit to the art museums of Florence: if you're dreaming of a vacation to Italy, you would be in good company among the 94 million tourists who visit annually. In addition to being able to ask for directions or order your dinner without a hitch, there are many benefits to learning Italian before your trip.
If you're after a unique, more authentic experience in Italy, speaking the language can help you gain a deeper understanding of the culture, become friends with locals, and give you the confidence to explore places off the beaten track. Plus, Italian is an official language of other popular travel destinations, including Switzerland, San Marino, Slovenia, and Malta.
Monday, September 27th
Whether you're brand-new to learning Italian or you're ready to take your skills to the next level with debates on social and personal issues, Babbel has plenty of lessons for you. You'll get an ideal mix of grammar explanations, speaking practice, and phrases you can put to use right away in your day-to-day life or your trip to Rome. There are free sample lessons for all six Italian levels, or you can take a short quiz to see where Babbel recommends that you start. This platform gets five-star reviews from thousands of users, and we're confident that you'll love them as well. Babbel is our first choice for Italian lessons.
You don't just want to be able to read in Italian: you want to speak it fluently too, right? italki is the best way to make that happen. This platform lets you choose from hundreds of one-on-one tutors and teachers who can help you start from scratch or improve on your current level of Italian. Your sessions can be informal and fun or take a deep dive into grammar and vocabulary: you decide! Even though you'll pay by the hour, these Italian lessons are some of the most affordable and effective you'll find. italki is one of our favorite resources for learning Italian like (and with!) a native speaker.
Rocket Languages' Italian course is split into three levels and consists of nearly 400 hours of interactive material, including speaking exercises, flashcards, and lessons on Italian culture. We love their immersive and multi-faceted approach that will help any beginning student, no matter his or her learning style, to get a firm grasp on the Italian language. There's not much here for advanced learners and the content is static, but it offers a well-rounded series of Italian lessons that are good for getting a start.
OUINO shows incredible promise as a newcomer to the Italian lessons marketplace. The interface is entertaining and easy to use, and it really puts all the control in your hands - from how fast you want the audio components to be read to which topics you want to cover and when. It's also one of the only programs that doesn't require even an email address to try it out. Whether grammar instruction is your jam or you like badges and leaderboards, you can get both of those here - and much, much more. To top it off, these Italian lessons are some of the most budget-friendly we've seen. OUINO doesn't have much student feedback yet, but we're sure that will change. This is definitely a place to go to get high-quality, fun instruction in Italian.
Busuu is one of the only Italian language platforms that offers certification when you reach certain fluency levels (A1 through B2). You can use Busuu for free indefinitely, but the best features are unlocked through a low-cost membership. The courses here include options focused solely on travel, and you can change your class selection anytime. Busuu doesn't have much speaking practice, but paid plans let you have exercises reviewed by other students (and you can have some fun giving feedback too).
Over the last 10+ years, Memrise has become one of the most widely-used apps for learning languages. You can learn Italian through native speaker video clips, vocabulary relevant to your needs, and focused review that lets you go over as much or as little as you like. Be aware that you won't get much in the way of explicit grammar instruction here, but for most people that's a plus and not a minus! Memrise is a great way to get Italian lessons that are fun and affordable.
Rosetta Stone is one of the best-known ways to learn languages, including Italian. Their lessons are more affordably-priced than ever before, with 100% online access and no need for CD-ROMs. Lots of people enjoy using Rosetta Stone, but the immersion-only approach and beginners-only content put the platform way behind most of the newer options on the market.
Italian Pod 101 has a nice variety of Italian lessons for beginners to intermediate/advanced students. This platform makes good use of audiovisual materials, helping you understand better by seeing and hearing native speakers. It can be a little overwhelming to try and piece together a study plan here, so we recommend trying everything Italian Pod 101 offers at no cost first and then using a paid membership to get the most out of your Italian lessons.
Mondly is one of several game-based language learning apps on the market. It helps you learn Italian through plenty of practice, chatbots who guide you through real-world conversations, and games plus leaderboards to motivate you. Signing up is free, but you'll need a paid subscription to access most of Mondly's content and features. It's not the best resource if you want extensive grammar instruction or cultural insights; however, Mondly can be a fun way to get your daily practice in Italian.
Fluenz takes advantage of the language you already speak fluently (English!) to explain Italian in ways you can easily understand. You can get up to five levels of Italian with this program, ranging from basic intros to telling stories in the past tense, all with a one-time cost that grants you lifetime access to the content. Your purchase is covered by a 30-day refund policy, but this is one of the only options among Italian lessons that doesn't give you any way to try before you buy. That's a big part of why Fluenz only gets an average rating here and ranks below most other Italian language teaching platforms.
CyberItalian was created back in 1997 as one of the first online options for Italian lessons: "e-Learning with a heart" . However, this platform seems to have stayed back in the 90s, compared with most of their rivals in the industry. There's plenty to learn here, but it's missing a lot of the polish and accessibility you'll get with other language instruction providers. We encourage you to try the free lesson(s) and see for yourself, but we suspect most people will wind up using a higher-ranked option for Italian lessons.
Italian is spoken by 63-85 million people around the world. Among tourists planning Mediterranean getaways, adults who want to find a use for their high school Latin, and people interested in reconnecting with their roots, Italian continues to be a popular choice for avid and casual language learners alike.
Aside from hopping on a plane and spending time in Italy, what's the best way to learn the language? Some of that depends on you! Are you most comfortable learning in a more traditional, structured way, with detailed grammatical explanations in English and lots of exercises for practice? Or would you prefer a smartphone app that you can use when killing time during your day, to do a quick flashcard session of key words and phrases? There are Italian lessons for each approach - and there's nothing stopping you from using several different services to get a good mix of materials.
Besides the overall teaching style, what other factors should you consider when deciding how to learn Italian? Keep these criteria in mind to help you choose:
To help you get the most out of your studies, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's best options for online Italian lessons. We're sure this information will help you find the right path for your language journey. Buona fortuna!
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