Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

Busuu Review

Sunday, December 5th

2021 Italian Lesson Reviews

Busuu Review 4 Star Rating

Busuu

4 Star Rating
  • 3 options for Italian courses: Complete (with beginner, intermediate and advanced content), Travel, and Pronunciation
  • Free basic membership
  • Personalized study plans with Premium Plus membership
  • Placement test available
  • Certification testing available
  • 14-day money-back guarantee on paid plans

What is Busuu? Besides being an endangered language from Cameroon, it's a good language platform for learning Italian (or many other languages). According to an independent study, you'll get the equivalent of a college semester of learning after spending at least 22 hours using Busuu's Premium features. Not bad, wouldn't you agree?

Over 150 Italian lessons across 4 difficulty levels

There's a staggering amount of content available on Busuu's Complete Italian lessons. At the A1 (Absolute Beginner) level alone, you'll have 111 lessons covering topics that start with the usual greetings and introductions, and then progress all the way to office tasks and household chores while introducing past tense verbs. There are a total of four levels of study (A1, A2, B1, B2), allowing you to progress to where you can discuss financial topics, literary genres, cause and effect, and even flirting.

Placement test or choose your own level

Where should you begin? If you've studied Italian before, you can give Busuu's placement test a try when you set up your free account (email address or mobile number required). You can always change your level if you need to. There's a lot you can get for free here, including the complete first lesson for beginners, Ciao!, which includes greetings and introductions.

Costs

  • Free for Basic membership
  • Premium membership: $9.99/month
  • Premium Plus membership: $13.99/month
  • Discounts available when you pay for 12 or 24 months in advance

You'll need a paid plan for the most features

But, as you click through further lessons, you'll soon see that many features are locked unless you pay for one of Busuu's two paid memberships, Premium and Premium Plus. For $9.99/month, you'll be able to get unlocked features like offline learning and in-depth grammar lessons. The most perks are at the Plus level for $13.99/month: you can get your Italian mastery certified through tests by McGraw Hill, receive feedback on your spoken and written Italian from native speakers in the Busuu learning community, and have a personalized study plan created for you. Also, a paid plan is necessary if you want to use Busuu to study more than one language at a time. You can save money if you choose to pay for 12 or 24 months in advance. Memberships have a 14-day refund policy and renew automatically at the end of the term unless you cancel ahead of time.

Best Italian Lessons

Travel-focused Italian lessons available too

If you're hoping to learn just enough Italian to be a confident traveler, check out Busuu's Italian for Travel course. You can find it by clicking at the top where it says Complete Italian and then selecting the travel course in the dropdown. Why learn how to introduce the members of your family when what you really need to know is how to order an espresso, right? There are 11 total lessons in the Travel course, and you can always switch over to the Complete materials if you want to keep learning later.

How about pronunciation help?

And, for any Italian learners, Busuu's pronunciation course can be helpful. In seven short lessons, you work on vowels, the two sounds of the letter "c" , how to change your intonation to indicate a question, and so on. Both the Travel and Pronunciation courses are similar to Complete: you'll get access to some lessons and features with your no-cost account, but it'll take a membership to use all of them.

Could use more activities to practice speaking Italian

Where we feel Busuu is a little lacking is in opportunities for speaking practice. Even in the pronunciation course, the entire first lesson never asks you to say any of the vowels it's teaching/reviewing. Where most Italian lessons have speech recognition components built in, we never found any of that here. In fact, the only place we found the chance to say anything in Italian and get feedback was in the Social section of our dashboard, where we could respond to prompts like "describe this picture" or "tell about where you live" and wait for a native speaker to comment and/or correct us. On the other hand, some of the language platforms that offer voice recognition are notorious for accepting terrible accents as near-native - or being overly sensitive and failing to count audio samples that most people would say are "good enough" .

A good all-around resource for learning Italian

Busuu is one of a small number of Italian lessons that offers advanced content beyond beginning levels, and the only one we're aware of that lets you get official certification of your fluency. We also like that students can move around through lessons and topics at will, focus their studies just on travel-related vocabulary, and interact with native speakers to get corrections on their spoken and written Italian. Give this service a try with their free basic account and see how it works for you!

Where Can You Find the Best Italian Lessons Online?

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.

The Best Italian Lessons Compare Italian Lessons Compare Italian Lesson Reviews What are the best Italian Lessons Best Italian Lesson Reviews

Italian Lesson FAQ

As many as 85 million people speak Italian as their native language. Besides Italy, it is an official language in Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City, and Italian has official minority language status in Croatia and Slovenia.
Yes, but the one you'll learn and hear spoken most widely is the Tuscan dialect. Anywhere you travel in Italy, you'll be understood if you speak in the Italian commonly taught in schools and used in Italian media. But, with more than 30 regional variations of Italian, some of which are mutually understandable and some that are not, don't panic if you venture into Sicily or the wine region and find yourself struggling to grasp what's being said!
Good news: Italian is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn! Because English borrowed from Romance languages (like Italian, Spanish and French), people studying Italian find a lot of familiar words and grammatical concepts. If you put in the time and effort, you should have no problem speaking Italian as fluently as you like.
Start with the type of vocabulary you'll need for your intended use of Italian: travel, business, family history research, and so on, Italian uses gender for nouns, so memorize which ones are masculine and which are feminine (because it doesn't always make sense!). Another great tip for studying any language is to watch movies and TV shows with the captions on: you'll pick up accents, phrases and even some slang without even realizing it!
Italian is a fun, popular language, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to find in-person classes near you. On the other hand, online lessons are plentiful and you can study whenever (and wherever) you prefer, at a price that is almost always much less than tuition for a college course.
Fortunately, the Italian alphabet is the same as English, with the exception of accented vowels. If you're using a smartphone, holding down the base letter (a, e, i, o u) will usually pop up all of the available options for accents. On a computer, you can use an online Italian keyboard that lets you click on accented letters, or you may be able to use keyboard shortcuts.
They're surprisingly affordable. You can find month-to-month subscription plans for anywhere from $6 to $25, depending on the platform and features, or one-time purchases for under $250 for multiple levels of Italian lessons in one package. Either way, you'll be able to learn Italian for much less than you'd pay for a college course.
Yes, sometimes. If you're on a monthly subscription, you can usually cancel future payments with no penalty but you might not get your money back for previous months. With one-off purchases, you often have a 30- or 60-day trial period in which you can request a refund if you're not satisfied with your Italian lessons. We always suggest that interested students look for sample lessons or free trials; most platforms want you to know exactly what you're getting beforehand, so that you can choose the Italian lessons that are the right match for your goals and your learning style.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

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:

  • Ease of Use. The best Italian lessons make it clear what to learn and when. Most services let you try them out, either with a sample lesson or a trial period of their complete program. Take advantage of any free content to see how well you like the overall feel of using the platform.
  • Value. Many Italian language programs give you plenty of lessons for free, with the option to subscribe for more features. What will you get if you decide to upgrade to a paid membership? Are the extra capabilities worth the investment? Is it a one-time fee or a month-to-month cost?
  • Amount of Content. Some Italian lessons just cover a beginner level of fluency, while others reach all the way from absolute newbies to advanced students. You'll need a program that has enough for you to learn, whether you're just starting or you've had some experience with the language.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. If you pay for a subscription but wind up not liking the Italian lessons, can you get a refund? Most refund policies are limited to anywhere from 14-60 days, and some companies don't offer them at all.
  • Reputation. What do other students say about their success using a particular type of Italian lessons? Does it get a lot of positive feedback or more mixed results?

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!

The Best Reviews of Italian Lessons