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Sunday, March 3rd
Some Italian lessons throw you right into the deep end, immersing you in the language and expecting you to just figure it out as you go. Not Fluenz! This platform takes the exact opposite approach: why not use the language you already know (English) and use it to make your learning much less stressful? Originally used to teach English speakers Mandarin Chinese, Fluenz can help you learn through five levels of Italian lessons.
No subscription required
Fluenz doesn't make you subscribe to get high-quality instruction in Italian. Instead, you purchase the levels you want to study and you can use them for...well, forever! You can purchase just one level at a time for $187, two levels for $258, a package of three levels (1-3 or 3-5) for $308 or $320, or get all five for a one-time cost of $398. You might also get extra discounts via email if you give Fluenz your email address: we spotted that opt-in as a pop-up while we browsed the site.
Five levels of Italian lessons
What will you get in each level of Fluenz' Italian lessons? Level 1 starts with the basics, like typical travel scenarios such as getting a taxi or asking for directions. Level 2 delves more deeply into Italian grammar, gives you the words and phrases you'll need to make plans, say what you like and don't like, and several other topics. Levels 3-5 continue to build your fluency; once you finish all five levels, you should be able to have a longer conversation about current topics, to tell stories about things that happened in the past, and understand a lot of social media and internet posts.
Clear explanations in English
We're glad that Fluenz offers a way to learn Italian that capitalizes on the learner's fluency in English. Some programs require learning by immersion and often copy-paste the same lessons across multiple target languages - often forcing vocabulary that feels irrelevant and doesn't lead to genuine conversational ability. In contrast, Fluenz builds each of its language programs from the bottom up, highlighting the uniqueness of the source culture. You don't have to make dozens of random guesses, hoping that you've figured out what the word or phrase is saying and why: Fluenz explains Italian directly, and helps you gain comprehension by mapping it onto the English words and grammar you already know.
No free trial or sample lessons
But, one big downside to Fluenz is the lack of any kind of trial-basis access or sample lessons. There are a few images on the site that show what the app looks like, but the only way to really know how Fluenz works is to pull the lever and buy the Italian content levels you want. While we're glad that the company gives customers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, providing a refund upon request, it's just not enough. Most language instruction platforms let you try before you buy in some way, putting Fluenz at a disadvantage.
Advanced content - or not?
This really comes into play when you consider that Fluenz Italian is described as having an advanced level of content. Looking at what students have said and considering the description of what's covered in Level 5, Fluenz stops with teaching verbs in the preterit and imperfect. That's really more of an intermediate fluency level, not advanced. If you're coming to Fluenz with a decent level of experience with the language already, you probably will be disappointed by what you get here if you're expecting more complex vocabulary and grammar.
Needs a little more to rank better
Don't get us wrong: Fluenz isn't a bad way to study Italian, especially for beginners. It's one of the only options that provides instruction in the context of English for faster learning in Italian, no guesswork required. It's risk-free to buy Fluenz' Italian lessons because of the 30-day refund policy, but many prospective customers will be put off by the absence of a free trial or a sample lesson. We hope that Fluenz offers that in the future, which would definitely help these Italian lessons move higher in our rankings.
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.
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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