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.
Sunday, December 5th
Some people want to learn Italian with a fun app that lets them get bite-sized chunks of practice in, wherever and whenever. Mondly can do that for you! Available as both an app and a desktop platform, this program gives you points for every lesson you complete, shows you your local and global rank against other learners, and motivates you to keep up the momentum in your studies.
A few basic features with a free account
To get a feel for the Mondly service, create a free account. You'll have to indicate if you're a beginning, intermediate, or advanced student of Italian. From there, you can try out the "Hello" starter lesson, one chatbot conversation, and the daily featured lesson. It's not much, but it will at least let you see how Italian lessons are taught by topic and how the program works.
Not much direct grammar instruction
When you finish the lesson, you can click on Redo for more practice or on the blue box to the right, where you'll get a lesson recap and maybe an explanation of the grammar that was behind the scenes of what you learned. That's the only place you'll find direct grammatical explanations: in general, Mondly expects that you'll pick up on the grammar more intuitively, without any formal instruction. Maybe, maybe not: depends on how you learn best and on what other Italian resources you're using, if any.
Subscribe and access more features, like augmented reality chats
Mondly has much more to offer once you become a subscriber. For instance, the chatbot feature that lets you practice back-and-forth conversations is only available as part of the intro lesson until you pay for a Mondly membership. Ditto that for the augmented reality capability, which lets you superimpose a digitized "person "onto the world around you and use that to interact with and practice your Italian.
Affordable - if variable - pricing
Is it worth the money? Mondly is pretty affordable, especially compared with other Italian lessons we evaluated. However, what you'll actually pay depends on Mondly's whims of the moment. No exaggeration: we found different pricing every time we visited over the course of a few weeks. More often than not, the "regular" price is $9.99/month, $47.99/year, or $89.99 for lifetime access to all of Mondly's 30+ languages. (It may even be as high as 41 languages, but again, we found differing information throughout the site.) Still, to pay under $90 and get lessons in Italian, Portuguese, Russian and dozens more languages is unbeatable.
Can't get your money back
Downside? There's no refund policy here. So, if you bite the bullet and pay for that lifetime access and decide you really need something different, you're out of luck. All the more reason to get Mondly's free account set up and try absolutely everything they offer before deciding to upgrade to a paid membership, wouldn't you say?
Not bad, but not awesome either
Among language apps for taking Italian lessons, Mondly is decent. It's a solid way to get daily practice, especially if ranking on a leaderboard makes the difference between "I don't feel like studying" and "I just need a few more points to beat that guy" . We'd prefer to see a more extensive free trial, so that more advanced learners can see if Mondly offers anything for them, or at least a satisfaction guarantee that lets people get a refund. For all of those reasons, Mondly earns a rating that puts them in "good but not great" territory.
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!
Select any 2 Italian Lessons to compare them head to head