Since the language learning journey is long, let’s try to make it at least simple and fun. Studying a language with books, learning tools, and apps may be obvious, but what can we do to make it faster and easier? I had a lot of trouble while studying Chinese and I’ll probably have to study it for the rest of my life, are there any tips I’d like I had known earlier? Yes.
So, here there are 7 tips I wish I had known earlier that I share with my students (you can thank me later):
1) Pay attention to sounds
Babies learn how to speak before writing, so this is a hint about how languages work. Pay attention to sounds, phonetics, and typical Italian sounds like “gn” and “gli”. Try to replicate it alone, with vowels and then with consonants, just practice the sound first, so you’ll be able to link that sound with others. Did you know that the “h” is not pronounced in Italian, but we use it for changing certain letters’ sounds? You can practice your listening with dictation, try to figure out the spelling difference of /ch/ and /k/ sounds in Italian :P
2) Read as much as you can
It doesn’t matter what kind of text you read, but do it! It helps you get familiar with sentences’ structures, particles, verb conjugations, and much more. I always recommend my students to start reading a book they already know but in Italian, so it can be easier to understand if you already know the plot. I provide a lot of materials to make this thing easier, book a trial lesson :D
3) Watch movies and discover idioms
We know that the language we study at school or in books isn’t the one we actually speak in the country. Trust me, I hold a BA in Chinese studies, and when I went to China I thought I was illiterate ahah Languages are made of exceptions, idioms, slang, and much more, so it’s very important to get as many inputs as possible. Watch movies in Italian, possibly with subs in Italian and in your native language, so you can link the sounds to the words and catch the correct spelling, plus you can get the meaning. Another thing I’d suggest you is to watch vlogs. Vlogs are great tools for learning since they're mostly made by “ordinary” people, you can get different accents, idioms, words, and many more.
4) Listen to music, memorize rhymes
“Dammi tre parole: sole, cuore, amore”, does it sound familiar to you? It would probably be if you had grown up in Italy in the early 00s eheh Music is beautiful in every language, but do you know that you can discover new words through rhymes? Try to find words that rhyme with others, try to put them in a row, in a sentence, everywhere you can memorize them by sounds.
5) Make friends who study Italian or Italian friends
It may sound obvious, but trust me, studyin’ with someone is easier. There are tons of apps and websites that can make you be in touch with natives, Italki.com is the best one obviously eheh speaking with a native speaker is the best way to learn a language, especially if both of
you are not native of the other’s language. Sharing is learning, and learning is sharing. I met one of my closest friends on the internet when I was a university student, I was studying Chinese in Italy and she was studying Italian in China. We’ve been friends for 8 years now, she came to Italy and I went to China twice, friendship always makes things better :)
6) Games and flashcards
Making boring things fun is the key to achieving goals, it applies to languages as well! Make your own flashcards or labels to stick on things around your house. Try easy games in Italian, like bingo with Italian numbers, colors, days of the week, and much more. Change your device’s language into Italian and learn technical vocabulary.
7) Read poetry
Italian poetry is beautiful, there are no reasons for you to not read it. You can discover a lot of different words, old, new, not common, “strange” and much more, plus you’ll discover a lot of synonyms and antonyms making your vocabulary richer and fancy eheh
Extra tip: the secret no one would tell you
The real secret to being fluent in Italian is to do this gesture while talking.
Well, well, can’t wait to meet you!