Have you always had a soft spot for the Italian accent? For words like amore, cuore, felice, ciao, pizza and buongiorno? Would you like to speak like a real Italian because when you come to Italy for your vacation, you feel at home as you find yourself smelling food on the streets of Naples, looking at the monuments in Rome, going to the beach in Sardinia, spending a few days in the Dolomites in typical mountain cottages, while strolling through the romantic alleys of Venice or while having an aperitivo in Milan?
Then today we are going to take a trip. A relatively short trip because it requires only a few stops, but each stop will be so important that it will leave behind knowledge and memories that you will carry with you, step by step, in your luggage for a lifetime. And in fact, if there is one thing that sets this trip apart from many others, it is that your backpack will need to be empty for departure so that you can fill it up as you go.
Are you ready?
You will have guessed from the introduction that in this article I will help you understand how to get started, or how to proceed stage by stage, on the journey through the study of this wonderful language.
One of the most common questions that intimidated prospective students ask themselves before starting this journey is: is Italian an easy language to learn?
The answer to this question cannot be the same for everyone, but I want to try to reassure you.
I'm not going to lie to you, certainly native speakers of Spanish, French or Portuguese start at an advantage by having in common with Italian the Latin origin and therefore some words or sounds.
Then there are many other personal factors to take into account, such as the propensity to study languages, free time to devote to this passion, etc...
But one thing is for sure, if you have asked yourself this question at least once in your life and you are reading this article it means that you are on the right track, I am sure that your native speaker friends, your Italian relatives, but also Italki, together with its tutors and teachers, can become the ideal traveling companions for the discovery of this fantastic world.
Once you have overcome this first hurdle, and I am sure you who are reading this will do so with a pinch of courage and eagerness to learn, you will have to overcome the first stage of this journey: creating a study plan.
The study plan should be as tailored as possible to your needs, it should not completely disrupt your life, and it should be a leisurely break from the usual daily grind.
The time devoted to Italian should be as enjoyable as a chat with a friend, a sip of cool water during a long summer walk, or a steaming coffee sipped ahead of your favorite TV show as soon as you return from work.
The second stage requires building a foundation.
As with any journey, there will come a time when you will need shelter, a comfort zone, then a home. And as with any well-built home, it is important to start by creating a solid foundation that will later support your knowledge. So, I recommend that you start with the basics, which are the alphabet and the pronunciation of sounds, in this regard I recommend the book that I use with many of my students, which is called "Italian Project 1" and which starts from the very topics just described.
As soon as the basic knowledge of the language, which we have talked about in the previous lines is clear, you can move on to basic grammar, and here you will advance by reaching the third stage.
To be able to speak correctly in Italian, but I believe in any language, first, it is important to know the order of words in sentences, I remind you that in Italian the pattern is: subject-verb-object.
When you have assimilated this concept and feel ready to proceed, it will be necessary to put the learned pattern into practice, articles, nouns, verbs, and commonly used adjectives will then have to be learned.
You may be wondering: well is that all? Have I arrived at my destination?
And here's where the beauty comes in: the journey of learning never ends! Or rather, it is potentially unlimited and only ends if you decide it does.
Imagine living your whole life on vacation, traveling how, when, where, and with whom you want, for free and unlimited. An Italian song goes "you are a journey that has no destination or goal," and I feel like dedicating this phrase to language learning in general.
But at this point you may ask: So what can I do when I get to this point in the journey?
From day to day, through songs, videos, podcasts, lessons, books, websites, and you name it, you can devote a few minutes or all of your time to Italian to expand your vocabulary.
How does that sound to you?
I hope that in my own small way, with a nice comparison, I was able to charge you with positive energy and melt away some of your uncertainties. I wish you a safe journey! :)
Talk to you soon.