Lots of people ask this question.
The internet and other digital technologies have created a view of the world based on speed and immediacy. We can buy anything online, and access information on the internet whenever and wherever we want on our smartphones. There are even robots which cook for us: just put the ingredients in and they’ll rustle you up a delicious Pasta Carbonara in a few minutes. This approach is sometimes applied to languages – people want to improve their skills, to learn fast, and to learn easily.
You can learn Italian fast, or at a slower pace – like just any language. I’ve taught Italian for 15 years, including training other Italian teachers, and there are a few key factors to consider:
How much contact time you have with the language you want to learn
The teaching method
Your native language and approach to learning
How many other languages you speak
Your level of motivation
All of these factors are important, but the first two are definitely the most important. The more contact you have with Italian and Italians, the faster you can learn Italian. To learn Italian, the first important step is to listen, and try to speak, and start communicating with Italians straight away.
To reach a higher level and to learn better Italian you should try to read, learn Italian grammar and learn to write in Italian, starting with short texts.
If you can’t afford to travel to Italy, a good tip is to listen to a song in Italian every day – maybe on your way to work. Another useful method is to watch films in Italian, perhaps with subtitles in your own language.
The important thing is to choose songs and films that you like – it needs to be a fun and positive experience!
If you can afford it, a trip to Italy will give you the best and fastest results.
If a student does an Italian course in his or her home country for two hours a week for 9 months, or takes a fast and free online course, they will certainly learn something. Using YouTube and other online platforms can help too. But if the same student does an Italian course in Italy for 80 hours (4 weeks), they will get infinitely better results.
Mingling with Italians, interacting in everyday situations, being surrounded by the language and having a fun experience will help you to learn Italian fast.
The choice of method for teaching and learning is also important, but in my experience the best method is one that simply works. Not all students are the same and they all learn in a different way. A good teacher will adapt their method to the interests, approach and objectives of the students they are teaching.
A lot of people also ask how to learn Italian for free.
It should be said that to really learn a language for free is quite difficult. It’s important to speak with Italians to see for yourself if you’ve managed to learn the language.
Someone can say they have learned Italian when they understand the reply to a question, and when they can have a conversation.
However, you can maximise your exposure to the language and learn something from online Italian lessons. It helps to have as much input as possible: you can learn Italian by downloading pdf exercises, for example, or check your level or track your progress by doing one of the many available Italian tests. You can learn Italian online free using our YouTube channel
So in answer to the question “How can I learn Italian fast?”, I would say “Come to Italy and do an Italian course – you’ll learn fast and you’ll have fun!”