Let’s be honest, learning a foreign language isn’t easy at all. If it’s Italian, then, the task might seem even harder. But don’t you worry, there are some strategies that can make learning easier, faster and funnier.
They are actually small tricks that, together with some commitment on your side, will ensure you get truly satisfying results and, why not, learn how to speak and write in Italian.
Before listing them, let me give you a small tip: don’t try to use them all at the same time, but practice 1 or 2 at a time. You will see that they will be much more effective that way!
KEEP YOUR MIND OPEN
Let’s start from the presumption that every language has its own peculiarities that make it different from all the others. This implies that translating literally isn’t always possible. Therefore, when you happen to hear someone speaking Italian, try to understand the general sense of what they’re saying, without getting stuck searching for the meaning of every single word.
SPEAK ITALIAN WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN
Everyone knows that interacting in the language you want to learn is extremely important, and Italian is no exception. If you know some native speakers, chat with them often, even just a few minutes at a time, and possibly about different topics. This way, your vocabulary will be enriched and you will start composing correct phrases.
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
If you don’t know anyone who speaks Italian, find some native speakers close to you, or online and interact with them exclusively in Italian. This, besides enriching your vocabulary as mentioned before, will help you express your thoughts in an immediate way rather than mentally translating every sentence before pronouncing it.
ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE WRONG AND LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
I think this is one of the fundamental secrets. Don’t be afraid to be wrong and express yourself in Italian, even in public. Believe, it is much more helpful to pronounce an incorrect sentence and hear someone correct you, than not saying anything at all. Maybe, when you get home, write down the correct expression and you will see that visual memory will kick in.
DELVE INTO THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE COMPLETELY
Let’s suppose you want to come here to Italy, knowing a bit of Italian already so you can immediately communicate with the locals. You know what the best thing you can do is? Listening to Italian music, reading Italian books, watching movies and shows in the Italian language, absolutely avoiding subtitles. In short, truly delving into the language to quicken up the learning process.
Yes, I’m actually talking about stickers, post-its or anything else you can use to write and can be stuck somewhere. Write on each of them the Italian word for all the objects in your house: the fridge, the table, the chairs, the bed, in short, everything you see every day in front of you. After that, stick them on the corresponding objects, and you will see how you will manage to expand your vocabulary in a natural and practically effortless way.
PROCEED BY OBJECTIVES
Give yourself some objectives you can easily reach, so you don’t get discouraged and abandon your good intentions. For example, if you start from grammar, don’t try to memorize Italian words all at the same time. Learn how to conjugate the verbs “to be” and “to have” and only after that, concentrate on learning a fixed amount of new words. And proceed just like that.
USE WORDS YOU KNOW IN ORDER TO BE UNDERSTOOD
Here’s an example, to be clearer. If while you are in Italy you are surprised by an unexpectedly cold weather, you might need a coat. Don’t you know the Italian term for it? No problem, just walk into a shop and ask for “the thing you wear when it’s cold”. Describing what you are looking for, someone will understand and tell you the exact term. This way, besides obtaining what you need, you will also learn a new word and exploit another chance of conversing in Italian.
HAVE A GOOD REASON TO BE LEARNING ITALIAN
You need a valid reason to complete your mission! What might it be? Improving communications with a person whose company you appreciate or whom you want to impress. Moving to Italy or the desire to talk to the locals immediately. There are many valid motivations. Find yours!
OBSERVE GESTURES AND EXPRESSIONS OF THOSE YOU TALK TO
Last but not least: pay attention to the context in which you communicate. It is known that we Italians enjoy using many gestures while we speak. And this might prove very useful. Yes, because in order to understand what you hear, sometimes it is enough to observe the physical gestures that accompany the verbal speech. So just pay attention to the context, without necessarily trying to understand every single word that is spoken.
I think these 10 tricks, together with a bit of constancy, will help you make your dream of mastering the Italian language true.
As for me, I anticipate that shortly there will be great news about it, but I’ll tell you all about it later.
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All the best!