How to speak Italian fluently

Communicate confidently with these seven tips.

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Do you want to learn how to speak Italian? The Latin language is a popular choice for learners passionate about Italian history, art, food and travel. Being able to confidently speak Italian is a goal for many, and it’s certainly achievable with a little bit of practice.

Read on for our seven tips on how to get the speaking practice you need to speak Italian fluently and confidently.

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Speak fluent Italian with confidence: 7 top tips

1. Listen to Italian music

Music is a great way to help us remember. When learning Italian, finding some songs that you love to sing along to will create positive emotions while locking the words in your memory bank.

2. Feed your brain

With an Italian restaurant in almost every city in the world, you’ve got the perfect place to practise. As your mouth waters over the Italian menu, translate dishes or ingredients you don’t know. Or try cooking Italian at home by searching ricetta tutorials on YouTube.

3. Make Italian your lingua franca

Try making Italian your common language – your lingua franca – with another Italian learner. You’ll both gain confidence speaking, expand your vocabulary and improve your grammar. It’s also a perfect excuse to practise those important Italian hand gestures.

4. Make mistakes

The popular Italian proverb sbagliando s'impara – one only learns by making mistakes – describes language learning perfectly. Instead of worrying about what you don’t know, focus on what you do know. You’ll amaze yourself with how quickly you will improve if you stop worrying about making mistakes and just try.

5. Talk to your pet in Italian

Get in some valuable speaking practice by starting with someone who will never laugh at you – your pets or house plants. It gets your brain used to thinking in Italian, and your mouth used to speaking Italian without the pressure.

6. Bring Italy to you

Even if you can’t travel to Italy, you can immerse yourself in Italian from home with a few simple changes. Switch your phone’s interface to Italian and add Italian subtitles or audio to Netflix.

7. Build a routine

You’re more likely to stick with a habit if you combine it with something else you already do. Read Italian with your morning coffee, put on Italian music while you’re cooking, or learn while commuting to work.

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Still have questions?

1. Is Italian an easy language to speak?

In general, yes, Italian is considered one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn! When our language experts sat down and looked at spelling, pronunciation, and grammar, they found Italian to be the second easiest option for beginners after Spanish. Of course, any language requires time and dedication if you want to make progress, but compared to other languages, English speakers will find Italian fairly easy to learn.

2. How long does it take to become fluent in Italian?

No two people are the same, so there’s no hard and fast amount of time it takes to reach fluency. However, data from the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) suggests that relatively easy languages like Italian take around 480 hours of study to reach basic fluency. Of course, how long it takes you personally to get to the level of fluency you want to achieve depends on what your goals are and how much time you can set aside for studying Italian.

Busuu language learners can use Study Plan, a tool that helps you figure out how often you need to study and for how long to reach your goals.

3. Is it hard to learn to speak Italian?

As mentioned above, in the grand scheme of languages, Italian is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn to speak. Thanks to fairly straightforward grammar and pronunciation, if you want to learn to speak Italian, you can be up and running with at least basic phrases fairly quickly. Some of the biggest hurdles include teaching your tongue to pronounce Italian words correctly and memorizing vocabulary and verb conjugations.

From there, setting up a schedule and sticking to it (and finding ways to stay motivated!) are the best things you can do if you want to reach certain goals for learning to speak Italian.

4. Can I teach myself Italian?

While you can’t simply sit alone in your room and think your way into learning Italian, if you don’t want to or can’t take a live Italian class, you can absolutely still learn by making use of the online resources available to you, like apps, platforms, and blogs with handy guides for learning Italian – including Busuu’s self-led Italian course, naturally!

You can practice listening skills with Italian media, gather educational resources to help you learn grammar and vocabulary, and find a buddy to help you practice speaking Italian out loud – or get everything in one place with a course designed by experts and conversations with native Italian speakers on Busuu.

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