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So, You Want to Learn Italian...

So, You Want to Learn Italian...
While Italian is not among the most spoken languages in the world (or even Europe), it is the fourth most studied language (behind English, Spanish, and Chinese). Why? A few reasons: Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world, Italian is the language used in classical music notation, and it is the spoken language of the Catholic Church, which still has global influence. (Fun fact: the official language of the Catholic Church is Latin, but Italian is used in everyday business.)

Great news for English speakers looking to learn Italian: Italian is the modern evolution of Latin, which means it has many similarities to Spanish and some similarities to English.

Gestures Count

Italian is a very musical language, in part because every word ends in a vowel. Don't be afraid to use gestures to help add meaning, especially when you are struggling to find a word or make yourself understood. Native Italian speakers use gestures extensively, so it is considered helpful rather than rude!

Easy as A, B, C (almost)

One of the reasons Italian is relatively easy for native English speakers to learn is that it uses the same alphabet. There are no extra letters to learn! Even better, Italian only uses 21 letters. J, K, W, X and Y do not appear in Italian words.

Accent marks are occasionally used in Italian to indicate where to put the emphasis when pronouncing a word.

Nouns Change Based on Gender and Number

In Italian, nouns and adjectives are assigned genders. It's also important to reflect whether something is singular or plural when determining the word ending. We won't get into the fine details of it here, just something to be aware of as you learn!

A good shortcut when in doubt: singular nouns ending in -o are often masculine, -a are often feminine.

How Fast Can You Learn Italian?

Well, that depends. One source, the US Government’s Foreign Service Institute, estimates that it takes 600 hours in a classroom setting to achieve a general professional proficiency. (You can learn more about how long it takes to learn new languages here.) For most people, that would take years to achieve! But, with our Guided Immersion system, you can learn Italian in hours, not years!


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