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Although English and French are Canada’s official languages, you’ll hear many other unofficial languages across the country. Among the most popular ones is Italian, a Romance language spoken by approximately 85 million people worldwide that is in demand right now due to all the amazing doors it can open for you. If you’re interested in having a more active social life, learning this fascinating language will help you connect with the almost 400,000 Italian native speakers that live in Canada, make international friends from different parts of the world, and get by more easily in countries like Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, and of course, Italy. Alternatively, speaking Italian can help you improve your career and find better jobs that require you to be bilingual, so if you’re tired of always being offered the same low-paying jobs, or you’re looking to get a promotion in the company you work for, start learning this wonderful language today and you won’t regret it.
Another big advantage of becoming bilingual is you’ll get access to one of the most interesting cultures out there, so if you’re looking for a great next challenge that expands your horizons like no other, keep reading and you’ll find useful tips and recommendations to learn how to communicate in Italian like a pro!
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1. Why Learn Italian Today
Before you start learning Italian, you should ask yourself why you want to study it in the first place. This will help you find the motivation you need to make your first steps in your journey to fluency and find out exactly what kind of Italian course you’re looking for. In case you can’t think of a good enough reason, here are some of the most important benefits of speaking Italian.
To Take Your Career to the Next Level
No matter where in Canada you live, if you learn Italian you’ll be able to apply for well-paid job positions that require you to be bilingual in companies such as Keywords Studios, Shopify and Swiss Re Group. Even if you’re interested in a job position where foreign language skills are not needed, having Italian on your CV will impress most employers and help you stand out in any job interview, so it’s a wonderful way to become more employable. On the other hand, if you have a business and you want to boost your sales, learning Italian is a great idea, as it will allow you to find new clients in the foreign-born community and network with business people from other countries, which can lead to accessing international markets and expand abroad. What’s more, if you become bilingual, you’ll be able to take advantage of the successful economic relations between Canada and Italy, which in 2021 accounted for $13.1 billion, which makes Italy the country’s second biggest trading partner in Europe.
To Travel Around the World
Are you planning to visit Europe in the future? If so, learning Italian would be a really smart move, as it will completely change the way you experience not only in Italy, but also in parts of Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, and even in countries where it’s recognized as a minority language, like Romania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to helping you get by more easily in these places, you’ll have the unique opportunity to explore the local cultures much more independently, and communicate with all sorts of people who may not speak English. This can lead to you discovering less explored parts of these countries, making more friends, and feeling less like a foreigner, as you won’t have to worry about language barriers, and there will be fewer chances of you experiencing culture shocks. What’s more, once you master Italian, it will be much easier for you to understand other Romance languages like Spanish, Portuguese and French, which means that if your goal is to get to know as many countries as possible, learning Italian is the way to go.
To Connect With Relatives
If you’re part of the Italian Canadian community, or you’re married to someone who has family abroad, learning how to communicate in Italian fluently is something you should seriously consider. As you can imagine, once you reach intermediate or higher levels, you’ll be able to get to know your relatives in a way that you never could, as they’ll be able to express themselves in a much clearer way, and share parts of their culture with you that they couldn’t share before. On top of that, you’ll be able to listen to more personal stories about their lives and the family’s history, which can radically change the way you see your own or your spouse’s roots and help you develop a deeper bond with them.
”Our instructor helps us immensely in understanding and overcoming so many of the nuances that are present in the Italian language.”
Steve Meyer - Italian course in Las Vegas
To Immerse Yourself in Italian Culture
Do you want to expand your knowledge of Italian culture? Then the best thing you can do is to start by learning their language! This will open the door for you to experience Italian cuisine, art, music and literature like a true native, and access a lot of information that you can only learn by talking to Italians in their own language. What’s more, you’ll have access to specialized books on all things Italian that are not translated into English, so if your goal is to become an expert in Italian painting, architecture, sculpting, history, or any other topic, book an Italian course right now and discover one of the most fascinating cultures in the world!Start learning Italian for your career
2. Useful Tips to Learn Italian More Effectively
Learning Italian won’t happen overnight, but there’s no need to make it harder than it should be. To help you avoid the most common mistakes and make the best use of your time, here are some recommendations to learn this fascinating language more effectively.
Find a Language Tutor
If you’re genuinely committed to becoming a fluent Italian speaker as soon as possible, you should find a native teacher who can help you develop your skills. In addition to building a great language plan that covers all the basics you need to learn, a tutor can answer all your questions about the language and teach you many interesting things about Italian culture that would be hard to understand otherwise. On top of that, having a language trainer means you’ll get to practice your Italian every week, which will have a positive impact on your conversational skills, and help you sound more like a native in close to no time.
Want us to match you with a qualified Italian trainer? Then all you need to do is contact us now and one of our team members will get in touch within 24 hours.
Read in Italian as Much as Possible
One of the smartest things you can do to expand your vocabulary and see Italian grammar in action is to read something in Italian every day. If you’re a complete beginner, you can start by reading simple texts in coursebooks or books like Short Stories in Italian for Beginners: Read for Pleasure at Your Level, Expand Your Vocabulary and Learn Italian the Fun Way by Olly Richards, which covers many interesting topics like science fiction, crime and history and is written in a simple way most learners will understand. On the other hand, if you’re already an intermediate or an advanced student, you should make it a habit to read the newspaper in Italian, which in addition to helping you learn useful words and phrases, will help you stay updated about all the events that take place in Italy. Don’t know any Italian newspapers? Here are some of the most famous ones.
Tune in to Italian radio and podcasts
Reading books and newspapers in Italian is not the only way you can improve your language skills, so if that’s not something you enjoy doing, there’s no point in forcing yourself to do it. Instead, you can check out the many amazing Italian podcasts available online, like Italy Made Easy, which has plenty of episodes that cover different topics such as coffee culture in Italy, fitness and typical Italian holidays, News in Slow Italian, which will help you keep updated with the current affairs of Italy and learn new words, even if you’re a beginner, and Veleno, a very interesting podcast for advanced students who are interested in true crime stories. Alternatively, if you prefer to listen to the radio, there are wonderful radio stations you can check out, like Radio24, which is one of the most well-known in the country, Radio Radicale, which is perfect for those interested in Italian politics, and Radio Italia, which has a strong focus on Italian music.
Watch YouTube Videos in Italian
Another entertaining way of working on your Italian is to watch YouTube videos in the language. There are plenty of really interesting content creators that upload all sorts of videos that can help you understand grammar, learn facts about Italian culture, and improve your pronunciation. If you want to surround yourself with the language completely you should take a look at Italiano Automatico, a channel that tries to help students learn the language in a way that an infant would by exposing them to the language as much as possible. All the videos on this channel have English and Italian subtitles, so it’s perfect for both beginner and intermediate students who want to expand their vocabulary and learn useful Italian expressions. Learn Italian with Lucrezia is another very well-known YouTube channel where you’ll find plenty of videos of Lucrezia, an Italian teacher, explaining all sorts of topics like verb conjugation, regional dialects and idiomatic expressions. Lastly, if you mainly want to work on your listening comprehension, learn vocabulary with images and avoid making the most common mistakes most students make you should visit Learn Italian with ItalianPod101, which has plenty of very well-organized videos for learners of all levels.
Discover the Italian You Already Know
When you first start learning Italian, in addition to learning essential phrases, you should try to discover the Italian words you already understand, which are cognates. Cognates are words that look similar in two or more languages and mean exactly the same. Thanks to the Latin influence in both English and Italian, there are plenty of words that you’ll be able to use and understand without having to look up their meaning. Don’t know any? Here’s a list of some of the most useful cognates you should know.
|Italian Cognates||English Version|
However, not all words in Italian that look similar to English words mean the same, in fact, you have to be very careful of false cognates, also called false friends, which have completely different meanings. To illustrate this, here are some examples.
- Annoiare: This word may look similar to the English word to annoy, but it actually means to bore.
- Confrontare: Although this word looks like the English verb to confront, it means to compare.
- Domandare: This verb means to ask in English, not to demand.
- Attualmente: You might look at this word and think that it looks like actually, but it means currently.
- Grosso/Grossa These words look like the English word gross, they actually mean big.
Use Language Apps
In addition to booking a course with a qualified teacher, you should use as many resources to learn Italian in your free time as you possibly can. Among the most useful resources out there are language apps, and one of their main advantages is that you don’t really need to devote much time to them, as using them for only a few minutes a day can make a real difference. To help you find the best possible app that allows you to reach your particular language goals, here are some of our top picks.
- Rated as one of the most entertaining language apps, Duolingo is a great choice if you’re looking to develop your language skills and have fun at the same time. Set up like a game, this app allows you to learn while you compete with other users, unlock new content and win prizes for your accomplishments. Lessons can be completed in as little as five minutes, so even if you have a busy lifestyle and you can’t devote a lot of time to studying Italian, after a few weeks you’ll be able to make a lot of progress, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
- Memrise is another useful app you should try, especially if you need help remembering new vocabulary in Italian. It’s similar to Duolingo in the sense that using this app feels like a game, but it’s much more focused on helping learners memorize new words and phrases by using spaced repetition and having short lessons. One of its most unique features is that it uses videos of native speakers to introduce new vocabulary, which can make learning new phrases much more effective and entertaining.
- If you want to work on your Italian grammar, then you should try Lingodeer. It’s one of the apps that most resembles a more traditional course because it offers very detailed grammar explanations and vocabulary lists that will help you learn the language in a more structured way. In contrast to most language apps, it has a very simple design which can help you find information much more quickly, so if you are tired of visually crowded apps like the two we previously mentioned, give this one a try.
Take Language Level Tests
If you’re eager to start a language course, but you’re not sure what’s your proficiency level, you should take one right now. Once you know exactly how good your skills are, it will be much easier to find a suitable course, find useful material to study, and know what you need to work on to improve. On top of that, if you find out what your level is now, you’ll be able to take the test again in the future and measure your progress, which can help you stay motivated and see how far you’ve come. Although there are plenty of tests online, we offer a completely FREE Online Italian Language Test you can take in no more than fifteen minutes which will give you a score according to our language levels that follow internationally recognized standards.
3. Essential Italian Phrases to Travel
Before you jump on a plane to Rome, Venice or Florence you should ask yourself “How’s my Italian?” If the answer is not that good then take a look at the following words and phrases that will help you communicate with locals and get by more easily.
|Phrases in Italian||Phrases in English|
|Greetings and Goodbyes||Salve||Hello (formal)|
|Arrivederci||Until we meet again (informal)|
|Arrivederla||Until we meet again (formal)|
|A più tardi||See you later|
|Buona giornata!||Have a nice day!|
|Basic Answers to Questions||Sì/No||Yes/No|
|Non lo so||I don’t know|
|Ma certo||Of course|
|Molte grazie||Many thanks|
|Grazie mille||Thanks a lot|
|Making Small Talk||Come ti chiami?||What’s your name?|
|Mi chiamo…||My name is…|
|Lieto di conoscerti!||Nice to meet you!|
|Come va?/Come sta?||How are you?|
|Dove abiti?||Where do you live?|
|Che lavoro fai?||What do you do?|
|Asking for Directions||Dove?||Where?|
|Dov’è il bagno?||Where is the bathroom?|
|Dov’è il museo?||Where is the museum?|
|Il centro||Town center|
|Vai diritto||Go straight ahead|
|Torna indietro||Go back|
Want to learn more Italian? Check out these Italian Idioms You Can Use In Your Daily Life and these 10 Italian Slang Expressions that You Need to Learn if You Want to Sound Like a Native Speaker
If you remember these words the next time you visit Italy, your trip will be much more enjoyable! However, if you genuinely want to communicate like a true Italian, the smartest thing you can do is start a language course as soon as possible! Here at Language Trainers, we offer the best online and face-to-face lessons taught by some of the best Italian tutors! All you need to do to make the first step in your journey to fluency is send us a quick inquiry now and we’ll put in contact with you within the next 24 hours!
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