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Learning Italian As A Second Language

Discussion in 'Italian Language' started by dannyboy, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. I have always been fascinated with every aspect of Italian culture, especially the language. I had actually tried to learn Italian as another language to speak. I have always wanted to be a bilingual person anyways, so learning Italian was a good place to start! Has anyone here tried to learn Italian?
  2. I had to learn it "per forza"!
    I'm actually trilingual :D English isn't my mother language but I speak it fluently.

    Me learning Italian is actually a funny story.
    My dad always wanted me to learn Italian since he thought that Italy is a great country to live in and there are many Italian investors in my country too. However, I don't like being pressured by anyone so I ignored him.

    However, in 2008 I decided I should come here and work for 2 months, then go back home. But.... I decided I could stay a while longer :D It's been 5 years just a few days ago (came here in July 2008). So, I had to learn Italian or else :rolleyes::)
  3. I tried to learn Italian before moving here as I had many Italian friends back home.

    I tried from books, cd and the odd word or two with Italian friends. To be honest none of them really worked for me.

    Once I moved to Italy, I was forced to learn and it really helped being here and always listening to Italian on Tv, at work any anywhere else I went.

    Everyone has their own methods of learning a new language and in my case, the crash course worked.
  4. Has anyone tried the Rosetta Stone CDs? I've always heard great reviews about them and wondered if they were actually true.

    I am hoping to go to Italy again next year and would also be interested in learning even a bit of the language.
  5. I was thinking of learning Italian, but I'm a bit worried. I already know other languages, Spanish included and I'm worried that it might be a problem. There are similar words but different spellings and I'm afraid to mix it up, I could already imagine trying to speak Italian and end up with Spanish terms instead :p. Maybe I'll learn it, but probably not any sooner. I'm thinking of learning a totally different language first just in case, but I don't know. Thoughts?
  6. Rosetta Stone course in general is pretty bad, especially considering its price. The best idea is to get a decent textbook for beginners, maybe with a CD or a DVD and then just sit down and start studying. There are also many free resources available online :)

    It can be a problem at the beginning, but once you get more advanced, you won't have to worry about that. In fact, knowing Spanish might even make learning easier for you.
  7. In my case the older I get the harder it is to learn another language! Lot's and lot's of practice! It can be hard at first just like with anything. But the more you practice the better you will get.
  8. That's great then. I think I'll push forward with learning Italian first. I was going to attempt German/Swedish but I think this will be a better idea. That's actually what happened when I learned Spanish! I was fluent in my mother's native tongue and the words were similar as well so I didn't have a problem learning. Would it be better to learn from hard copies or from online sites? This will be different because I wouldn't have a teacher.
  9. It's different for everybody, really. Some people do better with hard copies and some would prefer online sites; you have to try for yourself.
    For a list of online resources on Italian (and many other languages) I strongly recommend Unilang:
    Surely it isn't a complete list, but it's pretty detailed. If anybody has any sites they particularly recommend, I'd love to hear about them :)
  10. Okay then, thank you for your help :). I hope to start right away!
  11. Very interesting, thanks for the opinion.

    I have had a quick look in the past at some of the online resources and there are definitely some good ones worth investigating.
  12. Great feedback on this topic from everyone. I think it is good to learn different languages. It gives you a taste of other people's cultures and traditions.
  13. When I learnt Italian, I used textbooks which the university recommended we buy (as I learnt it at uni) - 'That's Allegro!', which was more basic and focussed a lot on tourist-y Italian while introducing basic grammar and key vocab, and 'Palgrave Foundations: Italian 2', which went into a lot more detail and taught more grammar so we could improve our fluency. They were both really good books, I'd recommend them! In fact, I'm trying to get rid of them as I need the money, so if anyone in the UK is interested, I'd happily sell them to you. ;)

    Also altrogue, I know others have said this as well, but I learnt Spanish the year before I learnt Italian, and it made it so much easier as a lot of the vocab is similar and the grammar follows the same patterns. It did sometimes cause problems when I would forget words in Italian so would use the Spanish instead ( :oops: ) but it didn't cause any real problems.
  14. Oh okay then :) Well if you used Spanish when you forgot the Italian words I think they should understand you anyway. Thanks for the help! This will be of great use to me as my man was offered a job in Italy recently, and if he does accept it then I'll see myself staying in Italy for a while :p
  15. I am currently taking classes to learn Italian. I also watch Italian movies, read Italian newspapers, and use Italian programs to practice. I wish I could find more practice, though!

    Does anyone here know of any Italian books/music/media that are free? Thanks!
  16. Learning Italian has always intrigued me! The only other language that I know somewhat is Spanish, but I can understand it better than I can speak it. I can imagine that learning Italian is much more difficult than Spanish but it would be really neat to be able to speak it.

    Does anyone here know if it is generally easier to learn how to understand Italian before it is to actually speak it? It seemed like when I was learning Spanish it took me no time to understand what people were saying, but then trying to answer them was a little more difficult. Anyone have thoughts on that matter?
  17. I am learning Italian as part of my career. I want to graduate as a translator. English isn't my mother tongue either, by the way, so Italian is really my third language and my first is Spanish.

    I say, the similarities between Spanish and Italian end up screwing me in Italian, specially with homonyms and such.
  18. Hmm that is an interesting point. Since English is my first language and I was able to pick up Spanish pretty quickly, I wonder if I would be able to pick up Italian quickly as well?

    If the similarities between Spanish and Italian are plentiful enough to make you struggle a little bit, then a native English speaker might not have as much trouble picking up on it if they pick up on Spanish easily.

    I guess I never realized how similar Italian and Spanish actually are. I may really have to look in to it now! :)

    Are there any native speakers here that speak Spanish and Italian that can share their experience with learning both languages?
  19. Does knowing another similar language make learning Italian easier? I speak and read Spanish pretty well, and I'm thinking it would help in learning Italian. In fact, I can sometimes get the gist of things written in Italian because it seems to be similar to Spanish. Thoughts? It seems like some think this would help? Like chass88, I'm also wondering about negatives.
  20. I had just talked a bit about this but I guess you didn't see my post, heheh. Understandable.

    As I said, I find that the similarities actually end up making things harder, at least for me. You see similar sounding/similarly written words in both languages and you think they have the same meaning but they do not.

    Some things that are perfect in Italian also sound like broken Spanish, in a way. Like, the grammar and syntax, Italian sometime seems like Spanish but with a different order, at least from the point of view of someone whose mother tongue is Spanish.

    So yeah, I actually find the similarities to make things a bit more confusing, so you should try to clear your head of Spanish when learning Italian.
    Mary Duffey likes this.

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