What’s the best way to learn Italian without breaking the bank?
So knowing that we were moving it Italy I did initially have a rush of blood to the head and went on a spending spree and bought as many phrase books, grammar books and dictionaries without really doing my homework beforehand. Once I got over the initial excitement I realised that there was a whole load of resources out there where I could learn Italian for next to nothing. Is this the best way to learn Italian? Not necessarily but for those on a tight budget the following is available to you for next to nothing or, in fact, for free.
1. Free Language Courses
Everyone loves a good language course, don’t they? It keeps the mind focused and generally you can track your progress particularly against your peers. A great little course is Duolingo which is good fun and will give you some structure. This is great for beginners but will undoubtedly be limiting for those who are at an intermediate level and above.
2. Free books, newspapers and magazines
The web provides access to a lot of Italian reading matter. I particularly enjoyed the dual language articles at Italy magazine and reading Italian newspapers at Online Newspapers. Free books can be found at BookRix and although not free, some of my favourite ‘not too expensive’ books were:
3. Free Italian movies
I made use of You Tube quite a lot and still do. Whether its to watch a classic Italian movie or something more recent like ‘X Factor Italia’ or ‘Italia’s Got Talent’ this can be a great source of material and facilitates the tuning of your ears to the sound of the Italian language.
4. Free Italian Radio stations
My favourite is RDS (I still listen to this while living in Italy now). I was able to stream this live and listen to it while still living in the UK. Most of the popular stations are available online. A large list of Italian radio stations can be found here.
5. Free Italian Immersion
Hearing and speaking the Italian language in your own country can be achieved by seeking out Italians and their hang-outs in the UK, US or wherever you call home. Find an Italian market, a cultural event or online hangouts to get the best Italian language learning experience – conversing in Italian.
If you know of any other free resources that can help with learning the Italian lingo then please leave a comment below or if you have anything else to add, I’d love to hear it and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.