As Italian is derived from Latin, it shares a lot of similarity with other Latinate languages such as French, Spanish and Romanian as well as English.
Thanks to the similarities between Italian and English, even if a native speaker of English has never had Italian lessons, they will be able to understand some words and phrases in Italian conversation.
However, of course, cognates aren’t enough to make you fluent in a language.
If you want to achieve true language proficiency, you'll have to learn to conjugate all of the major Italian verbs, correctly use Italian articles, nouns and adjectives, and master Italian pronunciation, which will help your fluency in your speaking skills and help you better integrate into Italia.
In real life, there is no place for a phrasebook, so even if you only know basic Italian, you'll need to be able to use Italian greetings, days of the week and common everyday Italian expressions fluently.
If you want to take your Italian language skills to the next level and achieve true proficiency, why not take a trip to Italy? Here are 5 great reasons to learn Italian if you're not already convinced.
Immersing yourself in the language and culture of this wonderful country will see you making significant improvements in just a few days!
There are benefits to spending time in Rome in particular, such as the accent and the availability of language schools.
Learn Italian in Rome and Marvel at the Italian Capital
At Superprof, we’re always talking about the benefits of cultural immersion for learning a new language.
Of course, taking Italian language lessons is the most important part of becoming fluent in your foreign language, however, immersion complements this as you put your knowledge into practice whilst learning even more about Italy and its culture.
So, once you’ve decided that you want to learn Italian in Italy, how do you decide where to go?
Rome is the ideal destination for any Italian learner. As a cultural hotspot and the centre of the Roman Empire, Rome has everything to offer.
Since Rome is the Italian capital, think of it as the equivalent of learning French in Paris or German in Berlin: you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of success.
The aim of cultural immersion is helping you experience life in a different cultural and linguistic context, which, over time, you will feel more and more comfortable with as you learn.
Being surrounded by a foreign language and an unfamiliar culture makes for a stimulating environment in which to learn quickly and effectively as your survival instinct kicks in.
The key to making progress is to push yourself, and spending time in a foreign environment makes you do just that.
The prospect of being thrown into the deep end can be daunting, but once you touch down in Rome, the challenge will seem far more achievable.
Falling in love with a language seems so much easier once you’ve fallen in love with a certain city or region where it is spoken.
By spending time in Rome, getting to know the locals and learning about the history, your language learning will become easier than ever before.
Travelling to and Staying in Rome
Would you travel all the way to Mexico to learn Spanish? Probably not. First of all, it’s quite far away, and secondly, the administrative process can be overly complex.
It’s good news then that the UK (for the time being) is a member of the European Union! EU membership means that citizens of EU member countries can freely travel, live and work within the EU – and this includes in Italy!
This means that your trip to Rome, however long it lasts, will be made significantly less stressful.
So, if you want to do a placement year in Rome to learn Italian, no visa needed – you’re free to discover this wonderful city with no limitations!
Learning Italian by Working in Italy
Back to the topic of the EU again, and unlike those who live outside of the European Union, you have the right to work in Italy, so in addition to your right to live in Italy, you can also earn a living!
There are, however, a few things you need to know about the world of business in Italy:
- No minimum wage is fixed by the state, so rates of pay usually follow convention, so do your research and see that you’re not being offered too little when you get a job
- The legal working week lasts a minimum of 40 hours and cannot exceed 48 hours, and every year, you’ll get four weeks of holiday as well at 11 bank holidays
- You will need to register with the ASL (Azienda Sanitaria Locale) or the local health agency for your health and unemployment cover.
These are the most important things to bear in mind about the Italian working world.
At Superprof, we think that if you want to learn Italian quickly, finding a job in Italy is one of the best ways to get yourself speaking Italian on more than a conversational level, and this will open up a lot of opportunities in the future.
Of course, if it’s your first visit to Italy and you only know some basic Italian, it might be hard to find a suitable job. However, don’t let this put you off – Rome is a big city and will open more doors to you the longer you spend there and as your skills improve.
Living and working with your Italian colleagues will help you find your feet in Italian society and make your Italian more natural, even if it is difficult at first.
Likewise with your managers who, as they tell you what to do, offer an opportunity to practice using a higher register of language.
Your Italian vocabulary will improve bit by bit as will your conjugation and Italian grammar.
However, finding work in Italy may be more difficult than you think. With one of the highest youth unemployment rates, you need to be prepared to go the extra mile to find work.
It’s also a good idea to have some savings to use in the time before you start work.
So, although finding a job where you can practice your Italian may be more difficult than you anticipated, it is immensely rewarding and worth waiting for!
Can't make it to Italy? Italian language courses London or a British city near you can help you learn Italian - or give you some basics before you head for the land of the tricolore! You can also take Italian lessons online.
Living with Locals in Rome to Use Your Italian Every Day
Now you’ve familiarised yourself with the basics of the Italian culture, history, working world and language you’ll find in Rome, let’s have a look at what your social life will entail!
This will depend on your job as well as your living situation and friendship group.
So, why not bring them together and live with other students who speak Italian as a native language? Find the best places to live and study as an Italian student in Italy.
After arriving in Rome by yourself, you’ll be looking for a way to make friends, and living with Italians in a similar situation to you is the best way to do this.
There is a number of organisations for foreign students hoping to find accommodation in Rome:
These will not only help you to find a more affordable rent, but also to give you the opportunity to practice your Italian every single day!
This will help you achieve the true definition of ‘total immersion’, as you will return to an Italian-speaking flat after a day of speaking Italian at work.
And even better, by living with Italian speakers, you’ll discover a new language that you may not have otherwise encountered.
You’ll hear Italian slang and be able to compare it with the business Italian you hear at work, meaning you’ll have a broader understanding of how to use your second language.
Finding Italian Courses in Rome
To end this guide to learning Italian in Rome, let’s explore the idea that your trip to Italy should be led by your work as well as your language ability.
When you’re not working or socialising with your housemates, why not sign up to one of the many organisations that offer Italian language courses to foreign students?
Here are just four organisations you may want to consider:
· LSI Rome
LSI Rome (Language Studies International) offers language centres in the heart of Rome. Just a 5-minute walk from St. Peter’s Basilica, it has 12 rooms and offers:
- Intensive courses: more than 30 lessons per week to learn lot of Italian in a short space of time
- Standard courses: 20 lessons per week
- One to one Italian tutoring: 30 lessons per week
You can also find Italian lessons near me which are made especially for young people, in addition to evening classes for those who work and group lessons.
· Torre di Babele
The language school, Torre di Babele, has a fantastic reputation and 32 years of experience in teaching Italian.
Over time, this centre has adapted to keep up with demand and offers a range of options:
- Standard intensive courses
- Intensive ‘plus’ courses
- Super-intensive courses
- One to one courses
- Courses for older learners
- Non-intensive courses
- Courses via Skype
So, there’s no denying that you have a lot to choose from!
This means that you can find the style of teaching that suits your Italian learning needs so you make good progress.
You should be aware that once you enrol at Torre di Babele, your language ability will be evaluated to make sure that you are put in a class with people who aim to learn to speak Italian from the same starting point as you.
· Scuola Romit
The Scuola Romit may be the ideal place for you.
This language-learning institution specialises in providing Italian language courses for people coming from every part of the world.
Scuola Romit brings international students together with young Italian teachers, who teach Italian through exploring the wonders of Rome.
They also organise a number of activities to help you get used to your new surroundings and find out how modern-day Romans live!