Have you ever experienced the wonders of Venice or the magnificence of Rome? If you haven’t, then you should put Italy on your bucket list! If you have, then I need not explain, as I know you are probably dreaming of going back! I’ve been planning a trip across the pond for quite some time, but I haven’t been able to make it happen, for one reason or another. However, I thought, why not learn Italian in the meantime to prepare for my trip?
Learning a new language can be hard if you don’t have the right tools, and Italian is no exception. Whether you want to become fluent in the language or simply learn a few of the most common Italian words and phrases, the last thing you want to do is spend money on expensive classes. So, with Italy in the back of my head, I decided to find the best apps to learn Italian for free. After spending some time on Google, I came across a site called AppGrooves that has a top 10 list of the best apps for learning Italian language.
Although you can expand the list to see the top 20 apps and more, I checked out the top 10 and reviewed my favorites.
Learn Italian Vocabulary – Rating: 4.6, Downloads: 1M+
If you only want to learn the most common Italian words and phrases, then I highly recommend my first pick, Learn Italian Vocabulary. Supposedly there are over 6,000 Italian words and phrases organized into more than 140 thematic topics. I found the category system to be super convenient for quickly finding words on any topic. You will find everything from hobbies and animals to people, anatomy, shopping and more! Each word is accompanied by a translation into your native language, pronunciation, phonetic transcription and even an image that illustrates the word. Another big plus I found is that you can use the full word library offline too!
Although I found Learn Italian Vocabulary to be great for quickly learning a few words on specific topics, I would not recommend it as a full-on Italian language course replacement. Consider it as a handy phrasebook you can take with you on your trip to Italy to look up a word quickly on-the-go. If you are interested in grammar lessons, then I would recommend my next pick Learn Italian. Speak Italian.
Pros: 6,000 words and phrases, 140 topic themes, works offline
Cons: No grammar lessons
Overall: Great for quickly finding Italian words and phrases, but look elsewhere for grammar lessons
Learn Italian. Speak Italian – Rating: 4.7, Downloads: 1M+
My second pick is Learn Italian. Speak Italian. I found this to be a great choice for both beginners and advanced learners. I liked that the lesson structure doesn’t follow your typical school language course format. In fact, from the very first lesson, you start with a basic conversation in Italian between two people. By the end of the lesson, I was able to recreate the conversation on my own! Having a hard time pronouncing Italian names? No problem! The lessons are accompanied by audio recordings of native Italian speakers, so you will quickly master your Italian pronunciation.
After completing lessons, you can take quizzes to put your Italian skills to the test. The only drawback I found is that sometimes my translations would be taken as incorrect when in fact they were just synonyms of the correct answer! This is because Learn Italian. Speak Italian does not consider the full range of the English vocabulary for answer inputs. Nevertheless, if this happens to you, it only means that you are learning the language.
Pros: Vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation lessons, innovative lesson format
Cons: Quiz answers don’t consider synonyms
Overall: Great for learning Italian grammar and pronunciation, but the quizzes could use some tweaks
HelloTalk – Rating: 4.4, Downloads: 5M+
Unlike my previous picks, my third pick, HelloTalk takes a completely different route to language learning, as it enables you to chat directly with native speakers around the world. I found it easy to set up my profile and within a few minutes I was already being connected to a native Italian speaker! Although I was nervous at first, the variety of language tools you can use during your chat makes it easy to keep the communication flowing. I found the tools to be handy as you can easily translate words and phrases, correct grammar and even practice your pronunciation using voice recognition software!
If you prefer to learn Italian with lessons before you move on to a full-on conversation with native speakers, I recommend you start with Learn Italian. Speak Italian. However, by specifying your language level and learning needs in your profile, you are instantly connected with other speakers that can help you learn the basics. The people I have chatted with so far have been great in coaching me through the basics of conversation. Although I still have much to learn, I can now say that I can order Italian food on my own!
Pros: Chat with native speakers, voice recognition, translation, and grammar correction tools
Cons: No lessons or quizzes
Overall: Learn Italian fast by chatting with native speakers across the globe, but look elsewhere for Italian lessons
So, these are my top 3 picks for learning Italian. Whether you are looking for an Italian phrasebook, Italian to English translator or free Italian lessons, you will find exactly what you need. I’ve worked my way through a couple of lessons and it has only psyched me up even more for my impending trip to Italy. Happy Italian learning!