Immersing yourself and dedicating as much time as possible to a foreign language will speed up mastery. It might take you two years to become proficient in French if you study three or four hours a week, but if you study French two hours a day, you’ll reach the same goal in record time.
Today we’re sharing the secret of the fastest way to speak fluent Italian. It takes discipline and dedication, but if you maximize your learning outside of the classroom, it’s totally do-able.
This daily guide will help you learn Italian in NYC, but you could use it for any other language or city, of course. Substitute the same types of activities for your target language or local area. This is how to immerse yourself in your new language to accelerate learning on a daily basis. It’s accessible, easy to do, and almost completely free.
What is your regular morning routine like? Do you check Instagram as soon as you wake up? Do you scroll through your messages and emails? Do you read the news and have a coffee?
All these things could be done in Italian. Change the main language for your social accounts to Italian. Your phone too, while you’re at it.
Subscribe to Italian newsletters; it’s a quick way to boost your vocabulary. Are you into fashion? Follow Italian fashion bloggers (there are a ton of those). You could also subscribe to Vogue Italia’s newsletter.
Are you into travel writing? Literature, art, or the avant-garde? Science, economy, or technology? There’s a blog in Italian for you that could become part of your daily routine.
Scroll/skim through it every morning before you even get out of bed. Slowly you’ll start to pick up on terms you didn’t know before. And you’ll learn how to talk about things that interest you in a different language.
Listen to Italian music on your way to work. Try to actively understand what the lyrics are saying. See which words you can make out and listen to the pronunciation. We can’t stop listening to Baby K’s “Roma Bangkok,” Neffa’s “Sigaretta la Mattina,” Umberto Balsamo’s “Balla,” J.AX’s “Maria Salvador,” and Toto Cotugno’s “L’Italiano Vero.”
Lunch time! Grab a sandwich, a slice of pizza, sushi, or whatever you normally eat and go through an Italian youtube video. Learning Italian with Lucrezia is great, but there are a ton of others.
Listening to a podcast in Italian on your way home from work is a great way to learn Italian. Need to catch up with the news? Listen to America 24. America 24 provides American news in 15 to 25-minute increments. It’s easy to understand the Italian, and it’ll help that you already know the context.
News in Slow Italian is exactly what it sounds like and it was reviewed by The Guardian as a great way to learn a new language.
It’ll help if you find podcasts that genuinely interest you so you learn how to talk about topics you’re interested in. You’ll also retain more vocabulary this way.
Speak Italian with people who either know Italian, or those who are also learning! LegaItaliana organizes Italian chat meetups. The group usually meet every two weeks in a restaurant or bar. They welcome newcomers and experienced speakers alike. This meet-up is probably best for students who have completed the Advanced Beginner level.
Another great way to practice? Cooking in Italian. Look up Italian recipes to make dinner. You can find simple and authentic recipes on giallozafferano.it. You’ll be guaranteed a more authentic dish than the American websites.
If you'd rather dine out, try going to an Italian-owned restaurant and ordering in Italian, or even having a conversation. Ask around about what restaurants are run by Italians. Our personal favorites if you’re in New York are Lella Alimentari, Acqua Santa, Patrizia’s, I Trulli Enoteca, Keste Pizzeria, and Zagara Wine Bar.
Italians are pretty accommodating about different accents, so no need to be worried. Just tell them you’re into Italian culture and trying to learn the language.
Before you hit the club this Saturday night, check out rush tickets for your favorite Italian operas at Lincoln Center! Get hype for some good old-fashioned drama when you go see Don Giovanni, Tosca, La Traviata, and Aida. You might not understand every word, but the opera is shown with subtitles and translations. Plus, you’ll feel immersed in the culture.
If you’d rather stay in and watch Netflix, here are some Italian movies to keep you company. A few personal favorites of Fluent City staff are: Io Non Ho Paura, a thriller that’s filmed from the perspective of a small boy, and La Vita e’ Bella, a drama-comedy about WWII. Also check out Malena, Le Notti Di Cabiria, and The Conformist.
Or, go to New Italian Cinema festival at Lincoln Center. It’s a film festival that shows a variety of Italian films, ranging from independent to commercial. Check out upcoming dates here: here.
Do you feel more Italian yet? We thought so.
Check out our online Italian lessons, fill your schedule with our suggestions above, and get ready to get fluent pronto.