Have you ever heard that the Italian language considered one of the most beautiful sounding languages on Earth?
If yes then my story will be of interest to you. I am so excited to share it here!
My first experience with the Italian language happened when I arrived in Rome four years ago. Planning to spend the next two years in Italy, I immediately started searching for available language classes. Finding one was not a big deal as there were several schools with great offers.
After 12 weeks of intense classes, I was able to express my thoughts in a very rudimental manner. These results were quite satisfying, but there was still a long way to go. Although the biggest challenge was to speak and put my thoughts into appropriate understandable phrases, I eventually improved my language proficiency. Pulling the words and phrases out of my memory was both the hardest and most efficient moment of learning. The sooner you start learning a language the earlier you will speak it.
Here is the deal. I have highlighted the 7 most important reasons why you need to start learning Italian this year. Hope you are going to love them all!
1. Speaking Italian is of great help when you are visiting the country!
Have you ever thought to travel to Italy? If yes, then speaking with the locals in their tongue will be a huge plus for you. You may be thinking that studying Italian is a challenge but it is all about choosing the right approach. Italian language definitely brings you closer to Italian culture and helps you make new connections. English is one of the international means of communication, but once you go to Italy you may find it difficult to chat with Italians solely in English.
You will get better deals and offers while visiting Italy and win the attitude of the locals.
Among other benefits, speaking Italian at the local tourist places can keep you out of trouble as local rogues will not be that tempted to pull a fast one on you. On top of that, Italian will simply save your time while buying a ticket or asking for directions, as the chances of being understood in English are low. If you are up for trying some authentic ‘not-for-tourists’ cuisine do not expect to have a menu translated into any foreign language. That is why having a basic understanding of food names and ingredients in Italian is necessary while visiting Italy. An interesting fact is that Italian language has the largest amount of words for describing food than in any other tongue.
2. It is easy to practice!
Regardless of how imperfect your speech could be the most awaited reaction of locals would be flattering assurance of your outstanding Italian language skills. So, be prepared to receive compliments. Once you have learned the basics, it becomes easy to practice them, as everyone in Italy is open to short conversations and casual chitchats. Continuous positive feedback from native speakers adds to motivation and makes you improve your Italian language skills.
Speaking with mistakes still counts. Italians appreciate your effort, truly.
Furthermore, not speaking Italian immediately puts you in a tourist category, which implies higher service charges at local bars, cafes, taxi and restaurants. Italians genuinely appreciate foreigners who make an effort of trying to speak with them in Italian. Even if you have not reached an advanced level of verbal Italian, locals would utter “Bravo!” sincerely affirming your effort, encouraging you to continue conversation. Italians are extremely sociable and communicative.
3.It helps you make new contacts, friends and expand horizons!
Perhaps the most significant reason that you should learn Italian is an opportunity to establish cross-cultural friendship with the locals. Even basic conversational skills would help you get a rapport and increase your eloquence.
Did you know?
- Italy’s population is 60 million people
- 75 million people all over the globe have an Italian ancestry. Some of them speak Italian in their communities
- Italian is also an official language in Switzerland and co-official in Slovenia
Your chances of being invited to a family dinner or a locally organized party are significantly increased if you speak basic Italian.
Italians are extremely hospitable and open-handed. If you get invited to someone’s house that will immensely enrich your experience and will give you a chance to try some authentic Italian cuisine.
4. You can study, work or live in Italy!
If your goal lies way beyond a short visit and you have a dream of studying in Italy, then you should definitely consider learning Italian on a more advanced level. Universities in Italy offer a great number of academic programs for international students. The majority of these programs are taught in Italian so prospective students should have a decent level of the language proficiency. The most appealing reason why you would consider Italy as a country to pursue an academic degree is the low tuition fees.
Did you know?
University of Bologna was founded in 1088, University of Padua – 1222, University of Naples – 1224 (Alma Mater of Thomas Aquinas) and many others that contributed towards the development of world’s academia are scattered all over Italy. One of the largest universities in the country is located in Rome and has 140,000 of students enrolled in 11 academic faculties. Sapienza University of Rome is well-known for its notable alumni who occupy various political and scholastic positions both in Italy and abroad. The most popular majors among foreign students are Arts, Design, Architecture and Social Sciences. However, there are plenty of international exchange students in Robotics, Computer Science and Medicine. Regardless of where your academic aspirations lie, there are a large number of universities in different parts of Italy that can offer you rigorous academic curriculum and even the possibility of receiving a scholarship.
5. Italian language will turn exploring cultural heritage into an authentic experience.
Italy is the 5th most visited country in the world. According to statistics, 48.6 million tourists visited Roman Colosseum in 2014. Apart from that, there is a great number of other charming places across the country. Italy contributes to World Heritage Sites more than any other nation, which makes it a perfect place to enjoy both architectural masterpieces and marvelous natural landscapes.
Besides regular Italian there are several similar sounding languages (sometimes referred to as vernaculars, or simply dialects) such as Neapolitan (Napolitano), Piedmont’s (Piemontese), Sardinian (Sarda), Venetian (Veneto) and others, though the regular spoken Italian is acceptable across the entire Apennines Peninsula.
Enrich your travel experience and be prepared for a complete immersion into Italian culture!
If your plans revolve around a short visit to Italy, I would personally recommend you to have a rudimentary level of Italian. No one says you will not be able to survive in Italy using English, but speaking Italian would give you the authentic cultural experience you have always been looking for.
6. You may know some Italian already!
Italian is a Romance language and is very similar to Spanish. You can take an advantage of this if you already know basic Spanish. Half of the work is done and it would take less time and effort to learn new words and enrich vocabulary. Another way could be learning Spanish after Italian as the majority of words and phrases would already be stored in the memory. Furthermore, four other widely used Romance languages (Portuguese, French, Romanian and Catalan) are somewhat similar to Italian. It is hard to find a language that has no Latin words and Italian has thousands of them.
Around 30% of all English words have Latin roots and this knowledge greatly simplifies the learning process.
Italian language will give you an access to its literature, original movies without translations that usually distort the original message, and improves your listening and understanding skills. A well-known quote says ‘the other language changes your vision of the world and makes you see things you have not noticed before’. Italian language is a gateway to a number of life opportunities you would love to explore!
It is not that hard as you think.
Learning Italian certainly requires a certain degree of dedication. However, it is easy to integrate this new hobby into your daily routine by replacing your playlists with Italian podcasts or music. The more you listen to the foreign language podcasts, the faster you can familiarize yourself with it making your brain record tones, pronunciation, words and phrases. The best way to learn Italian is to use it in informal conversations while going out with someone or having a delicious dinner. In these occasions, you are exposed to an opportunity of introducing yourself and practice your Italian rhetoric. The shortest way to grasp the Italian culture is through speaking Italian language.
Get rid of your mental blocks and stereotypes.
Many people reject the idea of learning a new language or drop out of language classes since they believe they will not learn it perfectly. Others say that leaning a new language is a big challenge and commitment that will take a lot of time. Learning a foreign language is definitely an investment of time and effort. In most cases, there is a mental block that prevents individuals from starting to learn a new language, as many believe they lack predisposition towards foreign tongues, communication or interpersonal skills. It is my firm belief that these stereotypes should be left behind as there is no way not to learn a language using a thoroughgoing approach. After all, we all use at least one tongue to communicate and somehow we have managed to master it.
7. Learning a new language is a rewarding hobby and brain exercise.
There is a scientific proof that brain greatly benefits from learning a new language. Not only is understanding a foreign speech one of the hardest tasks for the brain, but also learning process raises intelligence, expands memory, and increases concentration. People who use two or more languages have augmented cognitive abilities. The list of benefits is quite long and includes such points as increased creativity and enhanced mental flexibility. Exercising your brain is as healthy as exercising your body, and learning a new language is a remarkable way to do this.
Start a new productive hobby!
As you may know the language learning process could be placed into two areas of actions: receptive and productive. Reading and listening are receptive as they help you increase comprehension and build vocabulary of both words and idioms. Speaking and writing belong to a productive type of activity as they enhance your pronunciation and accelerate the word selection pace. Synchronizing these approaches would allow you to intensify learning and achieve substantial results faster. The most peculiar thing about Italian is a huge amount of body language and gestures. Gestures help you learn faster, as you would relate body moments with phrases.
Show your respect and enjoy the results!
Making an effort to express yourself in Italian will be definitely appreciated as it shows that you respect Italian culture and its contribution to the world’s art heritage. Not only will your investment of time be paid off by an exceptional Italian cultural experience but also you will be able to express yourself in one more language that could be later used in your career or intercultural communication. Don’t miss out on a chance to start learning Italian today because in a couple of weeks you will be handling basic conversations with native speakers and planning your visit to one of the most romantic countries on Earth.
So if you are ready to start speaking the most beautiful language, this is a shortest way to get started!
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