Learn Basic Italian: A Primer

So you’re going to the country soon or for just a little while. Not 100% sure if you’re ready to invest a large chunk of money with learning Italian just yet. So you may just want learn basic Italian for the moment.

That’s understandable. And because of that I’ll try to only mention ways that can quickly get you from A to B.

The Learn Basic Italian Contenders

  • Rocket Italian – Has a short survival module that you can use to get the words and phrases you’ll need. They have a forever free trial that you can use if you don’t want to pay for it at the moment. The free trial actually has a decent amount of content, you may not even need to get the paid version. Depending on how much you plan to do. (Read review here)
  • ItalianPod 101 – This also gives access to a forever free trial. Also includes a fair amount of content for free. Uses a conversational approach to teach you survival phrases. Enjoyable and can be done on the go (win!).
  • Anki – This one is a bit less guided and will cost a bit, but Anki itself is free (to learn more about Anki click here). The idea is you use Anki to help you memorize words from a phrasebook. Any phrasebook would do. Two examples would be Lonely Planet or A Generic One, both are cheap if you order the used versions. Which I suggest since the content is the same and you probably won’t need it for too long.

Those three should get you started. If you have a deeper desire to learn later you can always go to my guide to learning Italian. Or if you have a decent amount of time before you leave, you could try to supercharge your speaking before leaving.