Free. Money is not always in abudeance and you’re not quite sure if you want to invest a lot of resources towards something yet. So how can you learn Italian for free?
When it comes to learning Italian for free there are 2 best ways that I can think of. Both are probably a bit more difficult for a very new language learner, but they can be done. I’ve used the technique in multiple languages before.
TV/Reading + Spaced Repetition
First let me explain what spaced repetition is for the uninitiated.
Wikipedia defines it as:
Spaced repetition is a learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect. Alternative names include spaced rehearsal, expanding rehearsal, graduated intervals, repetition spacing, repetition scheduling, spaced retrieval and expanded retrieval
In layman’s term it means as words become more familiar to you, you study them less. The length of time between each time that you study that word/phrase/concept increases every time you recognize it. This is based on an algorithm. The length eventually grows to the point where the next time you’d need to study a word is years in the future. At that point the word is effectively learned.
It’s nice in theory, but it is hard to do all of that with a box of flashcards, as some tried to do in the past. That’s where computers come in. They take the scheduling and algorithm out of your hand.
One such tool is called Anki.
If you take the power of spaced repetition and combine it with watching and reading native media, you’ll eventually become proficient. But this method would frustrate many beginners.
LingQ + Spaced Repetition
LingQ is a web app/mobile app where you take a text and you read through it with an accompanying audio track. The combination of hearing and seeing the word puts it more into your mind.
As you use it you would put the words into Anki(spaced repetition) and then slowly but surely remember the words.
LingQ has a paid tier, but it is definitely usable in its free form.
Conclusion: Learn Italian for Free Verdict
All that said, learning Italian for free is definitely possible. But for a beginner it can certainly be difficult and frustrating. But don’t let that hold you back, try it out first. If its’s not for you you can always come back and try something like Rocket Italian. The only thing you would’ve lost is a bit of time.