Some people who have learned the basics of the Italian language want to deepen their knowledge quickly. Here are some basic but proven tips that will extend their knowledge.
Tip #1. Watch Italian movies on DVD
Watching movies would greatly improve the vocabulary and it can show how the basic salutations are used. It will also expose how the informal terms are used. In addition it will help improve the pronunciations and speaking skills since one can mimic the lines heard. Another advantage of watching DVDs is it contains translations and subtitles which make it easier to understand.
Tip #2. Listen to Italian music
Nowadays, it is very easy to get music from the internet at minimum cost. After downloading, listen to it and try to transcribe. After transcribing, search for the lyrics using google and yahoo – these two are highly commendable search engines. Try to compare the lyrics that you have transcribed from what you have searched; this will give you an idea how accurate your work is.
Tip #3. Cook Italian food or order Italian dishes
Try to purchase an Italian cookbook – just make sure that the cookbook also contains English translations. It would give you an idea how to give and follow instructions. Repeat reading it and try to read it aloud until no English meanings come into your mind. Whenever going into an Italian restaurant, practice to order food in their language and never in English. Don’t be afraid that you may pronounce it wrong. Instead, explain to the waiter that you are just learning how to speak Italian and ask if you have said the words right.
Tip #4. Read Italian magazines or journals.
This would be a little difficult at first. We all know that journalists are very verbose when they write. This is especially true to the writer’s of the gossip column. Reading the headlines, politics, and economic sections will also enhance the vocabulary. Reading the lifestyle section would also increase your knowledge regarding the latest Italian trend. If you can read it without having problems regarding the meaning, then your knowledge regarding the written Italian is way beyond the basics.
Tip #5. Take Italian language exams
Try to find some English-Italian translation examinations or any exams about Italian language such as use of pronouns, subject-verb-object etc. With these tools, you can find which area of the Italian language you already know and what to improve. That way, you can maximise your time learning.
Tip #6. Chat with Italian people
Another advantage of technology today is we can communicate each other very quickly. The days of having pen pals and sending telegrams are long gone. These are being replaced by skype, PalTalk, Yahoo messenger, facebook chat – just to mention some. Try to use these media; all you have to pay is internet connection. Just find a room with persons who have the same interest as you. There you will find Italians who have interest in travelling, religion, music, technology, automotive and so much more.
So this is my advice to you: stop wrestling with books and CDs on your own, bypass the big group and cut straight to one-to-one lessons with an experienced, native-speaking Italian teacher. I honestly wouldn’t have imagined I could get this far – and you might just surprise yourself too!