Italian is a beautiful language and, for native speakers of English, it is not that difficult to learn. If you already know Spanish, Portuguese or French, you will find Italian a very accessible next step. If you don't, Italian is actually a very good place to start: it has a clear relationship between spelling and pronunciation and it has none of the complications of grammatical cases that have to be grappled with in German, Greek and Russian.
In this section, you will find useful resources to help you learn Italian:
On the Learn to Speak Italian page, you can listen to the sounds of the Italian language, spoken by a native, and learn how to pronounce Italian.
Accurate Italian is a comprehensive, instantly downloadable Italian course for beginners.
Why learn Italian?
If you are thinking of spending more than a couple of weeks in Italy, I strongly recommend you learn to speak Italian. It makes your experience in the country much easier and more enjoyable. It also makes it much more intense and real, because you can get below the surface and feel part of what's going on.
Knowing the language gives you insight into Italian culture; it allows you to understand what divas and pop stars are singing about, to watch Italian films without subtitles and to read Italian books in the original version. It also allows you to join in the conversation rather than sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone to translate for you.
Even long before you reach this stage, speaking and understanding a few words of Italian will give you freedom to travel off the beaten track and still communicate, and it will allow you to accomplish everyday tasks such as shopping, asking directions and eating out, without having to feel like a tourist. Speaking the language is one of the main factors that distinguishes a tourist from a traveller.
If you know little or no Italian, fear not! The bestselling e-course Accurate Italian is only a few clicks away.
How to learn Italian
As part of the Accurate Italian package, you will receive an e-book specifically addressing the question of how to set about learning Italian. It offers sound advice about psychological preparation, about planning and organising your study and about keeping yourself focused and motivated.