In this article I’ll discuss an important topic for anyone who has decided to start learning Italian: how long does it take to learn Italian?
Many of my students have asked me this question and the answer is… I don’t know!
There’s no specific answer to that question because it’s not like asking : ” How long does it take to get from Paris to New York by plane?”, right?
When it comes to answering the question “how long does it take to learn Italian” there are many factors that must be taken into account:
- A more solid or less solid language background (in other words, do you have experience in second language acquisition?).
- Language Distance (the more distant a language is from your native one, the more time and effort it will take to reach fluency in it).
- Life Circumstances (how often you use the language, your motivation and so on).
Is Italian the first language you’re learning?
Have you already gone trough the process of learning a language?
The answers to these questions are extremely important. Do you know why?
Learning a language is not like eating a piece of cake. It takes time and patience.
Of course it’s worth it and it’s a great experience but there are some moments in which you’ll think:
“OMG, I’ll never be able to speak Italian. What the hell did I get myself into?” .
I guess every person learning a language has had this thought once in their life.
The secret is: don’t give up, stick with it and keep studying, because you will get it, eventually!
People who have already learned a language know this. They know what it takes and they know that they’re going to make it, because they already did it once. They probably discovered the methods that work best for them and the ones that don’t.
However, if Italian is the first language you’re learning, when doubts arise you can’t say “I’ve already done it. I can do it”, you’ll have to just stay strong and keep at it.
Learning a new language cannot take up all of your time.
You should still be able to work, keep up with your hobbies, raise a family, go to the supermarket and do household chores.
So, how much time should you dedicate to Italian language? It’s up to you.
In an ideal scenario you would be able to spend on hour per day studying but you don’t have to do it all in one go.
You can divide that hour into smaller chunks, doing different activities, for example: watching a video, reviewing vocabulary, using a language learning app, speaking with a language exchange partner, reading an article. These activities could take you around 10 to 15 minutes and you can fit them in around your regular schedule. Breaking your study time up into smaller activities will keep your brain refreshed and you won’t feel that it’s a burden.
THE 15/30/15 ROUTINE
In the book “How to speak any language fluently” language specialist Alex Rawlings speaks about The 15/30/15 Routine. What’s that?
Basically he suggests that you break your hour into three main slots: fifteen minutes at breakfast, thirty minutes at lunchtime, and fifteen minutes around the time you have dinner.
FIFTEEN MINUTES A.M.
Look over your notes from the night before and see how much you remember after a night’s sleep. Anything that is still causing problems should continue to be prioritised in the following sessions.
THIRTY MINUTES MIDDAY
This is your longer session and you should use it for learning new things or doing homework and exercises. This time should feel focused and productive.
FIFTEEN MINUTES P.M.
This is your first chance to look back at what you covered at midday. Make sure the rules and vocabulary you learned are all still fresh in your head, and try to go over the ones that you have forgotten.
The next morning, you will get a chance to review them again.
SO, HOW LONG DOES IT REALLY TAKE TO LEARN ITALIAN?
In conclusion, the answer to “how long does it take to learn Italian?” depends mostly on you and on the methods you’ll use.
I can help you on your Italian language journey and suggest the best ways to learn Italian without wasting time!