In this article I’ll discuss an important topic for anyone who has decided to start learning Italian: is it important to learn new vocabulary and, if so, what’s the best way to learn the most common Italian words?
Learning vocabulary is quite important and the reason is quite obvious: the more words you know the more things you can talk about!
Of course, grammar is important too but let’s say that you really have to go to the bathroom. If you know the Italian word for bathroom ( “il bagno?” ) everybody will understand what you’re searching for, even though you don’t say “Scusi, saprebbe dirmi dov’è il bagno, per favore?”.
CAREFUL ABOUT LEARNING THE MOST COMMON ITALIAN WORDS
I’ve watched so many you tube videos with the title” 1000 words every Italian beginner must know” or ” Top 1000 Italian Words you need to know to learn Italian” and so on.
There are 2 problems with this:
- How are you going to learn those 1000 words?
- Are you sure you’re learning the right words?
HOW TO LEARN THE MOST COMMON ITALIAN WORDS
There are many ways to learn the most common Italian words: lists, flashcards, spaced repetition software, and so on.
Here I want to talk to you about what I consider the most effective and innovating techniques to build your vocabulary.
- LISTEN ON THE MOVE:
What do I mean by that?
Are you stuck in traffic? Are you doing some chores around the house?
These are the perfect moments to listen to some dialogues or podcasts. Choose one dialogue or podcast and listen to it many times. The more you listen to it, the better!
This a great way to improve your vocabulary.
- PUT STICKERS AROUND THE HOUSE:
You can use some post-it notes to learn the names of things around the house and the verb that goes with them.
So, for example, if you put a post-it on the chair, also write the verb “Mi siedo” (I’m sitting).
So, every time you sit down you can practice and say “Mi siedo sulla sedia” (I’m sitting on the chair).
Storytelling is a powerful tool: our brains love to listen to stories. We also learn better when we’re doing something engaging and interesting.
Reading a story or writing a story with the vocabulary you want to learn is one of the best methods to acquire new vocabulary.
ARE YOU LEARNING THE RIGHT WORDS?
Let’s take a look at some websites where you can find “the 1000 most common words in Italian”
At number 10 you’ll find “Essi”.
I’m sorry but we never use that! I’m pretty sure the person who wrote that list isn’t Italian!
The best way to translate “they” in Italian is the word “loro”.
At number 47 you find “Suddetto”, translated as “said” in English. This is a big mistake: in Italian we say “detto” and not “suddetto”, which actually means: “the above mentioned”.
At number 72 you’ll find “mosto“, translated as “must” in English.
But this is completely wrong!!
Must is translated as “dovere” in Italian. (I must go to the doctor> Devo andare dal dottore)
In Italian “mosto” is a completely different type of must: “grape must” (the liquid obtained from pressing grapes).
The same mistakes are found in the website https://1000mostcommonwords.com/
SO, WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO LEARN THE MOST COMMON ITALIAN WORDS?
So, be really careful and trust a good teacher to help you in your Italian learning journey.
It’s really important to repeat the vocabulary over the course of your lessons.
I can help you on your Italian language journey and suggest the best ways to learn Italian without wasting time!