27: How to actually speak Italian

by | Dec 22, 2020 | Podcast | 0 comments

Guys, I get it. Speaking another language can be intimidating. As humans we have an overwhelming urge not to embarrass ourselves, and with a language like Italian where a mispronunciation can have you ordering penis for dinner instead of pasta, it can be downright terrifying.

But, all you wanna be Italian language speakers, listen up because I was you once! I totally get where you’re at and I have a secret for you. There is actually ONE trick (plus four mini tricks) that can get you where you want to be: actually speaking Italian.

First let’s look at the mini-tips.

  1. Practice. Find groups to join, do online video chats, find a tutor, join a class, just get out there and start using your Italian. A quick google search and you would be surprised how many others are in your boat and looking for language partners or exchanges.
  2. Listen to songs. It may seem more like a listening exercise, but music is a powerful language tool. Listen to songs, learn the lyrics and try singing along. No one has to be listening, but it helps train your tongue. If you aren’t at the point  of being able to follow  mainstream music yet, try kids songs. On Spotify, for free, there are tons of Italian kids songs, just search, Italian kids songs!
  3. Read books out loud.  Reading out loud is another way to train your tongue and brain to work in Italian. It doesn’t matter how slow you go, or if it’s just a paragraph a day, it will definitely help!
  4. When doing your homework or studying, make it a point to say everything out loud. Don’t just write your answers, read the whole sentence out loud to yourself every time. Practice sounding out words and working through them slowly, then saying them faster.

And now my number one, absolutely crucial tip? Are you ready? Just. Do. It. That’s it. Let your embarrassment go, do not worry about how you’d look or sound, or even your mistakes. The number one thing I did that helped me learn Italian was to let go 100% of embarrassment. I threw myself into it, errors and all. The more I did it, the easier it came. And before I knew it, the errors were less and less, and the fluidity grew and grew.

Deciding not to care – and I mean I still DO NOT CARE if I make a mistake, was the best thing I ever did for my Italian. Find a way to let it all go, and just speak. I promise that this is not only the best way to learn but it’s the only way to truly be able to speak another language because guess what? Just because you’re fluent the errors don’t just suddenly stop. Think about your own language. Don’t you sometimes mix up words, or goof on something you wanted to say? But, that doesn’t stop you from speaking forever, you just let it go and move on. Find that same tranquility and channel it into Italian. You must find that same inner peace with errors in Italian if you really want to one day speak the language. You got this, just let it go! Ciao for now ragazzi!

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Ciao, I'm Rachel

I am obsessed with everything Italian! After years living in Italy, being married to an Italian, getting my Italian citezenship through my Pugliese lineage, a BA in Italian language and literature, then a MA in Italian Art History, I have lots of experience with this country! Hang out with me to learn more!