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Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

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Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in Italian quickly and effectively?

Then you need a Italian tutor.

A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of JapanesePod101.com and KoreanClass101.com myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
  • A voice recorder 
  • Spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards
  • Weekly homework assignments
  • A personal language instructor

As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

Woman learning a language with Premium PLUS on a tablet

As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

There are lessons on various topics that tackle crucial language-learning elements, such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Conversation

Specifically, there are pathways. Pathways are collections of lessons that center on a specific topic. Some Innovative Language sites, like JapanesePod101.com, even have pathways geared toward proficiency tests. For example, the JLPT N3 Master Course pathway.

Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

Each lesson has lesson notes, which I read while simultaneously listening to the audio lesson. This strategy enables me to follow along on key points. Lesson notes generally contain the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar points
  • Cultural insights

As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

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Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

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Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. ItalianPod101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

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Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

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My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new Italian teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

Subscribe to Posted by ItalianPod101.com in Feature Spotlight, Italian Language, Italian Online, Learn Italian, Site Features, Speak Italian, Team ItalianPod101

Giorno Dell’unità Nazionale: National Unity Day in Italy

WWI Depiction

Each year, Italy observes its National Unity and Armed Forces Day in commemoration of its victory in WWI while part of the Allies. While this is no longer considered a public holiday, Italy’s National Unity Day still holds some relevance to the Italian people, who continue to put on celebrations and special events.

In this article, you’ll learn the most pertinent facts about National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day in Italy.

At ItalianPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is National Unity Day in Italy?

As mentioned earlier, National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day in Italy commemorates the country’s WWI victory. Following this victory, Italy also conquered Trento and Trieste which began the process of its unification.

Beginning in the 1970s, Italian Armed Forces and Unity Day started to fall off the radar and the Italian people no longer considered this an important day. During the 1960s, many Italians actually protested this holiday in order to draw attention to the lack of conscientious objection rights which would allow them to refuse military service.

In spite of this holiday’s declining status and the growing stigma around it, Italians did once again start to accept it in the 2000s. This was largely due to the influence of then-President Carolo Ciampi.

2. When is it?

Italian Flag

Each year, Italians commemorate their National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day on November 4.

3.How is it Celebrated?

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

On National Unity Day, Italy begins celebrations by hoisting its national flag. Italian mayors and those serving in the military are present during this ceremony, and people are able to watch weaponry and martial arts demonstrations.

Further celebrations include solemn visits to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the wreath-laying ceremony, and Vittorio Veneto, both of which hold significant meaning to the Italian people. The Vittorio Veneto is where Italy and Austria-Hungary fought their final battle of WWI. Another popular destination for National Unity Day is the Redipuglia Memorial Monument, a place devoted to honoring the many Italians who lost their lives there.

4. The Italian Front

WWI Depiction

In 1915, Italy decided to leave its Triple Alliance with the countries of Germany and Austria-Hungary, and instead joined the other side. After declaring war on Austria-Hungary, Italy officially became involved in WWI.

The two countries fought many battles up until 1918, which were known as the Italian Front. The same year, the Armistice of Villa Gusti was signed at the prompting of Austria-Hungary, and Italians celebrate this each year.

5. Essential National Unity and Armed Forces Day Vocabulary

Fallen Italian Soldiers

Here’s the essential vocabulary you should know for National Unity and Armed Forces Day in Italy!

  • Anniversario
    “Anniversary”
  • Prima Guerra Mondiale
    “World War I”
  • Giorno dell’Unità Nazionale
    “National Unity Day”
  • Giornata delle Forze Armate
    “Armed Forces Day”
  • Anniversario della fine della prima guerra mondiale
    “Anniversary of the end of World War I”
  • Milite Ignoto
    “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”
  • Celebrazione all’Altare della Patria
    “Celebration at the Altar of the Fatherland”
  • Vittoriano di Roma
    “Vittoriano in Rome”
  • Visita al Sacrario di Redipuglia
    “Visit to the Redipuglia Memorial Monument”
  • Visita a Vittorio Veneto
    “Visit to Vittorio Veneto”
  • Riconoscenza
    “Gratitude”
  • Caduti militari italiani
    “Fallen Italian soldiers”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to see each one accompanied by a relevant image, be sure to check out our Italian National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day vocabulary list!

Parting Words

We hope you enjoyed learning about National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day in Italy with us!

Does your country have a similar holiday? If so, how do you celebrate it? Let us know in the comments; we always love to hear from you!

Learning about a country’s culture may be the most exciting and enriching aspects of trying to master a language. If you want to continue delving into Italian culture, you may be interested in the following pages:

We know that learning Italian isn’t an easy feat. But at ItalianPod101.com, we believe that you really can master the language and come to understand Italian culture. We’ll be here with you every step of the way with constant guidance and encouragement!

Happy learning!

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How to Introduce Yourself in Italian

Do you want to make a good first impression on your new Italian friends or colleagues? Learning how to introduce yourself in Italian is definitely the very first skill that you’ll need in order to master that important first impression and to make new Italian friends.

So, let’s start with the very basic phrases you’ll need in order to introduce yourself in the Italian language.

  • Ciao! (“Hello!”)
  • Mi chiamo… (Literally “I’m called…”)
  • Piacere di conoscerti! (“Nice to meet you”)

Introducing yourself in Italian is more than learning how to say correctly in Italian “Hello, my name is…” (Ciao, mi chiamo…). Of course, talking about your name in Italian is the very first stone upon which you build the entire self-introduction conversation.

But in order to establish a good rapport, you should master the typical Italian introduction phrases, and understand how to adapt the tone and content of the introduction according to the person you’re meeting, whether it’s a social or a professional encounter, a formal or informal setting.

Any time you meet an Italian for the first time at a party, a business meeting, a job interview, or a date, you’ll need to know how to say who you are and where you come from, as well as give information about yourself that’s relevant to the context you’re in.

Now, there are different ways to introduce yourself in Italian based on context and who you’re speaking to.

Table of Contents

  1. Formal vs. Informal Introduction
  2. Common Phrases to Introduce Yourself in Italian
  3. What Gestures Go with an Introduction?
  4. Italian Etiquette to Introduce Yourself
  5. Ask Questions and Describe Yourself in Italian
  6. Making Friends: How to Introduce Someone in Italian
  7. How to Talk About Yourself in Italian
  8. How to Introduce Yourself During a Business Meeting
  9. How ItalianPod101 Can Help You Learn More Italian

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1. Formal vs. Informal Introduction:

The very first step is to know whether to use the formal address (dare del Lei) or the informal address (dare del tu). So, what’s the basic rule of thumb to know when to use one or the other? Basically, you use the formal phrase with people that you don’t know, people who are older than you, people in a hierarchical higher position than you (a teacher, a policeman, a judge), etc.

How does it work?

Action Informal Formal
Greeting Ciao! Buongiorno/Buonasera!
Gesture Kiss Handshake
Pronoun Tu Lei (3rd person feminine)
Verb Piacere di conoscerti Piacere di conoscerla

While in the past these rules were rather strict, and no one dared to use the informal tu unless it was with close friends and family, nowadays it’s more and more common to use the informal phrase among young people and those who aren’t so young. In certain professional environments, for example in new economy firms, tech industries, fashion, etc., it’s also becoming quite common to use the informal tu right away.

When in Doubt…

When in doubt, start with the formal. Also, a good practice is to ask beforehand if it’s okay to use the informal address:

  • Posso darti del tu? “Can I use informal address?”
  • Possiamo darci del tu? “Can we use informal address?”

And don’t worry, Italians are aware that the formal way of addressing people is a bit complicated for foreigners, so they always accept the use of tu with no grudges… 😉

2. Common Phrases to Introduce Yourself in Italian

To introduce yourself in Italian, you’ll need to know the basic phrases, always keeping in mind the difference between formal and informal as well as the difference between social and professional contexts. So…

1- Start with a Greeting:

Normally, you start introducing yourself by greeting the other person with an informal “hello” (ciao) or with “nice day/nice night” (buongiorno/buonasera). Wait… when do you say each of these Italian greeting phrases? There’s no written rule, but you should use buongiorno until the middle of the afternoon, and buonasera from when it starts to get dark. And note that buongiorno/buonasera can actually be used both in formal and informal introductions.

Ciao! The Most Famous Italian Greeting

2- Say Your Name:

Talking about your name in Italian is a skill you really can’t get around learning—it’s vital, as in any language. There are a few ways to tell who you are and what your name is in Italian. Let’s see them together:

  • Mi chiamo Maria Rizzo (literally, “I am called…”)
  • Sono Maria Rizzo (“I am…”)
  • Maria Rizzo (Simply state your name)

Depending on the context, Italians introduce themselves by saying simply their first name or saying their first name and last name. For example, if you’re at a party, or among a group of young people, it’s okay to just say your first name. However, in more formal settings such as during a business meeting, Italians expect you to say your last name.

These three are all perfectly acceptable ways to say your name in Italian. In some situations, you might want to specify who you are in that context. For example:

  • At a wedding, you can add: Sono Maria Rizzo, un’amica della sposa (“I am a friend of the spouse”).
  • In formal professional environments, you just say your last name (cognome) and your function or area: Rizzo, Responsabile Creativo (“Rizzo, I’m in charge of creation”).

And let’s not forget to ask everybody else’s name too:

  • E tu come ti chiami? (“What is your name?”)
  • E Lei come si chiama? (“What is your name?”) [Formal]

3- Express Pleasure to Meet Them:

After you’ve told everyone what your name is in Italian and have collected their name too, it’s expected that you express how happy you are to meet them. To do so, you want to use one of the following common expressions:

  • Piacere/Molto piacere! (“My pleasure!”)
  • Piacere di conoscerti (“Pleasure to meet you”)
  • Piacere di conoscerla (“Pleasure to meet you”) [Formal]
  • Molto lieto (“Very glad”)
  • Lieto di conoscerla (“Glad to meet you”)

They all basically mean the same thing, except the last two phrases which sound just a bit old-school.

3. What Gestures Go with an Introduction?

Shaking Hands

Introducing yourself in Italian is about more than words and grammar. Gestures are very important for Italians, so when you’re introducing yourself in Italian to a friend or a colleague, it’s common to show through your gestures that you’re glad to meet them and that you want to show closeness. So, you can start by showing a nice smile (un bel sorriso). Make eye contact and give a firm handshake (una stretta di mano) to show that you’re genuinely interested in meeting with them.

Sometimes when introducing themselves, Italians might offer a kiss on the cheek (un bacio sulla guancia), one or two, but only in very informal settings. And sometimes a simple nod of the head will show that you acknowledge the other person and that you’re happy to make their acquaintance.

4. Italian Etiquette to Introduce yourself

According to the Galateo (the Rules of Polite Behavior published in Florence in 1558), there’s a proper etiquette to introduce yourself which include, among others, taking your hat off and doing a baciamano (a very light kiss on the hand) if you’re a man, remaining seated if you’re a woman, taking off your gloves to shake hands, and, generally, wait for someone else to introduce you.

Needless to say, many things have changed from the Renaissance and nowadays it’s very uncommon to receive a baciamano, and men don’t wear hats very often. But some basic rules still apply and they can help you when you want to introduce yourself to an Italian.

Old Style Baciamano

5. Ask Questions and Describe Yourself in Italian

Okay, now you have the basics covered: You already have said “Hello, my name is…” (Ciao, mi chiamo…), and you’ve shaken hands, smiled, nodded, and expressed happiness about meeting your new Italian friend or colleague. Now it’s time to describe yourself in Italian. You might want to start by saying where you’re from and where you live.

1- Di dove sei? (“Where are you from?”)

When meeting with a foreigner, usually one of the first questions you’ll ask is where they’re from. So, they might ask you:

  • Di dove sei? (“Where are you from?”)
  • Di che città/paese sei? (“What city/country are you from?”).

Good answers include:

  • Sono di... (“I am from…”)
  • Vengo da Londra/dall’Inghilterra (“I come from London/England”)
  • Sono Inglese (“I am English”)

At this point, to know more about the other person, you want to ask what Italian city your new friend is from. Remember that, although Italy is a fairly small country, because of its cultural richness, every city has distinctive peculiarities and Italians are very fond of their local heritage! So, go ahead and ask:

  • E tu, di che città sei? [Informal] or E lei, di che città è? [Formal] (“And you, what city are you from?”)
  • Dove vivi? [Informal] or Dove vive? [Formal] (“Where do you live?”)

Ciao, sono italiana e vivo a Roma

2- Da quanto tempo? (“How long…?”)

If you’ve been living in a city, studying Italian, or traveling through Europe, these are all interesting pieces of information to share when you’re introducing yourself in Italian. And you might want to specify for how long you’ve been doing it. Here are a couple of examples of introducing yourself in Italian by asking/answering this question:

  • Da quanto tempo vivi a Roma? (“How long have you been living in Rome?”)
  • Vivo a Roma da 4 settimane. (“I have been living in Rome for four weeks.”)

Or

  • Da quanto tempo studi l’italiano? (“How long have you been studying Italian?”)
  • Studio l’Italiano con ItalianPod101 da 6 mesi! (“I have been studying with ItalianPod101 for six months!”)

3- Quanti anni hai? (“How Old are You?”) — Use with Caution

Now, this is a question you don’t want to ask older people or to Italian women, and it’s generally not asked during introductions. The only acceptable scenario in which to ask about someone’s age is among teenagers when a few years makes a lot of difference in social status! 😉

And if you’re in a professional setting, asking an Italian their age is even considered discriminatory in some cases. So it’s a big no-no. But you can always volunteer your age, and your friends will probably do the same: Ho 38 anni. E tu? (“I am thirty-eight. And you?”).

A smooth way to introduce the age factor in a conversation is to compare ages with phrases like these:

  • Abbiamo più o meno la stessa età. (“We are more or less the same age.”)
  • Sei più giovane di me, vero? (“You’re younger than me, right?”)
  • Io sono sicuramente più grande di te. (“I am definitely older than you.”)

4- Di cosa ti occupi? (“What do you do?”)

Until the past century, it wasn’t considered polite to talk about jobs and professions when meeting socially. Now, this has definitely changed, and it’s more and more common nowadays during Italian introductions to ask about each other’s profession. Especially if it’s a social encounter where people are doing networking.When talking about your job in Italian, these are a few useful phrases to know:

  • Di cosa ti occupi? (“What is your area?”)
  • Che lavoro fai? (“What is your job?”)
  • Che cosa fai? (“What do you do?”)

And to answer these questions with your profession, you just need to say Sono… (“I am…”) and your profession. Very simple:

  • Sono insegnante. (“I am a teacher.”)
  • Sono operaio. (“I am a factory worker.”)
  • Sono dottore. (“I am a doctor.”)

But whatever you do, don’t ever ask about money. It’s considered vulgar and rude. 😉

6. Making Friends: How to Introduce Someone in Italian

Imagine a scenario where you’re with your friends and you meet an Italian acquaintance. At this point, you already know the basics of introducing yourself in Italian and you’re ready to try and introduce your friends. Here are some simple phrases to do it:

  • Ti presento Gabriele. (“I introduce you to Gabriele.”)
  • Posso presentarti Anna? (“May I introduce you to Anna?”)
  • Lui/Lei è… (“He/She is…”)
  • Conosci Marco? (“Do you know Marco?”)

Introducing your Friends in Italian

7. How to Talk about Yourself in Italian

After the basic introduction is when you really start getting to know each other and becoming friends. So now it’s time to talk more about you, your family, your pets, your hobbies, and much more.

If you’re a student, you want to specify what your areas of study are, for example: Sono studente, studio letteratura (“I am a student, I study literature”).

And don’t be shy, you also want to add something about your personality, such as:

  • Sono timido (“I am shy”)
  • Sono allegra (“I am happy”)
  • Sono sportivo (“I like sports”)
  • Sono ottimista (“I am an optimist”)

Here are some phrases for talking about your family in Italian:

  • Ho due fratelli (“I have two brothers”)
  • Non ho sorelle (“I have no sisters”)
  • Sono figlia unica (“I am an only child”)

Then you can start talking about your hobbies in Italian and what you like to do in your spare time:

  • Mi piace giocare a calcio (“I like to play soccer”)
  • Mi piace leggere (“I like to read”)
  • Mi piace cucinare (“I like to cook”)

Your new friends are probably also interested in knowing if you have any pets. Here are some phrases for talking about your pets in Italian:

  • Hai animali domestici? (“Do you have any pets?”)
  • Ho un gatto (“I have a cat”)
  • Ho un cane che si chiama Ugo (“I have a dog called Ugo”)
  • Ho un acquario (“I have a fish tank”)

And finally, you can ask about spoken languages:

  • Che lingue parli? (“What languages do you speak?”)
  • Parlo Inglese, Francese, Italiano e Korean (“I speak English, French, Italian, and Korean”)

8. How to Introduce Yourself During a Business Meeting

Most of the previous information applies rather to a social gathering and they’re not very appropriate in the case of an introduction in a professional setting or in a job interview. Throughout the article, you’ve already learned various tips about introducing yourself in a professional setting, but it’s important to go deeper into them here:

  • Use the formal way of addressing (Lei) unless someone proposes dare del tu.
  • A smile, a nod, and a handshake. No kisses.
  • Use first name and last name to introduce yourself. Or just the last name.
  • Say where you’re from, your nationality, what languages you speak, what you’ve studied and where, and what your area of expertise is.

9. How ItalianPod101 can Help You Learn More Italian

We hope that you’ve learned by now how to introduce yourself in Italian and start a simple conversation with your new Italian friends and colleagues. You should also take a look at this ItalianPod101 lesson: here you’ll be able to listen to the audio and practice your pronunciation of the top ten Italian phrases that you’ll definitely need for introducing yourself in Italian. So, now you’re ready to make new Italian friends and to talk about yourself in Italian.

Thank you, and keep having fun learning Italian! Hopefully this lesson on introducing yourself in Italian proved very helpful to you. 🙂

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5 Techniques of Successful Italian Learners

5 technique

Some Italian learners progress more quickly than others. Is this because they’re smarter, more talented, or maybe just lucky? In some cases perhaps. Most of the time though, a lot of what determines your success in a language is a) the amount and consistency of time you put into it; and b) the way that you go about practicing it.

In this post we’ll take a look at 5 practical techniques that you can use to learn Italian successfully.

target

1. Hit the Easy Targets

Italian comes from the family of the Romantic languages. Romantic languages have deep Latin roots. English has also been influenced by Latin (though not quite as much). Latin isn’t the only language to influence European languages. Greek also had a huge part to play. Also hidden in many languages are words based in languages you wouldn’t expect. Take the English word bazaar (bazar in Italian)….

This word comes from an original Persian word. Over the years languages (along with cultures) have rubbed shoulders and influenced one another. As a result neither Italian nor English has developed in isolation. This means English and Italian have words with similar meanings, spellings, and sounds that both originated from a separate third language.

These words are known as cognates. Cognates are great for language learners because they often look and sound similar in your native and target languages. Here’s a few English/Italian cognates:

Problema-Problem
Temperatura-Temperature
Originale-Original
Terribile-Terrible

Learning cognates sometimes feels like cheating because they are so easy to use and remember. In reality though you already learned them when you learned English. Because you’re a native English speaker you have a mild head start in learning Italian over the native speakers of languages that aren’t as closely related. That being said, learn as many cognates as you can! Even if the word isn’t as common it could still come in handy if you get stuck.

2. Break down most difficult parts of Italian grammar

There’s always been a bit of debate in the language learning world as to whether or not you should learn grammar explicitly or implicitly. I don’t think a lack of grammar should ever keep you from trying to speak a foreign language.

However I do think that implicit learning by itself doesn’t work well when dealing with more complicated grammar. In some of my reviews I’ve written about how beginners often decry one of the most popular language courses out there because it simply doesn’t explain grammar.

Tenses, verb conjugations, noun inflection…there’s some tough spots in Italian grammar. As you come across these foreign grammar concepts take some time to study and practice them. Hone in on one aspect at a time and practice using it by writing out sentences or simply by speaking.

Read different grammatical explanations and example sentences. While you don’t want to spend all your time grinding out grammar exercises, 10 or 15 minutes a day of focused practice will help you master these otherwise difficult areas of the language.

Another great way to master Italian grammar is to work with whole phrases or conversations. This isn’t as easy to do while you’re speaking with someone, but it can be done with Italian audio. ItalianPod101’s podcast episodes are ideal for this because they feature native Italian conversations.

As you study and work through a conversation first look at the words and phrases that you do know. Then without resorting to a translator or dictionary, do your best to figure out what any new or unfamiliar words mean. After that feel free to look them up. If you work this way with whole sentences you are much more likely to internalize Italian grammar.

speaker

3. Practice with native speakers

Italian course books, apps, and podcasts are all great ways to learn the language, but eventually the rubber will have to meet the road and you’ll need to start using what you learn. The best students of Italian take every opportunity they can to practice the language with real people.

Italian may not be quite as popular to learn as Spanish or French, but even so there are still a lot of other Italian learners out there. Try to link up with a meetup or language exchange in your town or city. If you’re unable to find an exchange in your area take the search online and find some native Italian speakers on free sites like Wespeke or Hellolingo. These sites connect language learners around the world. Here you can help out an Italian who is learning English, while they in turn can help you practice Italian. It’s a win-win.

focus

4. Focus on being understood, not being perfect

Undoubtedly when you begin to speak Italian with native speakers you will make a lot of mistakes. This is a natural part of the language learning process. In your first few conversations you’ll probably mispronounce, misconjugate, or all together forget Italian words. But that’s okay. Learn to embrace these mistakes. As long as you’re practicing with a native speaker who can give you accurate feedback, those mistakes can do nothing but help you improve.

After getting feedback on your mistakes, the next most important thing in your spoken language practice will be to keep the conversation going (in Italian of course). If you make a mistake correct it and move on. If you can’t remember a word do your best to describe it in Italian to your language partner. Use what words you have in order to be understood, even if your sentence or diction comes out a little weird.

journal

5. Keep an Italian journal

Most people talk about how important it is to speak a language you’re learning, but not nearly as many mention how powerful writing in the language can be. Writing in Italian lets you use all the material you’ve learned but without the demands of a real time conversation. Writing is also an excellent way to expose the words or phrases you don’t know or are unsure about.

You can write in an old fashioned paper journal and do your best to check it or have an Italian friend look over it. You can also write entries online and have them corrected by Italian speakers. Lang-8 lets you do just that. The site is completely free. There you can write a short entry in Italian and receive feedback almost instantly!

Final thoughts

Italian is a beautiful and worthwhile language to learn. While it’s not always easy to speak, it is always rewarding. Use these tips as a guide to jumpstart your progress. No matter what, keep your head up and stick to your guns. After a bit of patience and hard work you’ll be speaking Italian soon enough!

Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

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Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

Your learning is about to get a whole lot easier.

More than ever, learners are choosing mobile as the platform to study Italian. Mobile has always been a part of our DNA. We began our life on your iPod, and have remained by your side ever since.

In our 11th year, we’re returning to our roots as a way to learn Italian on-the-go. How? With a brand-new lesson interface just for you.

Hint: It will launch in beta later this month!

If you want to secure access to this brand new upgrade, take advantage of the upcoming All Access Pass Sale! Click Here to Get 25% OFF All ItalianPod101 Subscriptions!

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

It’s built from the ground-up to be a great experience on your phone, tablet, and computer.

You don’t have to compromise anymore.

Take the whole lesson experience with you wherever you go.

Our lessons are the heart of our learning system and now they’re the heart of the interface as well. Just tap the big play button to start learning right away.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

As you scroll through the lesson contents, the player sticks with you at the bottom of your screen.

Pause, rewind or adjust your speed and volume without losing your place.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

Navigation is also just a tap away.

Quickly jump to the dialogue, vocabulary, or lesson notes with our new lesson navigation bar. Available at the top of your screen wherever you are.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

And for the first time ever, you don’t need to download a PDF or jump between tabs to read the lesson notes and transcript. Read it all on your mobile browser as you listen.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

There are many more small improvements but the end result is this: a drastically improved lesson experience on mobile and desktop.

Spend less time squinting at your screen and more time reaching your Italian goals.

The new lesson interface will launch in beta this month.

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Keep on studying!

Sneak peek! And if you take advantage of our upcoming 25% OFF All Access Pass Sale, you secure full access to this new update! You unlock our complete Italian learning program – ALL Audio/Video Courses from Beginner to Advanced, Premium Study Tools, Bonus Apps and much more!

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To your fluency,

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ItalianPod101 Free Lifetime Account: Is it really free?

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free lifetime account italianpod101 benefit

ItalianPod101 is not really free, is it?
Although there are paid plans, yes, it is FREE. Every single lesson that we have ever created has been free for a certain period of time. And every new audio and video lesson (we publish 3-5 lessons a week) is completely free to access for 3 weeks before going into our lesson library.

What’s a Free Lifetime Account?
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What do I get with this Free Account? How can I learn for free for life?
Here’s how you learn every day without paying a cent at ItalianPod101. You have access to all of these features for life:

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  • Introducing Our Brand New Dashboard!

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    Starts Now! Save Up to 45% with the 12-Month ItalianPod101 Challenge

    Starts Now! Save Up to 45% with the 12-Month ItalianPod101 Challenge

    Welcome to 2016, listener!

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