Italian Words and Vocabulary: Strategies for Building Your Lexical Knowledge
Any Italian language teacher will tell you that the key to the speeding up your learning is increasing your Italian vocabulary. Not only are you able to express yourself better with an increased vocabulary, but you will also understand a lot more of what is going on around you.
Learning Italian is no different from any other language. Having a good knowledge base of Italian words will see you do better in your lessons. Whether you are in a traditional classroom or learning through an Italian podcast, you will be able to understand the core material of the lesson faster and will get more out of your learning. Native Italian speakers talk fast. Sometimes as a language learner you may not be able to grasp the grammar of a sentence, but by recognizing a few Italian words, you can easily piece together the speaker’s meaning. When you have a good Italian vocabulary this is much easier to do.
So, you are probably asking yourself how to build your Italian vocabulary outside of traditional lessons? There are many approaches to learning new Italian words. Watching movies in the Italian language (without subtitles) is a good way to organically increase your vocabulary, as is listening to Italian radio programs. However, you will need to be at an intermediate level to truly keep up with the pace of the content. Listening to native speakers is also a great way to pick up on Italian accents and pronunciation.
Another more structured way to learn how to speak Italian faster is to create a core list of Italian vocabulary words to memorize. You may start with a list of ten Italian words, and perhaps each week work on a new list of ten. Use an Italian dictionary and create flashcards for yourself, or better yet use an iPod or iPhone application to do it for you. This is the more convenient option, as you can learn while you are on the road, about to go to bed, or waiting in line at the coffee shop. Many learners respond better to seeing words and the Italian alphabet in written format.
Italianpod101 subscribers have access to some great tools with which to build your knowledge of Italian words and vocabulary. Each lesson will give you a list of the vocabulary that was covered; a great base for your vocabulary list. You can also use the dictionary and glossary to find Italian words for your own lists. You may wish to build lists around your own purpose, for instance business Italian. The review drill and flashcard programs are perfect for building vocabulary.
Try out a free account and see how our tools will help build your vocabulary and overall Italian skills quickly and effectively.