Listening to an Italian radio online may be good for you. It can help you improve your Italian language skills. At the end of this post, we will give you a list of Italian radios online and podcasts. We also include a short description of each one of them.

Listening to Italian radio stations also gives you a bit of the flavor of the culture. Accordingly, try to find opinion programs or news broadcasts.

Make the habit of daily listening to Italian, and you will surely see results that will surprise you.

listen to live radio

Listening is very important

Something very important when learning a language is listening. Therefore, listening to the radio can expose you to the target language. And it also fills in those periods of the day that otherwise, you spend unproductively. For example, while going on a long trip, or on your daily ride to work you can listen to Italian. Or while doing routine activities, you can get exposed to your target language.

You will surprise yourself by the number of hours a day you spend on these activities. Hence it’s time to start reaping profit out of them. Taking this into account will have a drastic impact on your learning process. More time you can put into “listening” equals better results.

train

So, our advice is pretty simple. Commit to plugging in your headphones and “only” listen to things in your target language. You may feel you don’t have time. But every time you are driving to work or going on the subway would be good. Don’t miss the opportunity when you’re on the train, in your car, or buying groceries at the supermarket.

Try to make it a habit. Furthermore get to the point where if you have forgotten your headphones, you prefer to go quickly back. People may ask you why did you return. And you’ll just pick up your headphones and say “I almost missed an appointment”. It’s better to lose a few minutes going back for your headphones than wasting an hour trip journey.

Learning a language requires patience

Listening and listening more! It might seem nonsense at the beginning. But that is what babies do all day, every day for the first months of their lives. It could be, maybe 10 months until the baby utters his first word: “mooo-mmy”. I’m sure that in less than 10 months, you will begin to utter more than one word in your target language.

But what’s happening to the baby is similar to what’s going to begin to happen with you. You’re going to begin to hear and distinguish a great number of sounds for the first time. And slowly but steadily start to become sensitive to their meaning.

hearing

One step at a time! As we are taking the example of the baby, you should first start with children’s radio programs. You might have a lack of interest in this type of program. But listening to this childish type of content is only during the first stages. And it’s not that bad. The speaker at the other end of the radio will treat his listeners as babes. He will moderate his vocabulary, talking speed, and content. And that is exactly what we want.

Listening and listening more! It’s quite simple, all you need is commitment. And your brain will do the entire job. We work that way. Even though the first days you feel you don’t understand a word. So do the babies and they continue. Listening and listening more! And it’s not difficult. Please put up with this initial annoying phase. Cheer up. This is slow but steady!

Here is our advice

A good piece of advice is to download your audio files to your phone or device. It doesn’t always have to be only the radio online. And I recommend audio because it’s practical. But if you can engage in some audio-visible material that is even better.

Listening to things that are exciting to you

If you are too annoyed listing children’s stuff, there is another good option at this point. There are things that you know well in your native tongue. Make a list of those things. It can be things related to your studies or your career. You may include things you’re interested in, things about Italy, etc. It doesn’t have to be content for children now. Fill in the gap required to understand by using all your background knowledge. The Internet will sure have plenty of interesting content on topics you like. Download all that content to your mobile device. You could even find an online radio on that subject, and keep on listening!

An example of this that we have just said is listening to the Bible in your target language. Internet is indeed full of audios reading the Bible. Start with a passage that you know well. Listen to it over and over again! Listen to it all day, if it is possible. You will slowly start to distinguish words, phrases, and in no time, the whole passage. And at the same time, you are listening to what is best for you!

Don’t get tired of this; if you are committed to listening, you will reap great benefits!

Don’t forget to leave your questions or comments on this matter in the comment box. I’ll be glad to hear about your experience with your audios!

Here are some online radio stations to help you with your first steps:

AUDIO:

old radio cartoon

Radio Bimbo: is a radio for little children and all the family.

Radio Magica: it’s not a streaming live radio. It has a lot of audio files, with easy Italian for kids.

Radio Populare: is an independent radio station based in Milan, Italy. It also has other five affiliated radio stations based in Rome, Florence, and Bologna. Radio Popolare airs public news, public affairs, talk, entertainment, and music programming.

Radio Radicale: is the official radio station of the Radical Party in Italy. It is completely free of commercial advertising and is partly funded by the party. However, the biggest portion comes from the Italian Government. The main focus is to broadcast Parliamentary sessions. On this radio, you’ll listen to broadcasting parliamentary live debates. These would include the Italian Chamber of Deputies. And also the Italian Senate and some important court cases.

Radio Euro News: Euronews is a group of multilingual news media. They include TV, online, mobile apps, web radio, etc. Their headquarters are in Lyon, France. They were born in 1993. And they aim to cover world news from a pan-European perspective.

VIDEO:

old TV cartoon

LIVE News of Europe in Italian (Euro News): this is a branch of the Euronews group of multilingual news media.

For those of you that would also enjoy reading Italian newspapers, please read more about some of them clicking here.


14 Comments

Jason · March 21, 2017 at 7:44 PM

Great article about learning Italian! I completely agree about listening being of crucial importance. I have tried to learn Korean, Spanish, and French and always found the listening aspect to be the most difficult. Listening to the radio online to improve listening is a great idea! Learning Italian just may be my next project as I am considering a job teaching English in Italy in the fall. Cheers!

    Henry · March 22, 2017 at 2:18 AM

    Thank you! It is great to hear that you have been learning Korean, Spanish, and French. And yes, while learning any language, listening is of crucial importance! Thanks again for stopping by!

Mecyll Gaspary · June 30, 2019 at 12:13 AM

I guess the same concept applies to every language learning process, not only for the Italian language. I used the same principle when I learned German language back in 2014 to the point I couldn’t count the number of movies and audiobooks I listened and watched to master the basics of the language. 

Just so you know, people tend to have more attention span to listening materials like podcasts versus 2 minute span for YouTube (videos). Hence, listening is powerful to every learning process. Kudos to writing this post. It’s braided well as the delivery of the information is smooth and seamless. Reading your work is worth it. 🙂

    Henry · October 28, 2019 at 9:59 AM

    Hello. I have reaped the benefits of listening to audio files to improve my language skills. But I didn’t know that attention span was considerbly higher for podcasts than for YouTube videos. That’s a good fact to take in consideration. Thanks.

Sergej · March 27, 2021 at 1:37 AM

Hi Jonathan,

The only way to learn anything faster is by interacting with those that are already better at it. What other way would be better to learn a second or third language if not interacting with the native speakers of the language. Interacting with those that speak the language as their first language will not only improve your fluency but will also help you learn the culture of those people. Without a doubt, listening to an Italian radio online will help a learner horn their Italian grasp.

Great article!

Regards,

Sergej

    Jonathan Henry · March 27, 2021 at 11:13 PM

    Yeah, great point. It was not always possible (years ago) to get this exposure. But nowadays it is. So, we do well in taking advantage of it.

AL. S. · March 27, 2021 at 2:06 AM

Very interesting post. I am not learning Italian, instead, I am learning Spanish on Duolingo. And I am progressing very well. I noticed that Italian has a lot of similarities to Spanish. Do you know of any Spanish radio services like the one you have mentioned here? I’m good at reading and understanding, but listening is so hard!

Moody · April 3, 2021 at 4:31 AM

I have heard from bilingual speakers that they first learned English by listening to American music and watching American TV. I would have never thought of listening to Italian Radio to learn to speak Italian.

Listening to the Bible is the best option because you can follow Bible passages as you read them in your native language. I will try this!

    Jonathan Henry · April 4, 2021 at 12:00 AM

    Yes, listening to the Bible and following along with the text is the best way to learn a language. You’re first and foremost reading God’s Word!

Jas · April 3, 2021 at 4:33 AM

You’re right about listening. It’s very important. I agree that it’s how we best absorb things.

I recently started following an Italian course via Facebook. I-m surprised how much we can learn when we listen!

    Jonathan Henry · April 3, 2021 at 11:59 PM

    It’s nice you found this Facebook course. Yes, if we commit to listening we’ll end up learning!

Kokontala · April 3, 2021 at 4:37 AM

How important is listening when we’re learning a new language? Could we focus on other things and leave listening for when we’re at an intermediate level?

    Jonathan Henry · April 3, 2021 at 11:59 PM

    Hi Kokontala. I encourage you to start focusing on your listening skills when you’re learning a new language. Most of the time we focus on the wrong things when we’re learning a new skill. Those that want to paint focus on painting techniques instead of observing the world around them. Those that want to sing focus on singing exercises instead of listening. And when we’re learning a language we shouldn’t focus so much on the productive skills as we should do on the receptive ones.

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