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Learn the basic Italian

Where do you start when you’re learning Italian? The basics?

There are a lot of people who get their foot in the door with a language and then quit (me included). Why do we jump off the language-learning train? The most common answers are because of feeling disappointed, tired, or unmotivated. Based on our own experience and that of people we have seen learning a new language, we will share a simple but effective tip to help you get past the basics of any language.

Woman with winter clothes cartoon

When I was in High School studying Chemistry, I had to memorize the Periodic Table of Elements. To achieve this, I took the table everywhere I went. When I was out of classes, I would study it quickly every half an hour. Until it finally sunk into my brain. I forced myself to eat, sleep, and breathe the Periodic Table of Elements. The same approach should help you learn the basics of the Italian language. First, you must try to be exposed to the language as much as possible. Try listening, reading, talking, and writing Italian during the day. There will be an occasion to practice these skills every day. Keep an eye open on these daily opportunities to practice. To not waste these, you should always be prepared. One of our recommendations is to keep annotations of pronouns, verbs, and basic vocabulary always with you. At specific times, it will be great to have this chart with you enabling you to advance in your language skills as you carry along with your day. On other occasions, it will be ideal to listen to some Italian audio files. And if you meet a native Italian friend, it will be time to talk in Italian. You will identify, these opportunities every day.


As you can see, preparing a chart is something very simple to do. But it is very useful. And it will help you master the basics.

Getting past the basics in a language can be compared to a beach. At the shore, there are a lot of waves. But as you move further into the ocean, the waters get calmer and more enjoyable.

So we highly encourage you to write down on a single sheet of paper (or you could use 3×5 index cards, as our readers have suggested), what you consider the basics. If you do not know where to start, or what to write, we will give you a model here. You could copy and print this model too and take it around with you, wherever you go.


A more extensive model with the basics of the Italian language is also available on Amazon. To check it out, click here.

Any of the forms you choose to carry around with you (handwriting, printing the model on this site, or buying the chart) will help you more than you think. A chart seems simple, but it moves the needle.

If you have questions or comments, share them with us. Feel free to write them in the box below. 

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  1. Hi Henry, I liked this post! I believe you could adapt this to almost any other language and also to other things one is interested in learning about! Was doing something similar to this when learning French!
    The 3×5 index cards work well also; I found that I retained more when I wrote things down rather than just remembering!

    1. Yes, you’re right! We can adapt this to almost any other language and also to other things one is interested in learning about! I had forgotten to mention the 3×5 index cards (simple but useful). I use them a lot, and I have now included them in the post. Thank you very much for your comment.

  2. Hi, Henry!

    I think this is an excellent way of learning Italian as the more you expose yourself to speaking and thinking the language the better you will learn.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey, Darren! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, you’re right! The more you expose yourself to speaking and thinking the language the better you will learn.

  3. Hola Henry.
    Me encanta tu sitio web. Mi madre “Lila” es nacida en Milán, Italia. Podés creer que hablo muy poco italiano y la verdad me gustaría mucho aprenderlo un poco más. Las tablas que vos insertás son muy útiles, las leeré y así empezaré contigo a aprender el italiano básico. Saludos desde Buenos Aires.

    1. Ciao Claudio.
      Muchísimas gracias por compartir su experiencia familiar con nosotros. Es muy grato escuchar su genuino interés en aprender italiano. De seguro el idioma le debe traer gratos recuerdos de su madre. Acá en este sitio web hay varías actividades que puede emprender para alcanzar su objetivo. Puede iniciar con cursos gratuitos como: Duolingo y La Mappa Misteriosa. También puede rodearse del idioma en su día a día escuchando la radio en italiano y una vez que haya progresado en su comprensión, puede continuar leyendo las noticias en los periódicos de Italia.

      Continúe visitando nuestro sitio web. Cualquier consulta, no dude en escribirnos. Continuaremos cargando a este portal artículos interesantes que le ayudaran a continuar avanzando en su aprendizaje. ¡Muchísimas gracias!

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