“You can’t take a crash course in serenity.” — Shirley Maclaine
It seems unlikely that anyone would easily crash into a zen-like state.
But you can certainly crash into Italian!
And that little fact—that it’s possible to speed-learn Italian—is sure to bring peaceful vibes to anyone who needs to learn some language, pronto.
Maybe you’ve got a job opportunity in Florence, maybe you’ve signed up for an immersion class in Sicily that you want to get a head start on or maybe you’re really lucky and are considering a move to Italy for a bit of romance.
Whatever your reasons are for wanting to learn the language quickly, you can reach serenity by taking an Italian crash course.
Let’s check out the excellent options!
What Exactly Is an Italian Crash Course?
A crash course is pretty much what it sounds like it: a super-fast course.
It hits the major points and doesn’t usually get too in-depth on the core subjects. It teaches reading, a bit of writing, some listening and some speaking skills but they’re all presented quickly and efficiently.
The purpose of crash courses is fast learning so there’s no dawdling over any specific rule or idea. It’s learn, learn, learn!
Many people agree that cultural immersion is the best way to fast-track language acquisition but that’s not always possible. A crash course mimics an immersive experience by providing lots of language and cultural education so learning takes place in a snap.
Crash courses are excellent for getting started in Italian, jumping straight into the use of the language (as opposed to the rules) and generally speeding through the essentials.
Just remember that going fast usually means skimming over the surface: You won’t get a deep understanding of the grammar rules or structure of the language… but you’ll be able to use it right away.
10 Italian Crash Courses That Pack a Punch
Udemy offers thousands of courses on a ton of topics. Fortunately, they have a super Italian course that’s designed for rapid learning.
Italian for Beginners: Learn Fast and Easy is intended for beginner and intermediate learners. The course is taught by a native Italian speaker over the course of a tw0-hour video with 18 additional resources for support.
It teaches grammar, pronunciation, reading and writing. Additionally, basic greetings and everyday communication skills are emphasized so that by the end of the course learners should be able to participate in simple Italian conversations.
FluentU makes learning Italian intuitive, entertaining and just plain easy for learners of all skill levels.
Each lesson is based around fresh, hip Italian content found on the web, like music videos, movie trailers, news, inspiring talks and much more. While watching these real-world videos, learners can also access instantaneous subtitle translations so they’re never in the dark about what the video is saying.
Enable Italian or English subtitles—or both!—and hover over any word that you’d like to learn more about. Right away, you’ll see a definition with audio pronunciation, a relevant image and in-context usage examples on your screen. Click to add that word to your personalized vocabulary lists, and you can revisit it later for further study.
Perhaps the most interesting part of FluentU is its quiz mode, which takes videos and turns them into language learning lessons. The lessons are fully personalized since your learning history is taken into account when presenting questions.
Your lessons will be 100% uniquely geared towards you and your knowledge, interests and study history—no two learners have the same experience! This means you don’t have to waste any time on topics that don’t pertain to you: get straight to the point and fast-track your learning with FluentU.
Rick Zullo maintains a popular website devoted to all things Italian, including language, culture and travel. He’s won honors for his work in bringing the delights of Italy to English speakers.
It’s simple to get started. Just sign up with an email address and the lessons begin to arrive.
The first lesson comes with a detailed vocabulary list that’s sure to get beginning learners motivated to learn more. Memorizing the list gives learners quick access to basics like greetings, which means that it’s possible to attempt a brief Italian conversation after just the first lesson.
Rick maintains a blog that’s filled with cultural information and he brings Rome to the masses with his podcasts.
“Italian for Beginners” is a no-nonsense language guide. It concentrates on the essential grammar rules and introduces common Italian words and phrases.
It’s especially useful for anyone who wants to get a handle on basic Italian in preparation for traveling to Italy.
It doesn’t go into detail over grammar issues and it doesn’t have a huge vocabulary list. Instead, it provides the most important grammar rules, words and phrases and it does a good job of explaining phonetic spelling and correct pronunciation.
It’s basic—and given that it has a tight focus on the essentials, this makes learning easy. Memorize the material that’s presented and it’ll be possible to succeed with basic communication endeavors!
This book is a Kindle download that pulls the essentials of Italian into one little book.
It teaches about asking questions, important verbs, common greetings and basic grammar. It spotlights Italian pronouns, everyday speech and the Italian numbering system. You’ll also get a brief history of the language here.
This is a swift, no-frills phrasebook-style guide to help learners grasp the basics of Italian over a very short time!
Rocket Languages gives great tips for learning the basics of Italian in a short time through this course.
The resource admits that “fluent in 10 days” is a stretch that language learners often aspire to achieve. It’s more reasonable to shoot for grasping the basics in that amount of time as a foundation for further study: in other words, you should focus on learning the most frequently used words and concepts first.
Read the thorough overview for tips and information on how to study, then scroll down to sign up for the “learn Italian fast” mini-course, which provides a lot of essential material that can be learned in a short amount of time.
And if you like this content, try out the other great stuff on Rocket Languages like audio lessons, pronunciation practice through voice recognition, flashcards and lots more.
Dolce Vita is a YouTube channel that showcases Italy, Italian culture and the Italian language.
There are videos about the best places to visit in Italy, funny Italian words and phrases, maintaining motivation to learn and lots more.
Although it’s no longer maintained, it’s still a treasure trove of Italian vocabulary. Thanks to the diversity of the topics, lots of interesting words are presented!
A super feature of this channel is its “Learn Italian in 30 Days” series. There are 33 videos in all and they cover every skill a beginning learner should learn. The best part is that the video lessons themselves are fast, fun and interesting. They make it possible to crash learn Italian—while being entertained at the same time!
ItalianPod101’s YouTube channel is absolutely bursting with short, informative videos for learning Italian.
The information covered in this series includes how to begin conversations in Italian, essential vocabulary, verb conjugations and more. Videos are brief and to the point—perfect for squeezing learning time into on-the-go moments. (I watched three videos on a commute last week!)
There are plenty of useful resources to learn quickly and still others you can use to deepen comprehension and learn about more complex Italian concepts such as business language.
ItalianPod101 has an extensive collection of videos that focus on the core issues of the language. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for fast and easy learning videos. It’s like a lesson buffet: you can structure your own crash-course with this resource.
If you enjoy the content on YouTube, ItalianPod101 also has many other goodies over on their main website, including videos, podcasts, learning programs and lots more resources to discover.
SBS offers slow-paced podcasts for Italian learners. The idea is to slow down a fast-paced language to make it more easily understood by language learners. The topics are eclectic and cover many interests.
This isn’t a course to learn vocabulary lists or grammar rules. It’s more like an immersion course: the podcast episodes feature opinions, news stories and entertaining commentary on a wide variety of topics.
Hearing a language and gaining insights on various subjects is precisely how we’re exposed to languages as children. These podcasts mimic that experience and provide lots of useful information—at a slower pace that’s easily understood by learners who only have a basic knowledge of Italian.
If you have the option to travel, Scuola Leonardo da Vinci offers a crash course in the Italian language in Italy! The school has campuses in Rome, Florence, Siena and Milan.
You can opt for a super-intensive course that crams 30 lessons into five days, at a minimum commitment of a week. It focuses on building up communication abilities and strives to teach learners how to become fluent in the language, build a large vocabulary and increase comprehension—and to do it all in a short amount of time!
If you’ve only got one week to get the basics down, the school offers a one-week intensive course, too. This option gives students a quick start and teaches them how to continue their studies beyond the course.
We often think of “crashing” as a bad thing—but it’s not always awful.
Crashing into Italian is a wonderful way to prepare for one of life’s greatest adventures.
Romance, an exciting new job or travel to Italy are all enhanced by a fun, fast—and rewarding!—crash course in this incredibly beautiful language.
So learn quickly and speak forever. It’ll be one “crash” you’ll remember fondly!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Italian with real-world videos.