Have you ever dreamed of having a conversation in fluent Italian?
Better yet, maybe you envision yourself heading to an Italian university class and mastering the language has never been easier.
What if I told you that you didn’t have to travel to Italy to take those lessons or to become fluent in Italian?
Taking lessons online is a fantastic alternative!
It means that you don’t need to travel to an Italian-speaking place or fork out a lot of money for Italian lessons in your area. Best of all, online lessons are completely compatible with variable schedules and can be self-directed.
Still, you want to find a program that’s both fun and entertaining.
FluentU is one of the leading programs for learning Italian through online lessons.
With FluentU Italian, learners are exposed to the language in its authentic form through real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—that are turned into language learning experiences.
These exciting, immersive videos will simulate the benefits of taking lessons in Italy without the giant travel bill.
Looking for Italian Immersion? Try These Entertaining Video Lessons
Immerse Yourself with Real-world Italian Videos & Audio
To get started with FluentU, visit the “Videos” tab on the online learning platform. There, you’ll find dozens of authentic Italian videos, such as commercials, movie trailers and clips from TV shows and movies.
These videos have been carefully curated for optimal learning while keeping in mind that real-world content is essential to learning a new language!
Learners can choose the content based on their level of Italian competency. Levels include Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Advanced 1 and Advanced 2.
The video topics include culture, travel, science, food, lifestyle and more.
You can watch the videos with subtitles in Italian and English to aid with comprehension. Best of all, the subtitles can be toggled on and off for personalized learning.
I suggest beginning with both Italian and English subtitles, gradually getting rid of the English subtitles as you become comfortable and then watching the videos with no subtitles at all.
Each video also includes a comprehension quiz for vocabulary reinforcement and checking how much you understood from the video.
If you’re a beginner Italian learner, the online Italian video lessons are a perfect place to start! In fact, the videos can be viewed in chronological order to cover the most basic topics in the Italian language before moving on to more difficult material.
In addition to videos, FluentU also has an extensive audio library. Learners can browse audio content under the “Audios” tab. Like the videos, learners can choose their level for tailored learning.
The best thing about the audio clips is that they can be used in tandem with the video lessons for reinforcement of vocabulary and grammar and on-the-go learning. Furthermore, the audio also comes with subtitles in English and Italian.
All videos and audio files use native speakers to create an immersive environment that feels like you’re really in Italy!
Review Vocabulary with Italian Flashcards Using Spaced Repetition
One of the best features FluentU has to offer is its use of flashcards as part of its spaced repetition system.
Spaced repetition is a scientifically proven way to remember new vocabulary when learning a language since it allows you to move words from your passive memory to your active memory. Your active memory is where you will succeed in producing spoken Italian!
When watching a video or listening to an audio file, you can turn any Italian word from the transcript or subtitles into flashcards.
Click on any Italian word to see a translation. You can add known words to the “Already Known” deck or new words to “My Vocab” to create new flashcards.
Instead of creating new flashcards completely on your own, many of the videos, audios and video lesson playlists have pre-made corresponding flashcard decks.
I suggest reviewing these flashcards often in order to keep them fresh in your brain and placed in your long-term memory. However, FluentU’s use of spaced repetition to let you know when certain words should be reviewed means that the hard part is done for you. Simply review your flashcards when the logarithm suggests it!
Continued practice with flashcards in the “My Vocab” deck turns them into “Known Words.” Furthermore, the fluency bar beside each word tells you exactly how close you are to making a word known.
Separate Content by Topic to Tackle Specialized Vocabulary for Any Level
I mentioned earlier how FluentU’s video lessons can be a great way to introduce a beginner to basic Italian.
With topics like Everyday Life, Fashion & Style, Food & Cuisine, Health & Lifestyle and Travels, these videos are fantastic for learners who want to use Italian in common and travel situations, and these lessons can be reviewed time and time again to help solidify vocabulary.
Some video playlists focus on the most common words in Italian. Remember: learning the most common words in Italian will allow you to understand loads of the language in no time and achieve communicative fluency faster!
However, FluentU’s video lessons can also be a fantastic way for more advanced learners to focus on specific types of Italian!
Are you planning to work or do business in Italy? If so, FluentU has videos for topics such as Business and Politics & Society! This is fantastic for learners who want to use Italian in a professional setting, and like the basic vocabulary lessons, these videos can be reviewed as often as necessary.
In addition to basic vocabulary and business Italian vocabulary, FluentU also has video lessons for topics such as Arts & Entertainment and Science & Technology.
This is especially helpful for learners who want to use Italian in particular, specialized settings. For example, if you work at a tech start-up and have Italian clients you need to communicate with, try spending more time on videos that focus on technological vocabulary.
Lastly, there are also video lessons for subjects like Humor and Kids that you can use to grow day-to-day vocabulary that might be missed by more traditional lessons. Watching the videos in the Humor category can even help you understand the nuances of Italian comedy and brush up on your colloquial Italian.
No matter what your reasons for learning Italian and what level you’re currently at, there are plenty of videos for you!
Use the Videos and Built-in Dictionary to Study Grammar
Apart from learning vocabulary, FluentU’s video lessons also teach you plenty of grammatical structures through real-world context.
For example, some videos show how to conjugate verbs using different subject pronouns. This is particularly important for Italian because often subject pronouns are omitted when speaking or writing, so knowing verb endings is crucial to understanding the language.
In other words, by watching these videos, you’ll learn how a verb changes to agree with io (I), tu (you) and lui (he) and lei (she).
The videos also expose you to common verbs and their conjugations. This means that you’ll learn how to conjugate both regular and irregular verbs, such as essere (to be) or avere (to have).
These verbs and their conjugations require memorization to master, and one of the best ways to memorize them is to continue to hear them in authentic situations.
Along with verb conjugations, FluentU’s video lessons will also show learners how Italian nouns can be masculine or feminine.
Noun gender in Italian is pretty important because it can dictate the structure of the entire sentence. Luckily for learners, noun gender is typically decided by the word’s ending, with some exceptions. Oftentimes, words that end in -o are masculine, while words that end in -a are feminine.
FluentU’s videos demonstrate how una and la are used for feminine nouns and un and il are used for masculine nouns. Like with any language, there are of course a few exceptions to these noun gender rules. The video lessons take a look at these exceptions as well.
You can use FluentU’s hover-over dictionary to verify if a noun is masculine or feminine, so its gender is never unclear.
Simply hover your mouse over a word in a video’s interactive subtitles, and watch as you’re shown the noun’s gender and translation, as well as example sentences with corresponding audio and additional videos that use the noun in various contexts!
Assess Your Comprehension with Quizzes
After each video or audio lesson, learners can practice what they’ve learned with a quiz to reinforce new vocabulary and grammar.
Quizzes have short answer, multiple-choice and word order questions to ensure that you’re learning all parts of the word or grammatical structure (spelling, order, etc.).
These quizzes are a fantastic place to use your new skills and make mistakes in a safe situation. I recommend completing each quiz immediately after watching the video and then returning to it a few times later on to maximize your practice opportunities.
Additionally, the quizzes have some really neat features that set them apart from other online quizzes.
For starters, there’s an “Already Know” button that allows you to mark words that you’ve mastered so they don’t appear in future quizzes.
On the other hand, there’s a “Don’t Know” button that you can click if you need more help with a word. This will temporarily pause the quiz and take you to a learning window that shows you what the word means, how to use it, examples sentences with audio and even videos using the word in various contexts.
Simply click “Continue” when you’re done with the learning mode, and you’ll be immediately taken back to where you left off on your quiz.
These features are super functional and allow you to get the most out of each authentic Italian video!
Who knew learning with videos could be so productive? With FluentU Italian, you can get entertaining, immersive lessons from the comfort of your own home. Sign up and start watching videos today!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Italian with real-world videos.