italian-translation-exercises

5 Italian Translation Exercises That’ll Make You a Bilingual Baller

Go on, show us which Italian words you know like the back of your hand.

Italian translation exercises will let you hone your skills and strut your stuff.

This post will walk you through five unique resources for translation practice that you can take anywhere.

Soon enough you’ll have Italian skills you can’t wait to show off.

Contents

Why Bother with Translation Exercises?

Language learning in and of itself can be thought of as a long translation process. When you learn a second (or third, or fourth) language, you’ll be using your native language as a starting point. You measure new languages based on your first one, and basic translations often work as the foundation for your studies.

Translating provides a bunch of important tools for language learning: it helps you remember your vocabulary, pick up new terms and start constructing your own sentences in Italian.

This doesn’t mean that translation is always easy, though. Some things just don’t carry over quite the same from English to Italian and vice versa. When translating, it’s important to remember that every language is built within a specific cultural context, and one that you might not be familiar with yet.

In turn, this means that translation exercises force you to consider all kinds of crucial language questions, such as:

  • The situations that certain words or phrases are used in
  • Their level of formality or who uses them
  • Allusions to Italian literature, pop culture, etc.
  • Whether certain words have double meanings

5 Creative Ideas for Italian Translation Exercises

Translation isn’t simple, but it’s also far from dull. Taking time to practice translating can be a big help in your language journey, so we’re going to go through some unique resources that can help a variety of Italian learners.

101 Languages Flashcards

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Language flashcards are a simple but effective tool for translation exercises. They let you efficiently test your knowledge of Italian words and they’re a convenient option for practice anytime, anywhere.

And you don’t even have to make your own. 101 Languages offers lessons, reference materials and practice tools in (fittingly) over 100 languages, including Italian vocabulary flashcards. With just a little button pushing, you can flip between a number of vocabulary sets divided by topic.

The flashcards are imported from Quizlet and there are a number of “study mode” options. You can start in “learn mode” to pick up the translations of new words, then “flashcards” for review exercises.

101 Languages is available online at no cost.

FluentU

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FluentU is a fun, immersive Italian learning tool with a unique opportunity for translation practice.

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons, as you can see here:

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FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles.

Tap on any word to instantly see an image, in-context definition, example sentences and other videos in which the word is used.

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Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.

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Once you've watched a video, you can use FluentU's quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

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FluentU will even keep track of all the Italian words you’ve learned to recommend videos and ask you questions based on what you already know.

Plus, it'll tell you exactly when it's time for review. Now that's a 100% personalized experience!

The best part? You can try FluentU for free!

Start using FluentU on the website, or better yet, download the app from iTunes or the Google Play store.

Italian Dictionary & Tran +

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An Italian dictionary can be a big help to anyone trying to learn the language. This little app does more than just give definitions, though.

It’s designed to provide a comprehensive Italian vocabulary resource. The app’s main features include its dictionary, translator, flashcards and verb conjugator. All of these features can become vital tools for translation practice—here’s how:

  • Flashcards, as we’ve already talked about, let you practice translation with specific Italian vocabulary.
  • The translator gives you Italian and English versions of common phrases you’ll need on-the-ground in Italy. Practice translating the phrases from Italian to English or the other way around, then check against the app.
  • The dictionary provides English translations of Italian words and also shows you common expressions the words are found in, again with English translations provided.
  • The verb conjugator helps you confirm that your English-to-Italian translations are correct by showing you the right verb forms for different subjects.

This is a particularly good app for people who consider themselves thorough students, double and triple-checking their vocabulary and making sure that their grammar and understanding of the words fits just right. The app is free and available on a number of mobile devices, making it both easy to get and easy to use.

Dolce Vita

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Dolce Vita is a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching the Italian language, with a number of videos that are especially helpful for translation practice.

Just go to the full video library and then search for videos with the title “Italian translation for…” Here you’ll find videos focused on teaching you the Italian translation for specific words, like friendship, taking a walk or breakfast.

They’re perfect because the videos themselves are in Italian, but they’re easy-to-follow and usually come with either English subtitles or helpful Italian annotations. Try translating the video dialogue in small chunks—you’ll find that the host provides repetitive vocabulary in different contexts or conjugations, but all at a slow, steady pace.

Translation practice with these videos is best suited to people who need visual aids or prefer a more casual setting for their lessons. The channel can be easily accessed anywhere you can get YouTube and the videos are easy to fit into even busy schedules.

Coffee Break Italian

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You might already be familiar with the Italian learning podcast Coffee Break Italian. But you might not realize its potential for translation exercises, thanks to the transcripts and notes that come with every audio lesson.

These materials offer translations of the words and phrases that are taught in each audio lesson. The Italian version is in green with the English translation underneath. They also come with example Italian interactions or context.

You can try reading the notes first to learn the translations. Then, return to them after the audio lesson, cover the English versions and practice translating what you remember.

Best of all, you can easily print off the lesson notes and take them for further review anywhere.

Exercising Italian terms in this particular way lets you learn them by sight and by ear simultaneously. Being able to translate words on paper is always important, but there’s still the need to make sure you can translate verbally so your speaking is accurate.

 

There are so many ways to polish your Italian translation skills and so many resources to choose from. Taking the time to figure out what works best for you can make a huge difference in your study progress.

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