Subscribe and Learn: 7 Italian YouTubers to Give Your Italian Skills a Thumbs Up
You know why?
Because today, we’re going to make your YouTube addiction pay off.
That’s right! You’re already watching that thing several hours a day anyway, so why not get two birds with one stone and learn Italian while you’re at it?
In this post, we’ll check out some Italian YouTubers who’ll keep you glued to your screen and get you up-to-speed with Italian, fast.
And if you doubt that watching Italians do silly stunts or put on makeup will help you learn the language, we’re about to blow your mind.
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Why Italian YouTubers Are Great for Language Learning
It may be the last thing on their minds, but Italian YouTubers really do a great service for Italian learners. By watching them, language students put themselves in the best position to absorb the language and culture.
Here are three ways YouTubers help out learners:
Italian YouTubers offer authentic content.
YouTube, of course, has Italian language tutorials where native speakers take you by the hand and guide you through your learning. They break down the language for you, piece-by-piece, and teach you about its ins-and-outs.
On the other hand, Italian YouTubers or vloggers give you an array of authentic language content.
“Authentic” content here means the same kind of content consumed by native speakers. So Italian TV shows and movies are examples of authentic content. They’re specifically made for native speakers. When Italians get back home from work and switch on their TVs or PCs, these are the things they watch. It’s what they binge on and what makes them cry or laugh into their popcorn.
Now, compare that to an Italian language instructional video.
The teacher is careful to speak slowly and clearly, so the folks watching are able to follow along. And if need be, he or she repeats the words often to accommodate beginners. The teacher is especially conscious that her audience is made up of non-speakers so she often uses English to explain Italian grammar rules.
With authentic language content, however, this isn’t the case. You’ll have Italian YouTubers pulling off crazy stunts, giving product reviews, doing thousand-words-a-minute spiels, talking so fast (a.k.a. “normally”), that YouTube’s “auto-translate” function is sometimes left in the dust.
That’s the real sound of Italian! Hence the term “authentic.” It’s wild and free—free from the care of a contrived language laboratory.
It’s good to acclimatize yourself with the real speed and sound of Italian. That’s what you get with these Italian YouTubers. Let those quirky native (and sometimes, even non-native) speakers be your guides. That way, when you get into the real world, where actual Italians do their thing, you’ll be ready.
Italian YouTubers give language a definite context.
YouTube, as a video-sharing platform, is fantastic for language learners. Language acquires meaning from context—and videos have it in spades.
Language can’t be learned in a vacuum. Words, phrases, expressions and statements often have multiple meanings and nuances.
Take the English word “charge,” for example. “Charge” can refer to what you do to your phone after a highly charged conversation with your (ex-) girlfriend, or it can be what businesses ask from their customers in exchange for a particular service… and also what the police do to those customers if they refuse to pay.
You need to hear the entire sentence or see the entire situation before you can decipher which meaning of “charge” is being used! This is true for communication in any language.
Videos not only give you audio, but they give you the whole picture so you can get the full meaning of the words employed. Visual cues are especially important for language learners who have to largely rely on context to suss out the meaning of words, phrases or sentences they’ve never encountered before.
For example, a YouTuber sitting in one of the posh restaurants in Milan where expensive decor, classy cutlery and elegant people populate the background makes it pretty clear what kinds of words or phrases might be used.
All this information makes language memorable and meaningful by offering viewers that all-important context.
Italian YouTubers give you a taste of culture.
YouTubers give language learners a peek into the beautiful Italian culture.
Language can’t be divorced from culture, because culture is all about the people—and people are the bearers of the language. They’re the ones who use it, define it and evolve it.
So every time you hear a native speaker talking, he or she is revealing what’s important in their culture, what’s considered rude, what’s acceptable and what the expectations are in different situations. Whether a YouTuber is exchanging some slang with his friends or is engaged in polite conversation with his grandparents, language learners are picking up bits and pieces of that big pie called culture.
And because YouTube is a visual media, if you’re quick and careful, you’ll really be picking up a lot from the things that you see.
For example, when a YouTuber takes you out in the rain, you’ll notice how Italians dress as a reaction to it. When a YouTuber meets his friends, you get a taste of how many cheek kisses they give each other. (Do they start on the left or the right?) And speaking of taste, you’ll even get a peek of where they eat and what they order for lunch.
A language learner quick to notice these things will get so much in just a few minutes.
That said, we now turn to some Italian YouTubers you should definitely keep your eyes on.
7 Italian YouTubers for Learning Italian with Makeup, Gaming and General Nonsense
Enjoy these wonderful YouTubers who produce videos for an Italian audience!
Weilà Tom (or “Hey There, Tom!” in Italian slang) is a YouTube channel run by a guy named Tom, who your grandmother wishes was the grandson she never had.
He’s a great guy who gives off positive vibes and tells viewers not to be too discouraged if Italian becomes a little bit challenging. He’s really in a position to say this because he was once in your shoes.
Yep: He’s not a native speaker. He’s been studying Italian for the past 11 years and has been teaching it to others for the past six.
So with Weilà Tom, you get the perspective of someone who’s been through the process of learning the language. He knows a thing or two about the sticking points.
Beginners can sink their teeth into his videos where he actually gives some priceless insights into how the Italian language can be conquered. Advanced Italian learners can sharpen their listening comprehension by watching the videos where he just talks in Italian.
Tom is such an inspiration for anyone who wants to pick up a language or two. (And that’s why we open the list with his channel.) In fact, to start with, you can check his video on why you should learn another language.
While we’re on the topic of inspiration, let’s meet the YouTube channel Briller, hosted by Bryan from Colorado. He’s an American who’s been living in Italy for a while and has become immersed in the language and culture.
He speaks Italian in his videos, though admittedly, his Italian does have a strong American accent (don’t worry—we gave some native speakers coming up in this list, too!). But we include Briller in our list because the channel features a foreigner—an American—at play in Italy.
You can just sense in him a passion for the Italian culture—the beliefs, customs and traditions of people who are different, but are in many ways similar to him.
In his videos, Bryan shares some of the lessons he’s learned about Italy and its people.
For example, you’ll learn about things that are normal in Italy but strange in America. You’ll pick up some insights on how proud Italians are as a people, as well. And, just for fun, he also took on the unenviable task of ranking the different Italian cities and sought to discover which one’s the best.
By watching Briller, you’ll be reminded that Italian isn’t just some language that you wanted to learn. It’s a language that’s connected to a group of people that are just as awesome as you.
How much Italian can you really learn by listening to the news? Well, as it turns out, a lot!
Breaking Italy features the hottest topics around the world and provides commentary on it. For an example, check out “EU’s Economic Sanctions on Italy? What Happens Next?”
This channel is great for anyone who already keeps up with the news. Since you’ll be learning the current events anyway, why not learn about them in Italian?
Breaking Italy is a no-holds-barred infotainment program suited for advanced Italian language learners. Alessandro Masala, the man behind the show, speaks like a typical Italian, which means he talks fast and doesn’t care if he breaks the speed limit.
He wanted the channel to be fun and light-hearted, with a hint of sarcasm and irony—so watch out for curveballs, idiomatic expressions and slang in here.
Okay, so maybe news isn’t your thing and instead, you fancy a lifestyle or beauty channel. Adriana Spink should be smack in the middle of your crosshairs.
She’s a fashion and beauty vlogger who can do some magic on your hair or teach you a hack or two about makeup and the wide, wonderful world of beauty regimens. She has a wonderful, bright, sunshiny personality and looks like the girl-next-door who you’re dying to befriend (or become).
And guess what: she just happens to be a former English teacher! Maybe that’s why you’ll notice that she enunciates with clarity and speaks just a tiny bit slower than other native speakers. Her YouTube videos are perfect for beginner and intermediate language learners who want to give listening comprehension a try.
If you want to learn Italian while getting some contouring tricks from a pretty teacher, then Adriana Spink is a subscription waiting to happen.
Yotobi is Karim Musa, the 20-year-old tech/movie/games geek who picked the channel’s name because it sounded like “YouTube” and it had an oriental ring to it. Apparently, at the time when he started the channel, he was watching a lot of Asian action movies. If this sounds like someone you’d love to get a drink with, you’ll enjoy this channel.
Yotobi is best known for movie reviews. The guy’s funny: He gives you his take on the newest films and TV shows and sucks you into his amazing mind, laughing all the way.
He maintains a talk show patterned after the American late-night variety. On these shows, you’ll find a monologue where he pokes fun at the latest goings-on in the world. Sometimes, he does on-field skits while other times he takes viewers with him as he engages in fun activities, like target shooting.
And then there are sit-down interviews where he chats with fellow millennial millionaires about what’s happening in their lives and their YouTube channels.
Recognizing comedy is very important when learning a language, and students of Italian need practice on nailing irony, wit and sarcasm. It’s an advanced language skill that goes beyond the literal and straight to the implied and multiple meanings of words.
Yotobi has a lot of this and beginner, intermediate and advanced language learners alike would do well to study his videos.
To further underscore the importance of humor, we add Willwoosh to the list.
This is one of the earliest Italian comedy channels whose noble mission was to post silly videos on YouTube. Willwoosh features an assortment of videos, shot at a variety of locations like the park, side streets and even aboard a Ferris wheel.
Sometimes, it’s just Guglielmo Scilla talking to the camera. Other times, he brings out some cool friends to talk about a topic and add to the ruckus.
This is generally a good vibes channel, so if you’re a beginner and want to feel like you have an Italian friend on the other side of the world, then subscribe to Guglielmo’s channel. He’ll certainly keep you in high spirits, especially when learning Italian starts getting tough.
He keeps things interesting, and watching hours of him will certainly hone your ears to the amazing Italian language (and humor).
We round up this list of Italian YouTubers with Chioma—the channel of an Italian girl who studied in England. Italy is such a multicultural society and Chiara presents the perspective of a young Afro-Italian lady who goes to a foreign country and tries to make it there.
In the first part of this post, we talked about how language and culture go together and how Italian YouTubers demonstrate culture through their videos. Chiara shows hers by how she reacts to the culture she finds herself in.
In this channel, you’ll find videos on things like how to recognize Italians in England and words that Italians think are English.
There are also clips about summer dresses and vacation hauls, which students of Italian can digest and unpack for a vocabulary boost.
But pay special attention to those cultural stories. It’s a somewhat ironic way to learn about the Italian culture: by seeing how Italians see other cultures, you’ll discover a lot about their own!
So there you go! That’s seven Italian YouTubers who’ll give you hundreds of hours of educational entertainment. Nobody’s saying that you should only use YouTube to learn, but it’s a great idea to make it part of your learning mix. Big Red is such a powerful tool.
Read books, watch movies, play language games, find language exchange partners and download apps. Do everything you can to get Italian sorted out.
Who knows, in the future, you might find yourself on YouTube, hosting your own channel and teaching Italian to others!
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)