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Start the Countdown: Learn Italian with 10 Android Apps to Launch Your Skills

Used properly, your smartphone can be the only thing you’ll ever need to learn Italian. Really.

Android users, I have a treat for you today!

In this post, I’ll be talking about Italian language learning apps for Android devices that’ll launch you into the Italian stratosphere.

Contents

HelloTalk

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HelloTalk is a language exchange app, which means you can use it to look for native Italian speakers who want to learn English. The app has voice chat and text chat, making it like Messenger or WhatsApp but with a language agenda.

The concept of a “language exchange” is that you help one another to learn each other’s languages. In return for teaching you Italian, you’ll be helping your language partner with English (or another language you’re fluent in). A simple search will bring up people who match this criteria.

HelloTalk comes with helpful features that facilitate interaction between complete strangers. For example, there’s a voice-to-text capability where any Italian your partner says will be turned into text.

If you still don’t understand any of the Italian text, HelloTalk’s translation feature comes into play. Italian text is turned into English so you can really follow along.

This means that, regardless of your language level, you and your partner can talk about anything under the sun, from great Italian movies to your favorite Italian dishes. HelloTalk’s got you covered.

HelloTalk is an indispensable tool for Italian language learners who want to interact with native speakers on the other side of the globe. So get your talk on!

FluentU

This app immerses you in the Italian language and culture through various authentic Italian videos with interactive subtitles. These videos were created by and for native speakers, so you’ll hear the language with its natural native speed and pronunciation. The videos are also categorized by skill level and can be further sorted by topic and format.

A simple two-minute music video, for example, turns into a full lesson thanks to the interactive transcript and subtitles. Read the transcript before you play the video (hovering over any word for a quick definition), then follow along with the subtitles in Italian, English or both—or turn the subtitles off completely to focus on your listening skills.

As the video plays, you can click or tap on any word in the captions to see its definition, sample sentences, an associated image and even other videos in which the word’s used in the same context. You can then choose to add the word to a flashcard deck so you can review it later with personalized exercises.

After each video, you can review the key vocabulary with a tailor-made quiz that has questions that allow you to choose, write or speak your answers. Plus, FluentU’s quizzes are based on the concept of spaced repetition, which means the program will ask you about words exactly when you need to review them in order to add them to your long-term memory.

Mondly

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If you want to learn Italian through interactive exercises, pictures and translation tests, then you’ll love Mondly. It’s one of those “gamefied” language learning apps that makes you feel like a language genius every second you use it.

What sets it apart from other programs like it is the chatbot feature, which really gets you talking out loud in Italian. You’ll be engaged in Italian through a bot who’s amazingly interested in you, asking questions about you, like what sports or colors you like.

If you get tongue-tied, the app gives some suggestions on lines to say. You can even hear the suggestions pronounced so you know how to say them properly.

When you’re ready to answer, you only have to tap and hold the “Talk” button and deliver your line. The app will “listen” and give you some feedback. But don’t worry—it’s pretty forgiving and you’ll be understood even if you don’t have flawless pronunciation.

If that’s the type of lessons you like, then give Mondly a try.

Google Translate

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This right here is just the Mother of all your Italian translation needs.

Google Translate is an awesome translation tool. You can translate words and phrases by writing them in or even just by speaking into your phone’s mic.

If you ever find yourself having trouble while talking to a native speaker, there’s a nifty “Conversation” feature that turns the app into an interpreter, facilitating the conversation by translating between English and Italian. So you have the benefits of having an interpreter without the hassle of having a third wheel.

Google Translate also has a camera function that can translate any Italian text you point your camera at.

Say you’re walking along Little Italy and see a sign outside some shop. You can simply point your phone’s camera at the text and you’ll see those Italian words magically turn into English. You don’t even have to take the picture or click anything. Google Translate does it in real time.

Just keep in mind that this app is still a machine and not every answer it gives you is completely accurate. Some results are verified by users for their accuracy but others might not be 100% correct. The app is great for getting a quick translation for comprehension purposes, getting your point across or looking up specific words or phrases.

Despite these drawbacks, if you’re a language learner in search for a powerful app, Google Translate is an excellent choice.

Italian English Dictionary

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This one’s really not just a dictionary, but a dictionary, phrasebook, conjugator, translator and digital flashcard program all rolled into one.

The app is perfect for when you want to hone your vocabulary and add more Italian words to your treasure trove.

Using the dictionary is pretty straightforward: Type in a word or phrase and you’ll be given its meaning, pronunciation and even usage examples.

Let’s say you search for the word mangiare (eat). You’ll not only see the word’s meanings, you’ll also learn how to pronounce it. Even more importantly, you’ll be reading useful phrases like mangiare troppo (overeat) or mangiare bene (eat well).

So with just one search, you’ve become fat with knowledge (figureatively speaking).

The basic app is totally free, while a premium version will cost you only $4.99 for the whole year.

Learn Italian Phrases | Italian Translator

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If you plan on traveling to Italy and need a quick fix, then this app will help you get around native speakers with ease.

The phrases and expressions in this app are subdivided into scenarios travelers will most likely experience, like dining, shopping, asking for directions, etc.

What you’ll see initially will be a list of English phrases. Interested in one? Press on any of the words and you’ll get a written and audio translation for the phrase. The written form helps you follow along and the audio will teach you how to pronounce everything. (You can even opt for a male or female voice.)

You can also record your own voice to hear what you sound like and compare it to the native pronunciation. Now you can make use of those unwanted delays at the airport!

This app is very practical, featuring words, phrases and sentences that have high interactive value. None of those “The cat is purple” lines—ones you’ll never use in this lifetime. You’ll instead be dialed into expressions that are often heard on the streets.

YouTube

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Yes, YouTube.

If you’re wondering why YouTube is on the list, just think about it.

You already have it on your phone anyway and you probably spend hours watching stuff like contouring tutorials or epic fails of spoiled, drunk cats. But really, YouTube is a language learner’s dream.

Just as the internet was never intended to be a medium for fake news, YouTube was never intended for language learning. But you can use it as a language learning tool anyway.

First of all, YouTube houses language learning content from some of the most prolific content makers, like ItalianPod 101.

It has language tutorials on topics from the Italian alphabet to Italian phrases for beginners.

And lastly, it gets you into the real lives of Italian native speakers through authentic videos and vlogs.

What more could you want!?

(Cat videos… in Italian!)

Rosetta Stone

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Rosetta Stone has been in the business for over 25 years and is one of the most recognizable brands in the industry.

The unique thing about Rosetta Stone’s language programs, which is also reflected in the app, is that you’ll hear only the target language throughout your course. In this case, absolutely no English will be used to teach you Italian.

The Rosetta Stone team believes that translation will only slow you down in picking up the language. (If you’re thinking, “How the heck will I learn, then!?”, don’t worry: You have pictures to guide you through the exercises and help you figure out what the vocabulary is.)

And that’s not all: Rosetta Stone doesn’t explicitly teach you grammar. You’re expected to figure out the rules of the language as you get more experience under your belt. Instead of investing time in grammar instruction, Rosetta focuses on getting you to open your mouth as often as you can so you actually spend plenty of time moving your tongue, mouth and lips in ways Italian native speakers do.

So if you want to get conversational quickly without spending too long on the technical grammar aspect of language learning, then Rosetta Stone is a great choice for you.

Spotify

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First YouTube, now Spotify? Yep! You might know it as a music app and associate it with the ethereal songs of Cardi B, but Spotify actually houses some amazing Italian language learning content.

Just as YouTube wasn’t originally designed for language learning, it doesn’t mean you can’t use the platform as such. Spotify is a storehouse of music, sound and audio and it has some pretty awesome Italian content that’ll make language learners smile from ear to ear.

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First of all, try out language courses like “Coffee Break Italian” from Radio Lingua Network, “Let’s Speak Italian!” from Mike Terry, or “30 Minute Italian.”

You also have Italian podcasts that immerse you in the language like “Learn Italian with Lucrezia” with Lucrezia Oddone, whose passion for the language is pretty contagious.

You can even have news in Italian like the one from “SBS Italian” or “News in Slow Italian.”

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If that isn’t enough, you can do a search for terms like “Italy” or “Italian songs” which would give you a seemingly infinite playlist of audio in the target language.

All you have to do next is download the app Musixmatch and you’ll be able to follow along with the lyrics to the Italian songs you play on Spotify!

Verbling

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Use this app to hunt down the best Italian language teacher for you. With Verbling, you can easily connect to native speakers, professional teachers and tutors and attend class in the Verbling interface (no Skype needed!).

You only have to pick the language you want to learn and the app will generate a robust list of teachers that meet your criteria. Click on a teacher’s profile and you’ll see all the pertinent information you’re going to need to decide on whether to book them for a class.

You’ll be welcomed with a video introduction, which allows you to see your tutor and get a sense of what he or she’s like.

You’ll be able to read the reviews given by previous students as well as set up a calendar to sync up your schedules. Classes also have different rates so you can find one to fit your budget. If you need to ask a potential teacher something else, you can send them a personal message.

Book a trial class today. It’s free!

How Android (and Other Mobile) Apps Have Changed Italian Learning

Some years ago, the main way to learn a language meant walking down to your university and enrolling in a language class. Then, you had to head down to a bookstore and start reading up on the topic in advance so you wouldn’t get needlessly humiliated during class.

But in this age of “Umm, there’s an app for that…” everything’s changed.

Apps have redefined everything. With a smartphone in your pocket, you could be literally anywhere and start learning Italian.

Geography has become irrelevant. Your language classroom is where you say it is. You could be sitting in the bathroom and complete a lesson by the time you stand up. Back in the day, taking a “bathroom break” meant trading a quick smoke for those key exam pointers given by your teacher.

Not only do you learn Italian in your own place, you do it at your own pace. With apps, you have a classroom that never closes. You can take lessons anytime, 24/7, at your own discretion.

And to top this all off, many of these resources are free!

If that doesn’t make you sufficiently thankful for the magic in your hand, just remember that our grandparents only learned Italian when they fought there during WWII (which may explain the vast amount of curse words they can spout off in Italian).

Yeah, you’re pretty lucky. Are you going to let that go to waste? Let’s learn how to make the most out of this powerful technology you carry everywhere.

How to Use Android Apps to Learn Italian Effectively

Technology’s a pretty nifty tool. But like all tools, you have to learn how to wield it—otherwise, it’ll cut you and make you bleed.

Apps, especially, are very tricky. They’re their own distraction.

Today, you have so many apps, you barely have enough time to use them. And because they’re always with you, you can be tempted to put them off until a date that never really comes. Then you’re left with a cutting-edge tool that’s always ready to teach you Italian… that you never get to use because Tinder got in the way.

To prevent this from happening and actually put your Italian learning apps to good use, here are three ways to help you make the most out of your language learning apps:

Place them in prime real estate

Save your Italian apps on the first screen you see when you open your phone. Don’t bury them in folders where you’ll eventually forget about them. Put them alongside other apps that you regularly use so that you’ll see them all the time.

Sometimes just seeing the app is reminder enough.

Start and end your day with Italian

This is really difficult because there are definitely other apps competing to be the first app you open when you wake up. After all, those glaring red notifications are so tempting!

But if learning Italian is really your priority, it has to be the “opener” and “closer” of your day. Use Italian apps before you check your messages or see how many likes your latest Instagram image got.

Placing Italian before and after everything else in your day sets up a good study routine.

Use them for just 5 minutes a day

I know this sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but the reason you’re putting off using those Italian apps is because you think they’ll take so much of your time. You just don’t want to commit to that much of a time block, so you put studying off until later.

But if you know that you’ll be practicing for only five minutes, the task will seem do-able and you’ll be more likely to actually do it. Once you get started you might even find that you’ve studied much longer than your intended five minutes.

That really beats spending 20 minutes thinking, “I’ll do it later.”

 

So there you have it! 10 of the dopest Android apps that prove a smartphone is all you need to learn Italian. I mean, everything is right there in your hand! Just waiting.

So open up those apps and launch your learning today.

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