Learn Italian with Reddit: 5 Ways the Community Can Help You Study
Reddit is a weird and wonderful part of the internet.
People from all walks of life come to this online forum and digital community center to discuss current events and hobbies, share stories and images and generally engage in conversation.
You’ll find tons of information on Reddit, including local news, sports analyses, shareable stories and (arguably the most important) pictures and videos of animals.
Reddit can also be a very helpful learning tool if you know how to use it.
Since users come from all over the world, you can find native Italian speakers to give you some advice or other learners who can help you overcome hurdles they’ve faced themselves.
Best of all, it’s a place to find some motivation from a supportive community.
Let’s dive into the wonders of Reddit and see how it can help you become fluent in Italian!
What Is Reddit?
Reddit is one of the most accessed websites in the world—as of 2018, it’s the sixth most popular website in the world (and fourth in the US).
It’s a forum-style website that bills itself as “the front page of the internet.” They earn that tagline by having user-generated information on just about every subject you could ever want to find.
Reddit’s actual front page shows you a list of the most popular topics at the moment. You can browse these threads, but if you’re looking for something specific, you can use the search bar at the top.
Each topic or community has its own forum, known as a subreddit. You can identify a subreddit by the “r/” at the beginning of the title.
When you search for a topic, you will be shown a list of relevant subreddits and posts. Every subreddit has one or multiple moderators to make sure things stay on topic and that users are contributing in a helpful way.
All Reddit users have a set of up and down arrows, along with a number next to their name. This is so other users can “upvote” or “downvote” comments, depending on whether the user is being helpful or not.
The number refers to their “karma,” which gives an idea of how useful their past comments have been for other people. Users with higher karma are more likely to be helpful for you while you’re learning.
How to Use Reddit as a Learning Tool
To use Reddit as a learning tool, you’ll need to use it productively. In order to interact on Reddit, the first thing you need to do is create an account, since you can’t post without one. Signing up is even easier than on most sites: you don’t need to tie your account to anything (like an email or a social media account).
Once you’re all signed up, you can subscribe to subreddits that you feel will be useful to you. (We’re mainly talking Italian language subreddits, but we wouldn’t blame you if you also subscribed to r/aww!)
There are lots of subreddits to choose from, on topics ranging from general language learning to the Italian language as a whole or even places dedicated to finding language-learning friends.
Another way to make Reddit work for you is to choose how posts are sorted in the subreddits.
The automatic sorting shows you the most popular posts at the moment. But you can change how threads are sorted to see top posts of the day, week, year or even the all-time top posts. This helps you sift out what other people have found the most useful for learning from posts that may not offer much educational value to you.
Or you can sort by the newest posts and engage in conversation!
If you want to make Reddit a little more user-friendly for yourself, consider using the Reddit Enhancement Suites. RES (as it’s more commonly known) has several features that help you keep your focus.
While it’s not essential, these enhancing features can certainly help you make Reddit easier to navigate and more personal for your own use.
You can filter content, cutting out distracting topics or words that don’t help you. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your learning process. RES even allows you to create unique tags for other Reddit users that you interact with, and even keep notes on them so you remember who’s who.
Now that you know how Reddit works and how to use it productively, find out how to make the most of Reddit for learning Italian below!
Learn Italian on Reddit with 5 Steps and 5 Subreddits
Since Reddit is a community, there are a number of ways to source advice and help from fellow users. You can take advantage of all the help fellow language learners and native speakers have to offer, or you can pick and choose the methods you prefer.
Here are just a few ways to use Reddit to learn Italian. We’ve included some useful posts and threads throughout—click through to the links to check them out!
1. Get Some Learning Advice
One common way Reddit users help each other to learn Italian is simply to offer thoughts and advice. There are many threads where users discuss different learning methods, suggestions, and tips.
You can find several recommendations for the best resources for learning and practicing Italian, and methods of learning that have helped them the most.
2. Get a Language Exchange Partner
A great thing about learning from other people with the same goal and passion as you is that it’s very easy to make new friends. On the Reddit language learning forums, you’ll find people who are looking to practice their conversational skills, and there are two main ways to do that.
Carrying conversations with other learners gives you both the chance to practice what you know and to share what you’ve already learned with each other.
The other option is to exchange help in your native language for help in Italian from a fluent Italian speaker who’s learning English. You can chat in Italian for a while and the native speaker can help you, then switch to English while you help your partner improve.
We have an excellent subreddit designed specifically for this purpose on our list below!
3. Find Your Favorite Topics in Italian
If you normally read about food, news, music, sports or any topic imaginable online, try to find it in Italian!
You can use Reddit’s search feature to find subreddits or threads pertaining to something you’d be reading anyway, like video game news in Italian. This way, you give your Italian reading skills a workout with native Italian text! (You can probably find cute animals in Italian posts, too.)
4. Read Answers to Unusual and Obscure Questions
One major benefit to learning through a community like Reddit is the number of unusual and obscure questions that you’ll come across.
Often, other users will have a question that you never even thought about asking. This could be a very specific grammar question, information and honest discussions about regional dialect, or even something like how sarcasm works in different languages.
Reading through threads of questions that other users have asked gives you an opportunity to learn interesting things.
More importantly, it brings you outside of a standard Italian learning curriculum. You get the chance to learn colloquialisms and other little things that will help you achieve true fluency.
5. Ask Your Own Questions!
The best way to learn is to participate! Dive into discussions and ask away! No matter what questions you may have, chances are, there’ll be someone ready and willing to help you.
So ask your questions, participate in discussion threads and most importantly, don’t be shy!
5 Helpful Subreddits to Learn Italian on Reddit
Reddit is a pretty vast forum. Not sure where to start? Here are five really helpful subreddits you can join to learn Italian!
This is a general language-learning subreddit. The subreddit hosts a “language of the week” thread, an “all languages welcome” thread and general conversation about language learning.
Looking for a language exchange partner? This subreddit makes it easy to find one.
You can either find a post with someone who’s offering Italian and looking for English help or make a post yourself asking for Italian help and listing the languages you’re offering help with in return.
This subreddit is specific to Italian learners. Users can discuss the language, search for tools, ask for help or just chat about Italian content.
It’s the perfect place to find movies, music, websites and other things to help your practice, or ask a question and get a swift answer.
If you’re looking for a combination of the previous two subreddits, then r/learnitalian is for you.
It’s a little less crowded so it has a great community feel. Start a discussion, find tools and suggestions or look for a language exchange partner without getting lost in the shuffle.
If you’re feeling confident in your basic Italian skills, then you can check out this next-level subreddit for learning.
You can still find tools, ask for help and find general resources, but they will be focused on lifting you from an intermediate level to fluency.
Reddit is a large and versatile corner of the internet. If you’re going to use it for news, sports, entertainment or any other reason, why not use it as a learning tool as well?
As long as you know how to approach it and where to look, Reddit can be an invaluable resource.
And seriously, don’t forget about the cute animal pics.