On this page, I'll add Italian resources that I've found and enjoyed.
In the first month, I'm doing all my learning activity in LingQ, in order to track my stats – hours listened, pages read.
If you'd like to follow my stats throughout the project, you can do so on my LingQ profile.
(Affiliate link. You'll need to create an account first.)
Italian Learner Resources
These learner resources are what I used for the first 4-6 weeks of the project. They're accessible for beginners.
- Italian Automatico – Alberto talks a lot about personal development in addition to language learning, and is super motivating. Also available in podcast format. (Transcripts included.)
- Podcast Italiano – I love this podcast, and I never get bored of listening to new episodes. What I most like about Podcast Italiano is that Davide is a smart guy, and tackles serious topics, which really helps to keep me engaged in the material. Highly recommended. (Transcripts included.)
- Italian Short Stories for Beginners – The first substantial resource I used after learning the basics of Italian was my own collection of short story books. If you're at the post-beginner level in Italian, these books help you to improve your comprehension and grow your vocabulary in a natural way.
- LingQ’s Italian mini stories – This was my first step with Italian. A set of 20 short, but well-crafted mini-stories that introduce you to a wide variety of basic Italian.
- Italian Uncovered – This is my premium beginner Italian programme that teaches you Italian using the exact same method I applied during my 3-month project. You'll even be taught by Martina, the same Italian teacher I worked with myself. This course takes you from complete beginner to the start of the intermediate level and focuses on teaching you through the power of story.
- Conversations – This is my material to upgrade your listening skills through conversation-based stories. I found that it was absolutely perfect for me in my project once I'd started to get bored of beginner material and I wanted something interesting to listen to that would push my listening comprehension up a notch.
- Conversazioni Reali in Italiano – This is an amazing (paid) resource that Alberto from Italiano Automatico was kind enough to share with me. It's a collection of spontaneous conversations in Italian between Alberto and his friends, which is fantastic for getting used to natural Italian. There are transcripts, translations, lesson notes, and much more. I'd still classify this as learner material, since the topics are carefully controlled, but there's so much natural language that I was super excited to get stuck in.
Authentic Italian Content
This is “authentic” material in Italian, intended for a native-speaker audience.
If you're a beginner, you'll struggle with this stuff. However, if, like me, you find it interesting, you may enjoy it anyway!
I started immersing myself in this content in months 2-3 of the project, and it's what really elevated my Italian beyond the beginner stage and into a real understanding of the language.
- Veleno – Wow. Have you ever listened to S-Town or Serial? Well, Veleno is a “podcast serial” by La Repubblica, told over seven episodes. Much like This American Life, the production quality is exceptionally high. Episodes are 30-40 minutes long, with some challenging language, but I didn't care. Just goes to show the power of compelling input! Warning: The subject matter is extremely dark. As dark as it comes. However, the quality of the storytelling is such that you'll be gripped from the start… if you can stomach it!
- EfficaceMente – a cool YouTube channel on personal development that I mentioned last week. I've also been reading the guy's blog, which is much more colloquial than the YouTube channel and a great source of reading material.
- Da Costa a Costa – A fantastic blog and podcast from Francesco Costa focused on American politics. Although it's quite hard, I've become addicted to this and worked through a lot of the content.
- Marco Montemagno – A cool YouTube channel about business, marketing, and branding from a charismatic and funny Italian guy who lives in the UK. Short episodes on lots of different topics, also available as a podcast.
- Il Post – My favourite Italian newspaper, where I get my daily news. The newspaper itself has a great backstory, as it was founded fairly recently by a group of independent journalists.
- Italo-Digitali – A podcast about online business, created by an Italian and Canadian couple. I don't know why I don't find this harder than I do… but I find it all pretty easy to follow along, perhaps because I'm so familiar with the subject matter. I've been listening to this in the gym in the morning, which often gives me an extra hour of morning listening right off that bat. (Update: Looks like these guys have stopped making new episodes.)
Lastly, here are some other resources I used, but didn't stick with.
You might like them, though, so I included them here!
- EuroNews – News in different languages.
- The Consequences of Love – An Italian movie on Amazon Prime. Not so much dialogue, actually, but it's my first foray into Italian movies during this project!
- Breaking Italy – A daily infotainment show, also on YouTube.
- Introduzione Al Growth Hacking – A free course on Udemy about Growth Hacking.
- Netflix – At an event the other night, my friend Richard Simcott said: “Netflix is my best friend in language learning!” I don't watch much TV myself, but there's a huge amount of foreign language content for subscribers, which you might like to check out!