The Best Books To Learn Italian

There are many reasons why you might choose to learn Italian. Some people enjoy speaking more than one language, and Italian is a beautiful choice. It is a beautiful language and when it comes to pronunciation it is one of the easier languages to master. Plus, the verb tenses in Italian closely correspond to the English tense system, which makes it an easy option for English speakers.

Whatever your reason for learning the Italian language is, we have researched different literature that is designed to help with this process. Some might think that learning a language from a book doesn’t help, but often having the visuals that these books offer can make the difference in your studies.

These books provide a lot of excellent tips on different aspects of the language. Many of them come with other materials (like flash cards or computer software) that are designed to work with the book to increase the speed of your learning. After all, everyone learns differently.

It is important to know your learning strengths when deciding on what type of Italian learning book you are going to purchase. Know all the options that are available to you. This is the best way to make the best decision for your personal learning needs.

We have compiled reviews on five of the best books to help you learn the Italian language below. You can review each of these options to see which book will help you to converse comfortably in this amazing language.

Top 5: Books to Learn Italian Review

Learn Italian with OUINO: The Complete Expanded Edition v3 | Lifetime Access (for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Chromebook)

The Learn Italian with OUINO: The 5-in-1 Complete Collection is actually a software program and not a book. We've included it on this review because it has been named in several best seller software categories, like Mac software and Foreign Language Instruction software. This software collection contains all the information needed to help learn Italian. Some of the features that the software uses includes:

  • 1,000 engaging games – fun ways to review material from lessons.
  • 400 lessons – designed to start with beginners while working their way through different knowledge levels.
  • Pronunciation exercises – used to help perfect pronunciation of the Italian language.
  • 60 short stories – fun and innovative stories to help with the written part of the Italian language.

One of the best things about this software is that it has many customization features that allow you to learn at your own pace. Plus, it is compatible with multiple devices and systems, such as Android systems, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Chrome operating systems (almost all of the major operating systems). A few of the options that you have with this software is controlling pronunciation playback speed and setting a time frame between examples, which allows you to fully absorb the information in the example before another one pops up.

Pros

  • Great to building foundation of the Italian language.
  • Program can be used on two devices.
  • Helps with learning grammatical elements to the Italian language, like verb tenses.

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide structured levels: beginner, intermediate, etc.

ITALIAN in 10 minutes a day: Language course for beginning and advanced study. Includes Workbook, Flash Cards, Sticky Labels, Menu Guide, Software, ... Grammar. Bilingual Books, Inc. (Publisher)

ITALIAN in 10 minutes a day is a language course for beginning and advanced study. This is an excellent book to get started learning the Italian languages. It has been named in several best sellers lists and is a great resource for learning new vocabulary. With your purchase, you also get several learning aides, which include:

  • Flash cards – to help with easy memorization.
  • Workbook – to provide quick and easy lessons to help with learning the content.
  • Menu guide – helps to find specific and desired learning phrases.
  • Sticky labels – to help mark helpful information to refer to.

It is part of book series, and this edition was published in 2016. The paperback version has 132 pages of back to back lessons for easy learning. While it is designed to look like a school workbook, it can be an excellent resource for students of any age. It also has a glossary of over 2,000 words that come with pronunciation and definitions list.

Pros

  • Provides a good platform of the Italian language.
  • Works well for visually oriented learners.
  • Comes with excellent resources to assist in learning.

Cons

  • CD doesn’t follow the book lessons and only provides a word list.

Living Language Italian, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning

The Living Language Italian, Complete Edition beginner through advanced course comes with three books that total 352 pages. These books provides lessons that go from beginning learners of the Italian language to advanced learners. This edition was released back in 2011, and it has helped many people learn their way through the Italian language. The following resources are what comes with this edition:

  • Nine audio CDs – there are three CDs per learning level: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
  • Free online learning – it provides access to a supportive online learning resource that has materials like interactive quizzes, flashcards, and games.
  • Three books – they cover 46 different lessons and provide features like an extensive glossary, additional review exercise, bonus notebook and culture notes 

This edition follows the Living Language Method that has been successful in helping many people learn Italian and many other languages. This method is designed to help build a solid foundation of the Italian language, progress your studies with lessons that build on each other and help you retain the information that you have learned in previous lessons.

Pros

  • Provides audio CDs
  • Provides access to free online learning resources.
  • Provides all materials needed and bonus notebook.

Cons

  • Some issues with later CDs, teaching style changes.

Italian for Beginners: The COMPLETE Crash Course to Speaking Italian in 5 DAYS OR LESS!

Italian for Beginners: The COMPLETE Crash Course to Speaking Italian was independently published back in 2017. The entire book consists of 392 pages of materials to help learn the Italian language. It was designed to help people who are wanting to learn the Italian language for traveling to Italy or just a basic understanding of the language. Some of the aspects that come in this guide are:

  • Phonetic spelling – helps with learning different words and phrases.
  • Italian grammar – provides the most important rules to learn.
  • Common Italian phrases and words in: health and emergencies, asking for directions, presenting yourself, finding your way around the city, ordering food, shopping, dating and money exchange.

Pros

  • Provides phrases on different aspects of life.
  • Excellent and extensive glossary.
  • Great for tourists and students.

Cons

  • A little fast paced.

Italian Vocabulary Builder: 2222 Italian Phrases To Learn Italian And Grow Your Vocabulary (Italian Language Learning Mastery)

Italian Vocabulary Builder: 2222 Italian Phrases To Learn Italian And Grow Your Vocabulary (Italian Language Learning Mastery) has be named top 100 books in various areas like word lists, vocabulary books, and travel language phrasebooks. It was independently published back in 2018 and the paperback version has a total of 262 pages. It provides a couple of excellent aides to help with learning Italian, like:

  • Lesson conclusion – helps to ensure that you grasp the knowledge from each lesson before moving on.
  • Detailed introduction – provides a descriptive guide that will help you with starting your learning and improve your learning techniques and success.
  • 2,222 keywords – popular keywords mixed into phrases that are commonly used and their translation.

This book has a total of 2,222 keywords combined into phrases in Italian and translated into English for easy learning. It provides only the most relevant types of phrases that most people tend to speak about and use in general conversation such as entertainment, family and friendship, adjectives, synonyms, minor grammar, health, and various other popular topics. It has everything in one spot to help begin your journey into the “language of music”.

Pros

  • Works for beginners to advanced learners.
  • Sentences and phrases are easy for repetition/memory learning.
  • Excellent source for increasing vocabulary.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a home link to go back to the table of contents.
  • Not meant to help learn grammar.

best book to learn italian

There are hundreds of reasons why you might want to learn the Italian language. It's important to know how you prefer to learn before you start looking for material. In the end, you know what you will respond to the most. Based on our reviews of these five learning tools, the Learn Italian with OUINO: The 5-in-1 Complete Collection is the best option to help anyone improve their Italian language skills.

Learn Italian with OUINO: The Complete Expanded Edition v3 | Lifetime Access (for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Chromebook)

It offers lessons and all of the materials and lessons needed from beginning speakers to advanced speakers. Plus, it can be used on different types of devices, which makes it the most convenient program available. You should check out this software and see what all it has to offer.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can a book help me learn Italian?

Books designed to teach you the Italian language can be a great resource to have when trying to learn the language. Whether you choose to use the book alongside another method or as your sole resource for learning to speak Italian, you'll likely find that books can be very helpful.

A book on Italian can act as a study guide and provide you with important information related to the language and learning rules for grammar. It can also be a good resource when you're trying to learn (or remember) a certain word.

Since everyone learns differently, different books will be better fits for different people. It may take you some time to find the right book to match your needs and preferences, but when you do, it can be an invaluable tool.

How easy is it to learn Italian?

Everyone is different, so your experiences learning Italian may be different from other people's. However, many people see Italian as one of the easier languages to learn.

Many English words sound very close to their Italian counterparts, which will make learning them quick and easy. Italian rules for pronunciation are also pretty straightforward. Once you learn the different sounds, you should be able to pronounce most words correctly.

If you speak Spanish, Portuguese, or French, you may find it even easier to learn Italian. These languages have even more similarities with Italian than you'll find with the English language.

While Italian may be an easier language to learn overall, there are still some challenges you'll likely face when learning to speak. Fluent Italian speakers speak with a special melody, which isn't easy to pick up on as a non-native speaker.

You'll also need to learn how to roll your r's, which is not easy to learn and will definitely take some practice. There are also lots of pronouns and preposition to learn and understand which one is the appropriate one to use in a given sentence.

How long does it take to learn Italian?

The amount of time it will take Italian will vary based on so many different factors. These include the amount of time you practice each week, opportunities you have to use your language skills in real conversation, and the method you choose to learn the language.

You may be able to pick up enough skills to have a short conversation or ask specific questions in just a few weeks, but becoming fluent in Italian, or learning to write, will likely take much longer.

Does knowing Spanish help you learn Italian?

Yes, the Spanish language and the Italian language have a lot of similarities. If you are fluent in Spanish or have a pretty good understanding of the Spanish language, it will likely be much easier for you to learn Italian than someone else who does not have this background.

French also shares many similarities with Italian and can also aid with learning to speak Italian.

Do I need to speak Italian to visit Italy?

Depending on the area of Italy you'll be visiting, you may be able to get by without knowing too much Italian. Especially in larger cities, like Rome, many locals have a basic understanding of English and will be able to communicate with you about basic matters.

That being said, having some knowledge of the Italian language will only help improve your overall experience. You'll be able to express yourself more clearly to others and will be able to communicate some if you run into someone with little or no knowledge of the English language.

Knowing some Italian before your trip to Italy may also help you have a more authentic and enjoyable experience. You may feel that you are more immersed in the culture and feel like you are getting a true taste of what Italy is all about.

What are the CEFR for Italian?

CEFR stands fort he Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. These are descriptors that have been developed to help identify one's level and proficiency with a given language.

CEFR breaks language learners into three bands: Basic Users, Independent User, and Proficient User. Within each band, there are also two levels of proficiency: high and low. Finding out your level can help you know where you stand in terms of acquiring the language or meeting requirements for gaining Italian citizenship, getting a job in Italy, and more.

The six CEFR levels for Italian are:

  • A1 Beginner: Learners at this level are beginning to learn some basic phrases centered around meeting a need. They are able to introduce themselves and ask/answer more basic questions about themselves and others.
  • A2 Pre-Intermediate: At this stage, learners are beginning to understand and express more related to personal needs, shopping, employment and other personally-relevant information. They can hold basic conversations and provide some information about themselves and their background/areas of need.
  • B1 Intermediate: Learners at this stage will be able to use their language skills to cover most areas of need when traveling in Italy. They should be able to understand conversations related to common occurrences and events and speak about a variety of ideas and topics that are interesting to them.
  • B2 Upper-Intermediate: Here, learners are beginning to develop a better understanding of more abstract topics. They will have greater vocabulary related to their specific profession and will be able to carry on conversations with native speakers without too much trouble. Their writing skills in Italian will also allow them to write clearly about a variety of topics.
  • C1 Advanced: Learners are moving towards complete fluency and proficiency and are able to pick up on more implicit meanings and comprehend more advanced tests. Their use of the language comes more naturally, and they don't have much trouble finding the words or phrases they are looking for. Learners at this stage can use their language skills to speak about social, profession, or academic topics.
  • C2 Proficiency: In this final level, learners can express themselves clearly and understand just about everything they read or hear in Italian. They are able to hear or read information and use it to put together their own arguments related to the various topics.

Who can benefit from Italian learning books?

Anyone that is wishing to learn the beautiful language of Italian can benefit from these types of books. You might be planning a trip to Italy or you could need extra help for a college course. Regardless of your reasons, if you are interested in learning Italian, these types of books are meant for you.

They are designed to assist beginners, intermediate, and advanced students. You just have to research the different options to make sure that you choose the right selection. Some of the benefits of getting these types of books is that they often come with CDs, online learning resources or physical workbooks and materials. These can assist in the learning process.

Plus, you can use them wherever you want without having to sit in a traditional classroom to learn. There are different types of learning styles and each book might be designed to stimulate different types of learning techniques. Before purchasing any Italian learning book or software, there are a few things that you should ask yourself before making the final selection:

  • What level of learning does it provide?
  • Does it provide extensive lessons or is it basic definitions and pronunciations?
  • If it comes with software or resources, what type of device can you use to access these bonus features?

REFERENCE & RESOURCES


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