Studying Italian movies, music, newspapers and magazines are a highly effective way to improve Italian language skills and become familiar with Italian culture.
It is generally accepted that the best way to learn a language is to totally immerse oneself in its culture by living in the country where it is spoken. While Italian is no different, many will find that packing up and moving to Italy is not a viable option. Fortunately, however, many aspects of Italian culture have made their way to the United States in the form of various media and entertainment outlets. Not only do they allow a peek at Italian life, but they make excellent study material for learning the language.
Learn Italian by Watching Movies
Italy has been known to produce outstanding films for decades. The Academy Awards Database reports that, in total, 27 Italian films have been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Ten of these films have won, more than any other country. In addition to this, three other Italian films received Honorary Awards for having been the best film of the year in a foreign language before they had a category. While this is quite a record, it is merely a sampling of Italy’s cinematic offerings.
Using Italian films to expand one’s knowledge of the Italian language is an effective way to learn while getting the opportunity to enjoy some of the world’s best films. Whenever possible, it is best to watch these movies with Italian subtitles to allow the viewer to follow along and be able to read some words that he may have missed. Alternatively, these films can be viewed effectively without subtitles. English subtitles should be avoided because it is too tempting to read them, making the viewer lose focus on the actual dialogue.
Learn Italian by Listening to Music
Nearly everyone in the world knows that Italy is famous for opera and has heard the voices of singers like Adrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti. Beautiful as this music may be, this is not exactly every body’s favorite genre. Although few make it to the American music charts, there are hundreds of popular Italian musicians from genres ranging from pop to rap. MTV’s Italian website is a great place to find Italian music that is enjoyable for all musical tastes.
To use this music as a tool to expand one’s knowledge of the language, there must be a conscious effort. Pay close attention to the words and sentence structure. Also, it is often helpful to print out the lyrics to a song and follow along.
Learn Italian by Reading Newspapers and Magazines
Italy has an abundance of publications in circulation on every topic imaginable. Whether one’s interests are fashion, sports, politics, food or anything else, there is never a shortage of reading material. While some of these publications are available in print in the United States, many of them are available online to be accessed for free from anywhere at any time.
Italian articles are a great tool for learning the language because they are relatively short and use common language, as opposed to many literary pieces which are often long and use more complicated vocabulary and grammar.
Some of the most popular Italian newspapers are:
Experiencing the Italian Culture
Italians pride themselves on their rich culture. Although living in Italy would be the best way to experience it, using the various media and entertainment outlets available in the United States provides a glimpse at this culture and a great way to improve language skills. While some degree of Italian proficiency is required to fully understand what is going on, people of all skill levels can benefit from studying these outlets. Seeing, hearing and reading the same material as Italians teaches one to ultimately speak like an Italian.