If you want to say “good luck” in Italian, you would usually say “buona fortuna.” To be a bit less formal, you would instead say “in boca al lupo.” While it literally means “into the wolf’s mouth,” think of it like the English expression “break a leg.” Both sound pretty extreme to non-native speakers, but they’re totally normal idiomatic expressions.
How you approach learning the Italian language certainly depends on your objectives. Many early learners start with picking up some of the common words and phrases and then trying to replicate the infamous Italian accent—perfecting molto bene, mi dispiace, buongiornio, bruschetta, basta, prego, and more. Others may even be coming back to Italian after having studied it in school or having been exposed to the language in travel. Whatever your aim is for taking on Italian, you should definitely consider a language-learning program built with your goals in mind.
Rosetta Stone designs language-learning programs that build confidence in speaking and understanding Italian. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate Italian speaker looking to advance your fluency, we have you covered. Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion®
methodology teaches you the language, not just the words—using an award-winning mobile app to deliver bite-sized lessons that help you learn Italian anytime and anywhere.
Learn Italian Words and Phrases
Are you concerned about the commitment you’ll need to make to learn Italian? There’s no need to be. That’s because Rosetta Stone breaks up the journey to learn a new language into brief, 10-minute lessons. So you can fit Italian language lessons into your life, not fit your life around language lessons. So whether it’s a short break from watching the kids, or you’re driving to work, Rosetta Stone’s self-study lessons are designed to fit into your daily life. Rosetta Stone will lead you step-by-step in your journey to learning to understand and speak Italian with confidence.
If you’re a novice learner of Italian, one of the first features you’ll notice is the frequent use of double consonants. You will encounter this again and again in popular words, including the words anno and pizza and the name Alessandra. But even though every Italian word is enunciated a bit differently, there is a general rule of thumb when it comes to pronouncing words with double consonants: Deemphasize the vowel that precedes the double consonants.
Another notable characteristic of Italian pronunciation relates to the letter c. You may be familiar with the Spanish pronunciation of the letter c which is often spoken as an s sound. In Spanish this is called el ceceo and differs markedly in Iberian Spanish. In contrast with the Spanish pronunciation of the letter c, in Italian the letter c can have a hard ch sound, like you hear in the English word “change.”
That said, the Italian letter c is pronounced differently in other contexts. The Italian letter c can sound like an English c—very similar to the k sound you hear in English words like car, can, cat, call, company, Carol, campus, California, and code. You’ll hear this same k sound in Italian words. Of note, the words will include one of these vowels; a, o, or u. Examples of these Italian words with a c that sounds like a k include capra, Capri, Campari, cannoli, and campione.
Have you ever ordered the Italian dish known as gnocchi? This delicious, dumpling-style dish can help us learn how to correctly pronounce the gn sound in Italian. The Italian gn sound is pronounced very nasally and is comparable to the sound of the Spanish ñ. Let’s take a look at the Spanish translation of gnocchi:
- Italian = gnocchi
- Spanish = ñoqui
Improving and refining your Italian pronunciation requires that you receive real-time and accurate feedback. Rosetta Stone embeds our patented TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine into every Italian language lesson. It provides precise and instant feedback to help you match your pronunciation and accent with that of fluent Italian speakers. Such feedback will allow you to make any needed corrections to your Italian pronunciation. From there, you will want to practice until you get a feel for how to shape the sounds of the Italian language.
After you have learned basic Italian words and phrases, you can move onto learning the longer phrases that make up so much of everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s digestible,10-minute lessons are built to help you learn in exactly this way—structuring vocabulary acquisition in context with real-world situations. Rosetta Stone’s proven and practical approach to language learning can help you to learn to understand and confidently speak Italian.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with Italian whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.