Are your ears free? If so, you can start learning Italian right now! In this article, Italian teacher Liz T. shows you the top 10 podcasts for learning Italian and why they’re worth your time…
No one said learning Italian has to be boring. One of the most entertaining and effortless ways to learn a language is by listening to podcasts. Podcasts give language-learners lots of invaluable benefits, such as hearing correct pronunciation and learning while on-the-go.
Does this sound like the right learning style for you? If not, take our quiz, What is Your Learning Style, to find out the best method of learning for you! If learning by audio sounds like a good fit, let’s look at the top 10 podcasts for learning Italian!
This podcast has a new episode every week. If you sign up for their email subscription program, you can receive free videos whenever they become available. The website is intuitive and professional, making your learning experience all the easier. Here’s how the podcast’s owners describe their service:
Coffee Break Italian is indeed everything you need to learn Italian, whether you’re an absolute beginner or you’re returning to Italian to refresh your knowledge. You’ll be accompanied by experienced teachers and native speakers throughout your Coffee Break Italian experience, so you’ll make solid progress and build your range of expression and mastery of Italian grammar quickly.
Here’s a deal worth going for: 100 lessons for $15. The lessons in this podcast are meant to be viewed over a 24 week program. There’s also free vocabulary you can add to your resources. If you like structure in your lessons and tons of content, this could be the one for you! This is what they’re all about:
Hi everybody, my name’s Mike and this is the Let’s Speak Italian podcast. So you’ve listened to a few sample lessons, and hopefully you’re learning how to speak Italian… I’ve found that the key to learning to speak Italian is to learn a little bit every day, and to practice it with your friends. So get lessons 1-100, and listen to one lesson, every day for 24 weeks. By the end, you’ll be amazed at how easy it was, and just how much you can learn by practicing a few minutes every day.
10 minute lessons with full transcriptions for each – doesn’t that sound nice and digestible? ItalianLingQ teaches lessons for intermediate to advanced Italian speakers. You’ll learn the language while also learning about sports, history, science, politics, holidays, and more. Check out what they’re all about:
Our podcasts may contain interviews, articles, or audiobook excerpts but are most often just general conversations in Italian. We will usually talk about topics of general interest. Please do send us feedback and topic requests. We’re always happy to hear from you. After you listen to the podcast, sign up for a free account at LingQ (l-i-n-g-q.com) and study the full transcript using LingQ’s revolutionary learning tools.
Although discontinued in 2008, this podcast features lengthy lessons on all sorts of Italian basics. The lessons range from verbs, pronunciations, superlatives, and prepositions, all the way to sports terms, cooking terms, numbers, and spelling. Even though new content won’t be released anytime soon, we encourage you to use Pastacast as a basic learning resource.
Pastacast.net was created by two American born Italian teachers. They saw that many students of Italian needed some more in depth help learning Italian in their mother tongue, English.
This podcast is hosted by two Italian enthusiasts, Massimo and Jane. Their lessons deal with all of the technicalities of Italian, such as reflexive verbs and the future tense, but also the practicalities of Italian, like how to rent a car or speak on the phone. They incorporate their teachings with fun stories and situations. You may even forget you’re learning Italian and think you’re listening to an entertaining Italian conversation!
Throughout this 50-lesson “Beginner Level” series you will learn how to greet people, introduce and talk about yourself, ask questions, dealing with restaurants and hotels, how to ask the time, formal and informal modes, present tense verbs, articles, pronouns, adverbs, and adjectives. You will hear Italian spoken in a variety of “real-life” situations.
This podcast has three learning different categories in its monthly subscription: Travel Phrases, Experience, and History. MeetItalia’s goal is to teach you Italian in a way that’s practical for your communication skills. Far too often do beginners fall prey to learning vocabulary and phrases without incorporating them in conversations. Check out this description of their Travel Phrases category:
In this series you will learn basic Italian phrases useful for your travels in Italy. We will not analyze grammar, but focus on what is essential for communicating in Italy. Each lesson will open with one or more short Italian dialogs. You will then learn when and how to use them. After the lesson use the Practice track to actively practice what you have just learnt, review everything in a handy PDF and then take a Quiz!
Incontro Italiano is an audio magazine that helps you learn Italian and get to know Italy. It’s mainly for intermediate to advanced speakers. Every issue consists of an audio program (30+ min.) accompanied by a magazine. The magazine is available from the website for subscribers (in pdf format) and contains not just transcriptions of the audio, but also vocabulary, additional explanations, grammar notes, and exercises about the articles.
Incontro Italiano is published every two weeks and all content is in Italian only (i.e. full immersion) and produced by a team in Italy. Here’s what they say about themselves:
With every issue we offer you information about Italian culture in an audioshow that is accompanied by a magazine. You will learn about different places, art, food, customs and the people of Italy. All content is in Italian and especially prepared for learners of Italian by the Incontro Italiano team based in Italy. Incontro Italiano is for intermediate to advanced Italian language students all over the world. On this page we try to answer some common questions:
The last update for this podcast was in 2009, but don’t let that discourage you from tuning in! Radio Arlecchino features unique characters and gripping stories to deliver Italian lessons. The lessons are deep and rich with content, but they’re presented in a playful way. Here’s what they have to say about themselves:
Thanks for tuning in to Radio Arlecchino, Italian grammar made easy! Arlecchino, Pulcinella and other masks of the Italian Commedia dell’arte will help you learn the subtleties of Italian grammar, one zany episode at a time.
Podcasts are built around dialogs that explain the Italian grammar behind communicative language functions – functions like describing and comparing, recommending and expressing opinions, recounting the past, expressing likes and dislikes, hypothesizing, and talking about the future.
Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced lessons are all given in the form of weekly Italian news. You can choose from hundreds of Italian lessons and each one comes with a full transcription of the audio. If you’re not a quick learner and require more time for absorbing information, this podcast may be perfect for you! This is what they say:
In our course we emphasize all aspects of language learning from listening comprehension, rapid vocabulary expansion, exposure to Italian grammar and common idiomatic expressions, to pronunciation practice and interactive grammar exercises. In our program we discuss the Weekly News, Italian grammar, and Italian expressions, and much more at a slow pace so that you can understand almost every word and sentence.
10) Eye on Italy
This podcast features not just Italian lessons, but also a look at Italy as a whole. Special guests join the podcast every week and share their Italian expertise and experience. You’ll learn about everything Italian, including subjects like wines, Roman archaeology, and the Italian mafia. Here’s what they’re all about:
Eye on Italy is an Italy podcast for Italophiles and often focuses on news, culture and travel in English. Each episode includes expert interviews and guests, and sometimes Picks of the Week for new Italy applications, websites, and tips in every episode, plus a different Italian word featured in our Angolo d’Italiano (Italian corner).
I recommend taking the time to listen to each and every one of these podcasts; you can learn something different from each one! Take notes as you listen and you’ll be well on your way for learning Italian. If you plan on studying abroad in Italy, these podcasts will give you a wonderful head start.
While podcasts are great for studying Italian, I also encourage you to take private Italian lessons online with a teacher on TakeLessons.
Do any of these podcasts look good to you? Are there any we missed? Comment below with your thoughts!