If you’re a travel bug, it’s likely at one point you thought to include Italy in your travel bucket list. It’s a beautiful country with many great cities to visit like Rome or Milano, Italian food to try and so on and just overall rich culture. But like with every country it can get a bit hard to find your way if you don’t speak Italian. You can always talk in English, but for me, it’s always good to know at least a bit of the language. It’s fun and plus, you can learn something. Before, I used to simply google some words and phrases I thought could be useful, but lately, I started to do some quick learning using apps. And now, the time has come to Italy.
This article has in mind people who just want to get a hang of the basics, but the apps can help you if you’re a bit more serious about learning.
So, let me list my personal top 3 apps I think could be helpful if you’re visiting this beautiful European country.
App: Learn Italian Vocabulary. Users’ Rating: 4.6 / 5, Downloads: 1M+
Although the app doesn’t have an enticing name, after using it, I found it would be quite useful for a trip. It’s basically a library of the most common Italian words, so it might not seem too exciting. But I found it’s strength to be in the way how easy it is to quickly find a translation from Italian to English and vice versa. Plus, every word comes with an audio that tells you how to pronounce it and funny image to help you visualize. Finally, the reason I think it could be useful for a trip is that words are organized in topics which makes finding words to use in a restaurant for example, even easier.
Overall, the app is great if you need quick help, but it’s in no way designed to be a replacement for comprehensive Italian lessons. But, that makes is great if you want to learn while on a plane or even when in Italy. The reason is, it’s also usable offline, so you don’t have to worry about having a connection while using it.
App: Learn Italian. Speak Italian. Users’ Rating: 4.7 / 5, Downloads: 1M+
I found this one to be a bit more advanced. Instead of a library, it comes with lessons to teach you basic Italian words and phrases – so, it’s more organized than the first one. I like how the software tracks your progress and since it doesn’t take a lot of time to finish a lesson, it’s a great way to prepare. The audio is clear and you get feedback if you say a word correctly. Again, I wouldn’t say it’s a full-course substitute. Rather, it falls somewhere in between the first app and something that provides real depth to learning. This might provide usefulness to more different people. Overall, I think it’s a good one if you want to learn a bit more than just how to order or ask for directions.
I found a couple of small bugs when using the app, specifically with the quiz section. A couple of times after submitting my answer, I’d get feedback it’s wrong, although it isn’t. Soon, I discovered it’s because the app isn’t too good with synonyms. So if you type “ring” as the answer, but in the app’s database it’s circle, you’ll get a message it’s a wrong answer. Funny enough, this can actually be a good thing since you can learn more words, but it’s still a minor bug.
App: HelloTalk. Users’ Ratings: 4.4 / 5, Downloads: 5M+
For my last one, I decided to include something a bit different. What HelloTalk does is it allows you to speak to people who already speak Italian, before you actually get there. The learning system is based on communication. So you basically find a person to talk to and the features are made to practice writing, talking etc. It’s the most polished app in the list as it even has a feature to correct grammar, recognize voice and so on. It’s the most robust one, but you can’t use it in the moment. Unless you plan to ask someone online how to buy at an Italian marketplace for example. Still, I found it to be great for learning and actually practicing your active Italian.
Being the most advanced out, the app sacrifices the benefits the first two have – to use it when you need it the most. But you’ll get the most out of this one, you just need to start learning a week or two before you actually go. In case you’re not into it or don’t feel comfortable talking to other people, you can ignore this one and use one of the first two. But, if you want more insight, this can be a great choice.
So this was my research and reviews for apps that will hopefully help you. The Italian language is quite popular so I wasn’t really surprised when I found out there’s a handful of apps out there. Since there’s quite more to choose, I’ll share a website that specifically lists the current most-used apps for Italian language, so you get more options. In case you want to check it out, here’s the list.
I carefully chose the 3 apps and I think you can find some use in them for your trip.. Anyhow, this can make a trip a lot easier so you don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or looking for someone who speaks your language. You know what they say: “When in Rome, talk like Romans.” Best of luck and enjoy your travel.
By Rakesh Saini
who is an internet marketer and blogger from India. He loves driving, traveling and writing.