Maybe you picked up Italian for personal reasons, such as wanting to enjoy a film in its original version. Or you were driven by circumstance - perhaps you are moving to Italy for work and want to find an Italian teacher in Milan.
No matter what inspired you to start learning Italian, your motivation may easily decrease when you face challenges.
Today, we will examine the 6 biggest mistakes to avoid for beginners learning Italian for the first time. As the Italian saying goes, “mal comune, mezzo gaudio”. A difficulty shared is a difficulty halved.
Language learning requires dedication and effort. However, knowing that others are going through similar difficulties helps us feel less lonely in our quest to master the Italian language and more motivated to keep learning.
1. Common Mistake: Using Complicated Italian Syntaxes
If you are a beginner learning Italian and attempting to sound like Dante, you might be approaching it wrongly. Adult students are often frightened of sounding simplistic when they speak a foreign language. Unfortunately, unrealistic goals like sounding like native speakers may lead you to make more mistakes while speaking Italian and confuse you even more. We recommend that you start simple with private Italian lessons and avoid skipping steps as a beginner. Recognise that you are not speaking Italian as if it was your mother tongue or as if you’re like the native speakers.
You will gradually add more ramifications to your syntax, bear that in mind if you are still a beginner trying to learn Italian. So keep it basic and have fun!
2. The Italian Article
In Italian, articles are used to describe certain aspects of the name with which it is paired. They have various forms for different genders and numbers. But not all languages contain this element, which can confuse beginners who are learning a new language.
Russian, Ukrainian, and Moldovan language learners are more likely to neglect using articles. Asian students, on the other hand, have a tendency to mix up definite and indefinite articles.
A common problem is getting the congruence between gender and number right (for instance, "I pantaloni è bello" instead of "I pantaloni sono belli"). It is also crucial to distinguish between the forms of single and plural masculine determinative articles: il and lo, I and gli.
3. Italian Verb Conjugations
A common mistake when learning Italian for beginners is using both verbs and pronouns. English speakers apply pronouns to distinguish the subject. Whereas for Italian words, the subject is indicated using verb conjugations. Therefore, it is unnecessary to pair the subject pronouns (I, you, he, she, we etc.) with the conjugated verbs.
That is why it is essential to master all conjugations and differentiate between regular and irregular verbs. Don't give up - remembering all of them takes time and effort! Having a native Italian tutor in your area to help you with conjugations will also speed up your learning process.
4. When You Neglect Some Italian Language Skills
Learning Italian entails honing all of the different language abilities - reading, listening, grammar, vocabulary, and oral. When learning a language, you should work on all these skills at the same pace. In reality, the two most crucial abilities, oral and listening, are frequently overlooked. The reason is that they are more challenging, and many pupils are frightened of making mistakes.
Another explanation is that the outcomes appear less concrete, as opposed to, for instance, completing a grammar assignment with instant results. Studying listening and oral may take longer, but it yields better results in the long term which may even result in you sounding like the native speakers. Don't neglect them!
5. Avoid Learning Italian With The Wrong Learning Style
Nothing is worse than having to do something you don't want to do! Common mistakes are beginners thinking that all materials and techniques are equally effective for everyone learning Italian. Perhaps you are new to studying a second language and are unsure of what works best for you. Explore on your own as well as with your Italian teacher. Discover what you genuinely enjoy. If you are achieving your desired outcomes while having fun, “Tombola!” (Bingo), keep it up!
Consider whether you are a visual, aural or kinesthetic learner. Or perhaps you are a creative learner? Use techniques and resources that complement your own style. In addition, select two or three favorite materials that you may rotate on a regular basis. You can even develop your own resources, such as flashcards for Italian words if you are a visual learner.
6. Beginners Struggling With New Italian Pronunciations
“Trentatré trentini entrarono a Trento tutti e trentatré trotterellando.” (Thirty-three Trentino residents entered into Trento, all thirty-three trotting.)
This well-known tongue twister is from a nursery rhyme. It is difficult even for native speakers from Italy; imagine the anxiety that it brings to a beginner learning Italian!
Non-Italian speakers must learn how to make unique Italian sounds in their mouth. For instance, the vibrating “r” and repeating letters like the “n” in “penna” are tough Italian pronunciations for beginners to learn. Hence, to avoid these mistakes, listening carefully and frequent oral practice are important for any Italian learner.
We hope this helps, and always remember: challenges are part and parcel of any learning process. Ti auguro il meglio (all the best)!
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