I was raised in Istria (Croatia), which is a bilingual region. I use Italian with my mother and Croatian with my father. This really helped in learning new languages (e.g., grammar rules, declination, automatic translation...) I was an Erasmus student in Ljubljana, thus I've learned some Slovenian too, while all the exams were written in English. Currently, I learn German. I've already thought in both Italian (Math, as I've passed my statistics exams in college) and Croatian (Guitar playing, since I've got a music high school diploma). I'm excited about teaching and learning languages, as I am meeting new people, whatever culture they're from.
When speaking about the ratio of regularities vs. irregularities, I'd say it's on the same level with German, so a proficient user of German can "know" what to expect. The pronunciation in Italian is very clear and "musical" too, so it gets stuck in one's head quite easily.
It all comes with the enthusiasm of the person that wants to learn it. My opinion is that it's right there on the scale of "difficulty" with German. It's harder than English but easier than Croatian. Listening to Italian music (it often rhymes clearly so it's easier to remember) are a great way of building a strong backup in one's gathered knowledge.
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