Guest Post from Jessica Spiegel: 5 Favorite Italian Learning Apps

Apr 13, 2011
Education

It’s always fun to try on a new persona when you travel – and what better way to do that than by wrapping your tongue around another language? If you’re visiting Italy, you might think you’re fluent if you can say “ciao” and “grazie,” but there’s much more to the language than that. These apps […]

It’s always fun to try on a new persona when you travel – and what better way to do that than by wrapping your tongue around another language? If you’re visiting Italy, you might think you’re fluent if you can say “ciao” and “grazie,” but there’s much more to the language than that.

These apps will help you whether you’re just looking for a few quick travel-related phrases to learn on your flight to Italy or whether you’re trying to learn Italian in general. There are, of course, many more Italian language apps than just these, but these are five of my favorites – and as good a place to start as any.

English/Italian Basic Vocabulary by MemoryLifter – $14.99

This Italian language-learning app stands out for a couple reasons. First is the price – it’s not your average 99-cent app. If you’re serious about learning the language, however, this app may just do the trick. It’s a flashcard app with more than 1000 cards in total, and there are pictures on each one as well as an audio track of each word or phrase so you can hear it pronounced as well. There are so many options on this app, including different subject categories, a multiple choice mode, and a self-assessment option.

WordReference Italian-English Dictionary – free

The WordReference site is my favorite online dictionary for translating any number of languages, and although the accompanying free app does require an internet connection (so isn’t handy in-country if you’ve got your phone in airplane mode all the time) it’s incredibly useful for those times when you do have WiFi and before or after your trip.

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Talking Italian Phrasebook – free

For an Italian phrasebook in an iPhone app, it’s hard to beat a free app. This one, developed by CoolGorilla, used to be $0.99, but it’s now sponsored by Fiat – as long as you don’t mind a few Fiat ads in the app, it’s still a handy phrasebook. There are more than 500 words and phrases included in 40 different categories, with audio so you can hear how things are pronounced.

Italian Phrasebook by Lonely Planet – $5.99

If it’s an ad-free phrasebook you’re looking for, Lonely Planet has you covered pretty well. Those of you familiar with the company’s book versions of phrasebooks will no doubt recognize what’s in this app. There are more than 600 words and phrases included, with audio snippets by native Italian speakers so you know you’re saying it correctly.

Italian Gestures – $0.99

Italians are notorious for talking with their hands, and this fun little app, by Giovanni Pasquini, will get you started understanding and perhaps imitating some of the more common Italian gestures. Of course, there are a few you shouldn’t try in mixed company – proceed at your own peril if you decide to do otherwise!

View Jessica’s app library:

http://www.appolicious.com/users/WhyGoItaly

 

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