When we tell people we are moving to Italy, the second question they ask after “Oh for work?”, is usually “Do you speak Italian?” The answer is after about 1.5 years of self-study, “Yeah, I can hold my own pretty well?” Am I fluent? NO! Absolutely not, in no way shape form or fashion. I first decided to start learning the language late 2014 after we fell and love and realized we would probably continue to vacation in Italy every year. Now we’ve never had any trouble communicating. Almost everyone in the main tourist areas we’d visited spoke English. But I just felt that I should at least make an effort to learn the language enough to hold basic conversations.
In 2010, we visited Madrid and Barcelona (in addition to Rome). I’d taken two years of Spanish in high school but wanted to freshen up my skills. I was discussing with my best friend about getting Rosetta Stone and she relayed to me that her brother had used it for free by checking it out from the Houston public library. I went that day and got a library card but soon discovered they no longer had Rosetta Stone and had replaced it with Mango. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate spending money, so since it was free, I decided to give it a shot. I loved it. During work, yeah sorry, I know that’s bad, but during work, I would do a couple lessons a day. In just a few short weeks, I’d progressed further than I thought could. My husband and best friend who joined me on the trip to Spain were impressed that I used only Spanish to check into our hotel. So naturally, the first program I downloaded when it was time to learn Italian, was Mango. I used this app for about 4 months before we went on vacation in 2015 and I was really surprised at how much I’d picked up. After we made the decision to move, I beefed up my studying with several programs and have them listed below, along with a short description, pictures, pros and cons. Continue reading “Language Learning Programs”