4 Podcasts for learning Italian
I discovered the world of podcasts in February this year.
Podcasts are free “radio on demand”. Created by passionate people who are experts at something, podcasts are a fantastic way to learn something...while doing something else.
The topics covered in these interviews and radio talks are very specific and about anything you can think of: from hobbies, to business, to gardening, to cooking, to LANGUAGES!
And, naturally, there are podcasts about the Italian language and culture. I found that there are not many, but the ones available are quite useful. And this is where I want to take you today.
In the first part, I will quickly guide you through how to access them via a specific app. Skip this section if you are already "addicted" to podcasts. In the second part, we’ll look at some really useful podcasts for Italian learners and fans of Italy in general.
How do you access a podcast?
Ingredients: an Iphone or android or Ipad or laptop or pc.
I prefer listening to podcasts on my mobile while I drive (always) or wait for someone I'm picking up or when I have to walk a long distance, but you can definitely listen to podcasts on your computer, Ipad or laptop.
Step 1. Click on the App store icon.
Step 2. Search for the STITCHER free app or the Stitcher site. I'm sure there are other apps for podcasts, but this is the one I use at the moment.
Step 3. Once downloaded, go to the little magnifying lens icon on the top right corner to search for a podcast, using a single word (in our case “Italian”) or a topic, or the full title if you know it.
Step 4. Select it by clicking on the Play icon. This will commence playing the last posted episode.
Step 5. After you listen to the episode for a few minutes, and if you like it, then you can add it to your list by clicking on the Plus icon, which turns into a Tick icon: the podcast is now in your Favourites. This means that you are subscribed to that specific podcast and will receive new episodes each week!
What are some good Italian podcasts?
Here are some of the Italian podcasts I’ve found useful for learning the Italian language, with additional information on its culture.
1) Learn Italian | ItalianPod101 offers practical lessons of 5-15 minutes on Italian expressions, traditions, grammar, vocabulary and much more. What I like about this podcast is the fact that the episodes are short, suitable for those who might have little time or even a short attention span.
Instructions are provided in English, which is fantastic for beginners. The other great thing is that Italian words are pronounced by native Italian speakers.
2) 30 minute Italian presents 10-30 minute episodes. Created by Cher Hale, this podcasts is fantastic for learning and reviewing vocabulary and expressions. Most importantly there are tons of tips and advice Cher gives you for keeping up with the learning. The pronunciation might be limited by the fact that Cher is not a native Italian speaker, although she is a passionate fan of anything Italian. Short notes are also available, especially for the topics you are most interested in.
Level: Although the explanations are in English, I would recommend this for intermediate to advanced levels because of its content.
3) LearnItalianPod.com is a collection of stories about specific Italian words. Introduced by a summary and explanation in English, the stories are read in Italian. Although the reader maintains a slow reading pace, I find the content closer to an advanced level than intermediate.
4) Maxmondo incontro Italiano, is another great podcast. All in Italian and definitely for an advanced audience! Perfect also for those who were exposed to the Italian language when young and understand pretty much everything. This will keep the language alive, even if practice is still important.
So, there you have it. These are the ones I found searching the word “Italian” and “Italiano” with the focus on learning the language. Of course, there are also many podcasts that talk about Italian soccer, recipes, travel and adventures, but that’s for another time.
Have a go and let me know what else should go on this list!