Apps on our smartphones are fantastic for social media, for playing games and even for finding the perfect restaurant, but they can also be an essential tool for anyone who wants to learn Italian.
If you want to start to learn or improve your Italian in a fun and easy way, there are a huge number of apps available. We have hunted around and found the 12 best apps to learn Italian with!
Learn Italian Words Free
Before starting, each student chooses their Italian language level (from A1-C1) and the number of minutes they want to spend using the app every day. In each lesson you learn 14 new Italian words about many different themes (all of them useful for everyday life), such as business, travel, emergencies or words to use in general conversation.
There is also a section dedicated to Italian slang, which isn’t very common in traditional lessons or in apps, but is very useful for students who want to live in Italy, helping you get to grips with the most authentic part of the Italian language – communicating with native speakers.
At the end, the user can check what they have learnt using a wide range of activities, such as multiple choice games with audio and visual help.
Learn Italian – 50 Languages
This app is perfect for beginners as it teaches the basics of the Italian language in a way that is fun and easy to remember, with a large selection of activities and games that can be downloaded. “Learn Italian” is perhaps better suited to younger learners as it uses games as its main teaching method, for example word searches or joining up words.
One potential drawback of “Learn Italian” is that there are only 30 free activities available with another 100 exercises only for premium members with membership costing $2.99.
“Learn Italian – 50 languages” is available to download on IOS or Google Play for Android.
Busuu is a brilliant app for Italian students because it offers so many unique aspects which optimise learning. The app teaches Italian vocabulary about a range of subjects for all levels: family, free time and food for beginners; and more complex themes such as politics, nature and life choices for more advanced students.
Every lesson begins with new vocabulary taught using flashcards and exercises involving matching up words, along with the chance to listen to dialogues by native speakers about the theme. For premium members there is the option to talk with native Italian speakers and send them exercises to correct and so users can have a far more direct learning experience.
The membership cost is more expensive than for other applications (€2 a week), but it is perhaps worth it for all the other enjoyable features of the app. “Busuu: Learn Italian – Speak Italian” is available for IOS and Google Play for Android.
Duolingo is a very famous app which is very fun and easy to use and quickly improves your Italian language level using effective and well designed activities.
The user can choose a daily goal for the number of minutes that they want to use the app every day (5-20 minutes) which helps to minimise the risk of students becoming overwhelmed and giving up with studying Italian.
For intermediate and more advanced students there is a test at the start to establish their level of Italian. In the app there is a large selection of vocabulary and grammar about subjects like clothing, work, places to go and education.
There are also sections which help to teach Italian grammar, including the tenses of verbs and the subjunctive, something which you can’t find in other applications.
Another attraction of Duolingo is that it offers you the opportunity to improve your pronunciation with specific exercises where you have to repeat phrases that can be corrected, but you can also skip this section if you are somewhere where you cannot talk loudly.
Babbel is a free app where you can choose your level of Italian to suit your needs based on whether you are a beginner or more advanced student .
Babbel is a very widely used app thanks to its simple and easy to use layout, which includes a lot of images to help you remember words as well as realistic dialogues to complete on a variety of different subjects like Italian culture and the world of work.
One drawback is that the free version only includes the first lesson of each course, after which there is a subscription fee: 1 month costs €9.95, three months cost €19.95, six months €33.90 and a year €59.40.
Even though there are other apps which are just as fun and effective, this app has managed to attract the interest of hundreds of thousands of users, and this should not be overlooked.
Another one of the best apps for learning Italian is Memrise. Even though it has a slightly strange concept it can be fun for younger students and is a very useful resource for Italian students of every age and level.
Memrise is designed like a game where students have to fight off an alien invasion by learning Italian. Apart from the concept, the layout of the app is very clear and easy to understand, with vocabulary lessons followed by multiple choice exercises, pictures and texts as well as conversations between native speakers that can help you understand the use of the words you have just learnt. If you can look beyond its slightly strange concept, Memrise could be a perfect addition to your Italian learning journey.
A drawback of this app is perhaps that it only teaches 3 new words a lesson, and this could become a bit boring for students who already have a slightly more advanced knowledge of the Italian language.
Mondly is an app particularly useful for learning the different tenses of Italian verbs in a very easy way thanks to its simple and clear explanation of each different aspect. It also has a very useful system for learning vocabulary, using a combination of new words and longer texts to maximise the amount a student can remember.
The app can also be adapted for students of every level of Italian, beginners, intermediate and more advanced by using vocabulary chosen by the student themselves (family, cultures of different countries, food and drink) and more simple or complex grammar points.
Another useful aspect of this app is that you can save your progress every day and so you can see your progress as you use the app, helping to keep you motivated. A truly unique aspect of Mondly is the idea that users can learn Italian together, you can compete with friends, and even strangers who use the app, in the different games and activities!
One drawback of Mondly is that it is only free for a trial period, afterwhich you have to pay, although considering the importance of the content $20 a year doesn’t seem too much.
In 24 Hours Learn Italian
“In 24 Hours” is a free, but more basic, app which is useful for students who want to study Italian on the move. It is perhaps more suitable for beginners as it is not possible to skip the most simple lessons, which teach phrases like ‘I am, I have’ etc.
The interface is very colourful and clear, making it fun and accessible for anyone. Even though it doesn’t offer the same range of interactivity or activities as apps like Duolingo or Babbel, it could be a useful tool for Italian students.
One potential drawback of ‘In 24 hours’ is that it is not yet available for Android, and so you need IOS to be able to download it.
Drops is an app which I personally have used and continue to use thanks to its fun and easy to use design which makes the process of learning Italian more simple and seem more like a game than work.
There are 50 themes to choose from which are all actually useful for daily life in Italy, vocabulary for going to the doctors, to use at school or vocabulary that is useful for conversations between friends, like pets, sport and emotions, rather than more mundane subjects taught in other apps.
The activities of this app can be adapted for every user, at the beginning of each vocabulary lesson the student can choose the vocabulary that they want to continue to learn and get rid of others. The activities are often multiple choice or spelling exercises and so it is very easy to learn and remember the vocabulary. There are also sections about Italian grammar (pronouns etc.) and so students don’t just learn vocabulary but instead the whole language.
The only frustrating thing about Drops is that you can only use it for 10 minutes a day without paying, and there are certain topics that are only available for paying members.
Drops is available only for IOS on the App Store.
Bravolol: Language Learning
This app is more basic than the others we have recommended but it is also a useful tool for Italian students because it starts with the most basic phrases along with vocabulary and their pronunciation for day to day situations like how to do the shopping, numbers and health.
This app could be very beneficial because students can learn how to perfectly pronounce vocabulary, one of the most difficult things about learning Italian. Having said this, ‘Learn Italian’ probably shouldn’t be used as a substitute for Italian lessons as it doesn’t teach the most important grammar rules, it only teaches vocabulary.
One drawback is that it also has an undeniably less fun and interactive interface, and also many of the more important and advanced lessons (like accommodation, housing and work) are reserved only for premium members which costs £4.99.
Mosalingua is an excellent app for students who want to improve their Italian (especially their vocabulary), which has developed its own unique and effective way of teaching Italian words and phrases.
Students begin by choosing the amount of time they want to spend learning everyday and then can take a test to establish their Italian level or choose it themselves. The app consists of learning 5 words or phrases at a time from flash cards before using different methods to try and memorise them, students can learn some of the basics of the language, like how to introduce yourself, but also some can learn words and phrases that are essential to be able to live in Italy, like going to the doctors or how to deal with emergencies, making this app also suitable for more intermediate Italian students.
One very useful feature of this app is that you can choose the words or phrases that you want to learn, giving a more student directed learning experience.
A potential drawback is that the free version only teaches a limited number of Italian words, premium membership costs $4.99, but it has 3000 flash cards to learn, all accompanied by an audio track from a native speaker and so perhaps it is worth it.
Italki is a very different app to the others mentioned here, it is far more focused on speaking Italian. Italki gives you the chance to connect with native Italian speakers and you can schedule ‘lessons’ in the shape of skype conversations to practise your spoken Italian. There are a huge number of registered teachers, tutors or language partners to choose who you can send a message to or book a lesson with.
This app is perfect for Italian students who just want the opportunity to practise. It is very easy to use and very easy to find what you are looking for. There is also an excellent notebook feature where you can submit something you have written in Italian and a native speaker will review and correct it.
Italki is perfect for students who want a more interactive experience while they learn Italian, and although it may not be suitable for beginners, it is very useful for helping you get to grips with what is perhaps the most difficult part of learning Italian – speaking it.
Here at Europass we think that these apps are some of the best for Italian students of every age and ability, with a selection of apps that focus on vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. We hope that we have been helped give you an idea of the apps to help you start learning or just to improve your process of learning the beautiful Italian language, thank you and have fun!