why learn italian

Are you hesitating what hobby you should dedicate yourself to? A hobby that will be both amusing and useful to you? If you are at this point, let me help you out with that. Start learning a language, but not any language. Start learning Italian!

You may have not heard until now, but according to many researches, Italian is considered as the 4th most studied language in the world. And this is absolutely no surprise.

Why should it be a surprise? Isn’t Italian renowned as the language of love, the language of history and art, the language of food and culture?

Are you unsure where to start? I strongly recommend to first start reading this article as it will profoundly guide you through this new journey of yours.

Not sure where to find good introductory material in Italian? Don’t worry about this either. In this article you will find many YouTube channels to get you started: .

Anyway, if you are new to learning languages, there is more to Italian than just love and culture… So, for all of you hesitating let’s get back to the question…why learn Italian?

Here are the top 15 reasons why Italian should be your first choice:

1. Improve your brain health

Have you ever heard that learning another language is one of the methods for preventing or delaying the onset of dementia? Dementia is the loss of cognitive abilities and its most common form is Alzheimer’s disease. 

Many university studies have shown that being able to “train your brain” and improve your cognitive abilities might help you delay the onset of dementia.

However, studies also suggest that not all types of training could improve one’s abilities. Instead, there is a clear evidence that dementia appears a lot later for people who speak a second language compared to monolinguals. 

Bilinguals outperform monolinguals on tests of selective attention and multitasking and are far better at following complex instructions same as switching quickly to new instructions. Many experiments and studies have been completed and all have shown that there is a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in bilinguals.

You really don’t have to be an expert, even a brief language course can improve your mental ability and give you a better and healthier life. Many other hobbies may not have the same effect on your brain, whereas only one week of intensive language course will definitely lead to an improvement in cognitive function.

All you need to do is make some lifestyle changes.

Even if studying a foreign language won’t magically cure a certain disease, it will definitely make you a better speaker of a foreign language. That’s how we come to the second reason why learn Italian.

2. Improve your self-confidence 

While learning Italian, you will make mistakes every single day. Although that sounds frightening and uncomfortable, the best way to make mistakes is in front of other Italian speakers. That’s how you will learn from your errors. It’s a necessary part of the learning process.

Making mistakes in front of  others means you are putting yourself out there, you are getting out of your comfort zone. And we all know, that we become braver, stronger and more self-confident once we step out of our comfort zone, out of our circle of friends, out of our hometown.

Not only will you be slowly overcoming your fear to speak in Italian, but you’ll go through a process that will teach you how to deal with other fears. Once you gain confidence and start conversing with native speakers, you will realize that you can gain confidence in any other field and bloom there too!

Overcoming obstacles and challenging yourself will become a new asset for you, and the best way to prove this to yourself is to challenge yourself and start learning Italian today. Dedicate one hour every single day this first week and you will be amazed at how quickly you are able to learn anything you put effort into.

3. Connect with locals

The most rewarding aspect of human experience is the ability to connect with others. Every single person is a unique book, whose pages offer a different perception of life, a different belief system, a different way of living and understanding life.

Aren’t you amazed every day of the way people understand things, the way people behave and react to certain situations? All those people speak your language and more or less are part of the same nation and the same belief system. Imagine, being able to communicate with someone who has a totally different background and surrounding.

By speaking Italian, you are gifted! Gifted to get to know the whole nation of Italy, their way of doing things. You will understand better why they like fashion, why their favorite meal is pasta and why the most important opera is in Italian.

Bilinguals have the unique opportunity to get to know a wider range of people in their personal and professional lives. You will become a local in Italy and be received with open arms once they hear you speak Italian. People will be amazed by your ability, strangers will become lifelong friends. All the things you’ll learn by knowing Italian will create a positive attitude and less prejudice toward people who are different. That’s why the next reason to why learn Italian is:

4.   Broaden your horizons

italian countryside

Speaking Italian will help you bridge the gap between you and someone from a different culture. Yes, you will be able to order pizza in Italian, and say Good afternoon while entering a supermarket, or buy tickets from the bus station. 

But you don’t learn a language just to ask for directions. Italian will come in handy mostly because you will be able to have conversations and build friendships.

Language experts claim that learning a second language broadens the horizons and opens the mind to new ways of thinking and perceiving, new ways of believing and living. You will be able to see the world from another perspective and maybe discover the world for the first time again.

5. Understand Italian culture

Broadening your horizons begins when you start understanding someone’s culture, you begin to be able to travel and interact with people, which is part of the opening the mind in a broader sense.

Once you connect with locals, you’ll start wondering about many things. Previously you may have judged Italians for certain things. Now, you will understand. You will become more open – minded, tolerant, knowledgeable. You simply can’t stay as narrow-minded as you were before. All these beautiful characteristics of Italy – its charm, its romantic atmosphere, its beauty will become part of you.

6.  You get to understand your culture better

Dealing with another culture enables people to gain more profound look at their own culture. Learning about another culture leads us to realize all the positive and negative aspects of our own beliefs and traditions that we previously haven’t even paid attention to. 

You will start appreciating what you have, even be open to admit what you don’t like about your beliefs and maybe accept other ways of thinking.

Imagine you were taking your breakfast routine for granted. In America, eggs, bacon or cereals is a normal breakfast. In Italy, when you mention breakfast, it means croissant with cappuccino. Your first reaction in Italy would be: “Seriously, I should eat sweet for breakfast?” But, some days later, you’ll question yourself: “Seriously, why do we have this breakfast in America?” 

This is just one example of how a second language changes your perception about your own culture. Imagine how many things you could discover and wonder about.

7.   Open doors to other languages

Italian is part of the Romance language group. The most spoken Romance languages are Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Romanian. They are similar because they all originate from Latin, which was spoken by the Western Roman Empire.

Once you learn how to speak Italian, you’ll be able to understand Spanish and will be a few steps closer to mastering Portuguese and French. Learning one romance language means having a solid basis for another romance language.

They not only have similar vocabulary, but they have the same grammar system.

Since Italian comes directly from Latin, you might be able to understand many medical terms (since they all have Latin basis).

Over 60 percent of all English words have Greek or Latin roots. There is no question that you will find similar words in English and Italian.

That is how learning languages works. You learn one more language and you’ve already opened the doors to other languages too.

8.    Helps you improve your knowledge of your own language

Learning Italian means learning inevitably about your own language.

This happens when learning any language, but why is Italian so special then? 

Because Italian, being a Romance language, teaches you about the nature of register in the English language.

Adjectives, such as cospicuo (conspicuous), tremendo (tremendous), orrendo (horrendous), innocuo (innocuous) are a great example of Italian words enriching the English vocabulary and giving you the possibility for a better self-expression.

Furthermore, learning Italian it will require you to re-examine English grammar. This will refresh your knowledge of English and improve your overall knowledge of the language.

9. Opens up a world of career opportunities

It’s a common fact: more and more employers are recruiting multilingual employees. Knowing more languages adds value to the workforce and the organization. It makes you more open to communication and more valuable for international collaboration.

There are tons of companies that would be amazed if you knew another language apart from English. Italian must be a good choice, it’s completely different, musical, rhythmic and romantic.

Bilingual people develop strong cognitive skills, better concept formation, multitasking, better listening and problem-solving skills. Knowing another language means you improve your social interaction and encourage your teammates to connect and work together.

Learning Italian could be great for your career. There are international companies throughout the world. You could easily find a place where your Italian will come in handy. There are various sectors such as fashion, design, food & beverage production, football, the car industry, Italian cuisine. The list goes on and on.

10.    Easy to learn

italian art

There are languages with strange vowels and languages with strange alphabets. There are even languages that have more exceptions in grammar than rules. Italian is nothing like that.

Why learn Italian? It’s simple. Because Italian is easy, Italian is musical, Italian is lovable.

The language has rhythmic words, while speaking you seem like you are singing and it’s no surprise it’s considered the most romantic language in the world. 

Being a romance language and having evolved from Latin, Italian is the language of old beautiful written poetry and prose and touching opera. The way vowels and consonants are distributed in the words makes a lilting sound in the language. That’s why Italian naturally sounds like singing.

Learn Italian and start singing!

11. Because it’s the language of art, history and culture

Italian is the language of culture, art and history. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello have all produced masterpieces that forever changed the art. It’s the Italian streets through which Archimedes ran naked shouting “Eureka”. According to UNESCO, over 60% of the world’s art treasures are found in Italy. There are hundreds of small villages and places, unique in this world, world heritage and evidence of Italian best art history, literature, archaeology and philosophy.

Start learning Italian and it’s inevitable: you’ll end up learning much more about the world and its beauty.

12.  Because it’s also the language of classical music

Italian is known as the language of music.

Music is never loud or quiet, it’s “forte” or “piano”. All the musical terminology and opera are in Italian. But how did Italian become the standard in the majority of noted music? Because Italian composers were the first who invented musical notation and markings, which then were adapted to music from Europe.

Italians have greatly influenced music and so many musical terms. If you are a musician and play an instrument, you are familiar with words such as allegro, forte, diminuendo, crescendo, sonata, aria. Many instruments’ names come from Italian: piano, viola, cello (violoncello) etc.

Mozart himself, who was an Austrian, chose Italian and not German as a language for some of his famous operas. Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli are unforgettable and are famous worldwide for their astonishing operatic voices.

Learn Italian because that’s the language of classical music. It is mandatory in all Music schools.

13.  Because it’s also the language of food 

Pasta, pizza, spaghetti, mozzarella, cappuccino, espresso…

Italy has the world’s best cuisine!

We can see the influence of Italian, not only in our own language’s vocabulary, not only in our music, but also in our dishes and meals! Aren’t we always excited to have a night out in a luxury, romantic restaurant with delicious Italian cuisine and excellent wine?

Italy is the culinary leader of the world and Italian is considered as the language with the highest number of words for naming food, restaurants, dishes and produce. Because Italians are simply obsessed with food.

14.  Because Italian is the language of love 

We ask ourselves why not learn German, Norwegian, Polish? Why learn Italian? It’s not just a theory, you can see it in practice. Italians are romantic, seductive, passionate. I mean, think about it: Romeo and Juliet could not speak in any other language to express each other’s love.

The musicality of the language, the simplicity of its sounds, the charm of the words, the way the words are pronounced and said, it is pleаsant to hear and feel.

And Italians, they don’t even have to speak to feel their positive vibe and magic. They are masters in gestures and facial expressions. Check out this video for some of the common Italian gestures:

You can choose any reason why learn Italian and you won’t ever regret it!

Master your Italian and then go to the rolling hills of Tuscany, or to the canals of Venice, or to the five small villages of Cinque Terre. Discover Italy’s hidden gems, but first discover all the world’s beauty and love hidden in this language.

As the writer Elizabeth Gilbert put it in her book “Eat, Pray, Love”: “No language was ever more perfectly ordained to express human emotions.”

15.    Encourages you to be a better “you”

Getting out of your comfort zone while learning Italian has other benefits too. You learn the language by imitating the native speakers. You imitate the way they talk, the way they eat, the way they think. And believe me, Italians are great.

Italians are more expressive than others, more open, more carefree. They communicate with others easily because they love to talk.

When learning Italian, you will find yourself becoming more Italian. That means becoming better at being expressive, better at being more open and better at not caring and enjoying life to the fullest. 

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is one of the co-founders of LearnItalianGo. He is a frequent traveler to Italy and has been studying Italian for years.