16 Best Apps to Learn Italian & Bonus Tips [2021]

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There’s nothing to stop you wow-ing everyone by suddenly becoming a fluent Italian speaker. You’re ready for that, aren’t you? All you need to get started is determination and some apps to learn Italian. But which ones offer the best services? Value for money? The best range of lessons on everything from Italian vocabulary to Italian grammar? Sit tight, we’ve got the answers.

One thing you should know before we get started is the market is saturated when it comes to Italian learning apps. And unfortunately, they’re not all made equal. Before you get swamped by all the options, here are my all-round favorites.


When it comes to language learning apps, I feel the best approach is to go at it from all angles. For core learning, I use Babbel because it covers everything and is so accessible. As for tutoring, there can only be Italki because I have seen first-hand how quickly I improved with a tutor.

I use Spotify to keep my Italian lessons varied and I love learning new trivia by listening to Coffee Break Italian  (this is especially helpful if you’re losing motivation). Finally, I heartily recommend you take a look at LingQ if you’ve surpassed the beginner’s stage. The content on there keeps lessons fresh and culturally relevant.

Editor’s note: To reach fluency faster, combine these apps with other resources, such as books, podcasts, online courses, and YouTube channels. For your convenience, we’ve compiled an epic list of 50+ Italian learning resources, including FREE ones. Read it, save it, and share it!

Next, some quick FAQs. If you want to get straight into our favorite apps to learn Italian, scroll to the next section!

Why use language apps to learn Italian?

If you need persuading that going digital is the right way to go, consider this. You almost always have access to your smartphone. This means you can learn anywhere, and at any time. In addition, most apps offer tracked progress, and catered lessons for your level. Many even will help you find out where you are on your language journey so it minimizes the risk you’ll be overstretched or underwhelmed.

Of course, you will progress faster if you complement your Italian learning apps with other resources to learn Italian, such as books, podcasts, tutors, online courses, YouTube videos, and so on.

Are paid-for apps to learn Italian better?

Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t. You’ll notice that we give you an overview of app features and what we think of them, including price. We’ll always try to let you know who the app is best for in terms of skill level.

One thing is certain, though. Money shouldn’t be a reason you give up on your dream to learn Italian.

Without further ado, here are the best apps to learn Italian.

The best apps to learn Italian

1. Babbel

babbel

Our number one favorite app to learn Italian is Babbel. It’s suitable for everyone since it covers all manner of subjects, levels of proficiency and interests.

With Babbel, you get what you pay for: high quality and in-depth lessons at a reasonable price. I’d also say that this is the best app to learn Italian for travel – the beginner’s lessons cover everything you need to know for your trip to Italy.

Why I love it:

  • Easy to use and user-friendly
  • Top-quality teaching methods and resources
  • Offers specialized courses for grammar, refreshers, beginners, intermediates and advanced learners
  • Synchronized progress across devices

What it costs: $12.95 for a one-month plan, $26.85 every quarter, $44.70 every six months, or $83.40 for a yearly subscription. Sign up here!

2. Duolingo

duolingo application

Duolingo is a great starting option if you’re low on funds but high on motivation. The content is free and there’s a wide range of lessons available. My only criticism of Duolingo is that it gets repetitive very quickly and you may feel that your progress is capped as a result. And the ads get infuriating after a while.

Why I love it:

  • It’s free
  • Easy to use
  • Lessons are organized by subject and proficiency level
  • The content is occasionally very amusing (ever wanted to learn how to say “the bear is a vegetarian in Italian?” Me neither!)

What it costs: The app itself is completely free. You can upgrade to get rid of the pesky advertisements but I don’t think this enhances the experience of learning Italian, to be honest.

3. LingQ

lingq

Tired of conventional methods? LingQ was made for those of us who can’t bear another grammar quiz. Using content from popular culture, LingQ delivers Italian lessons that inspire and peak your interest. Great for intermediate learners looking to spice up their lessons.

Why I love it:

  • No two lessons are the same
  • Huge variety of source material available (Netflix, newspaper articles, radio excerpts, etc.)
  • Excellent for intermediate beginners and beyond (contains challenging but rewarding lessons)
  • Beginners will enjoy this as a supplement app to Italian learning books and other reading materials

What it costs: Registration is free but costs $12.99 a month for the premium package.

4. italki

Learning vocabulary and grammatical structures will help you learn Italian. But in our opinion, the best way is always to speak the language you’re learning. italki can help you there.

italki is a digital service that links learners with tutors via Skype, Zoom, or other tools. It’s by far the easiest and most affordable online tutoring service out there. Also, this is a service that will help you learn to speak Italian, not just read or write in it.

Why I love it:

  • High quality tutors
  • Reasonable prices
  • Highly motivating sessions with tutors who know how to teach
  • Great for any level learner to practice Italian face-to-face
  • Convenient – you can schedule your lessons for when it suits you

What it costs: Each session starts from as low as $4. You’ll probably spend around $10 to $30 on average, though. Read our review of Italki or find a tutor now.

5. Mondly

mondly

Mondly is a great option if you’re looking to cut down on costs. It’s 100% free and offers lessons that cover almost any subject. There’s even a chatbot feature for you to practice your Italian if you’re self-teaching. Mondly is sort of a more grown-up version of Duolingo.

Why I love it: 

  • Free to use
  • Easy to navigate
  • Content is accurate and has a broad range
  • Lessons are approximately 45 minutes long each

What it costs: Nothing! But the Premium version comes with more features. Here’s the latest promo and free trial.

6. Preply

Preply is an alternative app to italki. It’s another one that will help you to actually learn to speak Italian. Pick a tutor and get the ball rolling – it’s easy to use and great for improving pronunciation.

This app is a great window into the world of conversational Italian, as you’ll be learning it from someone who speaks it every day.

Why I love it:

  • Great tutors at reasonable prices
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Highly recommended by users
  • You don’t have to include video for your call if you prefer to remain anonymous

What it costs: Same range as Italki. The average Italian lesson on Preply will cost around $10-30.

7. Busuu

busuu

Busuu offers topic-based lessons that are both insightful and entertaining. This is a good option if you’re looking for an all-round app to teach you Italian.

Why I love it: 

  • Well-designed app
  • Mixed-approach teaching (not just memory drills)
  • Material is always relevant 
  • Active app community

What it costs: For the basic premium package you’ll pay €5.83 a month. For access to all Busuu’s features, you’re looking at €6.66 a month.

8. HelloTalk

hellotalk

HelloTalk is an awesome online community where you can meet native Italian speakers and learners just like yourself. Practice what you’ve learned through other apps or books and let the conversation flow. It’s free to use and it’s an awesome way of tracking progress.

Why I love it:

  • Great way to meet like minded people + new friends
  • Excellent platform for practicing your skills
  • Free to use!

What it costs: If you can’t stand ads you can upgrade to the paid version for $6.99 a month, but personally I don’t see the ads as a huge problem.

9. Memrise

memrise application

Memrise contains video clips and imagery, which is great for visual learners. Memrise’s ethos is that vocabulary building is more important than grammar. If you agree, this could be for you. Personally, I find this approach to be a little basic. However, if you’re a visual learner, definitely give it a try.

Why I love it:

  • Has seven courses available for different proficiency levels
  • The user creator content is even more helpful than the actual program (and there’s tons of it!)
  • Some content is free to access

10. Drops

drops

Fellow puzzle nerds, I raise you Drops. This app is a lot of fun and it teaches you new vocabulary at the same time. A blend of word and memory games, Drops’ approach is to have its users enjoy themselves and pick stuff up along the way.

I have to say, this is a great app to take the sting off of grammar drills.

Why I love it:

  • Innovative and challenging puzzles to stimulate learning
  • Has a great visual dictionary
  • Plenty of content (although the free content is limited)

What it costs: Drops can be considered expensive. That said, it’s addictive and you’ll get your friends and family on it in no time. It costs $9.99 per month, $69.99 for yearly plans, and $159.99 for lifetime access.

11. MosaLingua Italian

mosalingua italian

This is another app for people who want to keep all their learning in one place.

MosaLingua is a great option for learners who need variety and like repetition. Traditional methods meet new approaches and you can customize pretty much every feature to suit your goals. Love flashcards? Then this is the app for you. Curate your own Italian flashcards ensemble and use them to practice in your downtime.

Why I love it:

  • Caters for 10 levels of difficulty
  • Has an initial assessment test for accurate placement
  • Plenty of bonus materials and sub-categories to explore
  • Uses a blend of flashcards and audio clips

What it costs: A one-off payment of $4.99 will give you access to the app. You can pay an additional $4.99 a month for access to all features from MosaLingua, though I think the basic package is all you need to get started. Try it now.

Best apps to learn Italian while driving

If your commute is long and you wish you had a better way to fill your time, take a look at these audio course apps to learn Italian. Both of the following have been tried, tested, and approved by countless Italian learners!

12. Rocket Languages

rocket languages

Drivers, beginners and especially self-learners, you need Rocket Languages. It’s technically a course rather than an app, but members get access to the app too.

Rocket Italian offer audio courses with each lesson capped at just 20 minutes. The app and forum are invaluable sources for commuters and all levels of Italian learners.

Why I love it:

  • Great content delivered in well-structured chunks
  • Easy to follow
  • Progress is tracked
  • Can be linked to Alexa and Google devices to continue your lesson at home or work

What it costs: This course is expensive, but does the trick. It covers all bases and if you don’t purchase books or other apps, this could be all you need. Level 1 starts at $99.95, level 2 at $249.90, and you can get levels 1,2, and 3 for $259.90. Try it now.

13. Pimsleur

pimsleur

Pimsleur is another course with a corresponding app. It’s both convenient for drivers and great for auditory learners. Each lesson is extensive and mixes traditional methods with interesting and varied subjects. The app is also optimized for driving so you can drive and listen safely and comfortably.

You can get access to the full course for seven days absolutely free, so don’t knock it before you’ve tried it!

Why I love it:

  • Tried and tested favorite (it’s been around for years and years!)
  • Accurate and effective at delivering Italian lessons without overcompensating each lesson
  • Perfect for people who want to learn to speak Italian for traveling

14. Spotify

coffee break italian

You didn’t even imagine that Spotify might be all you need to learn Italian, did you? Instead of your favorite bops, tune in to Coffee Break Italian on Spotify and get fun and exciting snippets of the Italian language on your drive. It’s innovative and I can promise you’ll find out tons of stuff you won’t learn through other mediums.

Need more Italian podcast inspiration? Head to our full list of the 16 best Italian podcasts for beginners and beyond.

Why I love it:

  • Makes the most out of your Spotify subscription
  • Turns lessons into fun conversations and trivia facts
  • Makes learning enjoyable
  • Offers a different perspective on learning Italian

What it costs: Good news, you don’t need to pay for Spotify. If you already have a subscription, you’re allowed to be a bit smug that you’re using your account to learn a new language.

Unconventional apps to learn Italian

15. WordReference

wordreference

Most of us will recognize the agony inflicted by trying to translate just one word on Google Translate. Sometimes it works, other times your gut feeling says “that word can’t possibly mean “hot air balloon disposal”.

Luckily, Word Reference Italian is one of the best multi-lingual apps on the market right now and I would recommend it to all language learners. Trust me, it saves a lot of embarrassment.

It’s available on both the Apple and Google Play stores.

Why I love it:

  • Easy and quick translations
  • Includes idioms and turns of phrase
  • Much more accurate than other similar apps

What it costs: WordReference is 100% free to download and use.

16. Speechling

speechling

Learners who don’t or can’t invest in an online tutor might find Speechling especially helpful. Users of Speechling learn Italian by mimicking phrases delivered by the app. Therefore, this app is best for practicing speaking Italian out loud.

However, I would only recommend this to intermediate or advanced learners because beginners need to have some knowledge of Italian pronunciation in order to benefit from it.

Why I love it:

  • Builds great speaking-out-loud habits
  • The paid-for version allows you to get feedback from real Italian speakers who listen to your recordings and correct you
  • Teaches through doing rather than memory or listening

What it costs: The basic package “forever free” is free to download and use. The paid-for version costs $19.99 a month.

And that’s all from us for this time! If you have any advice for fellow Italian learners you’d like to share, put it in the comments sections below.

Hopefully you feel ready to start learning Italian using some apps, but if you need more of a poke in the right direction, be sure to read our mega-article: Learn Italian: 50+ Apps, Podcasts, Books and Online Courses

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