You cannot expect to become fluent in a language without learning its vocabulary and phrases.
Learning Italian can be challenging, especially when it comes to memorising a large number of words. This can be especially overwhelming to people who are new to the language and are unfamiliar with its unique subtleties and complexities.
Anyone, however, may become proficient in Italian and grasp its numerous complexities with patience, practice, and an appropriate study plan.
Reading is a great way to improve your Italian vocabulary and understanding of idiomatic expressions.
It allows you to immerse yourself in the language and familiarize yourself with context and usage, providing a more practical and comprehensive learning experience.
Making a list of new terms and sentences is also important!
Watching films in Italian, on the other hand, will provide you with a better knowledge of these words and phrases.
The level of learning achieved defines the level of vocabulary acquisition.
The number of words needed for successful comprehension and communication depends on the level of learning accomplished.
Level of learning
BASIC LEVEL A1 (Beginner)
A beginner learner can fully understand and use common everyday words, as well as express himself enough to meet concrete problems.
When communicating, a person. can introduce himself and others, as well as ask and answer questions about personal information like home addresses, familiar people, and objects. He may interact with others in a simple manner as long as the speaker talks slowly and clearly and is ready to help.
Number of base words needed: around 500 (300 active / 600 passive)
For regular tourist situations, 300 to 600 words may be enough;
BASIC LEVEL A2 (Elementary)
Elementary learners can understand common words and expressions connected to important needs (such as personal and family background information, shopping, local geography, and work).
Can communicate in a simple and continuous way about tasks that require a direct exchange of information on well-known and common topics.
Can describe something about their education and background, the surrounding area, and problems of immediate urgency in simple terms.
Number of base words needed: around 1000 (600 active/1200 passive)
If you want to achieve a level that allows you to communicate, you will need to know between 1000 and 4000 words.
INDEPENDENT LEVEL B1 (Pre-intermediate)
A pre-intermediate learner understands the basics of simple standard language communications on familiar topics that he finds at work, school, leisure, and so on.
Deal with a variety of situations that may happen when travelling to a place where the local language is spoken.
Can write basic and clear texts on topics that are familiar to him or that attract his interest.
He can express experiences and events, dreams, goals, and objectives, explain reasons simply, and provide explanations for opinions and projects.
Number of base words needed: around 2000 (1200 active/2500 passive)
INDEPENDENT LEVEL B2 (Intermediate)
An Intermediate learner can understand the basic ideas of difficult writing on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussion in his or her field of expertise.
He interacts with relative fluidity and spontaneity, to the stage that interaction with a native speaker develops without significant effort and stress.
Can write clear and extensive texts on a wide range of topics and give an opinion on a present situation, explaining the benefits and drawbacks of different options.
Number of base words needed: around 4000 (2500 active/5000 passive)
If you want to reach an advanced level (C1/C2), then you probably need between 6,000 and 10,000 words and if you want to achieve a native speaker’s fluency, then you need to know 10,000 – 15,000 words.
Tips for expanding your Italian vocabulary:
A few words at a time is a good way to start improving your vocabulary.
Do not attempt to memorise the entire dictionary in a single weekend. This isn’t going to help you! Begin small. Once you’ve found a new word, start using it in your daily life.
Use the flashcard method to build a list of words and phrases for your level of Italian divided into different kinds of topics.
For example words and phrases about family.
Spend every free moment reading.
Read, read, and read even more! Books will significantly boost your vocabulary.
Keep a close eye on what you’re reading. If you don’t know what a word means, look it up in a dictionary.
Which books are best to read for beginners to intermediates?
Choose Graded books: These books have been written especially for students from beginner to intermediate level, designed to give a sense of achievement, and most importantly – enjoyment! These stories will both entertain you and give you a feeling of progress when reading.
What exactly is a Graded book?
When reading a text, it is usually simple to identify the meaning of a word from its context.
When you come across a word you don’t fully understand, before you turn to the dictionary, try to see if you can figure out what it means. Then you may cross-check your answer with the dictionary to determine whether you were correct. This will improve your contextual skills.
Practising, of course, makes perfect. Use the new vocabulary you’ve learned, or you’ll forget it before you’ve had a chance to put it to use. After you’ve learned a word and grasped the context in which it’s used, make an effort to use it in your own sentences.
Have some fun with words.
Games may help you expand your vocabulary in a fun way.
Because these games have a competitive element, you aim to learn new phrases more quickly.
For example, crossword puzzles (graded ones especially for beginners) teach you new words as you travel through the vocabulary, but they also improve your general knowledge. This is a fantastic practice for learning a language.
Keep a journal.
Begin a handwritten diary in which you express your thoughts in Italian.
You can practise your writing skills this way. Remember to use the vocabulary that you studied that day.
Pay attention while native language speakers speak!
Observe how native Italian speakers use their language.
If you can, when you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask what they mean.
You will learn to use idioms, phrases, slang, and idiomatic expressions as you start paying attention. This will improve your fluency and understanding.
Create a set of words.
Keep a note of all the words and phrases you come across in a notebook you take with you.
When you get home or have some free time, open a dictionary and look up the definitions of the words you gathered.
Use the phrase and word you learned
Again, this is such a crucial subject that I keep underlining it.
You will forget the words you learn if you do not use them.
Learn to say the words properly. Make it a routine.
You might want to keep learning Italian online with these free resources: