Italian is one of the most beautiful and (I think) fun romance languages to speak. The sounds of the language themselves are enough to take you to another time and place.
But learning Italian can be quite the challenge for a native English speaker, especially if it's your first foreign language. Here’s 3 ways you can you use Yabla to tackle some of the specific problem points Italian learners face.
If you want a more in depth review on the site and it's method you can find that here. Today we're focusing specifically on the course for Italian.
Review of: Yabla Italian
Use: Language immersion through video for Italian.
Digital immersion through videos
$9.95 for a 1 month subscription
Time is up to you. Videos are 3-10 minutes long
Ease of Use
Site and video player are easy to use
Videos are sorted by level of difficulty and subject.
- Slow playback feature
- Effective vocabulary practice
- Built in flashcard system on site
I Don't Like
- Doesn't develop speaking abilities
- Not that structured
Yabla is a site that helps you learn foreign languages through native videos. Overall Yabla is more of a tool than a full fledged language course. There isn't a lot of structure on the site, so you're free to jump around their videos.
But what Yabla lacks for in structure it makes up for in content. There are 1,000's of videos on the site, and each one was made in the foreign language its showcased for.
The site's features like slow playback, switchable subtitles, and a one click dictionary make it a great way to both learn new vocabulary and review what you already know (in fact Yabla has been used in multiple school systems).
All in all if you're looking for a great digital immersion option for a foreign language, Yabla is definitely worth looking at!
Subscription plans starting at $9.95 a month
1) It helps you sort out the Italian verbs
If Italian is your first romance language then you’ll likely run into trouble with its many verb conjugations. Remembering which is used for what tense or with which person or number can feel overwhelming.
Yabla is a great way to practice your verb conjugations and overcome all of this. Your best bet will probably be to practice one verb tense at a time. Let’s say you start with the simple present.
A short intro to Italian present tense verbs
Review the rules for each person/number conjugation in that tense. Then watch a video with subtitles and try to pick out any verbs that look like they could be present tense, writing them down in a list.
After the video take the list and try to sort the verbs out by which conjugation you think they fit under. Use a dictionary (like the one on Yabla) and double check your answers. Do this a few times and you will start to see patterns in the verb conjugations.
If you really want to challenge yourself try picking out the verbs without subtitles, using only the audio from the video.
2) It helps you practice pronoun placement
One of the most confusing aspects of Italian pronouns are where you put them in a sentence (never mind the fact that Italian has more pronouns than English).
Watching videos on Yabla with subtitles is an excellent way to see how and where Italian pronouns are used. When you see a sentence that uses a pronoun in way you don’t get or haven’t seen before, write it down. You can put it in a flashcard or ask a teacher or language partner about it.
3) It's great for pronunciation practice
Use Yabla’s video play to slow down and loop specific segments of a video. When you play it back do your best to mimic what you hear. Then try saying it by yourself and playback the video to double check and make the necessary corrections. Break each video segment into syllables not words.
When you mimic you’ll want to string together the syllables to form full sentences. It’s blending syllables together and not words that really help you sound like a native speaker.
You don’t need Yabla to do this kind of exercise but the site does make it easier than it would be otherwise (especially because you can slow the video down).
Alternative to Yabla Italian
Starts at $15 per month
5+ minutes a day
Fluentu is a site that helps you learn a language through native videos. It's very similar to Yable, though it's a tad more exspensive.
Use in site flashcards, captions, and games to learn new words in context while watching Italian TV shows, movies, commercials, and more. It's a great way to push your listening skills and vocabulary.
From $4+ per month
15+ minutes a day
Italianpod101 features audio lessons in a podcast format. Lessons are great for grammar and vocabulary. Each lesson is designed around a Italian conversation between native speakers, and the teachers do a great job of keeping things engaging.
Italianpod101 is more structured than Yabla and is a substantial learning tool. The site features transcripts, an in-site flashcard system, and many other useful features.
20+ minutes a day
Rocket Italian is built around recorded audio in the form of dialogues. The dialogues have English explanations and usually teach the language in "chunks" or phrases versus individual words (this is great for conversational Italian).
Rocket Italian is for those who want a thorough and comprehensive course for learning the language. It does an excellent job of incorporating Italian speaking and listening, as well as reading and writing.
Yabla is a great tool for any of the 6 languages it offers, but it has some special appeal if you’re learning Italian. The site is affordable with a single month subscription starting at $9.95.
There are also some free Italian videos on the site so you can get a taste of what Yabla offers before you pay for anything. If you’re considering learning Italian then you definitely should take a look!