How to speak fluent italian – 5 advices
Speaking Italian, mistakes to avoid
5 tips to speak Italian fluently
Italian, as we know, is now a highly studied language. There are those who do it for love, those to study or to work, those to get closer to music, art, history, good food. The reasons are many and make this language a real asset for those who master it. Italian belongs to everyone and everyone often asks themselves: how to speak it fluently?
It must be said that it is a language of a thousand exceptions, where the natives themselves often run into serious mistakes. If you have already studied Italian, you will certainly know the difficulties in distinguishing the subjunctive from the conditional. And the apostrophes, the accents! When to put them, when not? The spelling can be really insidious, although some are always keen to point out that: “Italian is read as it is written!”. Ah! Amateurs. In the era of social networks, grammatical errors are at the mercy of everyone, easy to frame but difficult to correct, if the habit of committing them prevails. But don’t worry. Constant exercise can really help you to overcome all obstacles brilliantly.
To study the grammar is fundamental and sometimes fun if you are lucky enough to meet the right teacher or manual, we can follow some practical tips to speak fluently and “be thoughtless”, as they say in Neapolitan. Today we want to give you five:
1. Read and write as much as you can.
But how? You will ask yourself. Do I have to read and write to speak fluently? What does it has to do with it? Eh! It has something to do with it. When we speak, a great many words escape our attention. Our brains are great at holding the concept together, even if we don’t understand everything. Or worse still, when we don’t know of the existence of a word, which however is not essential for understanding, our brain discards it to facilitate our work. It may have happened, for example, when you are studying a new topic of grammar, that you continually notice the use that native speakers make of it. But before knowing the topic you didn’t realize it, because you simply didn’t know! By reading, however, nothing can escape your attention, because it will be easier for you to focus on each word. This way, you will be able to continually learn new terms and jot down grammar passages that are not yet clear to you. However, when you read, we advise you not to dwell continuously on what you do not know, but to always try to understand the entirety of the reading.
And why write? Writing helps you to fix the syntactic structure and the words. Our teachers always recommend keeping a diary, which among other things it will be great to re-read in the future! Repeating always works to learn definitively and never make mistakes.
2. Gesticulate and use facial expressions.
You will have noticed that in Italy we move our hands, arms and eyebrows a lot. Gesture language accompanies Italian like a dress and cannot be ignored. It would be like going out naked! You have to know how to use your hands if you want to speak fluently, that’s right. The gestures will help you to explain yourself better and above all to emphasize the emotional impulse. Just think, from a research conducted by the New York Times, it emerged that we use about 250 gestures to accompany our daily conversations! To learn them, you will certainly need an Italian friend who explains all the features of this unique body language in the world, and then a lot of practice, perhaps in front of the mirror!
3. Very important to listen. Have an Italian friend willing to correct you.
We said, have an Italian friend. Of course it is wonderful to have friends all over the world, but in your phone book, if you want to learn this language well, there must necessarily be the number of an Italian with whom you have established a lot of confidence. There are two reasons: Italians are often wonderful talkers and you can listen to them for hours, in spite of all the listening tests done in class. Listening is very important to improve and discover new expressions and ways of saying.
And then, if you have a lot of confidence with the Italian in question, you won’t mind asking him to be corrected if you make a mistake. Sometimes, for fear of offending those in front of us, we leave mistakes alone as long as we understand the communicative message. And this is also the right thing, because it is not nice to be interrupted and you easily risk losing the thread. But a good friend is willing to make a mental note of what is not working and then tell us at the end “you can’t say that, but you must say that!”. You will see that you will never forget it! But be careful: never ask why an mistake is made. An Italian who is not also a grammar teacher in life will not be able to give you an explanation, he will only be able to tell you that it is right exactly as he told you. Trust him.
4. Use “però” correctly.
We Italians often love to leave sentences suspended, in a silence stronger and more meaningful than any word. Many have asked us what is the difference between “ma” and “però” (both mean “but” in English) and above all what it means when we use “però” at the end of the sentence, without adding anything else. We start from the fact that both express a fact or a situation in total contrast with what was expressed in the previous sentence. How are they used?
“Ma” it is used only at the beginning of the second sentence that expresses the contrast: “I like team sports but I don’t like football”.
“Però”, it can be used in the same way it is used but, or at the end of the sentence that expresses the contrast, such as: “I like sports, I don’t like football, though (però)”.
You may also hear: “I’m not angry with you, though (però)…”. “Però”, left there alone, can mean a lot, such as: “I’m not angry with you but you behaved badly and now I’ll have to think about whether to forgive you or not, in any case, never do it again otherwise you will lose my friendship forever! “.
“Però”, used in this way is always a double-edged sword and if you know how to use it in the right way, you will know perfectly well how to juggle in Italian in case of difficult situations.
5. Speak slowly, think quickly: watch out for concordances, double letters and pauses.
Speaking slowly allows you to be listened to with more attention and can give you a touch of charisma. If you are not a native speaker, it also allows you to think quickly about the linguistic aspects of your message, with less chance of making mistakes.
We advise you to always focus on the concordances between noun and adjective: we are talking about gender and number, masculine and feminine – singular and plural. Using concordances in the right way can be difficult even for those who have been studying Italian for a long time, so you have to make an important cognitive effort when you speak. However, this does not mean taking too many breaks – unless they are effective – which could instead bore your interlocutor. Make sure that the dialogue is a continuous flow, without being monotonous!
Finally, beware of double letters. It takes a lot of concentration for a foreign ear to be able to grasp them, so we recommend that you listen a lot, and practice spelling dictations, which will help you memorize the most used words.
In short, speaking slowly will help you take care of all the formal aspects of your speech!