How to improve your Italian Reading Skills
Learning a new language is often on people’s bucket list or is a resolution that is made at New Year. Many people do begin to learn a new language and find it almost impossible to not only grasp vocabulary and grammar, but to use it in conversation. Whilst classes are a great place to learn a new language, like Italian, it is difficult to cover all aspects of the language. This is where reading is a huge part of improving language understanding and confidence.
This is not just about reading a textbook or flicking through a phrase book and piecing together phrases. Reading a variety of text and books in Italian can be a great way to progress more quickly in the language. Read what interests you and read different styles of book.
One thing that must be avoided when reading in Italian, or any other foreign language, is trying to translate every single word. This ruins the flow of your reading and is a motivation killer. Instead, focus on the Italian vocabulary that you do understand and use this to gauge an understanding of what that particular part is about. If possible, look for books which a parallel text translation. These are great for checking understanding or phrases. One trap to avoid is not reading the Italian sections and focusing on the English instead. The best way to use these types of books is to read the Italian, jot down what you understand, and then read the translation.
‘Sticking to a set time makes you more likely to grasp the Italian language more quickly.’
This doesn’t need to be hours upon hours of reading. Five to ten minutes a day is all that is needed to make progress in your language learning skill.
Yes, these will be aimed at children most of the times, but there is no reason why these should be avoided as a learning tool. An added bonus of using comics to learn Italian is that they are heavily picture based. Using pictures for clues is something that children do when they are learning to speak English. The same principle applies to adults learning to read Italian. Picture prompts are great for understanding a phrase or a new piece of vocabulary. Often, these are quite informal in style so your grammar will improve greatly too. Besides, the Italian fumetto has a quite interesting tradition!
Similar thinking to reading comics but a great source of language. You will read lots of dialogue in a children’s book between characters. This is great for learning more informal conversational Italian as opposed to the more formal textbook learning. Both are valid forms of reading, but having variety is key. Also, a familiar story will help you grasp Italian vocabulary and grammar much more quickly.
Newspapers and Magazines
These are great alternatives to look at and they can be quite specific too. National newspapers are great to keep up to date with Italian news nationwide, but you can get creative with this too.
‘If there is a part of Italy you love to visit, then read their local newspapers,’ suggests Sophie Christine, a leading language blogger at Best Writing Service and Revieweal. ‘These not only give you a chance to improve your Italian reading, but also keep you up to date with a local area too.’
The same principle applies to magazines as well. If you are interested in fashion, then reading Italian magazines in this area of the market will be great. You will be learning some Italian and also learning about fashion and trends. Also, if you are familiar with the material, you will learn the Italian vocabulary so much quicker and be more likely to remember it.
Improve your Reading Skills in Italian language
The key to improving your Italian reading is variety. The more styles you read, the better your all-round Italian will become. Dedicate part of your day to working on your Italian reading and don’t be afraid to try something a bit different to what you would normally read. Books aimed at children are still as useful to adults as more formal, academic books.