Survive Italy Without Being Fluent in Italian
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Survive Italy Without Being Fluent in Italian

Get started with your Italian and learn the tricks to speaking and understanding Italian without being fluent. It's EASY
4.6 (417 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
14,115 students enrolled
Created by Manu Venditti
Last updated 7/2014
Price: $20
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Learn basic Italian Expressions
  • Understand how the Italian language works
  • Develop the skill to speak more Italian than you know
  • Develop the skills to understand more Italian than you know
  • Acquire proper pronunciation
  • Become acquainted with learning strategies
View Curriculum
  • English (instructions are in English)

COURSE RECENTLY UPDATED: Q&A Webinars Added (your questions got answered!)



  • Planning a trip to Italy and don't have enough time to learn Italian?
  • Curious about the Italian language?
  • Struggling to learn Italian?

In this introductory course you will learn several tricks to jumpstart your Italian and to speed up your learning.

Did you know that you could immediately and almost effortlessly learn 50% of the Italian vocabulary?

Did you know that you can master Italian pronunciation in just a few hours?

Did you know that you could be speaking in long, complex sentences in just a few weeks?

This course is not magic and naturally learning a language does require some time and effort, but no one needs to be fluent to enjoy the beautiful country that is Italy.

If you were ever interested in visiting Italy, then this course will help you prepare for the adventure. Enjoy.

Manu Venditti

NOTE: this is a 90 minute lecture on ways you can pick up some basic Italian. Obviously it is not a complete language course! Have fun with it and hopefully this will spark your interest in learning Italian with one of the more complete courses I offer.

Who is the target audience?
  • People planning a trip to Italy
  • Travelers
  • Backpackers
  • Learners of Italian
  • Beginners on Italian
  • Italy Lovers
Compare to Other Italian Language Courses
Curriculum For This Course
26 Lectures
2 Lectures 08:24
Welcome to the Course

Welcome to "Survive Italy Without Being Fluent in Italian".

In this video we'll see:

- why you should learn at least a tiny bit of Italian
- reasons to travel to Italy
- things that could go wrong in Italy
- why Italy can be a little "rough" at times
- why it's important to understand Italy before you go
- what knowing just 10% more Italian than other tourists can make a huge difference

Course Introduction
Module 1 - Pronouncing Italian
6 Lectures 16:50

In this video we'll see:

- what makes Italian an easy language to pick up for English speakers
- Italian and English share 50% of the vocabulary
- there are patterns to predict what an English word will be in Italian

You will also learn a little bit more about me, your tutor, Manu Venditti

Personal Message from Your Instructor

Module 1

In this Module we'll look at pronouncing Italian correctly.
We'll focus on:

- Syllables
- Vowels

- Cadence and Melody

Preview 01:34

Italian has 5 vowels, for which there are 7 sounds.

Italian vowels all have very clear and open pronunciation.

There is only one pronunciation for A, I, and U.

E and O have two sounds, an open and closed sound, but it's not essential to get it right.

Preview 03:20

Pronunciation Tips:

1. Focus on pronouncing vowels
2. Pronounce every vowel
3. Make an effort to produce clear open vowels
4. Exaggerate and imitate Italians

Pronouncing Italian - Vowels - Some Tips

Melody & Cadence

Italian and English use the same cadence, and have the same melody, so you should never worry about "melody" in Italian as all you need to do is maintain the same cadence you would have in English.

Som when speaking Italian, remember to:

- stress the same words
- take the same pauses
- speed up and slow down in the same spot

as you would in the English sentence.

This will help you express your personality even when you're speaking Italian, and this is essential to create a connection with the locals.

Pronouncing Italian - Melody and Cadence

Action Plan for Module 1

- practice pronouncing Italian words focusing on:
- clear, open vowels

- Italian cadence

- pronounce English words, as if they were Italian

Module 1 - Action Plan
Module 2 - Key Italian Expressions
6 Lectures 19:58

Module 2 - Key Italian Expressions

Greeting - When arriving

Ciao [hello] too casual, avoid using
Salve [hello] more formal and very good
Buongiorno [good morning]
Buonasera [good evening]

Greeting - When departing
Ciao [
goodbye] too casual, avoid using
Arrivederci [goodbye]
Buona giornata [have a good day!]
Buona serata [have a good evening!]
Buonanotte [goodnight] only when going to bed

Preview 03:24

Being Polite
Grazie [thank you]
Prego [you're welcome]
Non c'è di che [don't mention it]
Grazie a Lei [thank YOU!]
Di niente [that's alright - no need to thank me]

Per favore [please] for requests
Prego [please] for offers, concessions
Mi spiace [I'm sorry]
Mi scusi [excuse me]
... e Lei? [and you?]

Preview 02:58

A Tiny Bit of Grammar

- In Italian all nouns have gender (they are either masculine or feminine - for no particular reason!)
- Usually, words ending with -o are masculine
- Usually, words ending with -a are feminine

To say THE, Italian uses IL for masculine words and LA for feminine words
To say A/AN, Italian uses UN for masculine words and UNA for feminine words

A bit of Grammar

At the Cafe

Vorrei [I would like]
Prendo [I'll have]
Per me [for me]
Mi dà [will you give me]
Mi fa [will you make me]

Key Italian Expressions - Ordering Food and Drinks

Asking Questions

Generally speaking, all you have to do to ask a question in Italian is make a statement sound like a question. So it's all in the intonation!

Things are different when we use "question words". In those cases the verb comes right after the verb.

Dove [where]
Quando [when]
Perché [why/because]
Chi [who]
Come [how]
Cosa / che cosa / che [what]

Key Italian Expressions - Asking Questions

Action Plan

- Find a menu in Italian and practice ordering food and drinks in Italian
- Replace your everyday "thank you", "you're welcome", "please" and so on with their Italian equivalents.

Module 2 - Action Plan
Module 3 - Tricks and Getting VIP Treatment
7 Lectures 24:31

Module 3 - Tricks and VIP Treatment

In this module we will look at
- how to understand more Italian than you know
- how to speak more than you know
- how to get VIP treatment everywhere you go

Understanding More

- 50% to 90% of what we talk about is "old info"
- context makes us expect certain words
- non-verbal communication
- 50% of English vocab comes from Latin
- it's not important to understand every word

Preview 05:28

A Few Tricks

During each interaction with Italian...
- focus on the keywords
- pay attention to non-verbal cues
- look out for words that have an Eglish relative within the same context

Tricks for Understanding More

How to Spot Latin Based Words
- they have 2 or more (usually many) syllables
- they have a lot of vowels
- they lack long sequences of consonants
- they look Italian!

How To Predict What a Word is Going To Be in Italian

Speaking More Italian

- 50% is shared vocabulary [so you can make words up]
- learn words as you interact with Italians
- easy to make words

How to make Up Word
English words that end with -tion will end in -zione in Italian
English words that end with -sion will end in -sione in Italian
And the first part of the word is the same as English, or close enough.

English words [latin-based] that end in -ly will end in -mente in Italian.

How to Make Up Italian Words (or How to Guess 50% of the Italian Vocabulary)

Final Tips

- Learn to simplify your English before you start speaking sentences in Italian
- Avoid using phrasal verbs in English and replace them with a one word verb before you try and say it in Italian.

Preview 02:20

Getting VIP Treatment

The Problem
- Italians are 'scared' of having to speak English
- They will do anything to avoid it
- This translates into poor/extremely cold and impersonal service

The Solution
- Always make the first contact in Italian
- You need very little Italian for this to work
- Be friendly, fun, and playful

What Can You Get?
- Better service
- People going out of their way to help you
- Free liquor and coffee at restaurants
- Freebies at deli shops
- Feel more like a local and less like a tourist

Getting VIP Treament

Action Plan
- Look up recipes in Italian on Youtube and focus on keyword [Channel: Giallo Zafferano]
- Replace English phrasal verbs with one word English verbs

Module 3 - Action Plan
3 Lectures 08:08

Quick Review of the Three Modules

Course Review

Anyone can learn to speak a language as long as they:

- Focus on communication
- Learn only what you are going to need and use
- Have a system that helps you speak/understand more than you know
- Have access to a native speaker
- Have a system that does not overwhelm them
- Have a system that does not take a lot of time every day

Strategies for Learning Italian Easily and Quickly

2 Lectures 04:44
Jump Start Your Italian - Free Series

A quick teaser for my upcoming Udemy Course "Speak Italian From Day 1".
Currently only available at

Speak Italian From Day 1 is the first and only Simplified and Targeted Course on Italian Language and Culture.

The course:
- only shows you what you need
- only takes 30 minutes a day / 3 hours a week
- shows you the content one day at the time (avoid overwhelm)

You will learn:
- How Italian works
- The Basics
- Ordering at cafes and restaurants
- Shopping
- Buying groceries
- Tourist survival
- Directions
- Safety
- Avoiding scams
- Traveling
- Buying tickets
- Getting info
- Booking rooms
- Asking questions
- Improving your understanding
- Improving your accent
- Socializing

Upcoming Course - Sneak Peak!
About the Instructor
Manu Venditti
4.8 Average rating
562 Reviews
16,136 Students
4 Courses
Italian Tutor

A Doctor in Translation from Italy, with over 20 years of experience in teaching Italian as a foreign language, I have developed techniques and strategies to help anyone pick up Italian easily and quickly.

Over the years I have traveled to 27 countries, studied 8 foreign languages and I am fluent in 4. You can rest assured that my strategies and teaching method will get you speaking and understanding Italian with ease.

As an academic, I know the difference between learning Italian for educational purposes and learning Italian to maximise your experience while traveling through Italy. They are different skills and there is no reason why you should have to learn Italian the hard way!

You can always reach out to me for support and advice. A presto, Manu