I love podcasts. There are a great way to learn on the go. Whether you are commuting to work, exercising at the gym, or preparing dinner at home, podcasts allow you to expand your understanding of Italian in fun and engaging ways. My favorite two Italian language podcasts are Learn Italian Pod and News In Slow Italian.
Learn Italian Pod
Learn Italian Pod is a fun dialogue between the hosts, Massimo and Jane. The podcasts are structured around a certain theme each time, from Italian superstitions (le superstizione) to Italian desserts (i dolci). Massimo and Jane have an engaging two to three paragraph dialogue about the subject matter in Italian, first at normal conversational speed, then at a slower speed for better comprehension. They then provide the English translation of their conversation. At the end of the lesson, Massimo and Jane describe an idiomatic expression and provide a short lesson on an Italian verb.
The free version of the podcast lasts for about eight minutes which includes the the themed dialogue in Italian. You can subscribe to become a VIP member for access to the entire podcast. VIP members also get access to the podcast transcripts on the website with line by line audio and video, an audio glossary, flashcards with thousands of words and definitions, and interactive quizzes. VIP membership is $14.95/month and $149.50/year.
Say hi to Massimo and Jane and check out all that Learn Italian Pod has to offer by visiting the website learnitalianpod.com.
News in Slow Italian
You guessed it! News in Slow Italian is a podcast where you listen to the news spoken slowly in Italian. If you have ever been to Italy, you know that Italians speak very quickly. Sometimes, it can be hard to understand everything they say, even if you have a decent grasp of the language. The creators of News in Slow Italian recognize this, and provide the dialogue and news in a less intimidating way for non-native speakers.
During the News in Slow Italian podcast, the hosts, Stefano and Benedetta (or sometimes a guest host) read a two to three paragraph news story about a current event and discuss their reactions to it. You will be surprised by how much you understand, because you likely are already familiar with the story. Unlike Learn Italian Pod, the hosts only use Italian, so it is a more immersive experience.
The free version of the podcast lasts for about ten minutes. In order to listen to the full thirty minute episode, you must subscribe on the website. There are different subscription levels, from bronze to gold. The bronze subscription is $13.90/month, $54.90/year and provides you access to the complete audio lesson and flashcards. The gold subscription is $22.90/month, $159.90/year and provides you access to interactive transcripts, quizzes, bonus grammar lessons, flashcards, and a pronunciation practice feature which allows you to record and compare your pronunciation with native speakers.
Have some fun exploring current events by checking out newsinslowitalian.com.