6 Italian Podcasts to Help Improve Your Language Skills
Who doesn’t love a podcast? I find them to be a great for most activities (especially cleaning!), while allowing me to keep up to date, discover new things, and most of all keeping my language skills in on point by listening to meaningful content! As an Italian native speaker, podcasts still help me a lot to widen my English vocabulary and strengthen my pronunciation. So why not do the same for your Italian learning journey? Let’s take a look at 6 Italian podcasts for you daily practice.
Coffee Break Italian is a collection of podcasts that has been around since 2015. They focus on grammar and expressions using everyday situations like going to the movies, ordering food, travelling.
Pros: Available on multiple platforms (Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify)
Active on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) so it’s easy to engage with other learners
Great and fizzy pace, easy and interesting to follow
The bilingual explanations of certain concepts (some speakers will use both English and Italian) might be useful for absolute beginners
Not all content (e.g. transcripts and additional grammar explanations) are free
The website interface can be a bit confusing as there are no clear categories (e.g. grammar, vocabulary, expressions) but the episodes are all listed together
Some episodes don’t work across all the platforms
Overall impression: Ideal for beginners or learners who want to get an immediate grasp of everyday expressions and situations to use them while travelling.
This 22 episodes podcast was made by the University of Texas Austin. It focuses on the Carnevale and its rich history and characters.
PDF Transcripts of all episodes are available
The grammar is broken down in a clear way
Additional links and resources to the history of Carnevale and Commedia dell’Arte.
A bit short
Might appeal only to history lovers and not to people looking for more casual topics
A great resource for grammar and Italian history, easy to navigate.
Yabla Italian it’s a bit of an odd one here as it’s not like the other podcasts. Instead, it brings us authentic content from the Italian speaking world which makes it a great listening resource. All videos are 100% native speakers with Italian captions and English translations.
Several themes and situations (school, grammar, meetings, Italian traditions)
The Italian and English captions help in case some words or passage are not understood clearly
The interface is very basic and slightly confusing, as it doesn’t have a common thread
Good to engage with a variety of topics and allow you to familiarize with Italian accents in different situations.
One of the most useful things about this podcast is that the episodes are divided by level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. There’s also a section called ‘Colloquial usages’, devoted to colloquialisms. Transcriptions of every podcast episode are provided, with translations of the most difficult words and expressions.
Easy to navigate, clear interface and categorization
Lots of different, engaging topics (fables, articles, history)
They tackle a lot of different grammar concepts and explain them clearly and expand the most difficult concepts
Could be a small thing, but the podcast titles on the website (not on the podcast/video itself) are only in Italian. Therefore it might be a bit hard for a beginner to navigate and find what he/she is looking for unless they open the specific podcast.
Available only on iTunes and YouTube
Among all the podcasts out there, I believe that this one can be definitely considered as one of the most complete and well organised.
Bonus Italian podcasts! (Because everyone loves an unexpected bonus treat)
Veleno is a podcast made by Repubblica.it which is ideal for advanced learners who are looking to improve their fluency and pronunciation.
The main themes of this podcast are Italian thrillers and crime cases, which have transcripts available.
This little golden nugget of an iTunes podcast varies from discussing culture, vocab and grammar tips, to interviews in Italian. Cher Hale digs in the depth of the Italian language structure and offers lots of words of encouragement and prized suggestions for the Italian learner.
Import Your Favorite Italian Podcasts into LingQ
The big benefit of using LingQ to listen to Italian podcasts is because by importing both the audio and transcript, you can read and listen at the same time. LingQ allows you to look up new words and save them which saves you from going through another dictionary or opening up a new tab on your computer. In other words, LingQ makes studying a lot more convenient.
Let me quickly show you how you can import Italian podcasts into LingQ.
First, click the import button after logging in:
You’ll get directed to the import page which is where you can add your transcript and audio:
After you’re finished, click save and open your new lesson.
There are some very cool features in LingQ, including sentence mode which allows you to translate the entire sentence with ease.
Oh, and don’t forget, LingQ has a mobile app which lets you study on the go.