It’s not surprising for people to want to learn Italian, simply because the language itself is exciting to hear. All the emotions and the enthusiasm that native speakers exude whenever they talk just compel non-natives to want to understand what they’re trying to say.
If you’re one of those people who want to understand, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be talking about a basic guide to help you course through your chosen Italian program in Calgary.
And if you haven’t found a program or a language centre in Canada you like, we’ll gladly give you a list of schools and institutions that offer some of the best in your city. Oh, and you might want to consider getting yourself a tutor.
Guide to Basics of the Italian Language
While language programs and courses have their own curriculum to follow, it wouldn’t hurt if you created your own personal guide as a student.
A supplement guide separate from what you get from your instructors might be the key to ensuring you get a holistic education. Not to mention, a thorough understanding of the language.
To help you craft one for yourself, here’s a skeleton of what your guide should contain:
Begin with Mastering the Alphabet
Mastering a language should most definitely start with mastering its alphabet—and how you pronounce them. This will probably be the easiest portion out of the entire guide, so really have fun in this step.
Once you do, the rest will follow. Obviously, if you neglect to give this part a good amount of importance, you won’t build a great foundation for the rest of your studies.
You can take a chill pill because the Italian alphabet is quite similar to the one we have in English. The only difference though is that the former contains only 16 consonants in comparison to the latter’s 21.
Both have the same number of vowels, too.
As far as pronunciation is concerned, Italians’ ways of pronouncing their words is pretty consistent—so, the rules aren’t as challenging to remember. Moreover, you pronounce the words just like how you write them, making it easier to speak like a true Italian.
Get a Good Grasp of Italian Grammar
The previous section, as we’ve said, was the easiest part. The hardest part is this one.
Lucky for you, Italian grammar still has one similarity to the English language, and that is the order of the words. Italian sentences also follow the subject-verb-object order when it comes to constructing one—a lot similar to English.
So, when you’re just starting out, simply translating English to Italian sentences might be your go-to technique.
Get used to using a lot of adjectives since Italians are very fond of using them. On top of that, the adjectives used must agree with the gender of the noun that you’re using—which means it has many forms.
In relation to genders, nouns are associated with them, as well as articles. But here, put more emphasis in understanding the articles as it determines whether the noun is singular or plural, feminine or masculine.
Stock Up on Common Italian Words and Phrases
As with learning any language, nobody really starts with long sentences and paragraphs. Usually, it’s just knowing a few good words and phrases to get through the day.
And that’s what you should do, as well.
Stock up on common Italian phrases that you use frequently. The same goes for phrases that are useful for emergencies.
If you’re aspiring to travel to—or live in—Italy, learning every day phrases like, “Where can I find the restroom?” or “How much is this?” should be useful.
To help, you can also just listen to great Italian music or Italian shows and take note of what they usually say. When you do this, you also get to learn the slangs of the language as if you’re already living there.
Where to Learn the Basics of Italian in Calgary
With a guide set up, let’s now look into the different learning options you have in Calgary. This sunny city is filled with all sorts of institutions that offer Italian lessons and courses.
Here are some notable ones:
Listen and Learn
As a multinational company, Listen and Learn is known to offer one-on-one and small group courses for both individuals and corporate clients. Their courses are crafted according to what their clients want and they aim to fulfill the needs of their client.
Apart from their tailor-made classes, they also offer some of the most competitive prices in this city. With their prices, you can guarantee that their instructors are professionals who have sufficient experience and knowledge in the language they teach.
Currently, they offer online lessons because of the pandemic. But they don’t see it as a hurdle! In fact, they’ve become more confident in the services they have to offer.
They also connect you to weekly gatherings and meetups like the Italian Club in Calgary.
Language Trainers was established in 2004 and has since helped a lot of clients—business and non-business—in Canada learn different languages wherever they want, whenever they want, including online options.
They’re recognized by multiple international companies, non-profit organizations, and agencies for their work. Some of their biggest clients include the World Anti-Doping Agency, Bank of Montréal, and Transalta.
This institution boasts their specialty in crafting personalized programs for their clients, regardless of the nature of their desire to learn Italian. The programs they create consider both the personal needs and schedule of the clients, making it work well for those who have busy schedules.
The classes they have are the following: 1-on-1 general Italian course, 1-on-1 business Italian course, and 2-to-1 and small group Italian courses. As of the moment, they primarily give their lessons through online sessions, where students can sign up for an online course.
Take note that they take hours seriously, especially if you want to reach a certain level in Italian. 30 hours for elementary, 150 hours for intermediate, and 400 hours for advanced.
Find out more about how to take Italian classes in Montréal.
Calgary Italian School
The Calgary Italian School is one of the schools in Calgary that offer instruction to students as young as 5 years old, up to grade 12. They also teach adults in different levels such as beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
It’s good to note that the school is funded by the Italian Government, Calgary Italian Club, and Italian Sportsmen’s Dinner Association, highlighting their legitimacy in teaching Italian.
They’ve crafted their own Program of Studies which primarily focuses on teaching conversational Italian while incorporating Italy’s history and culture. What is interesting about this school is that they update their program yearly to make sure they’re up-to-date, relevant, and interesting to their students.
Currently, they have 4 courses for adults and 9 courses for children. They also hold a variety of school events such as Open House, school performances, and Festival of the Italian Regions.
Algonquin College in Ottawa also offers a great module on Italian. This institution is recognized by the Italian embassy, making their program top-notch.
Learn more about studying Italian in Ottawa.
Calgary’s Italian Online and Tutoring Services
You can also opt to hire your own Italian tutor if you don’t like sitting through group classes—or online meetings. These tutors will see to it that you get a similar program, without the crowd and the strict schedules.
Another advantage when you get your own tutor is that you get to decide the number of times you meet up in a month and the length for each session. The only thing you do need to consider is your budget for it.
Speaking of budget, if you’re not yet sure on how much your budget is, you can check out Superprof’s list of Italian tutors in Calgary. These tutors are a mix of professionals, each having their own respective experience to back up their expertise in the subject matter.
The price ranges from $30 to $60 per hour, with the first lesson being free. Moreover, you can also find Italian tutors in Toronto.
Another option is Language Tutors. Here you have tutors who have specified the age groups and the levels they are willing to teach.
While both of these platforms connect you to tutors in the city, Language Tutors only focus on offering services for language learning whereas Superprof caters to a lot of different subject matters and fields.
They also have tutors in Vancouver, if you’re interested to hire a professional from that seaside city.
Better give both sites a try if you’re interested!
We know just how exciting it is to learn a new language, much less that language being Italian. So with that in mind, we’ve constructed a basic guide that you can follow as you go through your Italian studies.
If you have not yet found the perfect Italian program—or tutor—for you, feel free to scan through again the list we’ve crafted just for you. What are you waiting for? Start your Italian journey today!
Edmonton has many Italian classes that might interest you. Browse through the institutions and you might just find yourself enrolling in those classes.
Check out the best ways to study Italian in Canada’s major cities.
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