Illustration Credit, Studentessa Matta

Di recente ho condotto un sondaggio nel gruppo di conversazione sulla pagina di Studentessa Matta su Facebook e ho chiesto alle persone che partecipano lì, il problema più difficile affrontando l’apprendimento della lingua.

Recently I conducted a survey in the Studentessa Matta Conversation Group on Facebook and asked people what they were struggling with most regarding Italian language learning.

Il sondaggio dice….

Survey says…

Il vocabulario è la cosa numero uno — la cosa più peggiore — da affrontare!

Vocabulary is the number 1 thing that trips people up!

Questo è un probema anche per voi?

Is this a problem for you as well?

Se è una consolazione, è un problema anche per me! Ogni giorno sto ancora imparando nuove parole!

If it’s any consolation, it is a problem for me too! Every day I’m still learning new words! 

Avere un ampio vocabolario è essenziale per esprimersi bene. Ogni giorno sto ancora imparando nuove parole in italiano e in inglese! Figurati! Anche in inglese! Essendo una scrittrice, cerco sempre nuovi modi di dire le cose, sia in inglese che in italiano.

Having a large vocabulary is essential so that you can express yourself well. Every day I’m still learning new words in Italian — as well as in English! Go figure — even in English! Being a writer, I’m always investigating new ways of saying things, both in English and Italian. 

Imparare l’italiano non è una corsa al traguardo, dove avrete tutte le conoscenze del mondo e tutte le parole che desiderate usare proprio sulla punta della lingua.

Learning Italian isn’t a rush to the end game, where you will have all the knowledge in the world and all the words you wish to use right at the tip of your tongue.

Questa è la bellezza dell’apprendimento di una nuova lingua. Potete andare avanti, al vostro ritmo ogni giorno, passo dopo passo, imparando qualcosa di nuovo — qualcosa che non sapevete il giorno prima.

That is the beauty of learning a new language. You get to move forward, at your own pace every day, step by step, learning something new — something you didn’t know the day before.

È abbastanza bello, vero?
That’s pretty cool, right?

Ecco 7 suggermimenti per MIGLIORARE o ESPANDERE il vostro vocabolario.

Here are 7 tips to IMPROVE or EXPAND your Vocabulary.

Photo Credit, Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photo
  1. Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read! The more you read, the more words you will be exposed to. That is the reason I post a wide-range of articles on this blog every week. I want to expose my readers, and me too, to new Italian words. I encourage you all to write the new words down and make them your own! I’d also love for you to chat about them in a message at the end of a post. Let me know the words you learn by reading the Matta Blog. That would certainly make my day!
Photo Credit, Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photo

2. Keep a dictionary and thesaurus handy. When I write in English my go-to-on-line site is When I write in Italian my go-to-on-line site is Reverso Context I can pull from thousands of Italian sites using Reverso Context to see how a word is used in real context from journals, magazines, and other blogs.

Photo Credit, Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photo

3. Keep a journal. Write a thought every day. If you can’t think of the right word to use to describe something, look it up and take a few moments to process it and become “friends” with it. By using the words that relate to you personally in sentences — words that really add value to describe your experiences means you are more likely to remember them later down the road.

Photo Credit, Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photo

4. Learn a word a day. To this day I still love my Living Language daily calendar. It still gives me pleasure to flip the calendar and read the little message and see the words in Italian. There are other great sites to learn a word a day and that is Parola del Giorno – curated by, my friend Keith Preble.

Photo Credit, Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photo

5. Don’t’ attempt to memorize a long list of new vocab words. Unless you have a photographic memory (which I don’t — and I’m guessing you don’t either if you are reading this blog post) you are wasting your time. You will get bored and the hour you spend trying to remember a long list of words that aren’t relevant to you — well, you’d spend that hour better eating pizza or watching a funny Italian movie like Benvenuti al Sud.

6. Play some games. Recently, I posted the article: “Playing around in Italian.” Find ways to challenge you and help you discover new meanings and new words through puzzle books, Scrabble games and crossword puzzles. One of my favorite games is the Italian version of Taboo – Il gioco delle parole vietate!!

Photo Credit, Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photo

7. Engage in Conversation! There! I just went and said it! (LOL) The best way to remember and learn new words is to hold a conversation with someone! You are so in luck, because now on the Matta blog I’m scheduling half-hour conversation sessions with you in mind. Now we can connect and chat in Italian and expand our vocabularies together. To see my sign up calendar and schedule a call click here.

Ricordatevi! / Just remember….

Dovete esercitarvi a scrivere e parlare nuove parole o rischiare di non trattenerle nel cervello. Usate la ripetizione quando imparate per la prima volta una nuova parola: pronuncial la parola ad alta voce, registrala sul memo vocal sul telefono, annota la parola nel vostro diario e usatela in una frase significative per voi.

You must practice putting your new words into writing and speaking, or risk not retaining them in your brain. Use repetition when you first learn a new word — speak the word out loud, record it in your voice memo on your phone, write the word down in your journal, and use it in a sentence that is meaningful to you.

Inoltre, un ultimo suggerimento che suggerisco — guardate molti film italiani!

Also, one final tip I suggest watch lots of Italian movies!

Here is a sampling of Top 5 Italian Romance Movies

If you’d like to join the Studentessa Matta Facebook Conversation Group click here.

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  1. Grazie mille Melissa. Your posts are full of entertaining and educational content! Always something new and wonderful to discover in my quest to learn Italian.

  2. Grazie! Ho imparato il verbo, “esercitare.” Nom ho avuto nessun idea che significa praticare. Ho pensato che “esercitare” significa a fare gli esercizi fisici!