Last updated Oct 3, 2023
A lot has changed in the past few years when it comes to Italian language learning apps. Nowadays, apps have a lot more to offer than they used to. And while you shouldn’t be using apps exclusively to study Italian, they’re worth taking advantage of.
Language learning apps are no longer limited to teaching the language through games or phrasebooks. Lots of courses, even the older ones, have developed apps to cater to the growing number of people learning languages on their phones.
There are so many apps that have made it into this list and it still isn’t a complete compilation. Instead, we’ve included our favorites in addition to some popularly recommended options and sorted them by what they do best. Don’t forget to check out our article “Best Way To Learn Italian – 11 Best Tips To Try Today” for more ideas aside from apps.
Table of Contents
Table of Best Apps to Learn Italian
Links below will send you to the app websites, and the app details are down below.
Best Course Structure: Babbel
Best Course for Practicing Oral Skills: Pimsleur
Best App for Thoroughly Learning Italian: Ouino
Best Immersion Approach App: Yabla
READING AND LISTENING
Best Lessons in the Style of a Podcast: ItalianPod101
Best for Side-by-Side Reading: Beelinguapp
Best Pronunciation Dictionary: Forvo
SPEAKING AND WRITING
Best for Pronunciation Feedback: Speechling
Best for Writing Feedback: italki
Best for Learning Words in Context: Clozemaster
Most Enjoyable Vocabulary Practice: Memrise
Best for Customizable Vocabulary Practice: Anki
Best Dictionary App: WordReference
TUTORS AND LANGUAGE EXCHANGES
Overall Best Italian Learning Apps
Apps that provide Italian courses are quite many. Some of these apps feel like they were designed with the mobile experience in mind, others not so much. What they do have in common though, is that they try to cover multiple areas of language learning.
Best Course Structure
Babbel is an online language-learning platform with over 1 million active users. The app aims to get learners to a conversational level as quickly as possible through the use of a variety of exercises and spaced repetition for review. The courses are well put together and relatively inexpensive; there are 14 different languages available.
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See our Super-Detailed Babbel Italian Review
Best Course for Practicing Oral Skills
Pimsleur is one of the most popular and longest-standing resources out there for learning a foreign language. Its Italian courses place a strong emphasis on aural and verbal communication skills that can be used right away.
Limited time Holiday offer! Get 50% off the first month of All Access after a 7-Day Free Trial! Get a chance to experience the full benefits of Pimsleur before committing to a long-term plan. See details on their website. Offer ends on 12/14/2023.
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See our Super-Detailed Pimsleur Italian Review
Best App for Thoroughly Learning Italian
Ouino is a software program and mobile app with more than 500 lessons and 1,000 exercises in Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. It’s curriculum-based with an academic approach (as opposed to relying on gameplay like some other language apps). It covers the basics such as vocab and pronunciation, but can also help you improve your conversation skills and master verb tenses.
Ouino would be great for you if you want to pick a language back up after not using it for a while, if you love structure, or if you want lots of practice. It could also be a good resource for language students who want to keep their skills sharp in between semesters.
See our Super-Detailed Ouino Review
Best Immersion Approach App
Apps to Learn Italian Reading and Listening
Being able to improve your comprehension and listening skills to a point where you are able to understand a fellow speaker of Italian or native Italian text is one of the greater challenges of learning the language. The apps in this category are best for improving these skills.
Best Lessons in the Style of a Podcast
ItalianPod101 provides plenty of listening practice in the form of podcast lessons. It can work really well as a supplementary resource but should be used alongside something with a bit more structure.
The individual lessons themselves are pretty good, it’s just that they don’t progress in a clear and logical order. The lessons do come with practice in the form of quizzes, grammar notes, cultural information, and a few other useful features.
ItalianPod101 would be best for those that are already following a course or using a textbook and want to supplement those resources.
Try it out: Free 7-day trial without needing to provide payment information and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
You can save 25% on a subscription with the coupon code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES”.
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See our Super-Detailed ItalianPod101 Review
Best for Side-by-Side Reading
With Beelinguapp you can listen to and read stories with the text in your target language, a translation, or both side-by-side. There are 13 total languages available, meaning you can choose to study Italian via any of these languages.
In karaoke mode, one or both texts are highlighted along with a recorded reading. There’s also a night mode and an option to slow down audio playback. After each story, there are a few comprehension questions.
The majority of the content is children’s stories, but there are also articles related to culture and science, as well as some news stories.
Beelinguapp is best for intermediate level students, especially if they would like to study Italian with a language other than English.
Try it out – Some stories are available for free.
Best Pronunciation Dictionary
Forvo is the largest pronunciation dictionary there is. You can listen to words being pronounced by native speakers all over the world. You can also add clips of yourself recording words to help others.
You can look at the map and see where the person who recorded the word was from. For some words, several people will have added their recordings, so you can click on different locations and hear regional differences in pronunciation.
Forvo is best for those that want to focus on the pronunciation of individual words.
Try it out – It’s free online. If you end up liking it and feel it’s worth it, purchase the app.
Apps for Italian Speaking and Writing
Productive language skills such as speaking and writing are probably the most exciting skills to practice. Unfortunately, finding quality methods to practice can be challenging because both skills require an audience and no one but a human is able to give you nuanced feedback. Check out the apps below to help you practice these skills.
Best for Pronunciation Feedback
Speechling aims to teach pronunciation through mimicking, a technique that works really well. Of course, doing your best to mimic native speakers is only so useful without getting feedback from someone with a trained ear.
With Speechling, you get to record yourself saying a word, phrase, or answer to a question in Italian. A native speaker will then listen to your recording and provide useful feedback for how you can improve. This experience can be extremely insightful!
There is a basic version of Speechling for free with a limited number of recordings per month; a paid subscription allows you to get feedback on as many recordings as you like.
Save 10% on a subscription with the coupon code ‘ALR123‘.
See our Super-Detailed Speechling Review
Best for Writing Feedback
This platform is most well-known for being a great place to find a language tutor in just about any language you can imagine. Equally useful is its lesser-known Exercise feature.
The feature provides users with a platform to publish their own pieces of writing in their target language. You can write about anything at all or you can respond to prompts, and it will become public for other users to see and provide feedback and corrections. This type of writing feedback is hard to come by and it can be quite useful. Perhaps the best thing about this feature is that it’s free – simply sign up and start writing. Right now get a $10 credit with your first purchase.
See our Super-Detailed italki Review
Learn Italian Vocabulary with Apps
Learning new words and phrases is a no brainer when tackling a new language. A good number of the apps we mention in this category are flashcard based and use a Spaced Repetition System (SRS). The SRS automatically adjusts the intervals in which you review a word. The more you get it right, the less often you see it and vice versa. It’s something you should expect with good vocabulary-learning apps.
Best for Learning Words in Context
Clozemaster is a gamified platform that helps learners of all levels learn words within the context of a sentence. You do this by basically completing tons of fill-in-the-blank questions either by selecting the best option from a multiple-choice list or by typing in the answer.
This is really beneficial because you aren’t learning words in isolation. Instead, you not only learn what the word means but also have an example sentence of how it’s used. They also have some gamification elements akin to an older video game that make using Clozemaster a bit more fun.
Unlike some services where the free version is really limited, Clozemaster’s free plan is excellent; most users won’t feel like they’re missing out on too much by not opting to pay for the Pro plan.
See our Super-Detailed Clozemaster Review
Most Enjoyable Vocabulary Practice
Memrise is mostly free, insanely popular, and pretty fun. It uses gamification in a similar way to Duolingo to encourage students to come back and study a little bit each day.
Although you can use Memrise to study more than just vocabulary, that’s what it’s best suited for. There are a bunch of user-created courses that are free to use in addition to official Memrise courses that offer limited access for free. The content type and quality can vary quite a bit from course to course, but that’s kind of the beauty of the platform.
Memrise can be a really useful tool for building your vocabulary, but it probably shouldn’t be your only resource. It’s best for those that want a fun way to get started practicing new vocabulary right away.
See our Super-Detailed Memrise Review
Best for Customizable Vocabulary Practice
Similar to Memrise, Anki is an app that makes it easy to review words (and really anything) using flashcards. It’s not as quick to get started using and doesn’t have any gamification elements, but it makes up for this with powerful customizability.
There are also some shared decks that other users have created. You can download these and use them if you aren’t interested in spending the time to make your own.
They do charge a hefty $24.99 to download the Anki app in the Apple store, but it’s free everywhere else.
Anki is best for veteran language learners looking to have a customized learning experience.
Best Dictionary App
This extremely popular dictionary app is available in tons of languages. You can see the definition in English or Italian, and you can also use it from Italian to Spanish if you’d like. Definitions come with example sentences and helpful information like parts of speech.
One of the biggest benefits of using WordReference is its built-in conjugator. You can quickly look up verb conjugations for any tense.
WordReference is really for everyone. Who doesn’t need a dictionary and conjugation app?
Tutors and Italian Language Exchange Apps
Many people would assume that they need to travel to Italy to get a lot of speaking practice. This isn’t entirely true. In fact, even if you live in Italy, you may find it more convenient and affordable to get conversation practice by using one of these apps.
Best for Finding a Tutor
italki is one of the only resources I recommend to everybody regardless of the language they’re studying. There are currently over 200 Italian teachers offering classes on this platform with the majority charging less than $15 per hour.
Teachers set their own hours and rates on italki. Because there are so many tutors to choose from, you’ll be able to find someone to fit your budget, schedule, and learning style rather easily.
They also offer a ton of useful free features. For example, it’s a very popular place to find a language exchange partner. It’s a great place to ask questions and even get your writing corrected for free by members of the community.
Try it out – Trial classes are offered at discounted prices, and the community features are free. You also get a $10 credit with your first purchase.
See our Super-Detailed italki Review
Preply is an online educational platform that matches tutors with students. There are tutors on Preply offering instruction in a wide range of languages and other subjects. As a learner, you can find a tutor that works best for you by browsing their demo videos and filtering by price and rating. Each tutor’s teaching style is their own.
See our Super-Detailed Preply Review
Best Language Exchange Apps
HelloTalk is probably the most popular app for language exchange. They have over 10 million members and support 150+ languages.
It comes with some really cool built-in language tools that make it easier to communicate in Italian. Easily translate words, give and receive corrections, make voice or video calls, and more.
HelloTalk provides pretty much everything you could want in a language exchange app, and it’s got a good community of learners. The free version is all most people will need, although it limits the number of translations you can use in a day.
See our Super-Detailed HelloTalk Review
Tandem is another language exchange app with an easy-to-use and modern interface. It has many of the same features as HelloTalk, and where it differs most is probably its aesthetic.
It’s got most of the same built-in language tools and has a large community of helpful and interested language learners, making it an equally good option to HelloTalk.
The overall feel of the app could appeal more to some users, meaning the only way to find the one you like best is to try them out. Luckily, this one’s mostly free to use as well – a paid subscription unlocks unlimited translations.
See our Super-Detailed Tandem Review
Maybe Try These Italian Learning Apps
In this category, you’ll find the apps that didn’t make our group of favorites for one reason or another. They each have their own strengths, though, and are worth considering. Check them out and see if you find one that’s interesting.
Rocket Italian is best for serious students who aren’t scared away by the high-ish price tag. With interactive exercises and a more traditional-course feel, it’s hard to say whether or not it’s worth the higher price. Luckily, they have a generous trial and refund period.
Use code: BLACKFRIDAY and get 60% off all courses!
See our Super-Detailed Rocket Italian Review
Busuu has a solid course, with a great built-in language exchange function, and it’s fun to use. We rated it a bit lower than Babbel due to their weaker grammar explanations, and poor job with non-Latin based languages, but if you’re interested in learning Italian, that won’t be an issue.
Enjoy 10% off sitewide on Premium subscription. Offer valid for new and existing users! See details on the website. Offer ends on 1/31/2024.
See our Super-Detailed Busuu Review
News in Slow Italian is an excellent learning resource; it’s very comprehensive and offers all the necessary tools to be able to practice all the aspects of the language. It’s also one of the most fun and original language learning tools I’ve seen and manages to be so without sacrificing on quality. This program is helpful for anyone who wants to learn Italian.
See our Super-Detailed News in Slow Italian Review
Best Free(mium) Apps for Learning Italian
Are you looking for a budget friendly app to learn Italian? Here are a few free and freemium apps that that are worth checking out.
Best Free Gamified Course
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of this one. It’s free, fun to use, and available in a ton of languages. But just because it’s popular and free, doesn’t necessarily mean you should use Duolingo to study Italian. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, either. Clearly, I have some mixed feelings regarding Duolingo.
I really like how they’ve democratized language learning by creating what’s probably the best free language learning platform you’ll find. That said, if you’re serious about studying Italian and not just looking to casually learn a little bit here and there, Duolingo won’t be your best bet.
Duolingo is best for those looking to casually study Italian, dip their toes into the language, or for those that struggle with self-motivation.
See our Super-Detailed Duolingo Review
Best Free Audio Course
This app is totally free for iOS and Android devices. Its no-nonsense interface is free of ads and provides easy access to the program’s 45 audio lessons in the Italian course. The instruction in the course is ideal for absolute beginners or learners that are looking to strengthen their foundation in Italian. It’s especially useful for English speakers, as the similarities between Italian and English are frequently used to teach a method for thinking about Italian.
The value of this app is super high. It may be less suitable for learners that struggle with material that’s purely audio, but the instruction is thorough. It’s not often you see something this valuable for free – no strings attached.
See our Super-Detailed Language Transfer Review
Best Italian Radio App
With Radio Italia FM, you’ll be able to listen to dozens of radio stations from Italy. This gives you access to tons of Italian listening opportunities, including music and discussions on a wide range of topics.
This isn’t the only app you’ll find that allows you to listen to Italian radio but it does seem to be the best. Some individual stations have apps as well but many of them don’t seem to be as well designed.
Radio Italia FM is best for intermediate or higher level students looking to learn more about Italian culture and music.
Best Reading Content
LingQ is a bit unique. They have quite a few different types of articles at various difficulty levels and from lots of different sources. It’s also easy for users to upload their own content.
One interesting feature with LingQ is that it keeps track of how many words you know by paying attention to which words you look up. It then uses color-coding to visually represent your familiarity with the words in a text.
This makes for a cool way to get extra reading practice while naturally reviewing words as you read. You can also access their content in any of the many languages that they offer, making it great for those that may want to review or study more than one language.
LingQ is best for those that plan to read often and is suitable for beginners as well as learners at more advanced levels.
Try it out – There’s a free limited version of the app.
See our Super-Detailed LingQ Review
edX is a popular platform where you can find free online courses from universities around the world. The courses cover tons of topics, such as computer science, psychology, business, and most things you could think of, including Italian.
Coursera offers access to free online university courses. There are Portuguese language courses and courses on other subjects taught in Portuguese. They offer certification upon completion for those that are willing to pay.
So, What is the Best App for YOU to Learn Italian?
As we mentioned, there are many apps available to help you learn Italian. It isn’t necessary for you to use all or even most of them, but you should be able to find those that suit your needs.
Although Italian learning apps are useful for a number of reasons, it’s best to explore additional methods to learn and get a more well-rounded education. For more options, check out our list of best podcasts for studying Italian, the best online courses, and our favorite Youtube channels for learning the language.
Whichever skill you want to improve, there’s definitely an app to help. Finding your preferred way of learning will depend on your learning preferences and language goals. All you need to do is try out a few and see what you like!
Do you think we’ve messed an app from this list? Let us know!