How Much Time Did It Take You To Learn Italian?


I’m thinking of learning Italian or maybe not depending how I go. I’m not sure I’ll really ever need it, but knowing another language can’t hurt and it might actually open up all sort of new possibilities.

So, how much time did it take you to learn Italian well enough for you to be able to carry a proper conversation?


A friend of mine used Duolingo to pick up a few VERY basic phrases before going on her trip to Germany. She used it to know just enough stuff like what, where, when, how are you, what is the time etc… And she was able to sue that plus a combination of English to get around pretty well. I’d say the same could be applied for Italian!


It’s usually hard to exactly pinpoint how long it takes to learn a language. It depends on how much you study the language every day and how much you use it regularly to be fluent. Simple conversations can probably be learned in 2-3 months or faster depending on your speed.


I just checked on “Rosetta Stone Italian Language” and it’s not that expensive. Level one is only $69.00. I would love to learn Italian and Spanish. For those of you who speak more than one or two languages, is it hard to learn and keep them straight?


It is different for everyone. Some may learn the language quite fast while for others it might take longer to learn the language. The best way to learn the language is to put yourself in situations where you have to talk and listen to Italian people. That will really help you learn Italian faster.


Everyone is different, someone you ask could have learned basic Italian within a few months whereas you could ask someone else and they could have taken a lot longer. It all depends on how well you grasp the language and can use the words you learn to string a sentence together. I haven’t learned Italian yet but from learning German I know that it can take a while especially when understanding how to pull the sentences together no matter how easy the language is to learn.


I heard it is actually easier to learn Italian than it is to learn English. Funny thing that is, I find Italian hard myself haha I am in the middle of learning basic Italian though so when we go to Italy, I know what is going on!


I’ll give you the standard as it is defined by CEFR or Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

What are these levels A1, A2, B1, B2 etc.?
They are the knowledge levels for a language (in this case Italian) as per the Common European Framework.

The CEFR has 6 levels that seem to adequately cover any language learning:

  • A1, Break-Through
  • A2, Waystage
  • B1, Threshold
  • B2, Vantage
  • C1, Effective Operational Proficiency
  • C2, Mastery

To be precise, levels A1 and A2 correspond to an elementary level, levels B1 and B2 to an intermediate level and levels C1 and C2 to an advanced level.

More details:

The following graphic shows approximately the learning time (in class and at home) necessary to reach each level.

If learning Italian was your 8-hour day job, it will take you

  • A1 - 90 hours - 11.25 work days
  • A2 - 180 - 200 hours - 25 work days
  • B1 - 375 - 400 hours - 50 work days
  • B2 - 750 hours - 93.75 work days
  • C1 - 1500 hours - 187.5 work days
  • C2 - 3000 hours - 375 work days


When I first moved to Italy, I didn’t speak the language one bit. I was able to say Hello and Goodbye, if that counts :slight_smile:

I haven’t used any apps or book, I simply began learning by talking to people at work. Few of my colleagues spoke both English and Italian so I was able to learn, bit by bit. I think this is the best way to learn a language, by exercising with locals, it really helps both the vocabulary and pronunciation!

Italians also translate every single movie and foreign show on TV, so if you watch it often enough, you’ll keep hearing Italian over and over again… it’s impossible not to learn anything by hearing the same words every day.

As far as time frames go, I’d say I was able to understand most of a conversation and was able to reply (with simple and badly pronounced words… :smiley: ) within 3 - 4 months.


There’s a very very rough guide to tell you how many hours of study it should take to learn a variety of languages, if English is your first language. It’s called the Language Difficulty Ranking ( and it predicts that it would take 575-600 hours to learn Italian. It’s might not be as accurate as Dan’s comment but it’s still a good guide.


Thank you for the share. Their numbers are in tone with what I’ve found and shared. At 575-600 hours you are at a B2 level, which means you won’t have any issue in any day-to-day life speaking in Italian. You’re just one level away from C1, which is considered the max, since C2 is basically “native” level.

On the same site they have an interesting article on “Why Italian is important” that’s worth reading. Their other articles on other languages are just as interesting too.