1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Is it hard to learn Italian?


Is it hard to learn Italian?

I am struggling to learn Italian does anyone have tips or tricks?

June 4, 2017



I'm also learning Italian! Since you're only on level two, I'd recommend just persisting! Here is just some of the basics: (good luck!)

  • la, gli, l', = a few types of 'the' (gli is plural)
  • an 'e' changes to 'i' when it's plural
  • la donna = the womAn
  • donne = womEn
  • l'uomo = the man

p.s. correct me on anything i got wrong, please! I just picked this stuff up and don't know how legit it really is.

[deactivated user]

    You forgot il, lo, i and le :D.

    About your question Rachel, it depends of your native language. Of course ,if you are russian for example, it can be really hard but if your native language is english, it is surely easy to learn. Maybe at first it can be hard, but with some practice it will become surely easy.

    Anyway, what is your problem? Maybe i can help. For what i know, one of the most difficult topic about learning italian is articles....too many articles to remember and they can be so frustrating at first, but there is a trick.

    We put ALWAYS (in 99,9 % of sentences) articles, you have to put the article together with the noun (and maybe you noticed why so many italians put the article when they write english, because we use it always...only in one case we don't put it, when we describe a member of the family like: this is my sister, questa è mia sorella, and not questa è (LA) mia sorella because is totally wrong.

    In 95% of cases there is a trick to recognize the gender of a noun. When it is feminine, it ends with letter A, its plural is with E. So, take the example of before: lA sorellA (so it is feminine) an what is its plural? LE sorellE.Notice that the article follow the same pattern of singular/plural of noun. lA-lE

    95% of masculine nouns ends in singular with O, its plural is I. So: book - Il librO, its plural is i librI. The same rule of before il-I.

    L' - this article is used only when a noun start with a vowel, it can be used for both gender.The plural of a feminine noun is LE, while for mascule is GLI.

    For example l'acquA (water, which is feminine because it ends in A) is plural is LE acquE. The pattern is similar to feminine nouns i wrote above. l'orecchio (the aer, which is masculine because it ends in O) its plural is GLI orecchI.The pattern is similar to masculine nouns.

    So, these are the rules for regular nouns, applied for 95% of nouns:

    • ♀ ends in A, its plural is E, the articles used are LA-LE; and in a noun that start with a vowel L'-LE.

    • ♂ ends in O, its plural is I, the articles used are IL-I; and in a nouns that start with a vowel L'-GLI.

    Now the irregular nouns...fortunately for you only a few % cover irregular nouns.You don't have to worry if you talk with an italian and you say the wrong article, in any case we will undertsand what you are trying to say.

    5% of feminine nouns can end in E, the articles are the same LA-LE For example the ash, LA cenerE - LE cenerI.Their plural changes in I.But there is a little trick to recognize this nouns. if they ends in -IONE, they are feminine like:

    Breakfast - LA colazIONE - LE colazIONI. Station - LA stazIONE - LE stazIONI.

    Fortunately they are few, i don't even have in mind one, because they are very few...one common is LA mano - LE manI (hand-hands).It is feminine.

    About 5% of masculine nouns use the article LO,which is plural is GLI.These nouns usually starts in "sp" (and in other combination of letters which i don't have in mind now) and fortunately they are few.

    Mirror: LO specchiO -GLI specchI Space:Lo spaziO- GLI spazi.

    So in few words:

    • ♀ some nouns ends in E and IONE, its plural is I.

    • ♂ some nouns start in SP, its plural is I.

    Now, as i said before, you don't have to worry if you do mistakes, in 95% of cases this rule is always present:

    • ♀ ends in A, its plural is E, the articles used are LA-LE; and in a noun that start with a vowel L'-LE.

    • ♂ ends in O, its plural is I, the articles used are IL-I; and in a nouns that start with a vowel L'-GLI.

    The irregular ones are only a very small % that you can count on your fingers because they are really rare.Follow these rules and rarely you will get a wrong answer.

    NOW...the indefinite articles, and the pattern is similar.They are UN, UNA, Un and UN'.

    Un: it is used for masculine nouns: un libro.

    Una: it is used for feminine nouns: una sorella.

    Un: it is used for masculine nouns that start with a vowel: un orecchio.

    Un': it is used for femine nouns that start with a vowel: un' acqua.

    Now, i don't know if it can be helpful, but if you have any doubt, you need help to find resources, just ask.


    You're only level 2. Get to level 20 and you then you won't be struggling much.


    What exactly are you struggling with? Is it something specific? Have you learned other foreign languages before?


    I agree with what some of the other commentators have said, just keep going and keep repeating the lessons until you have a handle on what it is they are trying to teach. At first it is confusing and a little counter-intuitive but you'll soon get the hang of it.

    Once you have done a couple of weeks (or whenever you feel ready) you might want to consider listening to Italian radio, I love hearing the language in the background when I am doing other things. Though even now I don't quite understand all the words I hear, it really helps with sentence construction, everyday word usage and exposes you to how the language is actually used, as well as broadening your vocabulary:

    RAI Italia International Radio http://www.listenlive.eu/italy.html

    Radio24 News and Talk http://www.radio24.ilsole24ore.com/player/diretta

    Like others have said, the main point at this stage of your journey, is to keep going! Do a little each day, understanding will grow and you'll build your own momentum soon enough. If you really want to learn Italian (or any language), do a little Duo each day. I started aiming for 50xp per day but I didn't worry if I only managed 10xp per day, just make sure you do one lesson or one practice lesson a day, things will start making sense very soon if you do this. Duolingo is superb and the Italian community here is very, very helpful, so use the search facility or reach out if you have any questions, most people are more than happy to help.

    Good luck!

    P.S. Here's 20 lingots to get you started :)


    This is my opinion: It depends of the problem that you have:

    For example if you have problems with pronunciation, then study pronunciation and practice pronouncing the words. So I would suggest you to read this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_phonology . It also helps if you listens to natives and repeat what they are saying.

    Or If you are having trouble with the listening I would suggest you to do more listening exercises and watch italian programs for kids or something like that.

    Or if you are having trouble with grammar, then study it.


    Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.