Should I learn Italian?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard is it? I am currently learning French and German btw.
Tips on learning Italian would be nice, too.
That's quite true. I took Spanish and French before Italian and it made Italian a piece of cake!
The funny thing is that although French has more cognates, if you know Italian it's much easier to understand Spanish. I found that I could already make out the general idea of Spanish just from studying a bit of Italian, and I have seen a Spanish speaker talk to an Italian fairly effectively.
Italians, Spanish and Portuguese usually understand each other fairly good... there's a high degree of mutual intelligibility between the three... they're all still closer to Latin than French.
Studying both Italian and Spanish has given me exactly 0 Portuguese (at least spoken Portuguese, I can guess a bit more of the written).
I've also heard that Brazilians can understand Spanish much more than South American Spanish speakers can understand them, so I'm fairly sure it's not only me.
I would vote Portuguese and Romanian as the two Romance languages that I understand least.
Romanian incorporated a lot of Slavic influences in their language so from all the Romance languages it's by far the one which differs the most from its Latin-rooted companions. I can barely understand Romanian.
Portuguese and Spanish are really close... maybe it's not a perfect two-way road, but I can understand Spanish relatively well... and just a degree lower... Italian.
For someone who's not a native from any of these languages the experience will surely be different.
Should you learn Italian? YES! It's awesome and the people are awesome! As for the difficulty, that greatly depends. I see that you are fairly well into French and you've started Spanish. Both of those make Italian easier. I speak all three and if you learn Spanish and French you get Italian for free. Without prior languages, Italian would be difficulty of about 3. After Spanish and French it's about a 1 or 2.
I knew Italian as a young child and ultimately forgot most of it, so I'm relearning it. If you're really good in either French, Spanish, Portuguese or Romanian it should be really easy for you. I'd say for French speakers about a 6.5/10 on the easy scale, and for Spanish speakers an 8/10.
If your French is strong you will either find it easy, or the stronger language will displace the weak one, and confuse you. Try it and see.
I gave up Italian in college because I was studying French at the time, living there PT, and I found that when I went to write or speak Italian French would come out instead. Now, returning to Italian many years later, having studied it over a decade, and not having read French or even been to France in years, I still find that “parce que” pops out occasionally instead of “perché” when speaking.
But yes, the roots are very similar so it is quite easy to pick up reading at least.