Looking for a new way to practice Italian? Why not introduce a little Italian radio or TV into your study routine? Radio and TV are easily accessible, programmes are generally short enough to fit into any schedule, and there is so much to choose from! So where do you start? Here are some suggestions for radio and TV programmes to help you learn Italian.
Un Medico in Famiglia
Un Medico in Famiglia is a hugely successful Italian comedy that aired for ten series meaning you have lots of episodes to watch. We follow the lives of widowed doctor Lele and their family, watching as they deal with dramatic events and the regular day to day stuff we all experience. So the show is relatable, even if you are new to Italian or you’re a little rusty. Because the show aired for so many years you can watch the family as they grow, and the familiarity of characters means you will quickly get used to accents and pick up colloquialisms with ease.
Here is a clip from an episode from season ten to give you a taster. Full episodes last no longer than around forty minutes so they can be easily fit into your learning schedule. There are several characters we think you’ll fall in love with quickly, and others that we are sure you’ll grow to love! If you want something to watch with simple, real Italian then Un Medico in Famiglia is definitely worth giving a watch.
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News programmes are often great places to look for language learning opportunities because news stories are short blasts of information or longer pieces on a specific subject. Radio24 is a great radio station to listen to if you’re learning Italian for this reason. You can listen to 24-hour news which covers all the latest news stories from around the world. The presenters are beautifully spoken so you should be able to follow what is being said quite quickly once you get your ear in.
What is perhaps most beneficial to those looking specifically for something to use as a lesson are the longer news stories on Radio24’s website. Take this one for example about climate change; there is a piece of text discussing the subject that is interspersed with a number of audio clips that are opinion pieces from a range of experts. These pieces mean you can have a mixture of study methods all within one page, testing your reading comprehension and strengthening your listening skills at the same time. This is a great way to practice your Italian!
Are you a Grey’s Anatomy fan? Then perhaps you should give L’allieva a watch. The show is just as dramatic as Grey’s though perfect for anyone who enjoys a good hospital drama. We see the world through the eyes of Alice Allevi, who decides to go into the field of legal medicine after her grandmother’s caregiver dies.
Expect lots of twists and turns along the way! There are a variety of accents and dialects for you to get to grips with, and of course, with this being a fastpaced show, some of the conversations are a little quick. Though you can always watch with subtitles, and it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to figure out what is going on. Give this clip from a season six episode to see if this is a show that might help you with your Italian studies.
Rai Radio offers a large choice of radio stations as one of Italy’s biggest media outlets. We would suggest starting with Rai Radio 1, keeping up you to speed with all the latest that is happening in the world. There are regular news bulletins as well as longer think pieces, and of course plenty of music if you want to sing along. The pace of the broadcast is a little fast so perhaps is better suited to students of at least pre-intermediate Italian level. Though if you just want some Italian playing in the background to immerse yourself a little then with Rai Radio you really can’t go wrong.
Rai Radio also has collections of related material about specific subjects. So if you’d like to, for example, combine Italian learning with some information about Earth Day, they have you covered! There are video clips, links to events, and of course links to various radio programmes covering the subject. This is a great way to pick up the language for a specific purpose while learning about a subject or even exploring your specialty in another language.
We hope we have inspired you to incorporate radio and TV into your Italian studies. Happy learning!