Ciao! Welcome to this Rocket Italian review.
One of the more beautiful languages in the world, Italian is one of those words that everyone wants to speak a little bit of. While you’ll probably do just fine in Italy without much knowledge of the local language, it’s great to be able to do some basic communication.
No matter if you’re planning a trip to the Roman Coliseum or the canals of Venice, you’d be well served to learn a few words just to immerse yourself into the country.
I mean, let’s face it. Italy is a pretty tourist-friendly place. Venice is packed wall-to-wall with people from all over the globe just about everyday of the year. Therefore, you can expect the majority of your waitstaff, tour guides, etc. to have an excellent grasp of English.
But, you will stand out like crazy if you speak just a few words in Italian. Read on to figure out one of the best alternative methods to learn Italian, minus all of the boring lectures, tedious homework, and all the other things that often dissuades people from learning a foreign language.
Brief Thoughts on Learning a Foreign Language
A lot of people lose interest in language learning because of one major issue: real world application. Being able to speak basic phrases to someone in America is very different than getting to actually immerse yourself in Italy. Rocket Languages is well aware of this major issue, so they set out to combat it with Rocket Italian.
That’s why their entire premise of the program(s) they offer (many others in addition to Italian) are so good at what they do. They’re analyzed people who speak many languages, people who previously thought they could never learn a language, and lots of others.
They’ve taken what works and what doesn’t, and compiled it into a nice, easy-to-use package that anyone with access to a computer could use and begin to learn Italian at a quick rate.
The result is a wonderfully interactive online program. It’s split into three levels, all of which contain seven different modules within them. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like once you open up Rocket Italian.
The Alternatives: Classrooms
I actually did study both Italian and Spanish when I was in college—that was back in 2009-2010 times. Programs like Rocket Italian weren’t really around much then—or at least, I had never heard of them. Rosetta Stone was popular, but for the most part “internet language learning” was definitely a much smaller market than it is now.
Do you know what I paid for college tuition?
About $4,000 a semester, or $8,000 per year (which spanned roughly 9 calendar months).
Granted, yes—that was a full-time tuition price. You know what it would have cost for me to do part-time, and only take Italian?
Still about $1,800-$2,000 depending on how many units exactly.
The point I’m getting at is this: languages are expensive to learn in a traditional classroom.
Yes, I could easily enroll in an Italian class at a language school—but those are incredibly expensive, too. Sure, it wouldn’t be as much as full-time college tuition (and it would be superior instruction, I’m sure)—but we’re still talking thousands of dollars a year to be enrolled full-time.
Whereas Rocket Italian is a low of an investment as $100 for lifetime access. Will it be just as good as going to an Italian language school? Absolutely not.
However, I’d ask myself…
Let’s say a language school costs $1,000 for six months. Rocket Italian is 15% of that price for the basic level. Will you gain more than 15% of the knowledge than you would at a language class?
I’d actually say that if you apply yourself well to Rocket Italian, you can easily pick up 75% of what you would in a traditional classroom. That seems quite the bargain when you look at it that way.
Plus, because it’s such a drastic price difference—you can use some of that extra money to supplement with a tutor if you really want the extra help. Even if you paid a tutor $50 an hour once a month to supplement your learning, you’d still end up nearly $500 ahead with Rocket Italian versus paying for a language school.
Keep reading this Rocket Italian review to learn my pros and cons of it…
Rocket Italian Review: The Pros of the Program
A Look Inside
Let’s go ahead with the assumption that you’re a complete beginner with Italian, and you’ve signed up for Rocket Italian for the first time. Here’s what you’ll see right inside of Level 1, Module 1. Yes, these are actual snips from the course that I’ve grabbed for this Rocket Italian review.
As you can see, the program puts you right into it from the get-go—teaching you useful phrases, sentences, and other things that you could actually use in Italy.
You won’t find the worthless learning structure that you’d often find in many other programs or a traditional classroom. Nothing drives me more mad than opening a textbook to realize that I know how to ask someone about what city, zip code, and planet he’s from—but doesn’t include directions how to ask where the metro is, or how much a taxi is going to cost.
You’ll get the survival phrases with Rocket Italian.
- How to order your pizza with anchovies
- How to get not ripped off by a menacing taxi driver (there’s a reason Uber has become so popular!)
- How to find the nearest tram, metro, or bus stop.
Of course, nothing can beat becoming actually immersed in a culture. It’s always going to be difficult to communicate with native speakers until you’ve gone and picked up on some of the slang of a language.
However, Rocket Italian does a good job of preparing you to at least get around and not look like a total fool 🙂
Thankfully, Italian is one of the easier languages for a native speaker to pronounce. If you don’t think so, try your hand at a language like Czech or Russian—then come back to me!
However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Just because it will intuitively make more sense than a Slavic language doesn’t mean that you won’t make mistakes.
Rocket Italian does an excellent job of pronouncing things at a clear, slow pace so that you can get the proper practice you need to succeed. On top of it, every module has sections to go back and practice key words and phrases.
It even grades and tests you—and then ranks you against other people.
Are you one of those people who just has to beat everyone, no matter the situation? Yeah, welcome to my world.
The great news is that you can basically compete with other users of the program and go up the leaderboard. If this isn’t a good incentive for a competitive person to learn a language, I don’t know what it is. It’s like playing video games and leveling up with achievements, and beating all your friends.
The best part is that learning Italian is far more productive than getting a high score on Bejeweled!
Did you know that in Italian, if you want to ask what someone’s name is, you must essentially re-word the entire question?
Translated directly, it comes out to something more like, “How do you call yourself?”
Seem confusing? Yes, it’s definitely counter-intuitive. This is where the program really shines, because Rocket has done a good job of diving deeper into the language and pointing out, reminding, and keep you on point with the small nuances.
They drill these habits and practices into your head so that you can speak more confidently and comfortable right off the bat.
What I HATE About Rocket Italian
The Mobile App…
I’m not even going to try to sugarcoat it. It’s not very good. It doesn’t pick up your words as well, it’s clunky, and it just overall needs a lot of refinement.
At the same time, I can’t help but kind of thing that it’s a pro.
This is because to truly understand and get good at a language, you need to focus. Sure, the car, metro, or tram is a great way to supplement. But it’s still not 100% focus, which is what is required to get really good at something. By not giving you the option to have the full set of features everywhere you take your smartphone with you, Rocket Italian makes you carve out at least a little bit of quiet time.
The entire program is absolutely flawless on the desktop version, so I can’t complain too much. I do supplement and listen to the program while commuting, but I know this is more of an “osmosis” effect. You’ll never fully master a language by listening to words on a subway.
It takes genuine practice and dedication.
The good news is that if you have that practice and dedication, Rocket Italian will have you well on your way to learning Italian quickly, efficiently, and in a fun way.
If you’re planning that trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the coast of Sicily, you owe it to yourself to learn a bit of Italian. And with the low price of Rocket Italian (and with a free trial!), you’d be silly not to get the basics down.
In any case…I hope you’ve enjoyed this Rocket Italian review.
It’s a beautiful language, and a beautiful place. You certainly won’t regret being able to speak to the locals in their native tongue and feel like one of them.
PS: You can get instant access to Rocket Italian and begin learning today—click here.
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