It can be extremely challenging to learn a foreign language. If it were that easy, everyone would be able to do so already. Learning Italian seems to be much easier for Spanish speakers already because of the various similarities and differences between the two languages. From grammar to vocabulary and pronunciation, knowing how to speak Spanish will give you a boost when learning Italian.
Phase 1: Italian and Spanish – The Languages of Love
Both of these languages are considered romantic because of their Roman origins. They are also called Latin or Neo-Latin languages. This means that they are rooted in the language as well. When reading both Spanish and Italian, you will be able to figure out the meaning because of similar spellings.
English: My name is
Spanish: Me llamo
Italian: Mi chiamo
The root word for name is “amo”. This is why someone who speaks Spanish could eventually surmise that “mi chiamo” may mean something similar to “me llamo” if someone says it followed by a proper name. Many other phrases may follow the same syntax. This is why several European languages including Spanish and Italian get considered as romantic languages.
Phase 2: Mirrored Grammar
To learn Spanish, one has to realize the similarity in grammar compared to Italian. There are gender nouns present as well as adjective agreement. However, learning word endings in Italian can be complicated. Additionally, Italian verb tenses can also be a little bit harder to understand. Seemingly, both languages try to abstain from using the passive voice whenever necessary. Because of this, Italian may be a bit harder to learn compared to Spanish. However, if you know the former first before the latter, it will have a much easier learning curve eventually.
Phase 3: Accents and Intonation
Italian speakers tend to put accents on the third to last syllable of every word. Spanish speakers, on the other hand, place their accents on the second to last syllable. If you listen to the two languages side by side, you will notice a big difference when it comes to pronunciation. This is why a flowing Spanish speaker may be able to understand reading Italian quite quickly compared to hearing the spoken Italian words.
Knowing Spanish will surely be an advantage when trying to learn Italian. Having awareness regarding the similarities of both languages is surely a good start. This article aims to encourage learning Italian more so if you know how to speak Spanish. I hope that you will give the Italian language a chance. Learning about the culture and the Italian people is worth your while.