Brutally Honest And Detailed ItalianPod101 Review (2023)


Brutally Honest And Detailed ItalianPod101 Review (1)

Brutally Honest And Detailed ItalianPod101 Review (2)


Starts at $4 a month


  • Plenty of varied lesson content
  • High quality Italian lesson podcasts
  • Inexpensive


  • Lower quality video lessons
  • Lesson navigation could be improved


ItalianPod101 have maintained a good level of consistency with their lesson quality, and the ‘Learning Paths’ feature is an enormous improvement to lesson navigation. Overall, it's a great option for anyone learning Italian.

DepthThis is 'content' richness. How comprehensive is ItalianPod101 and does it take you far in terms of levels, or is it more suited to low level/tourist learners?

Brutally Honest And Detailed ItalianPod101 Review (4)

UniquenessIs ItalianPod101 innovative or is it just an imitation? Does it have a unique selling proposition (USP) that makes it stand out among competitors?

Brutally Honest And Detailed ItalianPod101 Review (5)

QualityOverall product quality indicator that covers everything from video/dialogue clarity, authenticity, explanations, and effectiveness.

Brutally Honest And Detailed ItalianPod101 Review (6)

CostIs ItalianPod101 acceptably priced and how does its pricing compare to market competition?

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I’ve spent a lot of time over the years in Italy, including two language immersion trips.

It’s one of my favorite places in the world (as it is I’m sure for many people!). 🙂

But as amazing Italy is – its culture, food and history – the time spent there has been made so much better simply by being able to communicate in Italian with confidence.

My Italian’s not perfect by any means but even the simplest amount of language makes the world of difference.

Most of the Italian I’ve learned has been through interactions with Italian people in person and on italki. I haven’t had a whole lot of success finding reliable Italian resources that suit my learning style.

I used Rocket Italian which was very helpful but I wanted another audio course to supplement it so I looked at Innovative Language’s ItalianPod101 which is more of a podcast style audio course.

What I like about ItalianPod101 is that it suits a whole range of learners from absolute beginner level right up to advanced and is delivered in both audio and video format.

I sent some questions over to Innovative Language a while back. Here are the responses I received:

On ItalianPod101’s methodology:

Innovative Language believes in practical expressions, aligned to CEFR proficiency levels, in the natural context of native speech. Most lessons, then, begin with a dialogue in which a language skill is introduced in context. The rest of the lessons then go on to talk more about the cultural context in which the dialogue takes place, and the key vocabulary, phrases, morphology, and syntax that allow the learner to carry out the particular language task.

I’m a firm believer in this approach personally.

ItalianPod101 focuses on real language and grammar instruction is minimal.

I then asked about the freedom that ItalianPod101 teachers use for lesson creation:

The native speakers who create the content have a lot of freedom to choose what they teach, though we have a few standard series, such as Survival Phrases, that teach roughly the same kinds of expressions across all of our languages.

Innovative Language lessons are aligned to CEFR levels, and we typically ask that teachers try to teach to a standardized set of internal Can Do statements when preparing the dialogues and the grammar and vocabulary information.

Recent changes to ItalianPod101’s lesson structure

Brutally Honest And Detailed ItalianPod101 Review (7)

ItalianPod101, like other editions of the Innovative Language series, had a huge problem until recently with messy, unstructured lessons.

But now they’ve implemented what’s called Learning Paths.

This is a way of grouping together lessons into topics, goals or areas of interest so you can follow a more linear path in your learning.

They’ve basically grouped lessons into modules.

Just to give you an example, they currently have a module named Talking About Yourself which contains 21 lessons equating to 3 hours and 56 minutes (each module has a completion time like this). You can either complete modules according to your interests or move through them sequentially.

I’ve noticed some great feedback from people on this Learning Paths feature and I think it’s a welcome change.

ItalianPod101 allows you to choose your own path with lots of options

Since the ItalianPod101 dashboard can be quite overwhelming (there is such a thing as too many features!) the Learning Paths feature that you can find under ‘Lessons’ is probably the best place to start.

Because the modules under Learning Paths provide more structure, it may suit most learners who don’t feel comfortable with self-directed learning.

It is optional of course for learners like myself who feel limited by imposed structure.

The material isn’t necessarily in ascending order of difficulty however as you’d expect them to be, even if you decide to follow ItalianPod101’s Learning Paths. They’re grouped together by topic rather than difficulty.

Lessons range from Introduction (covers some absolute basics as well as cultural information that may interest some people) through to Advanced (unfortunately not a whole lot of lesson content at the highest level).

You can select either audio or video lesson content.

The good thing about ItalianPod101 is that lessons are thematic based on authentic situations you’ll find in Italy (rather than just grammar points).

While the content in ItalianPod101 isn’t quite evenly distributed across the different difficulty levels (there’s more lower level material than there is for advanced), there’s definitely plenty to keep most people busy for a long time.

Video lessons in ItalianPod101 range from great to downright terrible

Like some of the other Innovative editions, the ItalianPod101 videos need work.

The videos by Ilaria are by far the best they have (in the Beginner and Intermediate categories only) but there’s just an insufficient amount of them.

The rest of the videos are very low quality in my opinion.

It’s clear that they’ve just created video slideshows with an audio track so I’m not really sure if I’d call them “video lessons”. They belong in the audio lesson category.

There seem to be about 50 lessons in total by the Italian host Ilaria that are great quality.

That’s still a fairly decent amount of lesson material to be fair.

Overall (including the low quality videos) there is a lot to work through on ItalianPod101 – which will suit learners who prefer a visual learning style.

ItalianPod101 audio lesson style

Brutally Honest And Detailed ItalianPod101 Review (8)

The audio lessons in ItalianPod101 are presented by multiple hosts in English with Italian lesson dialogues.

As it uses a podcast style delivery, the lessons generally consist of quite a lot of conversational banter in English which can be a little annoying to listen to in my opinion. It sounds very scripted at times!

I prefer to get straight into the meat of the Italian vocab and dialogue.

So if you’re like me then you can easily skip the English banter and select just the Italian audio.

You have the option of selecting ‘Line-by-line Audio’ or ‘Vocabulary’ to listen to specific parts of the Italian dialogue (with the English translation).

One beautiful thing about these lessons is that they are 100% downloadable.

What this means is that you theoretically have the option of downloading the entire course content without having to renew your subscription. This is something I also loved about Rocket Italian.

You aren’t restricted to online use only as you are with some online courses (you own what you pay for in other words!).

In the audio lessons, you can record your voice and compare it with the native speaker audio material (rather than use their Premium Plus correction service).

While I’m not a big fan of this method for pronunciation help (I’d prefer to use italki), it’s definitely helpful for some people.

Other features in ItalianPod101

One note on the PDF lesson notes:

They’re very thorough and clearly had a lot of work put into them. In fact, the ItalianPod101 written lesson notes are some of the most comprehensive I’ve seen anywhere.

I’d recommend printing the material and keeping it for reference after your subscription is ended.

Like I intimated above, there is such a thing as having too many features.

ItalianPod101 has so much to offer that it can be overwhelming. It’s also the case that not all of it is very useful.

Take for instance the grammar section.

It’s really scant and quite frankly a waste of time – just a simple page of text with summary points on Italian grammar.

You could find more useful information online for free with a simple search!

But thankfully, explicit grammar instruction is not what ItalianPod101 aims to do anyway.

There are other features for Premium Plus members such as the My Teacher Messenger where you can request assistance with Italian directly from an Italian native teacher. I admit I haven’t tried this but again, I would prefer to use italki for this anyway.

I also recommend combining their word bank (in-built dictionary feature) with the in-built flashcard app they have and you have a very handy tool for memorizing words and phrases outside of the lessons.

Is ItalianPod101 worth the money?

I have mixed feelings about ItalianPod101.

For the earlier levels, there’s a tonne of good content that will keep low-level learners busy for a while.

Advanced: not so much.

There’s a lot of consistency in topics covered in the Beginner levels, but you’ll find that the Italian teachers exercise a lot of freedom in the higher level content.

This means that the content becomes really disorganized.

The recently-added Learning Paths feature definitely improves this however and helps to structure the content.

Overall I’d recommend creating a trial account before laying any money down (create a trial 7 day account right here).

Also check out Rocket Italian and italki.

Used ItalianPod101 before? Comment below!

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Brutally Honest And Detailed ItalianPod101 Review (9)

Brutally Honest And Detailed ItalianPod101 Review (10)


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What are the reviews of Italian Pod 101? ›

The Verdict. ItalianPod101 is an absorbing, useful resource – especially for beginners and intermediate levels. Their bite-sized approach to learning is a great option for busy people who want quick, concise daily lessons, or who enjoy studying on the go.

What is the cost of ItalianPod101? ›

ItalianPod101 offers a free lifetime subscription, but you only have access to limited content. They also offer 3 other subscription levels that give you more lessons and study materials. A Basic subscription costs between $4.00 and $8.00 per month. A Premium subscription costs between $10.00 and $25.00 per month.

Is Italian pod 101 free? ›

You can sign up for a free account at! You will have a free, lifetime account and a 7 Day Free Trial of Premium access. We'll send a confirmation email containing your username and password to the address you signed up with.

Is language pod 101 free? ›

JapanesePod 101 Free Trial

JapanesePod101 offers a 7-day free trial of the Premium membership. But if you don't want to enter your credit card information, there are many free features you can try before deciding to upgrade to a subscription. The free features do not expire and are always available.

Is Frenchpod 101 worth it? ›

FrenchPod101 is a good basic resource for people who are looking to build their vocabulary, study every day or travel to a French-speaking country. However, it won't bring you to fluency on its own.

Is Spanish pod 101 good? ›

SpanishPod101 is a good app to learn Spanish. The audio and video lessons are interesting and cover a wide variety of topics. There are more lessons for beginners and intermediate level than for advanced speakers.

What is the best software to learn Italian? ›

  • Rocket Italian. Overall Best App to Learn Italian.
  • Babbel. Best App to Learn Italian Grammar Online.
  • Pimsleur. Best App for Italian Pronunciation.
  • Mondly. Best Beginner Italian App.
  • MosaLingua. Best App to Read Italian Online.
  • Drops. Best App to Learn Italian Vocabulary Online.
  • ItalianPod101. Best Italian Podcast App.
  • italki.
Mar 14, 2023

How can I learn Italian at home for free? ›

Here are a couple popular ways to learn Italian for free:
  1. Online courses, software, and apps.
  2. Language exchange/tandem learning with a native Italian speaker.
  3. Media resources like Italian podcasts, TV shows and movies.
  4. Library books and public resources.
  5. Immersion learning.

How can I learn Italian fast for free online? ›

  1. Duolingo. Duolingo is a language learning app that features a free Italian course that can take you from zero to about intermediate level. ...
  2. Memrise. ...
  3. Free Italian courses from Wellesley College. ...
  4. Italianissimo. ...
  5. Speak Italian with your mouth full. ...
  6. Learn Italian with Lucrezia. ...
  7. The Italian Experiment. ...
  8. Fluent in 3 months.
Mar 20, 2021

Can I learn Italian with a podcasts? ›

Podcasts are a great way to learn Italian as they help you to develop your listening skills, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Most are also free and short - perfect for busy schedules.

Is RussianPod101 legit? ›

RussianPod101 Review FAQ

Yes, RussianPod101 is a good choice for people interested in learning Russian. The detailed audio lessons use native speakers to explain important vocabulary and grammar topics. There is also a large emphasis placed on culture and how it affects the language.

How can I speak Italian App for free? ›

Best Apps to Learn Italian
  1. Learn Italian Words Free.
  2. Learn Italian – 50 Languages.
  3. Busuu.
  4. Duolingo.
  5. Babbel.
  6. Memrise.
  7. Mondly.
  8. In 24 Hours Learn Italian.

What is the best free language learning software? ›

Compare SpecsThe Best Free Language Learning Apps
Our PicksDuolingo Check Price (Opens in a new window)Beelinguapp Check Stock $0.00 at Amazon (Opens in a new window)
Style of ProgramPodcasts, StoriesReading, Listening, Quizzes
Web App
iPhone App
Android App
3 more rows

What is a good app to learn a new language for free? ›

Duolingo is the fun, free app for learning 40+ languages through quick, bite-sized lessons. Practice speaking, reading, listening, and writing to build your vocabulary and grammar skills.

How much does languagepod101 cost? ›

Additionally, when you first create an account you'll be offered one month of Premium Plus for just $1. You only see the offer once, however, so we recommend trying it when you have the chance. Note that you will automatically be charged $25 (1 month of Premium) after your $1 month ends.

What is the alternative to FrenchPod101? ›

FrenchPod101 Review: Alternatives & Competitors

If you like using audio lessons, you can check out Pimsleur and Rocket French. If you prefer fast-paced lessons that you can quickly complete, you can try Duolingo or MosaLingua. Babbel is another option for high-quality material in the advanced level.

How long does it take to learn French from A1 to C2? ›

Level A1 Discover the language: 90 hours/6 weeks. Level A2 Coping with everyday situations: 135 hours/9 weeks. Level B1 Managing everyday situations: 135 hours/9 weeks. Level B2 Be independent in daily and professional life: 180 hours/12 weeks.

What is the best Spanish learning system? ›

  • Babbel. Best Overall App to Learn Spanish.
  • Rocket Languages. Best App to Learn Spanish Grammar.
  • Pimsleur. Best Spanish App with Audio Lessons.
  • Mondly. Best Beginner Spanish App.
  • Lingopie. Best App for Spanish Immersion Online.
  • MosaLingua. Best Language and Culture App for Spanish.
  • Drops. ...
  • Rosetta Stone.
Mar 14, 2023

What's the quickest you can fluently learn Spanish? ›

Summary: According to FSI, if you spend 3 hours per day learning Spanish, you'll achieve fluency in around six months. Reduce your Spanish time to one hour a day and, according to FSI, it will take about 1.5 years to learn. As you can see, Spanish is one of the most accessible languages for English speakers.

What is the best online platform to learn Spanish? ›

Best Online Spanish Classes of 2023
  • Best Overall: Baselang.
  • Best for Free: Coursera.
  • Best for Private or Group Classes: Lingoda.
  • Best for Professionals: Live Lingua.
  • Best Immersion-Based: Rosetta Stone.
  • Best Self-Paced With Instructor Support: Lengalia.
  • Best Podcast-Based: CoffeeBreak Spanish.

Can I learn Italian in 3 months? ›

While you can certainly learn the Italian language faster than 3 months, you will get better results by taking your time and making sure that you are putting in the effort. The best way to learn Italian in 3 months is to find a program that is designed to teach you Italian and speak like a native speaker.

How fast can I learn Italian fluently? ›

They categorise Italian as a 'Group One' or 'Category One' language meaning a student would spend nearly 600 hours in the classroom to reach basic fluency. The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) considers Italian to be one of the easiest languages to learn.

How many months to learn Italian? ›

You can expect to need between 24 and 36 weeks of lessons to get that far. So, that's six to eight months to learn Italian from zero to working-in-an-office level.

How can I learn Italian fast and fluently? ›

  1. Put new words into practice. How fast can you learn Italian? ...
  2. Master the pronunciation first. ...
  3. Language immersion. ...
  4. Listen to Italian music and podcasts. ...
  5. Watch Italian movies and TV shows. ...
  6. Make your learning practical. ...
  7. Read Italian children's books. ...
  8. Follow the Italian news.
Jul 10, 2022

Is Italian considered hard to learn? ›

The US Foreign Service Institute considers Italian a 'tier one' language, which means that it's one of the easiest languages for a native English speaker to learn. Their research suggests that it'll take roughly 480 hours of practice to reach fluency.

Is it easier to learn French or Italian? ›

All in all, difficulty probably shouldn't be a major factor in your decision, because they're fairly equal in that regard. But you'll probably find that Italian is slightly easier than French. Grammar-wise, they're fairly similar in complexity.

What is the easiest language to learn if you speak Italian? ›

Spanish is definitely the closest language to Italian. Even people who have never studied a word of Spanish will find themselves understanding a native Spanish speaker during a simple, slow conversation. And of course, Spaniards can also understand Italian.

Is it possible to learn Italian by yourself? ›

Traditional classroom instruction and language immersion are always going to be great ways to learn a new language like Italian, but you can definitely learn Italian on your own, too. Start by dedicating at least 20 minutes a day to studying Italian.

Can I learn fluent Italian in a year? ›

It'll take you 6 to 9 months to achieve an intermediate level, which is pretty good. If you want to become proficient in a short amount of time, we recommend studying 20 hours a week. You could go to an intensive Italian course and spend your time watching Italian movies and listening to Italian podcasts.

Is ChineseClass101 legit? ›

Is ChineseClass101 legit? Yes, ChineseClass101 is a real online site and mobile app. It is one of the many courses offered by Innovative Language Learning.

Is ArabicPod101 legit? ›

The Verdict. ArabicPod101 is a good, engaging resource, especially for beginners and lower levels. Their bite-sized approach to study materials makes it ideal for busy people and those who struggle with motivation, but you'll still have to put in considerable effort to learn the language.

Is learning Russian worth it now? ›

Many studies have suggested that learning a new language improves brain function, providing better memory, more mental flexibility, and creativity. Learning a language from a different language family from your native language – for example, Russian – is a great way to maximize these benefits.

Is Babbel or Rosetta Stone better for Italian? ›

Babbel lessons teach Italian at a faster pace compared to Rosetta Stone. Both Babbel and Rosetta Stone are not going to get you speaking fluently as fast as some other platforms. You'll need to use other resources alongside them to get conversation practice.

What level of Italian is Duolingo? ›

By itself, Duolingo's Italian course could probably get you to an A2 level in reading and listening (so long as you're doing enough passive learning as well).

Which is better Babbel or Duolingo? ›

The biggest difference between Babbel and Duolingo is the approach to language learning. Babbel is a better option if you want traditional language instructions through modules and lessons. By contrast, Duolingo works great if you need a playful, gamified experience.

What language program does the military use? ›

The DLIFLC is the language school where the U.S. military trains the interpreters that it sends all over the world. GLOSS is one of its many programs. The acronym stands for Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), Global Language Online Support System (GLOSS).

What is the hardest language to learn? ›

Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.

What's better than Babbel? ›

Duolingo offers over 20 languages, so you'll have over twice as many language options as Babbel. Compared to Babbel, Duolingo's main weakness is that it doesn't have example conversations. However, if full conversations aren't your thing, Duolingo may be an ideal alternative to Babbel.

Is Babbel language learning free? ›

Registration with Babbel is completely free of charge and the first lesson in every course is free to try. (Depending on the language you choose, that's 30-80 free lessons!)

Is it possible to learn a language just by watching movies? ›

Although excessive screen time is often frowned upon, language experts say that watching shows in a foreign language – if done with near obsession – can help someone learn that language.

What is the best language learning extension for Netflix? ›

LLN is a Chrome extension that gives you superpowers over Netflix. It makes studying languages with films/series more effective and enjoyable. We are still improving the extension. To suggest a feature or report an issue, please visit our forum.

How can I learn a language fast and fluently for free? ›

How to Learn Languages for Free
  1. Figure out your reasons and motives. Realize why you want to learn a certain language in the first place. ...
  2. Organize your resources. ...
  3. Be both student and teacher. ...
  4. Don't just memorize—learn the context. ...
  5. Seek more. ...
  6. Carry a dictionary. ...
  7. Find a speaking partner. ...
  8. There is no limit to your study material.
Dec 24, 2021

How much does Babbel cost a month? ›

Babbel offers several different subscription options to choose from ranging from around $7 to $14 per month, depending on the length of access you want (3-months, 6-months, etc).

What is the number one app for learning a new language? ›

Best for learning multiple languages

I use Duolingo to practice Spanish and German. To make sure you don't get rusty on the basics, even if you've "mastered" a skill by reaching a higher level, the skill can still "crack" if you don't review it consistently. Practice the skill again and it'll repair itself.

Is there a free Italian learning app? ›

Now With Free Italian Translator. Learn Italian for Beginner is Designed by experts to help travellers, school students and even if you need fast, easy and quick Italian learning guide this app is perfect for you.

What is Seedlang subscription cost? ›

Unlock all content and features. Billed monthly. $59.98 billed annually. $20.97 billed every 3 months.

Is online Italian club free? ›

It's FREE, as is subscribing.

What is the total cost of Pimsleur? ›

Pimsleur All Access subscription is $20.95/month. Pimsleur Premium subscription is $19.95/month. You will not be charged during the free trial period (the first 7 days of your subscription, as applicable). TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD.

What is the best free app to learn Italian phrases? ›

Best Apps to Learn Italian
  • Learn Italian Words Free.
  • Learn Italian – 50 Languages.
  • Busuu.
  • Duolingo.
  • Babbel.
  • Memrise.
  • Mondly.
  • In 24 Hours Learn Italian.

How long does it take to learn fluent Italian? ›

They categorise Italian as a 'Group One' or 'Category One' language meaning a student would spend nearly 600 hours in the classroom to reach basic fluency. The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) considers Italian to be one of the easiest languages to learn.

What is the best free app for Italian language? ›

Duolingo is available on IOS, Android on, Google Play, and also online. Duolingo is the best free app to learn Italian.

Is Seedlang any good? ›

Seedlang is a funny, affordable, and effective resource for German learners. It focuses on speaking practice, grammar, and vocabulary, accompanying every word and sentence with a video of a german speaker.

What is smarterGerman pricing? ›

How much does smarterGerman cost? smarterGerman pricing structure is $249 per each level (A1, A2, B1, and so forth), and up to 40% off with multiple level bundles. SmarterGerman's Michael has ongoing Live Q&A sessions all the time, for free, so you can ask questions directly to Michael.

Does OptiLingo cost money? ›

The average college student spends 270 hours a year and $3,600 for 2 three-credit courses in order to reach fluency in a new language. Use OptiLingo for 20 minutes, 5 days a week, for one year and you will spend a third the time and spend as little as 2% of that cost.

What are the best websites to learn Italian? ›

12 Best Websites to Learn Italian [Updated for 2023]
  • Memrise.
  • FluentU.
  • Online Italian Club.
  • Duolingo.
  • Live Lingua.
  • ItalianPod101.
  • One World Italiano.
  • Language Transfer.
Dec 29, 2022

How can I learn Italian fast? ›

  1. Put new words into practice. How fast can you learn Italian? ...
  2. Master the pronunciation first. ...
  3. Language immersion. ...
  4. Listen to Italian music and podcasts. ...
  5. Watch Italian movies and TV shows. ...
  6. Make your learning practical. ...
  7. Read Italian children's books. ...
  8. Follow the Italian news.
Jul 10, 2022

Is Rosetta or Pimsleur better? ›

Plus, for an additional fee, Rosetta Stone even offers access to live classes and coaching, which can be extremely beneficial. So overall, there's no question that Rosetta Stone beats Pimsleur when it comes to all the extras.

Is Pimsleur or Babbel better? ›

So from an overall cost perspective, there's no question that Babbel is the clear winner. On average, their plans are around $5 to $14 less than Pimsleur per month, depending on which subscription option you go with. That said, both companies do give you the chance to test the waters before fully committing.

Can you become fluent using Pimsleur? ›

Can Pimsleur make you fluent in another language? Many people wonder what level will Pimsleur get you. Pimsleur will not make you fluent like a native speaker, but it will give you a practical understanding of the language that will get you through most everyday social situations graciously.

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