In order to get better at writing in Italian, you have to write! There's no way to get around it. Maybe you don't know what to write about, or unsure about where to start. Writing is a great active way to learn and study Italian by yourself.
Don't be afraid about making mistakes in your writing. Making mistakes is part of the game and it's really the best way to learn why it was incorrect versus just memorizing random grammar rules.
Here are 5 easy ways to start practicing writing in Italian.
1. Start a gratitude journal… in Italian.
This is one of my favorite practices that I started because it's one of the easiest and most impactful ways to create a more positive outlook on my life. Think about it. If we spend 1 less minute feeling regret and use that to feel gratitude, wouldn't we feel less stressed? When things get rough, it's easy to forget about the good moments we've had. And studies have shown that this type of journaling increases happiness, improves sleep and reduces symptoms of illness.
Before you start this though, make a commitment to becoming happier and more grateful. Robert Emmons, a professor at the University of California, has research that if you merely go through the motions of a gratitude journal, it won't work if you're not truly committed to it.
And no need to do this everyday. Daily or weekly, either way this will make a difference in your life.
Originally I did this in English, and now have switched to Italian.
About once a week, I write down one thing that made me grateful for today, or just a happy thought that I've remembered. You can write it in a journal, a notebook, or an app. You know what you like best. So pick what you think you can stick to the most. I've done both digital and the traditional pen & paper. Maybe even start a Twitter account just for sharing your gratitude in Italian.
Sometimes, maybe it's just a short sentence or a thought. But when something really surprises me, or something unexpected happens, it's so beneficial to try to focus deeply on the details of the event or the person.
Let's try to appreciate the moments we're in, and what better way to practice Italian.Oggi sono grata per...Click To Tweet
2. Start a Curiosity Journal… in Italian.
It's easy to get stuck in our daily routines and not notice little details of things in our lives. When we travel to a new country or city, the color or shape of a mailbox or road sign can turn us back into a curious child. Try to look at things from the perspective of someone seeing something for the first time.
Just like writing what you're thankful for makes you feel more grateful, writing about what makes you curious can conjure feelings of curiosity.
Challenge yourself to write about one thing (daily or weekly) that has made you stop and question. This could be about anything at all. For example, the way something was made, the way something functions, or even just a story you read the headline of on Facebook (come on, how often do you click through?)
Write about it in Italian. Why do you feel curious about it? Do you have any questions about it? If you have time you can feel free to look into it, or not. The practice here is about being aware of novelty and your surroundings and using questions to create a fresh perspective.
3. Write your lists in Italian.
I'm sure you have a list written somewhere. Whether it's a grocery list, a to do list, a wish list or a bucket list, these are great opportunities for rewriting or simply writing in Italian.
If you're not already writing lists in Italian to practice, go ahead and start. You will learn new vocabulary while you're at it and maybe even have a bit of fun when crossing off things from. Your to do list.
4. Write letters in Italian.
Maybe you're the type of person who doesn't like journaling, and that’s okay. If you need a topic for what to write, and you don't want to just merely talk about your day, try to write a letter. You don't need to necessarily send this letter either.
Think about the last time you wrote a letter. Was it to an airline complaining about an extended delay, or was it to your landlord about a noisy neighbor? Or was it a letter to your sweetheart, full of prose and exclamations of love?
For some letters you will need to use more diplomatic phrases, whereas for a love letter you can be more flowery and creative. These situations call for situational grammar and vocabulary, and being able to distinguish what is appropriate is a sign that you are becoming more advanced in the language.
5. Try transcribing.
Ok, maybe you've already done the things above and you're at an intermediate-advanced level and you're feeling stagnant. This is the time to push through, especially if one of your goals is to pass CILS at a C2 level.
Check out the newscasts from Euronews and pick out the shortest video clips. Listen, and transcribe. The short videos are transcribed word for word and you can check against what you wrote. No need to do this for hours. Just transcribe about a minute a day and move on.
Get both the audiobook and the Kindle version (or print version) of the same book. Listen to some of the audiobook, and transcribe what you hear. Compare against the written version to correct yourself.
These both are great practices if you're at an intermediate-advanced level and you're motivated to become more fluent.
Allora, now you've written some things and you're unsure of what is right or not. You need to get a native to correct it.
The thing about intentional practice is that not only do you need to dedicate your time to this effort of practicing, in order for it to be beneficial you need to get corrections. This is the perfect time to take it to your tutor or language exchange partner to go over. I became very close to one of my tutors because she heard a lot about my feelings when I was writing love letters to my boyfriend haha!
If you don't have a personal tutor or language exchange partner yet, fret not. You can still get corrections for free from other people on italki or lang-8 or even an app like which allows for your friends to easily correct you.
Let's put this into action! How will you practice writing in Italian?
Aein is an American artist, designer and writer who fell in love with an Italian, and then fell in love with Italian language & culture. She is the founder of Italian Self Study, and is passionate about learning Italian. When she's not studying Italian, she is designing logos and websites her studio Hopemade, designing Italian inspired apparel or taking a break with un po' di caffè. Buy her a coffee to support Italian Self Study.