Cher Hale

30 Minute Italian

30 Minute Italian


Boost your confidence in speaking Italian in 30 minutes or less with the 30 Minute Italian Podcast. We cover expressions, sometimes sexy grammar, and culture through personal travel stories and detailed examples.




11 Ways to Say Goodbye in Italian

Jan 27, 2016 13:07


Learn 11 phrases to say goodbye in Italian. PSSSST. This is also the LAST episode of the podcast, so you'll want to listen in to hear about what's next and why I've decided to end it.

How to Start Learning Italian, PT III

Jan 19, 2016 18:46


You'll learn what a beginner language learner's schedule looks like, the type of activities you can do as a beginner, and where you might hold yourself back from making progress.

How to Start Learning Italian (or How to Go From Only Knowing “Ciao” to Being Conversational) PART II

Jan 13, 2016 27:08


Part II of the 'How to Start Learning Italian' guide.

How to Start Learning Italian (or How to Go From Only Knowing "Ciao" to Being Conversational) PART I

Jan 6, 2016 22:32


Where to start when you decide to learn Italian.

Italian Word Speed Dates: Allora

Dec 30, 2015 10:39


The many ways 'allora' is used in the Italian language.

Christmas: A Thing of Beauty

Dec 16, 2015 06:01


Sei cose da fare per imparare l'italiano durante i tempi morti

Dec 2, 2015 07:09


How I've Been Preparing for the CILS Exam

Nov 25, 2015 16:40


The steps I've been taken to be sure I'm prepared for the Italian CILS exam.

Six Guidelines You Can Use to Choose the “Tu” or the “Lei” Form in Italian

Nov 11, 2015 10:19


How do you know when to use "tu" and when to use "Lei" in when addressing someone in Italian? This podcast episode gives you 6 guidelines you can use to choose the correct form.

Italian Word Speed Dates: Siccome, Dato che, and Poiché

Nov 4, 2015 12:54


Getting to know the small but useful Italian words siccome, dato che and poiché.

Le Sagre in Italia

Oct 25, 2015 07:07


Il primo episodio tutto in italiano! 

9 Phrases to Use with a Language Partner

Oct 20, 2015 09:45


Phrases to use with an Italian language partner when you're chatting for the first time, when you forget a phrase or when you're trying to talk about various topics.

Four Q's You Can Ask to Get Authentic Food in Italy

Oct 12, 2015 08:00


3 Steps to Making Quick & Satisfying Progress in Italian

Oct 7, 2015 11:34


Learn this 3-step formula for eliminating your weaknesses in Italian.

Is there really a formula for learning Italian? YES.

Sep 28, 2015 14:10


Discussing the underlying thread of decisions you can make in order to learn Italian.

Behind the Scenes with Italian Learners from The Iceberg Project

Sep 22, 2015 22:55


An interview with four different Italian learners about their challenges, their strengths and how they're preparing for upcoming trips to Italy.

6 Bad Habits I'm Trying to Break in Italian

Sep 15, 2015 16:37


The things that I'm struggling with and trying to work on in Italian right now.

23 Phrases for Congratulating People on New Beginnings in Italian

Sep 8, 2015 11:26


How to congratulate & celebrate your Italian friends for every occasion... in Italian!

How to Give or Understand Directions Given to You in Italian

Sep 1, 2015 14:47


How to get and give directions in Italian so you can find your way around Italy.

12 Phrases for Making Friends While Traveling in Italy

Aug 23, 2015 16:47


How to strike up a conversation and make friends with Italians while in Italy

How Dianne Hales Deepened Her Love and Knowledge of Italian to Uncover a Hidden Story

Aug 18, 2015 20:33


Interview with Dianne Hales discussing her new book, Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered and how she learned Italian.

How to Make a Reservation at an Italian Restaurant

Aug 11, 2015 10:50


Italian vocabulary you can use to make a restaurant reservation.

5 Italian Proverbs to Spice up Your Vocabulary

Aug 3, 2015 06:49


Five new proverbs in Italian to add to your vocabulary.

4 More Verbs in Italian You Might Be Using Incorrectly

Jul 27, 2015 08:38


Some rules about how to use the Italian verbs prendere, avere, raccontare and passare.

9 Phrases for Talking About Your Business in Italian

Jul 21, 2015 10:15


9 phrases for talking about what you do for work in Italian.

12 Easy Mistakes You May Be Making with Italian Irregular Nouns

Jul 13, 2015 12:47


Some common mistakes made with irregular nouns in Italian.

10 Phrases for Talking About Music in Italian

Jul 7, 2015 09:24


Phrases for talking about music in Italian.

How to Whip Your Italian Back into Shape Before You Leave for Italy

Jun 30, 2015 13:31


9 ideas for getting your Italian ready before you leave for Italy.

How to Cultivate the Right Mindset to Learn Italian: An Interview with Kevin Morehouse

Jun 23, 2015 26:54


An interview with the founder of the blog about how to find motivation every day to learn Italian, how to maintain Italian at home and the ideal mindset that will push you forward in your Italian so you can reach conversational fluency.






4 Unexpected Ways to Use the Italian Prepositions "di", "da", and "in"

Jun 10, 2015 11:19


How Italian prepositions differ from English prepositions and how 'di,' 'da,' and 'in' are used in unexpected ways.

3 Things I'm Struggling With in Italian Right Now

Jun 9, 2015 20:55


In this podcast, I will discuss a few of the things that I am currently struggling with in Italian.

4 Verbs in Italian You Might Be Using Incorrectly

May 29, 2015 12:29


Verbs that are used differently in Italian than in English that you might be using incorrectly.

7 Creative Ways to Make Your Italian Study Time Even Better

May 26, 2015 09:29


Seven different ways to maximize the time you use to study Italian and make it even more fun.

How to Efficiently Use Your Study Time to Learn Italian (An Interview with Leanne Pressly)

May 19, 2015 20:30


An interview with an Iceberg Project student, Leanne Pressly.

7 Things Keeping You From Fluency in Italian

May 12, 2015 24:08


Seven things that are keeping you from becoming fluent in Italian.

How Tom Made the World His Classroom to Learn Italian by Teaching It (an interview with TomTxxytu)

May 5, 2015 23:10


An interview with YouTuber TomTxxytu.

20 Phrases for Making a Phone Call in Italian

Apr 28, 2015 09:42


Phrases that you'll use in Italian when making a phone call.

How Rachel Made Her Dream of Living in Florence a Reality (An Interview with Rachel Vermiglio Smith)

Apr 21, 2015 20:47


Rachel Vermiglio Smith, managing editor at The Iceberg Project, discusses her love for Italian and what it was like to move to Florence.

21 Must-Know Vocabulary Words for Making Pasta in Italian

Apr 14, 2015 12:35


Italian vocabulary for making pasta with a pasta cacio e pepe recipe from Lo Spicchio d'Aglio.

22 Must-Know Vocabulary Words for Making Dessert in Italian

Apr 7, 2015 13:21


Vocabulary for making dessert in Italian. This episode focuses on a torta di mele recipe from the website Lo Spicchio d'Aglio.

4 Phrases for Curving the Conversation Back to Italian

Mar 31, 2015 13:05


Practicing your Italian when the person your speaking with wants to speak in English.

25 Romantic Italian Phrases (or How to Melt Your Lover’s Heart)

Mar 24, 2015 12:38


25 Romantic Italian Phrases that will absolutely melt the heart of the one you love, or want to love!

Is the fluency illusion getting in the way of learning Italian?

Mar 17, 2015 13:51


Focusing on being fluent can get in the way of your actual learning of Italian.

How to Count in Italian (or how to make sure you can eat in Italy)

Mar 10, 2015 12:34


Learn how to count and more importantly eat when in Italy.

One Proven Method That Will Help You Remember More Italian

Mar 3, 2015 08:37


This article has to do less with the Italian language and more about how you learn the Italian language.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in Italian (or how to talk about the parts of the body)

Feb 24, 2015 14:50


"Head, shoulders, knees and toes!" Learn to talk about parts of the body in Italian

Can you be conversational in Italian with a limited vocabulary? (An interview with Madeline Jhawar)

Feb 18, 2015 25:35


Learn effective strategies for increasing your fluency and learning vocabulary in Italian with trip planner Madeline Jhawar.

Quiz: Should You Use the Imperfect Tense or the Past Tense?

Feb 11, 2015 17:07


Need practice choosing between the imperfect and the past tense in Italian? Take this quick 10-question quiz.

How to Say “I Wonder” & Other Forms of Probability in Italian

Feb 3, 2015 07:56


How to express forms of probability in Italian. How to discuss what you're wondering about in Italian.

How I Learned Italian

Jan 26, 2015 29:21


How I learned Italian, got mixed up in the Italian culture, what I'm doing now to continue learning Italian and what I plan to do in the future to keep improving my Italian.

How to Talk About the Weather in Italian (with 16 Phrases for Making Small Talk)

Jan 20, 2015 13:09


How to talk about the rain, shine, snow, humid or any other weather in Italian. Great for making conversation if you can't think of anything else to say!

What It's Like to Start Over in Italy (An Interview with Jasmine C. Mah)

Jan 13, 2015 22:16


Hear Jasmine Mah (the mind behind the blog Questa Dolce Vita) explain her experience with the Italian language and what it's like to move to Italy and plan a wedding in a new country.

How to Use the Trapassato Prossimo in Italian (or How to Talk About Things that Happened in the Past)

Jan 7, 2015 08:39


How and when to use the trapassato prossimo in Italian in order to talk about things that have happened in the past. 

Italian Word Speed Dates: Bastare, Mancare and Piacere

Dec 30, 2014 15:41


When and how to use the Italian verbs bastare, mancare and piacere.

13 Expressions to Keep Conversation Flowing in Italian When You Forget a Word, a Phrase or a Conjugation

Dec 26, 2014 05:15


Expressions to use if you're not sure what to say during an Italian conversation.

What's important to Italians during Christmas? (Insights from Carmine Caruso in Italian)

Dec 18, 2014 05:58


[IN ITALIAN] In this quick clip, Carmine Caruso tells how Italians typically celebrate Christmas.

15 Ways to Say "That's Awesome/cool/amazing!" in Italian

Dec 10, 2014 07:58


How to be enthusiastic in a more Italian way and grow your vocabulary with 15 ways to express your excitement in Italian.

What's like to live & love in southern Italy? (An interview with Cherrye Moore)

Dec 3, 2014 21:50


Once you visit southern Italy, you feel like you've seen an entirely different world while in the same country, which is what I imagine Cherrye Moore experienced upon moving to Calabria with her native Italian husband.

Cherrye's story, like many expats, is full of ups and downs with the language and the culture.

What I think is most special about our chat is her favorite parts of Italy, one of which makes you feel so at home even if you were never born there, which for many of us without any native Italian blood is one of the greatest gifts Italy has to give.

Four Ways to Evaluate if You're "Good" at Learning a Language

Nov 26, 2014 08:54


The way you think about yourself as a language learner can get in the way of how well you learn the language. Here's how to put your doubts about yourself to sleep.

How to Describe People in Italian (or how to talk about what she was wearing, who she was with and what her new hair color is)

Nov 19, 2014 15:55


Learn how to say descriptions for hair color, eye color, height, weight, and nationality in Italian.

How to Talk About Your Family in Italian

Nov 12, 2014 11:36


How to talk about your family in Italian so you can make small talk.

Is pronunciation or grammar more important? (An interview with Emanuele Venditti)

Nov 5, 2014 16:11


An interview with Emanuele Venditti in which you'll learn why pronunciation is more imporant than grammar, three new sayings to use with friends and in stories and common mistakes made with the subjunctive tense. You'll also hear about his vision for an online platform with which you can learn and speak Italian with natives on a weekly basis.

What's it like to be an expat in Rome? (An Interview with Tiffany Parks)

Oct 30, 2014 28:55


Learn how Tiffany Parks ended up as an expat in Rome, Italy and how she used her love of opera to connect with the Italian language. You'll also learn her four methods for learning the language, two tips for avoiding dangerous situations in Italy and how she got the ball rolling on her move to a new country.

Should You Use "Riuscire" or "Potere" to Talk About Being Able to Do Something?

Oct 25, 2014 14:10


Learn the differences between the verbs "potere" and "riuscire" in Italian.

Imperative Mood in Italian (or how to be demanding and give advice in Italian)

Oct 15, 2014 17:49


Using the imperative in Italian to give a command, offer an invitation or suggest advice.

When to Use the Subjunctive Mood and When to Use the Present Indicative Tense

Oct 8, 2014 10:23


Using the present subjunctive mood to express doubts, wishes and uncertainties and using the the present indicative to express a certainty or fact in Italian.

15 Quotes to Keep Up Your Motivation for Italian

Oct 2, 2014 14:42


Some motivation for those days that you just don't feel like learning a new grammar tense or vocabulary words. Forza!

Which Words from English Made the Cut in Italian? (or Parole Straniere Usate in Italiano)

Sep 24, 2014 15:04


Learn some words in Italian that come from English, like nerd, cupcake, and whiskey.

What is it like to be an expat in Florence? (An Interview with Alexandra Lawrence)

Sep 17, 2014 29:47


Alexandra Lawrence tells you exactly what it takes to make it as an expat while learning the culture through the language.

12 More Phrases that Stalk the Subjunctive Mood

Sep 3, 2014 16:16


Here are twelve phrases in Italian that are typically used with the subjunctive mood to express thoughts, opinions, desires, fear, etc.

How to Write a Birthday Card in Italian (or how to wish friends another year older in a classy way)

Aug 27, 2014 12:06


Learn how to write a birthday card in Italian to a friend, your significant other, family, or on Twitter.

How does someone start a business in Rome? (An Interview with Linda + Steve from The Beehive Hotel)

Aug 20, 2014 28:46


Learn how Linda and Steve started The Beehive Hotel/Hostel in Rome, Italy.

How to "Ne" and "Ci" in Italian

Aug 13, 2014 24:09


Learn the various ways you can use the words "ne" and "ci" in Italian.

20 Phrases for Telling a Captivating Story in Italian

Aug 5, 2014 13:40


Learn how to tell a story in Italian with twenty phrases.

What would it be like to live in Orvieto, Italy? (An Interview with Toni DeBella)

Aug 1, 2014 19:16


Learn how and why Toni DeBella, from Orvieto or Bust, moved to Orvieto, Italy and her experiences as an American expat.

3 Verbs in Italian Every Beginner Should Master

Jul 30, 2014 28:11


Learn three verbs that every beginner should master in Italian in the past tense, present tense, subjunctive tense, and future tense.

The Differences Between Nulla e Niente in Italiano

Jul 23, 2014 18:06


Learn when to use niente and/or nulla in Italian.

Basic Italian Sentence Structure (or where do I put all of the words!?)

Jul 16, 2014 17:28


Sentence structure is incredibly important to sounding natural in Italian. Here is how you structure basic sentences in Italian.

12 Phrases That Stalk the Subjunctive Mood (or Twelve Phrases that Are Typically Used with the Subjunctive Mood)

Jul 9, 2014 15:28


Here are twelve phrases in Italian that are typically used with the subjunctive mood to express thoughts, opinions, desires, fear, etc.

Italian Word Speed Dates: Appena, Addirittura, Comunque and Quindi

Jun 27, 2014 15:58


Learn how to use the words appena, addirittura, comunque and quindi in Italian.

What Does it Mean if a Verb is Regular or Irregular in Italian?

Jun 25, 2014 10:08


See examples of what it means when a verb is regular or irregular in Italian and how -are, -ire, and -ere verbs are conjugated in Italian in the present tense.

Relative and Absolute Superlatives in Italian (or the BEST, the WORST, and HAPPIEST)

Jun 18, 2014 15:53


Learn how to use relative and absolute superlatives in the Italian language along with examples.

How to Learn a Language on Your Own and Hone Your Italian Accent with Luca Lampariello

Jun 13, 2014 24:42


Learn a few of the methods Luca has used to learn twelve languages on his own along with how to hone your Italian accent.

How to Make Your Verbs, Adjectives, and Objects Agree in Italian

Jun 10, 2014 12:53


Learn how to make your verbs, adjectives, and objects agree in Italian between masculine/feminine and singular/plural with examples.

Learn Italian Through Drawings with Rosangela - Italian for my Girlfriend

Jun 6, 2014 10:50


Meet Rosangela, a native Italian speaker, who draws to help other learn Italian vocabulary and phrases. This interview is entirely in Italian and transcripts can be found in the show notes.

Discover the Real Venice that Tourists Miss with Monica Cesarato

Jun 4, 2014 33:44


Learn about what the Veneto region was like while Monica Cesarato grew up, how it is now, and the beautiful (& sometimes scary) history it has.

9 Reasons You're Making Mistakes With Prepositions in Italian and How to Avoid Them (Hint: Most mistakes come from #2)

May 30, 2014 23:09


Learn why you keep making mistakes with prepositions in Italian and how you can make less mistakes in the future.

Where You Should Visit in the South of Italy with Native Italian Speaker Marianna Prizio

May 28, 2014 27:45


Learn where a native Italian from the south of Italy suggests you should visit, what you should definitely eat, and her favorite idiomatic words and phrases.

[106] 29 Ways to Practice Your Italian While You’re in Italy

May 23, 2014 21:53


Learn what you can do to practice your Italian while you're traveling to Italy as an Italian language learner.

[105] 8 Reasons Your Italian Doesn’t Sound Italian (And 8 Fixes to Get to a Near Native Level)

May 21, 2014 22:27


If you've hit a wall with Italian, you'll love this episode. Learn why your Italian doesn't sound like a natural or native Italian and how you can work on sounding more native.

[104] Italian Word Speed Dates: Tale, Eccome, e Semmai

May 16, 2014 13:55


Learn how to understand and use the words tale, eccome and semmai in Italian.

[103] Develop Your Pronunciation and Vocabulary Through Mnemonic Devices with Gabriel Wyner

May 13, 2014 34:09


Learn how to improve your pronunciation in Italian as well as memorize hundreds of vocabulary words within 4-6 months.

[102] The Present Tense Gerund in Italian (or how Italians express the -ing tense)

May 9, 2014 17:02


Learn how to use the gerund tense in Italian or the tense that talks about what is happening in the moment.

[101] Italian Word Speed Dates: Anzi, Dunque e Piuttosto

May 7, 2014 13:51


Learn how to understand and use the words anzi, dunque and piuttosto in Italian.

23 Mantras to Motivate You When You Don’t Want to Study Italian (or what to read when you need a loving, kick to the butt to keep going)

May 2, 2014 28:44


Learn 23 mantras for increasing your motivation to study Italian, nine small fixes for studying Italian more and how to use these mantras every single day.

Experience an Authentic Italy and Learn to Tell Your Story with Gail Mencini, author of To Tuscany with Love

Apr 30, 2014 28:02


In this episode, I chat with Gail Mencini, author of the fictional novel To Tuscany with Love, about experiencing an authentic Italy and telling your story.

[097]Articulated Prepositions in Italian {or the baby makin’ magic that happens when an article marries a preposition}

Apr 23, 2014 10:22


Learn how to form and use articulated prepositions in Italian. (al, sul, nell', dall', etc.)

[096] Explore Authentic Italian Cooking with Simonetta and Paola of Toscana Mia

Apr 18, 2014 33:34


Learn about authentic Italian cooking, learning Italian and raising an organic garden in Tuscany, Italy with Simonetta and Paola from Toscana Mia.

You'll learn: Which one mistake most Americans make when cooking pasta How they are able to grow organic vegetables (and some tips for dealing with pests that include beer) One simple pasta recipe that you can make today How to know what good olive oil really is and how much it should cost How to find good olive oil in America How Italians learn Italian growing up Two tips for foreigners learning Italian that makes grammar much more interesting How you can attend one of their cooking or language classes

[095] Simple Prepositions in Italian {or why the smallest words hurt the most}

Apr 15, 2014 28:04


Simple Prepositions in Italian {or why the smallest words hurt the most}

Click play on the player at the bottom to listen to this podcast or listen to it on Stitcher or iTunes.

All on their own, prepositions can be a pain in the butt.

This is especially when you're at an upper intermediate level, and you think you're getting the hang of Italian and THE ONLY THING THAT KEEPS MESSING YOU UP IS PREPOSITIONS.

{No personal experience or anything. No. I'm not yelling.}

COMUNQUE. There are two main kinds of prepositions - simple prepositions and articulated prepositions.

Not sure what comunque means? Read this article: Italian Speed Dates - Appena, Addirittura, Comunque and Quindi

Simple prepositions look like this: di - of, from, about, by, than a - to,at,in da - from,by in - in, at con - with su - on/over/above/about per - for/in order to/because tra - between/among fra - between/among

The fact that they exist is pretty easy to understand. I mean, here are some of the situations when you use each one.

*The examples in English below are used in "Italian-speak" or what English would sound like if translated directly from Italian to English. This is to help you turn off that inner translator constantly working in your head. Once this happens, you can start focusing on creating natural sounding Italian sentences.

di - of, about, from, by, than To show possession of an object {This is the purse OF Giulia - Questa è la borsa di Giulia.} To show where someone is from {Giulia is OF Verona. - Giulia è di Verona.} To express who/what someone is talking about {She was talking OF Giuseppe. - Parlava di Giuseppe} To talk about age {I have a son OF thirteen years. - Ho un figlio di tredici anni.} To describe an object/person {It's a coin OF gold. - È una moneta d'oro.} a - to,at,in To talk about a location {IN Verona, AT home - a Verona, a casa} To talk about how someone is thinking of another {I am thinking TO him. - Penso a lui.} To talk about a certain time {I am meeting her AT noon. - La vedo a mezzogiorno.} To describe movement {She went there IN foot. - È andata a piedi. } da - from,by To talk about a distance that was taken, like a trip {Maria left FROM Rome yesterday. - Maria è partita da Roma ieri.} To talk about taking something from something {She took her wallet FROM her purse. - Ha tolto il portafoglio dalla borsa.} To talk about a time period that's passed {From years (ago) - Da anni}

CPF: You can also use "Da" to talk about someone's home. So if you wanted to say Lucia's house, you would say "Da Lucia."

in - in, at To talk about location in a larger area, like a state or country {She lives IN California, He lives IN Germany - Lei abita in California, Lui abita in Germania} To talk about a place where someone is going {I'm going IN the library - Vado in biblioteca.} To talk about a type of transportation {You're going IN train? - Vai in treno?} con - with To talk about being with someone {I am WITH my grandma. - Sono con mia nonna.} To talk about a combination of things {I am eating pizza WITH the pumpkin. - Mangio la pizza con i fiori di zucca.} To describe a person's behavior {He is very nice WITH me. - Lui è molto gentile con me.} su - on/over/above/about To talk about a topic: {I am reading a book on Italian History - Sto leggendo un libro SULLA storia italiana} To talk about a location {He is ON the roof. - Lui è sul tetto.} per - for/in order to/because To talk about a length of time (a period of time that's now over. Otherwise you would use DA. {I've been reading this book FOR two days. - Sto leggendo questo libro DA due giorni.} Example with PER: {I have lived in Italy for 2 years [meaning you are not there anymore]} = Ho vissuto in Italia PER due anni. or: {I have been living in Italy for 2 years [meaning you are still living there} = Vivo in Italia DA due anni. To talk about a reason/purpose {I'm going to school FOR my parents. - Vado a scuola per i miei.} To talk about going somewhere {I want to leave for England/my holidays. - Mi piacerebbe partire per l'Inghilterra/per le vacanze.} To talk about price {I bought a kilo of oranges FOR three euro. - Ho comprato un chilo di arance PER tre euro.} tra - between/among
fra - between/among To talk about a time period {I finish school BETWEEN a year. - Finisco la scuola fra un anno.} To talk about a comparison {AMONG everyone, Theresa is the nicest. - Fra tutti, la più simpatica è Theresa.} To talk about a location {Walk BETWEEN the trees. - Passeggiare tra gli alberi.}

Writing that was a little bit painful, which is amazing because I love grammar.

It was painful because there are still so many other usages that I left out for the sake of simplicity.

Understanding the basics first is a must, and I'll be sure to write some more article about the nuances and the fun {read: not fun} exceptions with prepositions.

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Go to to get 20% off as a special discount to members of The Iceberg Project community.

Any questions for now? Drop ‘em in the comments below.

[099] How to Find and Explore Your Italian Ancestry with Mary Tedesco

Apr 15, 2014 24:44


Learn how to research your Italian ancestry and genealogy with Mary Tedesco from Origins Italy.