Can You Get Fluent in Italian in 3 Months? The Truth.

From someone who isn’t selling you something.

Bella Martin
5 min readSep 15, 2021


Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

“Learn Italian While You Sleep.” “How to Become Fluent in German in 3 Months.” “How I learn Any Language in 24 Hours.”

Don’t these titles make you want to scream? I get why they exist: big claims get a big number of clicks. Learn quick titles prey on our desire to get immediate results with minimal effort. We’re always scouring the internet for hacks — hacks to become billionaires, hacks to be happier than Walt Disney, hacks to make anyone fall in love with us on the first date. We search for hacks when it comes to language learning too.

When I decided to move to Italy, I needed to learn Italian as fast as possible. Italian fluency was critical to my social and professional success in Italy. My practical need for the language made me a highly motivated student. Of course, I was drawn in by the idea of Italian fluency in a matter of months, and I religiously followed all the tips and tricks. Three months flew by, and still not fluent, I concluded, “I must be bad at learning languages.” I’d made some progress towards learning Italian, but the improvement was shockingly slow.

There is one major problem with fluency claims: they are subjective. The Cambridge Dictionary defines fluency as “the ability to speak or write a language easily, well, and quickly.” After three months of studying Italian in Italy, I didn’t meet any of those fluency markers. There are polyglots undoubtedly more efficient than I am at mastering the complexities of foreign languages. Even for skilled language learners, however, a three-month timeline is unrealistic.

It’s impossible to say precisely how long it should take you to become fluent in a foreign language. There are many factors to consider:

  • How effective are your study techniques?
  • How close is your target language to your native language?
  • Do you currently live in a country where your target language is spoken?

All of these factors will determine the speed of your progress. Language learning is lifelong, and the longer you spend with a language, the…



Bella Martin

Writer & Dreamer. I write to spread healing & hope. Based in Italy. — Instagram: @bellamwrites