Learning any language is a good idea, whether you learn Chinese, learn Portuguese or even learn Arabic.
Regardless of your reasons for learning a foreign language, whether you want to improve your career prospects or you’re interested in exploring a certain culture, the language you learn can have an impact on your potential career paths.
For this reason, many people who are aiming to enter a certain profession learn the language that goes with it.
The Italian language is known around the world for its beauty, and when it comes to the fashion industry, Italian is the language of choice.
So, how exactly is Italian useful for fashionistas?
Luxury Italian Brands
Fashion symbolises two countries in particular for a lot of people: France and Italy.
This reputation comes from the successes of many different clothing brands and high-end fashion designers, as well as the style know-how of each country’s citizens.
UK fashion designers often take their inspiration from the luxury fashion designers of Italy, adding their own touches along the way.
But, historically the top spots in fashion are occupied by France and Italy with their respective big-name haute couture houses:
- Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Jean-Paul Gaultier and many others for France
- Prada, Fendi, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Gucci et Valentino for Italy
For many, these are the brands of their dreams, and the idea of working in the French or Italian fashion industry would be the ideal profession.
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Fashion is an exciting and ever-evolving world where Italy is a major powerhouse, starting new trends that spread across the world and producing huge profits year on year.
To cite an example, in 2014, the Italian fashion industry produced a turnover of around 52 billion euros, an increase of 2.7% on the previous year.
Italian exports are also on the rise, with a growth of 3.8% in 2014 and a turnover of 28.5 billion euros.
In a world where the gap between the rich and the poor is widening in every country, the luxury industry has never been so successful. The good news for the other side is that Italian high-street fashion is also booming, as the tailor-made looks of the high-end runway make their way into our fashion outlets.
Why not take Italian lessons then and become a part of the fashion scene? There are many options available to those who want to learn to speak Italian, getting used to writing in a foreign language and mastering the tricky Italian pronunciation along the way.
Milan Fashion Week: A Symbol of Italian Expertise
The 4 great emblems of global fashion are the Fashion Weeks that take place in London, Paris, New York and Milan.
Seven days dedicated to the biggest fashion houses, featuring fashion parades and models showing off each designer’s creations as they strut down the catwalks and stars gather to discover the latest creations.
Of these four unmissable events in the high-fashion industry, Milan is the most highly anticipated.
And Milan Fashion Week is doing pretty well as in 2015, Milano Moda Donna saw a 25% increase in the number of events, with an impressive 70 parades and 83 presentations in Showroom.
During the same year, more than 40% of participants in Milan Fashion Week came from abroad – and you could, one day, be one of them!
If this is your aim, you’ll need to be in a position that means you can travel as part of your job, and to get a job like this, you’ll need to have a good education.
For example, you’ll need to demonstrate fluency in your spoken Italian with a relevant qualification such as an Italian degree, or a joint honours degree including Italian.
This experience will give you the necessary level of proficiecy (such as listening comprehension, using Italian vocabulary appropriately, faultlessly conjugating Italian verbs and writing fluently with the correct use of Italian articles) to use your second language in your career.
You can learn Italian online with a tutor if you have a busy schedule - or find an Italian tutor near you with Superprof.
Working in Italy
Taking private Italian language courses through one to one tutoring just once a week can be a rewarding decision that gives you useful language skills you can use for the rest of your life.
Learning a new language cannot only work wonders for your confidence on a personal level as you gain the ability to communicate in Italian with those who speak it as a native language, your conversational Italian can also open doors in the professional world.
At the end of 2015, the website Italie-France.com found out that there were nearly 47,900 companies working in Italy’s fashion industry with a total of 411000 employees.
It may reassure you to know that being a native speaker of Italian is not the only criterion recruiters are interested in. If your first language is not Italian, bear in mind that Italy’s employers are looking for skilled workers, and you should not let your mother tongue affect your career path.
To take an example of this, Claudio Marenzi, president of Sistema Moda Italiana (the Italian Federation of fashion and textiles) told the French financial newspaper Les Échos:
‘We have a hard time finding [skilled workers], and we must not lower our guard in the fight against counterfeiting.’
So, the exciting jobs are out there, all you have to do is put in the hard work!
The Best Way to Learn Italian
So, what will you actually need to do to learn a new language in the most effective possible way?
There are plenty of opportunities to work and study whilst you learn the language, but a good level of knowledge prior to this is usually required – so how do you get started?
Here are just some of the many paths you can follow:
Study Italian at School and University
Some schools offer Italian as a foreign language, which means that if you’re a school, college or university student, you may have the opportunity to gain formal qualifications in the Italian language and culture as a young learner.
If you’ve always dreamt of learning to speak perfect Italian, the earlier you start learning, the better.
So, as soon as you get an opportunity to take Italian as a second language and even gain GCSE, A Level and degree-level qualifications, take it.
With the help of language professionals to teach you, you’ll quickly get to grips with Italian words and phrases as well as commonly-used expressions which will come in handy in your oral communication, as well as Italian grammar points such as conjugation and learning about the correct use of nouns, pronouns and adjectives, so you can wave 'ciao' to your phrasebook!
Thankfully, the Italian alphabet is the same as ours - making learning Italian far easier!
Learning a language at an educational institution also means that you will get an introduction to learning about Italy and its culture as you start to learn more about Italia, and you may even get the opportunity to visit the country with your class.
One to one Italian Lessons
Follow a language learning programme that is tailored to your individual learning needs and goals can make for successful language acquisition, so you'll be speaking Italian in no time at all!
Superprof is a platform where students can find tutors to help them achieve their academic goals – including learning languages such as Italian.
Learning Italian on a one to one basis in private language lessons is one of the best methods to learn Italian quickly and effectively.
So, if you don’t like the idea of taking several years to become confident in a language, finding a personal Italian tutor is the ideal ways to make significant progress in your Italian learning and become fluent in the romance language.
Language Exchange in Italy
To speed up your learning of a language, spending time in an environment where it is the primary method of communication could be just what you need.
The best way to make your Italian speaking significantly more natural and fluent, surrounding yourself with native Italian speakers during a language exchange programme is the most effective option.
Taking Italian lessons in the very place where the language is spoken will always be more rewarding than taking an Italian language course in your home country – and you can even get a holiday out of it!
Take a Trip to Italy
If you’ve got the travel bug, visiting Italy and discovering its rich culture and history with your very own eyes will teach you a lot about the country and motivate you in your learning of the Italian language.
Everyone learns differently, and immersion in Italy’s vibrant culture has the potential to teach you a lot more than the grammar exercises and oral tests that so many people loathe.
With some basic Italian and some time spent under the Mediterranean sun, you could learn far more than you ever bargained for!
Check out Superprof to find your ideal private tutor to help you master the Italian language:
- Italian lessons Glasgow
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- Learn Italian online