Is Easier to Learn Spanish or Italian

Did you know that Romance languages are easy for English speakers to learn?

If you want to know more, read on.

Let’s find out together which is easier to learn Spanish or Italian!

About Spanish & Italian

Besides the fact that they are sister languages derived from Vulgar Latin, I invite you to learn a little more about Spanish & Italian. Two Romance languages share more than 80% similarity in words and even their pronunciation.

Official Romance Languages in European countries

  • French (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxemburg, and Monaco)
  • Italian (Italy, Switzerland, Vatican City, and San Marino)
  • Spanish (Spain)
  • Portuguese (Portugal)
  • Catalan (Andorra)
  • Romanian (Romania and Moldova)

Spanish origins

  • Romance language
  • Derived from Vulgar Latin originating from the Roman Empire
  • Mutually intelligible with other Romance languages

Italian origins

  • Romance language
  • Derived from Vulgar Latin from the Roman Empire
  • Mutually intelligible with the other Romance languages


Spanish is a language belonging to the Indo-European languages. It originated in Castile and later became the official language of several American countries after colonization.

Spanish numbers

  • 2nd most spoken native languages
  • Native speakers: 460,093,030
  • 4th most spoken language
  • General Speakers: 534,335,730
  • 3rd language in international communication
  • 3rd literate population in the world
  • 3rd most used language in the media
  • 3rd language with the most Internet users
  • By 2050 it will have 820 million speakers

Spanish-speaking countries

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Spain
  • Guatemala
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Dominican Republic
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Puerto Rico
  • States of the United States
  • Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Spanish and Institutions

  • United Nations
  • European Union
  • African Union
  • Organization of American States
  • Organization of Ibero-American States
  • North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Union of South American Nations
  • Caribbean Community
  • African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States
  • Antarctic Treaty
  • FIBA
  • FIFA
  • International Association of Athletics Federations


Italian, like Spanish, is a Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin. It´s a member of the Indo-European language family that spread around the world through migration.

For native English speakers who also speak Spanish, learning Italian is even easier. Since they share the same 26-letter alphabet of English and Spanish, which has 27 letters just by adding the ñ.

Italian numbers

  • 4th most studied language in the world
  • 19th most spoken native language
  • Native speakers: 64.844.820
  • 25th most spoken language
  • General speakers: 67,894,920

Italian-speaking countries

  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • San Marino
  • Vatican City
  • Istria
  • Capodistria
  • Isola
  • Pirano
  • Ancarano
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Albania (present in education)

Italian and Institutions

  • European Union
  • Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Spanish vs Italian

Now that we have mentioned the special details of each, let’s move on to contrast Spanish vs Italian. It´s essential to know how close they are to each other and English. This way you can determine which one suits you better or which one you should learn first.

  • Lexical similarity over 80%.
  • 4 out of 5 words are similar
  • They are not fully intelligible to each other
  • Different syntax and pronunciation
  • Latin alphabet
  • Numerical system
  • Characters and symbols

Verb to be

Yo soy

I am

  • Io sono

Tú eres

You are

  • Tu sei

Él/ella es

He/she is

  • Lui/lei è

Nosotros somos

We are

  • Noi siamo

Vosotros sois

You are

  • Voi siete

Ellos/ellas son

They are

  • Loro sono

Top 3 Factors to consider before learning Spanish or Italian

As an English speaker, it isn´t easy to decide between one language or the other. Several elements will help you decide which one to choose. In addition, that’s what the top 3 factors to consider before learning Spanish or Italian are all about.

Here you will see the most important things to ask yourself. Once you do, you will be sure that your learning will not represent any loss. On the other hand, you can always learn both languages, you still have a lot of life ahead of you.

1. Why learn Spanish or Italian

First of all, I have the most important question to ask yourself, why learn Spanish or Italian? What is the motivation that drives you to learn one or the other language?

If it´s for work or professional reasons, then choose the language that will benefit your career the most. If it´s for academic reasons, evaluate which one requires you or which one gives you more credit units. If it´s for personal reasons, analyze what´s in you that brings you closer to Spanish or Italian.

Maybe your ancestors or family is of Hispanic, Latin, or Italian nationality. You will probably want to converse fluently and get closer to your roots.

Another reason may be the decision to move temporarily or permanently to a country with these official languages. In this case, you must have already chosen or are in consultation. Study the socio-economic, natural, and political conditions of all these countries so that your choice is well-founded.

2. Culture

Culture is everything we do, from the way we walk, food, music, dance, traditions, and so on. Both Hispanic and Italian cultures are super rich and delicious in terms of good taste.

The artistic expressions will blow you away just by reading a fragment of a literary classic. Cinema and TV have a special touch that identifies them, not only by language but also by country.

Architecture, music, decoration, fashion, even landscapes are full of magic. I couldn´t choose between a paella and a pastiche, nor between an Italian and Spanish wine. I think I will order both to go.

3. Uses

Discovering the uses of a language gives you more clarity when making a choice. Languages and dialects have specific academic, professional, and personal uses. Regardless of where you are, this decision should be made wisely.

Here we come to the number of general and native speakers, where Spanish has a huge advantage. In addition, Spanish is highly used in business and travel thanks to being an official language in more than 20 countries.

Rice or pasta

As I have gotten to know Latin countries, I have realized how strong the influence of Spanish and Italian is. Not only in the language but also in their culture in general. That’s why we often hear phrases like “what do you want to eat, rice or pasta?”

From the simplicity of a side dish in typical dishes to the architecture. A movie, poem, dance, or song. Many cultures embellished themselves with the Spanish and Italian essence.

The migration of Europeans to different countries fleeing the wars and ruins of their native countries. This made the world learn Spanish and Italian to some extent.

If you feel identified with any of them, then wait no more. For you, which is easier to learn, Spanish or Italian?

¿Cuán Similares Son el Español y el Italiano?

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