Italian is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, and is a good choice if you’re thinking of learning how to speak Italian. Here are some of the most commonly used words and phrases that shouldn’t take you too long to memorise!
Ciao when greeting somebody means “hello”, however it is also used to say “goodbye”. If you are greeting many people or saying goodbye to many people, add “tutti”, so you say “ciao tutti”. This means “hello/goodbye everybody”.
Come stai means “How are you?”. Ask somebody this after greeting them with Ciao.
This is how you say “good thank you”. It’s possible this will be your answer when asking “Come stai?”. They may also say, “Bene grazie, et tu?” This means “good thank you, and you?”. You can then reply with “Bene grazie” or “Molto bene, grazie”, which means “Very well, thank you”.
Don’t forget to say “Grazie” or “Grazia” to thank somebody.
Prego means “you’re welcome”. If somebody says “Grazie” to you reply with “Prego”. This is also how an Italian is likely to reply when you say “Grazie”.
Quanti Anni Hai?
This phrase means “how much is it?”. Use this phrase when asking the price of something.
This phrase means “Happy Birthday!”.
This phrase is how to say “I love you” to a partner.
This phrase means “good morning”.
This phrase means “good night”.
Italians do not answer the phone like we do with “hello?” or “ciao?”, they answer with the word “pronto?” which is translated to mean “ready?”.
The Italian language also has some expressions that seem as though they don’t make sense, but are common phrases and idioms used in the language. Just as we say things like, “raining cats and dogs”, they have similar expressions. Here they are:
Non Mi Va
This means “it doesn’t go for me” and can be used in any situation to say you either don’t like something or don’t want to do something. e.g, “do you want to go to the beach?”, “non mi va”.
Non Vedo l’Ora
This is a confusing expression that means “I can’t see the hour”. However Italians use it to express their excitement when they can’t wait for something.
In Bocca al Lupo
Similar to when we wish somebody look by saying “break a leg!”, this phrase means “into the wolf’s mouth”. The slightly scary response is usually “crepi!”, which actually means “die”. It’s assumed that they aren’t telling the well wisher to die, just the wolf whose mouth they are going into…right.
Che me ne Frega
Translated, this phrase means “what do I care?”. However, the Italians view the phrase a tad harsher than our version. Although the words are not Italian swear words, the phrase is probably closer to “I couldn’t give a f***”.
This phrase is short and sweet and means “you take me for a spin”. However it’s got nothing to do with driving, it’s the Italian way of saying “are you taking the mick?”.
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