... speak


Italian is a beautiful language to speak and listen to; musical, fluid and emotionally-expressive. For Italians, their words are not merely tools to convey basic messages, but sophisticated descriptions of emotional states. Everywhere you go in Italy you'll hear Italians talking, arguing, complaining, chattering.

It will come as no surprise that Italians all speak Italian. Many also speak English and one or more other languages.

When in doubt, you can find out whether someone speaks English by asking "Parla inglese?". One interesting feature of Italy's linguistic development is that almost every town and small region has its own distinct language or dialect. As little as 50 years ago many Italians didn't speak Italian, but rather their own regional dialect. Now all speak standard Italian with many people speaking dialect as well.



Common Italian Phrases

Sì = yes "see"

No = no "noh"

Per favore = please (when asking for something) "pehr fah-voh-reh"
Prego = you're welcome/please (when inviting someone to do something or offering them something) "preh-goh"
Grazie = thanks "graht-zee-eh"
Grazie mille = thanks very much "graht-zee-eh mee-leh"
Ciao = hi/bye (quite informal) "chow"
Salve = hello (formal) "sal-vay"
Buon giorno = good morning (used until 3pm) "bwon zhor-no"
Buon pomeriggio = good afternoon (used between 3pm and 6pm) "bwon po-mer-i-jo"
Buona sera = good evening (used after 6pm) "bwoh-nah seh-rah"
Buona notte = good night "bwoh-nah noht-teh"
Arrivederci = goodbye "ah-ree-vuh-dehr-chee"
A presto = See you soon "ah press-toh"
Benvenuti! = Welcome! "behn-veh-noo-tee"
Scusa = excuse me/sorry (informal) "skoo-zah"
Scusi = excuse me/sorry (formal) "skoo-zee"
Non c'è problema = no problem "non cheh proh-bleh-mah"
Di niente = It doesn't matter "dee nee-ehn-teh"
Mi dispiace = sorry "mee dee-spyah-cheh"
Non parlo italiano = I don't speak Italian "nohn par-lo ee-tah-lee-ah-noh"
Parlo poco italiano = I speak a little Italian "par-lo poe-co ee-tah-lee-ah-noh"
Non parlo molto bene italiano = I don't speak Italian very well "nohn par-lo mole-toe ben-ey ee-tah-lee-ah-noh"
Può ripetere per favore? = could you please repeat that? "pwoh ree-peh-teh-ray pehr fah-voh-ray "
Parla inglese? = Do you speak English? "par-lah een-gleh-zeh"
Capisco = I understand "kah-pees-koh"
Non capisco = I don't understand "nohn kah-pees-koh"
Non lo so = I don't know "nohn low so"
Scusi, dov'è il bagno? = excuse me, where's the toilet? (polite) "skoo-zee doh-vay eel bahn-yo"
Vietato fumare = No smoking "vee-eh-tah-toe foo-mahr-ray"
Non importa = It doesn't matter "nohn eem-por-tah"


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