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Common Italian Words and Phrases for Travelers

Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures and experiences and makes the world a more tolerant place.

Learning even a few words and phrases can make all the difference on your trip!

Learning even a few words and phrases can make all the difference on your trip!

When traveling in Italy it can be a frustrating experience not knowing the language. For most of us learning a new language, while it sounds like a great idea, is just not practical. But, with a few key phrases and words under your belt you can travel with ease in Italy and greatly enhance your experience.

For the most part Italians are a warm and friendly people. If they see you trying to speak their language they are more apt to engage you and try to assist you.

The English language is also becoming more widespread in Italy especially in the tourist areas so many Italians will understand some of your English. While you’re there don’t be afraid to try to converse with the locals. If you have a few Italian words and phrases in your vocabulary they will figure out what you are asking.

Italy

Italy

I love the language, it sounds as if it should be writ on satin with syllables which breathe of the sweet South.

— George Gordon Noel Byron

Greetings

Greetings are very important to learn as they set the tone for your interaction with the locals. These common greetings will help to break the ice and engage with the locals.

Good morning => Buon giorno (bwon gee-orno)

Good evening => Bouna sera (bwon-uh say-ruh)

Good night => Bouna notte (bwon-uh no-te)

Thank You => Grazie (grah-tseeay)

Your Welcome => Prego (pray-go)

Hello/Goodbye => Ciao (chow)

Goodbye (formal) => Arrivederci (ah-ree-vay-der-chee)

Welcome ==> Benvenuto/Benvenuta (female)

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How are you? => Come Sta? (koh-may stah)

My name is ==> il mio nome e'

What is your name? ==> Come si chiama? (koh-meh see kee-ah-mah)

Excuse me => Mi Scusi (mee skoo-zee)

Pleased to meet you =>Piacere di conoscerti


Our new Italian friend.

Our new Italian friend.

This gentleman spoke no English but still invited us into his home.  With a few key Italian words and phrases we were able to converse with him.

This gentleman spoke no English but still invited us into his home. With a few key Italian words and phrases we were able to converse with him.

Very nice Italian gentleman.  What a great experience we had  communicating with him.

Very nice Italian gentleman. What a great experience we had communicating with him.

Common Questions/Phrases

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Here are some common questions and phrases that you may want to ask.

How much does it cost? => Quanto costa?

How many? ==> Quanti?

Where is the bathroom/toilet? => Dov'è il bagno or Dov'è la toilette?

Do you speak English? ==> Parla Inglese?

Do you understand? ==> Capisce?

I don't understand ==> Non capisco

Can you help me? => mi potete aiutare?

What is your name? ==> Come si chiama?

Is there Internet connection? => c'è connessione ad internet

Do you have WiFi? => avete il WiFi?

Where is? => dov'è

The check please = > Il conto, per favore

Happy birthday ==> Buon compleanno

Very well ==> Molto bene

Shopping in Italy can be a fun experience.

Shopping in Italy can be a fun experience.

Knowing a little Italian goes a long way in conversing with the locals.

Knowing a little Italian goes a long way in conversing with the locals.

Common Words

Yes => sì

No => no

Airport => Aeroporto

Train station => Stazione ferroviaria

Bus station => Stazione degli autobus

Pharmacy => Farmacia

Ticket => Biglietto

Museum => Museo

Help ==> Aiuto

Fine ==> Benissimo

Taxi => Taxi

Hotel => Albergo

B&B => B&B

Restaurant => Ristorante

Cafe/Diner => Trattoria

Police => Polizia / Carabinieri

Doctor => Medico

Water ==> Acqua

Wine ==> Vino

Beer ==> Birra

Just a few words and phrases goes a long way toward making some new friends.

Just a few words and phrases goes a long way toward making some new friends.

common-italian-words-and-phrases-for-travelers
common-italian-words-and-phrases-for-travelers

Days of the Week

Sunday => domenica

Monday => lunedì

Tuesday => martedì

Wednesday => mercoledì

Thursday => giovedì

Friday => venerdì

Saturday => sabato

Learn your Italian numbers, it will come in handy.

Learn your Italian numbers, it will come in handy.

Numbers

1 => uno

2 => due

3 => tre

4 => quattro

5 => cinque

6 => sei

7 => sette

8 => otto

9 => nove

10 => dieci

20 => venti

50 => cinquanta

100 => cento

A few weeks before you travel to Italy you should be periodically reviewing your list of words and phrases and practicing them. If you get them all down add a few new ones.

Try and make this a fun exercise as opposed to a task. Make flash cards and quiz each other. Try carrying around with you a little cheat sheet with these key words and phrases so you can practice. And be sure to take this with you on your trip to Italy.

It will also help to take a small translation book with you just in case you need a word or phrase that you don’t know. There are many good English to Italian translation books available out there. You will find that with just a few of the basic words and phrases that you will be able to travel with ease and converse with the locals. What better way to have some fun as you anxiously look forward to a trip to Italy. Your experience while there will be greatly enhanced with just a little preparation.

common-italian-words-and-phrases-for-travelers

Questions & Answers

Question: How do I say "I want to” in Italian?

Answer: "Voglio" is “I want to” in Italian.

Question: What is "fish" in Italian?

Answer: Fish in Italian is pesce.

Question: What is "no thank you" in Italian?

Answer: "No grazie."

Question: How do you say, “could I have a cup of coffee” in Italian?

Answer: Potrei avere una tazza di caffe is Italian for “could I have a cup of coffee”?

Question: My nephew responded to a message calling me haunty Tammy. What does that mean?

Answer: Haunty is not an Italian word, but it means restless or impatient.

Question: What is come stay?

Answer: Vieni a stare.

Question: How do you say fifteen in Italian?

Answer: "Quindici" is fifteen in Italian.

Question: How would you say "How much do these shoes cost?" in Italian?

Answer: Quanto costano queste scarpe?

© 2012 Bill De Giulio

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