Common Italian Words and Phrases for Travelers
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.
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 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)
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
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
Where is? => dov'è
The check please = > Il conto, per favore
Happy birthday ==> Buon compleanno
Very well ==> Molto bene
Taxi => Taxi
Hotel => Albergo
B&B => B&B
Restaurant => Ristorante
Cafe/Diner => Trattoria
Police => Polizia / Carabinieri
Doctor => Medico
Water ==> Acqua
Wine ==> Vino
Beer ==> Birra
Yes => sì
No => no
Airport => Aeroporto
Train station => Stazione
Pharmacy => Farmacia
Ticket => Biglietto
Museum => Museo
Help ==> Aiuto
Fine ==> Benissimo
Days of the Week
Sunday => domenica
Monday => lunedì
Tuesday => martedì
Wednesday => mercoledì
Thursday => giovedì
Friday => venerdì
Saturday => sabato
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.
© 2012 Bill De Giulio
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