By: Tahiti Beaupre, FFE, 2016-17
Planning on studying in Florence and have no previous experience with Italian? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Here are a few basic words and phrases that will help you fit right in!
- Buongiorno (Good Morning)
- Buonasera (Good Afternoon/Evening-Formal)
- Buonanotte (Good Night-Informal)
- Arrivederci (Goodbye-Formal)
- Ciao (Hello & Goodbye-Informal)
- Salve (Hello & Goodbye-Neutral)
- Come si chiama? (What is your name-Formal)
- Come ti chiami? (What is your name-Informal)
- Mi Chiamo (My name is)
- Di dov’è (Where are you from-Formal)
- Di dove sei? (Where are you from-Informal)
- Sono di (I am from)
- Come sta? (How are you-Formal)
- Come stai? (How are you-Informal)
- Bene, grazie (Fine, thank you)
- Per favore (Please)
- Grazie (Thank you)
- Prego (You’re welcome)
- Mi dispiace (I’m sorry)
- Mi scusi (Excuse me-Formal)
- Scusa (Excuse me, I’m sorry-Informal)
- Permesso (Excuse me-When walking through crowds)
- Sì (Yes)
- No (No)
Basic Question Words
- Chi? (Who)
- Cosa? (What)
- Quando? (When)
- Dove? (Where)
- Perché? (Why)
- Come? (How)
- Quanto (How much)
- Aiuto (Help)
- Emergenza (Emergency)
- Chiamate la polizia (Call the police)
- Chiamate un’ambulanza (Call an ambulance)
- Dov’è l’ospedale? (Where is the hospital)
- Non parlo italiano (I don’t speak Italian)
- Parla inglese? (Do you speak english)
- Non capisco (I don’t understand)
- Vorrei qualcosa da mangiare (I would like something to eat)
- Vorrei un cappuccino (I would like a cappuccino)
- Il conto, per favore (Check please)
- Che ore sono? (What time is it)
At the market, cafe, or stores
- Quanto costa? (How much does it cost)
- Vorrei pagare in contanti (I’d like to pay in cash)
- Vorrei pagare con la carta di credito (I’d like to pay by credit card)
- Accettate carte di credito? (Do you (all) accept credit cards)
- Sto cercando (I’m looking for…)
- Prendo (I’ll take…)
- Da portare via (To go)
- Questo (This)
- Quello (That)
- Lo scontrino (The receipt)
- Il resto (The change)
Spoken like a true Italian
- Allora (And then) – You’ll quickly learn that every Italian will start their conversations with this phrase.
- Va bene (Alright or okay sometimes used as it’s alright or it’s okay)
- Una busta? (A bag) – You’ll get asked this almost every time you’re at a grocery store, just reply with sì or no.
- Piano Piano (Slowly slowly) – Once orientation comes, you’ll learn this phrase, but it basically means just to slow down.
- Prego avanti (Welcome, next) – You will here this whenever you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or other shops. This means that it is the next persons turn in line.
- Basta (Enough) – My all time favorite, you can use this when someone keeps serving your mounds and mounds of pasta and you want to let them know that’s enough. Basta to the pasta!
- Meno male (Less bad) -This phrase is used like “thank God”. So when you find out you passed your Italian midterm you can say “meno male!”.
- Dai (Come on) – You can use this when one of your friends is refusing to go with you somewhere, just say dai!
- Che figata (Cool) – You can say this when something awesome happened. Hey, I just found a euro on the street, che figata!