Basic Italian Phrases
Buongiorno! If you're planning to visit Italy or just looking to strengthen your Italian speaking skills, commiting a few basic Italian phrases to memory will help you communicate with native Italian speakers while expanding your comprehension of the Italian Language. The helpful phrases below are intended as a quick reference for communicating simple requests, statements, and ideas to native Italian speakers. Phonetic pronunciation aids are included as well, but remember that nothing substitutes for hearing and practicing spoken Italian.
Experiencing the Italian language means going beyond memorization and lesson plans, and that's why Rosetta Stone offers an unmatched combination of technology, teaching and real-world interaction to foster language cognition. With Rosetta Stone, you'll learn new words and phrases based on the context in which they're used, so you'll be prepared to theive in real-world conversations, which turns learning Italian into internalizing a living language.
Ready to learn? Let's begin your Italian journey with the phrases below:
Salutations and Expressions
|Hello, how are you?||Ciao, come va?||Ch-ah-o, ko-me va?|
|Good Morning||Buongiorno||Bwon' journo|
|Good Afternoon||Buon pomeriggio||Bwon' po-mer-eej-jio|
|Good Evening||Buonasera||Bwon' a-say-rah|
|What is your name?||Come si chiama?||Coome-see kee-ah-mah|
|My name is ...||Mi chiamo si ...||Mi-kee-ah-mo see ...|
|How do you say … in Italian?||Come si dice … in italiano?||Coome-see dee-che … in it-al-e-an-o|
|Where is the hotel?||Dov'è l'hotel?||Do-vay lo-tel|
|Could you repeat that, please?||Potrebbe ripetere, per favore?||po-tre-bay ree-peh-tray per fa-vor-ay|
|Where are you from?||Di dov'è?||Dee do-vey|
|Do you speak English?||Parla inglese?||Pah-rlah eenglaysay|
|Yes, I speak English.||Sì, parlo inglese||See, pah-rloe eenglaysay.|
|What does that mean?||Cosa vuole dire? (or Cosa significa?)||Ko-sa vu-ol-ay dee-ray|
|How much is this?||Quanto costa questo?||Kwan-to cos-tah kwe-stow|
|Fine, thank you||Bene, grazie||Beh-ney, grot-see|
|My name is...||Mi chiamo...||Me kee-amo|
|I'm not sure||Non lo so||Non low so|
|Of course / Definitely||Ma certo||Ma chayr-toe|
|I'm an American||Sono americano||So-no a-mare-i-can-o|
|Nothing else, thank you.||Nient'altro, grazie.||Nee-in-a-tro, grot-see|
Grammar and Pronunciation in Italian
As with other Romantic languages, Italian is derived from Latin, and many of the rules of grammar governing Italian usage closely mirror Latin conventions. Native English speakers often struggle with the fact that Italian syntax, or word order rules, are less strict than in English. While English's typical sentence structure of subject–verb–object is implicit to the intended meaning of the sentence, Italian word order is more fluid, and parts of speech like verbs and adjectives may come before or after nouns/subjects without altering meaning.
Also, subject pronouns are not necessary in Italian. English demands that every sentence have a subject, even if the subject is hard to pinpoint. Compare the English "It is important to study Italian." to the Italian equivalent "È importante studiare l'italiano." In the Italian version, the subject pronoun equivalent to the English "It" is missing, and a native Italian speaker would wonder what "It" refers to in the English version of the sentence.
Another key difference with English, Italian assigns gender, masculine and feminine, to nouns and articles (equivalents to English "a" "an" "the"). Italian word endings are also extremely important to the overall meaning of sentences. Since Italian is the language of love, let's use as an example how to say "I love you" in Italian: The infinitive form of "love" is "amore"; with the singular masculine ending "o", "amore" becomes "amo" or "I love" and the object "ti" or "you" goes at the beginning: "Ti amo."
Grazie! Con amore!