If you want to say “good afternoon” in Italian, you could say “buon pomeriggio.” However, wishing someone a literal good afternoon is not all that common. More often, native speakers will switch from the general “buongiorno” (good day) to “buona sera” (good evening) as the afternoon sets in.
The ins-and-outs of Italian greetings and goodbyes are easier than you may think. Sure, there are some variations, both formal and informal, but the general hellos and goodbyes Italians stick to come pretty quickly when you’re first learning. After all, you probably already know more than a few Italian words––and not just the ones related to food. “Prego,” “arrivederci,” and “molto bene” are all Italian words or phrases you’ve heard hundreds of times. Plus, if you already speak another Latin-based “romance language” like French or Spanish, you’re almost certain to make progress in Italian. Even English, while technically a Germanic language, has been profoundly influenced by the same Latin roots that formed Italian. Basically, if you speak another major European language, you’re well on your way to speaking Italian.
Worried about the commitment required to learn Italian? You can relax. That’s because Rosetta Stone offers brief and bite-sized lessons to help you learn Italian. These short lessons can easily fit into your life, rather than consume all of your time and energy. So when you’re taking a breather from watching the kids, or driving home from work, or find yourself with a few free minutes on campus, you can use the time to work on a Rosetta Stone language lesson. The lessons are designed to make it convenient for you to learn Italian and speak it authentically.
To get started, here are some common and useful Italian phrases:
If you’re a new student of Italian, one of the first characteristics of the language you’re sure to notice is the common use of double consonants. This double consonant feature pops up in a wide variety of popular words, like the words pizza or anno or the name Alessandra. And although every Italian word is enunciated a bit differently, a handy tip to learn how to correctly pronounce these Italian words is to deemphasize the vowel that precedes the double consonants.
Another important aspect of correct Italian pronunciation relates to the letter c. By comparison, in other Romance languages such as Spanish, the c is commonly pronounced like the letter s. (This is referred to as el ceceo and differs significantly in Iberian Spanish.) Unlike in Spanish, in Italian the letter c is most often pronounced with a hard ch noise, just like you hear in the English word “charge.”
There are some exceptions to this general pronunciation rule. The letter c in Italian is pronounced differently in specific contexts. Notably, it can sound like an English c, meaning it can be pronounced like a k; such as you hear in the words: company, capital, campfire, Caroline, coordination, Compton, and collar. You’ll sometimes hear this pronunciation in Italian words. Those Italian words always include the vowels of a, o or u, such as appear in the words Capri, Campari, capra (goat), cannoli, and campione (champion).
Have you ever been to an Italian restaurant and ordered a potato-filled pasta called gnocchi? This delicious, dumpling-style dish is not only very popular, it can also help us to understand the Italian pronunciation of the gn sound. In Italian, the letter combination of gn is pronounced nasally and is comparable to the Spanish ñ sound. We can refer to the Spanish translation of gnocchi to learn more about this pronunciation:
Acquiring Italian pronunciation skills requires feedback you can use to make corrections, and then practice until you get a good feel for how to shape the specific sounds. Rosetta Stone integrates a proven and patented speech-recognition engine, called TruAccent, into every language learning lesson. TruAccent offers instant feedback, so you can fine-tune your accent to the accent of native Italian speakers. It was developed by closely scanning and carefully analyzing the speech of Italian native and non-native speakers. That’s why TruAccent can be a very useful tool in helping you understand and speak in Italian.
Once beginners have acquired the basics for comfortably speaking Italian, they can transition to learning the longer phrases that make up the backbone of everyday Italian conversation. Rosetta Stone’s bite-sized, 10-minute lessons are built to help you just exactly that. The language lessons lead you to speaking Italian comfortably and with confidence.
Surround yourself with Italian whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.