If you want to say “have a good day” in Italian, you would say “buona giornata.” That’s not to be confused with the greeting “buongiorno,” which is generally used when seeing or meeting someone during the day. That said, “buongiorno” can also be used for goodbyes, just like “buona giornata.”
If the ins and outs of these greetings and goodbyes seem intimidating, don’t worry. Most beginning students in Italian get used to them. After all, you probably already know more Italian words than you’d imagine––and not just the ones related to food. Plus, if you already speak another Latin-derived language like French or Spanish, Italian can seem simple to pick up. Even English, while it’s technically a Germanic language, is heavily influenced by the same Latin roots that formed Italian. Basically, if you speak one of these other major EU languages, you’re definitely on your way to speaking Italian.
If you’re concerned about the time required to learn Italian, you can rest easy. That’s because Rosetta Stone has developed a natural learning path of small steps to help you acquire, understand, and speak Italian. This small-steps approach to learning means you have the flexibility to schedule language lessons into your life, and not schedule your life around lessons. So when you’re walking the dog, taking a short break from watching the kids or commuting home from work, Rosetta Stone makes it possible for you to find the time to fit in the small steps that lead to learning Italian.
To begin your journey, here are some common phrases that will be helpful to learn first:
For beginning learners of the Italian language, one of the first notable characteristics you might come to recognize is the Italian pronunciation of double consonants. These 2-letter occurrences appear in a wide array of common words, including everyday words like pizza and anno and the name Alessandra. And while you’ll come to learn that many Italian word are enunciated just a bit differently, a helpful tip to accurately pronouncing these double consonants in Italian is to place a bit less emphasis on the vowel that comes right before.
A second notable characteristic of Italian pronunciation relates to the letter c. By comparison, in other Romance languages such as Spanish, the c is quite often pronounced like an s. This use of c is referred to as el ceceo and differs quite markedly with Iberian Spanish. But unlike Spanish, in Italian the letter c is very often pronounced with a hard ch sound, as you hear in the pronunciation of the English word “charge.”
As with most rules, there are some exceptions. The letter c is pronounced in other ways in different contexts. For example, the Italian letter c can sound like the English letter c, which is sometimes pronounced like a k in common and familiar words such as company, capital, campfire, Caroline, coordination, Compton, and collar. You’ll hear this same k-sounding pronunciation in some Italian words. You’ll find that those Italian words always include an a, o, or u after the c, such as in the Italian words Capri, Campari, capra (goat), cannoli, and campione (champion).
Have you ever gone to an Italian restaurant and ordered the potato-filled pasta, known as gnocchi? This delectable dumpling-style dish is not only very popular, it can also help us to learn the accurate Italian pronunciation of the gn sound. In Italian, that two-letter combination of gn is pronounced quite nasally, comparable to the Spanish ñ sound. Let’s look more closely at the Spanish translation of the Italian word gnocchi to understand this:
To further improve your Italian pronunciation, you’ll have to receive accurate and immediate feedback. This critical step will allow you to make any and all needed corrections to your pronunciation. Then, after you’ve learned the correct pronunciation, you’ll need to practice until you develop a comfortable feel for shaping the specific sounds that make up spoken Italian. Rosetta Stone embeds our proven and patented speech-recognition engine, called TruAccent, into every language learning lesson. It provides you with the accurate and immediate feedback you must have to enunciate the correct pronunciation––and then match your accent accordingly. TruAccent was developed by scanning and then analyzing the speech of native and non-native Italian speakers . You will find it can be an extremely powerful tool to help you learn to speak and understand Italian.
After new language learners have acquired the building blocks of speaking Italian, they will be able to readily transition to longer phrases that make up everyday conversations. Rosetta Stone’s quick, 10-minute language lessons are designed for exactly this approach. You’ll be on your way to speaking Italian with comfort and confidence before you know it.
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.