LivingTravelItalian for travelers to Italy

Italian for travelers to Italy

It is a good idea to learn some basic Italian words and phrases before traveling to Italy. Although English is spoken in most tourist parts of Italy, knowing a little Italian will help you have a better experience and make you feel more comfortable while in Italy. And even if you speak a failed version of Italian, you will find that most Italians will appreciate your efforts to learn and speak their language.

Useful phrases

Here are some basic phrases and courtesies to help you survive in Italy:

  • Greetings Know how to say “buongiorno” (bwohn-JOR-noh) for “good morning” or “good morning”; “Buonasera” (BWOH-nah-SAY-ra) for “good night”; and “arrivalderci” (ah-ree-vay-DEHR-chee) to say goodbye (mandatory when leaving a store or restaurant).
  • Disclosure . Say in advance, “Non parlo italiano” (nohn PAR-loh ee-tah-leeAH-non) for “I don’t speak Italian.” A good follow-up question: Parla inglese? (PAR-lah een-GLAY-zay) Do you speak English?
  • Courtesy Please, thank you, and the most important phrases in any language are not at all. The Italian phrases are “per favo” (pehr fah-VOH-ray); grazie (GRAHT-zee-ay) and prego (PRAY-goh).
  • Personal preferences . Wherever you go, someone will ask you: “Va bene?” (VAH BAY-ne): «Is it going well? Everything is alright?” If so, you can answer “Yes, well!” (see BEHN-no) for yes, everything is fine. “My piace” (mee pee-AH-chay) means “I like it”; non mi piace, “I don’t like it.”
  • Prices . In short, you are going to buy food, tickets, souvenirs and other irresistible things. Before you do, you want to know, “How much coast?” (KWAHN-toh KOH-sta): How much does it cost?

Basic Vocabulary for Travelers

Learning basic vocabulary and questions is likely to generate smiles and friendlier service in hotels, restaurants, and stores.

  • Yes
  • Nerd
  • Excuse me: My scusi (when you need to ask a question, instructions, etc.)
  • Sorry: Permesso (when you need to pass, enter someone’s house, etc.)
  • Sorry: My dispiace (when you made a mistake, or you don’t have small bills, etc.)
  • Sorry: Scusa (when you bump into someone, roll your luggage on their foot, etc.)
  • Some information, please: Un informazione, per favor
  • I don’t understand: no capisco

Exchanging jokes

  • What is your name? : Eat if chiama?
  • My name is ___: My Chiamo ___
  • I’m from the United States / England: I come from dagli Stati Uniti / dall’Inghilterra
  • How’s it going? : How does it go?
  • How are you? : Come this?

Go out for dinner

  • ¿Tienes una mesa para 2/4/6 personas? : Do you have a table for two / four / six people?
  • ¿Que recomiendas? : What do you suggest?
  • Vegetarian Soy: I am a vegetarian
  • A bottle of white / tinto wine de la casa, por favor: A bottle of red / white house wine please
  • El check, por favor: The check, please
  • Está incluida la propina? : Is the service included?

Asking for directions

  • Where is the metro? : Dov’è the subway?
  • Where is the train station? : Dov’è la stazione?
  • Where is the museum? : Dov’è il museo?

The needs

  • Where is the bathroom? : Dov’è la toilette?
  • Can you call me a taxi? Puoi Chiamarmi a taxi?
  • Can you help me? : My può aiutare?
  • Please call an ambulance! : Please, chiami un’ambulanza!
  • Please call the police! : Per favor chiama la polizia!
  • Please call a doctor: Per favo, chiami un dottore

Hopefully, you will never get a chance to use those last three or four sentences!

Have a good trip! Ten un buen viaje.

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