In the larger Italian cities, you’ll come into contact with many people who speak some English. But knowing a few Italian phrases will go a long way in endearing yourself to the local people.
Even if you're not fluent or if you botch the pronunciation a bit, Italians will appreciate any attempt at speaking their language. And when you’re able to communicate, even just a little, it will make your stay much more enjoyable. You may even make a few friends.
Below are a few Italian words and phrases that will come in handy during your trip to Italy, whether you’re in a store, on a train or at the theater.
|Buongiorno (bwon-jor-no)||Good day. Always greet store clerks or restaurant hosts with this or the following phrase.|
|Buona sera (bwo-na say-rah)||Good evening.|
|Per Favore (per fa-vo-ray)||Please.|
|Permesso (per-meh-soh)||Excuse me. Use it when you’re trying to pass through a group of people in places such as a crowded store or bus.|
|Scusi (scoo-zy)||Excuse me. Use it to apologize for bumping into someone or to politely get a person’s attention.|
|Dov'è? (doh-vay)||Where is?|
|Non capisco (nonn kah-pee-skoh)||I don't understand.|
|Vorrei (vor-ray)||I would like.|
|Quanto costa? (kwan-tow ko-stah)||How much does it cost?|
|Che ore sono? (kay oh-reh so-no)||What time is it?|
|Grazie (gra-tziay)||Thank you.|
|Arrivederci (ah-ree-vey-der-chee)||Goodbye. Use it in formal situations or when saying bye to people you don’t know.|
You may also be interested in:A Theater Glossary for Italian words related to the theater and opera.