If you've only just arrived in Italy and your vocabulary hasn't progressed far beyond ciao and grazie, there is a survival phrase you should definitely make an effort to learn: Do you speak English? Italian has both formal and informal registers, so if you're addressing a stranger on the street or in a shop, the safest bet is to use the formal version when asking this particular question: … [Read more...] about Italian Phrase of the Week: Lei parla inglese? (Do you speak English)
Italian Phrase of the Week
If you've just had the good fortune of meeting someone new in Italy, one of the first things you'll want to find out in order to avoid an embarrassing situation in the future is their name! (That is, if you manage to remember it, of course!) The most common way to ask What is your name? in Italian is Come ti chiami? which literally translates as What do you call yourself? The most … [Read more...] about Italian Phrase of the Week: Come ti chiami? (What is your name?)
When travelling around Italy, the temptation to eat out will prove difficult to resist with all the wonderful ristoranti there are. But even the best meal must come to an end! There are different ways to ask for the bill in Italian. One of the most common is: posso avere il conto per favore? Let's see how the phrase is constructed: posso = I canavere = to haveil conto = the billper … [Read more...] about Italian Phrase of the Week: Posso avere il conto per favore?
We've already talked about the word amore, so now it's time to write about one of the most important expressions in any language to communicate your love for someone else. I love you translates to Ti amo in Italian. IPA: /ti ˈa.mo/ Naturally it is most common to use this phrase with your boy/girlfriend, partner or wife/husband. You can say it on its own or add extra words to emphasise the … [Read more...] about Italian Phrase of the Week: Ti Amo (I love you)
Mi raccomando is one of those wonderfully Italian phrases that cannot easily be translated into English because there isn't an exact equivalent. IPA: /mi/ /rac·co·man·do/ It comes from the verb raccomandare which translates to recommend or to entrust but by making it reflexive (raccomandarsi) it becomes to plead with, to beg or to implore. Mi sono raccomandato tanto con loro ma è stato … [Read more...] about Italian Phrase of the Week: Mi raccomando!
One of the first phrases I remember desperately wanting to learn when I moved to Italy was Who cares! As it turns out, there are a few different ways to translate this expression as we'll discover below. The standard and most inoffensive way of translating this phrase is chi se ne importa which literally translates to something along the lines of who gives it importance. Luca si sta … [Read more...] about Italian Phrase of the Week: Chi se ne importa! (Who cares!)