How to Pronounce “Arrivederci” in Italian

If you are taking Italian classes online or in person, you have likely come across the quintessential word for goodbye: arrivederci. Indeed, it is easily one of the most widely recognised greetings in Italian, along with buongiorno, buonasera and ciao.

Arrivederci is made up of the following components:

  • a = a preposition with multiple translations including “to” “at” and “by”
  • rivedere = a verb meaning “to see again” (ri “again” + vedere “to see”)
  • ci = a reflexive pronoun that means “each other” or “ourselves”

Literally it means something along the lines of “until we see each other again”.

Did you know that…
Arrivederci is cognate with the French au revoir?

While the meaning of arrivederci isn’t difficult to comprehend, the pronunciation can be somewhat challenging for English speakers, especially those who are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of Italian pronunciation.

Slow pronunciation – /ar.ri.veˈder.t͡ʃi/

Normal pronunciation – /ar.ri.veˈder.t͡ʃi/

Happy young Asian woman with bicycle waving with her hands

The most difficult aspect of pronouncing arrivederci is the double trilled (or rolled) R. Not only do you have to know how to roll your Rs, but you need to keep the roll going long enough to produce the double consonant!

Another thing to be aware of is the pronunciation of ci, which sounds like the English “che” in “cheese” or “cheat”. It isn’t pronounced “ki” or “shi”.

Everything else is pretty straightforward since Italian is, by and large, a phonetic language, meaning that each letter represents the same spoken sound.

A young woman with cup of coffee looking out of a window, waving goodbye to her husband in the morning.

Did you know that…

Arrivederci is the standard greeting when saying “goodbye” but you can make it more formal by changing the pronoun ci to La (formal “you”), or less formal by removing the preposition a and transforming it into the first person plural.

ArrivederLa = goodbye (very formal)
Ci vediamo = see you later (informal)

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