Italian Word of the Day: Conoscenza (knowledge)

Conoscenza, or knowledge in English, is an understanding of facts, information, descriptions, and/or skills which is acquired through experience (esperienza) or education (apprendimento).

IPA: /koˈnoʃere/

Ho una buona conoscenza della lingua italiana.

I have good knowledge of the Italian language.

Conoscenza is frequently seen in its plural form conoscenze to mean knowledge.

  • conoscenze di base = basic knowledge
  • conoscenze informatiche = IT knowledge
  • conoscenze specifiche = specific knowledge
  • lo scambio delle conoscenze = the sharing of knowledge

When referring to people, it can also mean acquaintances.

  • fare nuove conoscenze = to make new acquaintances
  • un giro di conoscenze = a circle of acquaintances
  • vecchie conoscenze = old acquaintances

An alternative translation for conoscenza that closely resembles the English equivalent is consciousness. Many people lose consciousness (perdere conoscenza) when they give blood, faint or fall into a coma, and it may take seconds, hours or days for them to regain consciousness (riprendere conoscenza).

Ha perso conoscenza per qualche istante quando gli hanno prelevato il sangue.

He lost consciousness for a few moments when they took a blood sample.

The expression fare conoscenza con in Italian is another way of saying to know or to become acquainted with someone.

Ho fatto conoscenza con il direttore del giornale.

I became acquainted with the newspaer director.

In Italian, the verb scoprire means to find out or discover but a useful alternative is the expression venire a conoscenza (lit: to come to consciousness).

Sono venuto a conoscenza dell’esistenza di questo ristorante soltanto ieri.

I found out about the existence of this restaurant just yesterday.

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