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Italian Words: Know a Word or Two in Italian Before You Travel

Italian PhrasesIf you are learning Italian, then getting a good grasp of some basic Italian phrases should be your first step in mastering this beautiful romance language. A good knowledge of Italian vocabulary words, and Italian word lists, can also help you learn and retain more in your subsequent Italian lessons.

The Italian language is perhaps the most beautiful in the world. With its phonetic structure and similarity to languages like French and Spanish, it is also easier to learn than many other languages. Concentrating on building up a good knowledge of Italian phrases is the best way to start learning how to speak Italian. Most learners today find that having a basic knowledge of Italian phrases before they start working on grammar makes the whole process easier.

Remember, it is one thing to learn the English translation of a word, but this is not always the context that it is used in by native speakers. For example, prego literally translates as you’re welcome. However, it is often used by shopkeepers to let waiting customers know they are ready to take their order. Many Italians answer the phone with the word pronto instead of hello. This word literally translates as I’m ready. Learning Italian with the ItalianPod101 podcasts will expose you to the proper context for using Italian phrases, in addition to their literal translations.

Here are some important Italian phrases that are used in everyday speech.

Important Italian Phrases


Ciao - hello/goodbye (informal)
Buongiorno - good morning (formal greeting before noon)
Buonasera - good afternoon or evening (formal greeting after noon)
Buona notte - good night
Arrivederci - goodbye
Piacere - I am pleased to meet you.
Come sta? - How are you?
Sto bene, grazie - I’m fine, thank you.

Conversation Basics:

Per favore - please
Vorrei - I would like
Grazie - thank you
Grazie mille - thank you very much
Prego - you’re welcome/please tell me
Mi Scusi - excuse me
Mi Dispiace - I’m sorry
Parla inglese? - Do you speak english?
Non parlo italiano - I don’t speak italian
Non so - I don’t know
Come? - pardon?
Non capisco - I don’t understand.

For more phrases and vocabulary, subscribe to our free podcasts.