Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Eric: Hi everyone, and welcome back to ItalianPod101.com. This is Business Italian for Beginners, Season 1, Lesson 2 - Asking Someone to Repeat Their Name in Italian. Eric Here.
Ofelia: Ciao, I'm Ofelia.
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask someone to repeat their name when you didn’t catch it. The conversation takes place in an office hallway.
Ofelia: It's between Linda and Paolo Grassi.
Eric: The speakers are strangers, so they will use formal Italian. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Linda: Scusi, può ripetere il suo nome più lentamente?
Paolo Grassi: Pa-o-lo Gra-ssi.
Linda: Paolo Grassi. Grazie.
Paolo Grassi: Abbiamo quasi la stessa età, ti posso dare del tu?
Linda: Certo.
Paolo Grassi: Allora chiamami Paolo.
Eric: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Linda: Scusi, può ripetere il suo nome più lentamente?
Paolo Grassi: Pa-o-lo Gra-ssi.
Linda: Paolo Grassi. Grazie.
Paolo Grassi: Abbiamo quasi la stessa età, ti posso dare del tu?
Linda: Certo.
Paolo Grassi: Allora chiamami Paolo.
Eric: Listen to the conversation with the English translation
Linda: Excuse me, can you repeat your name more slowly?
Paolo Grassi: Pa-o-lo Gra-ssi.
Linda: Paolo Grassi. Thank you.
Paolo Grassi: We are almost the same age, can I talk to you informally?
Linda: Sure.
Paolo Grassi: Then call me Paolo.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: Italian has two registers, formal and informal. It's important to clearly understand the difference in a business situation.
Ofelia: That’s true, but you should know that, in general, Italians tend to be friendly and informal, so they often avoid using formal speech when they know someone. For example, when doing business, if they see that your language skills are not very strong, they will very likely use informal Italian from the beginning, to avoid any misunderstandings that may come from using the third person singular instead of the second.
Eric: That’s the main difference between formal and informal Italian.
Ofelia: You could say that the only time you definitely have to use formal Italian is when you meet someone with a higher position, or who is older than you.
Eric: For these cases, be sure to master some polite greeting sentences. Ofelia, what is the Italian for "formal situation"?
Ofelia: Occasione formale
Eric: Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Eric: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Ofelia: scusi [natural native speed]
Eric: pardon me
Ofelia: scusi[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: scusi [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: ripetere [natural native speed]
Eric: to repeat, to restate, to reiterate
Ofelia: ripetere[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: ripetere [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: lentamente [natural native speed]
Eric: slowly, easy, step by step
Ofelia: lentamente[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: lentamente [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: suo [natural native speed]
Eric: his, her, hers, its, your (politely)
Ofelia: suo[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: suo [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Ofelia: nome [natural native speed]
Eric: name
Ofelia: nome[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: nome [natural native speed]
Eric: And last..
Ofelia: dare del ‘tu’ [natural native speed]
Eric: to talk informally
Ofelia: dare del ‘tu’[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Ofelia: dare del ‘tu’ [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Eric: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first phrase is..
Ofelia: ripetere lentamente
Eric: meaning "to repeat slowly"
Ofelia: This phrase is made up of the verb ripetere, “to repeat,” and the adverb lentamente “slowly.” Ripetere is from the second conjugation group - verbs that end in -ere. It follows the regular conjugation rules.
Eric: The meaning is just the same as its English counterpart, so you can use it in different contexts, not only as "to say again" but also "to do again."
Ofelia: The adverb lentamente comes from the adjective lento, meaning "slow," in which the suffix -mente has been added. You can use this ending to create adverbs from certain adjectives.
Eric: Can you give us an example using this phrase?
Ofelia: Sure. For example, you can say.. Elisa ripete lentamente gli stessi passi di danza.
Eric: ..which means "Elisa repeats slowly the same dance steps." Okay, what's the next phrase?
Ofelia: Dare del 'tu'
Eric: Meaning "to talk informally." This phrase literally means "to give 'you'”, "to call by 'you'." It actually means "to start addressing with the pronoun 'you'," which is the second person singular pronoun. As we briefly mentioned, the biggest difference between formal and informal Italian is the pronoun you use when addressing the person you are talking directly to.
Ofelia: Right, so if you ask that person if you can call him or her tu, that means that you are asking for permission to start speaking more informally.
Eric: This is a key phrase in Italian, and it works like magic to switch from formal to informal speech. The most difficult thing about it is trying to understand the right moment to ask the question.
Ofelia: Right, for example, in the dialogue Paolo asks Linda the question because he finds out they are almost the same age.
Eric: In general keep in mind that in Italy, if your business partner is the same age or has a position lower or similar to yours, it’s normal to use informal speech from the very beginning. Ofelia, can you give us an example using this phrase?
Ofelia: Sure. For example, you can say.. È un insegnante molto gentile e tutti i suoi studenti gli danno del 'tu'.
Eric: .. which means "He's a very gentle teacher and all his students speak to him informally."
Ofelia: Dare del 'lei' is the opposite and means "to talk formally."
Eric: Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you'll learn how to ask someone to repeat their name when you didn’t catch it.
Ofelia: When you cannot catch your client’s name, you can ask him or her to repeat it again politely by starting the request with Scusi,
Eric: That’s the polite way to say “pardon me.”
Ofelia: You may also hear a slightly different version, which is Mi scusi. Both scusi and mi scusi come from the verb scusare, meaning “to excuse” and they are in the imperative form, NOT indicative present.
Eric: Let’s compare these two forms using the verb “to excuse”
Ofelia: The first person singular is available only for the indicative mood, and is io scuso
Eric: Which means “I excuse”
Ofelia: The second person singular is tu scusi for the indicative and tu scusa for the imperative.
Eric: The first meaning “you excuse” and the second “may you excuse!”
Ofelia: The third person singular is lui scusa for the indicative and lui scusi for the imperative.
Eric: The first meaning “he excuses” and the second meaning “may he excuse!”
Ofelia: As you can hear, the second person singular of the indicative has the same form as the third person singular of the imperative, scusi, which is the polite form.
Eric: Be careful not to mix them up and use the polite form, if you are not too close with your client. Let’s complete the conjugation.
Ofelia: The first and the second person plural are the same in both moods, noi scusiamo
Eric: Which can mean either “we excuse” or “may we excuse!” depending on the context.
Ofelia: voi scusate
Eric: Which can mean either “you excuse (plural)” or “may you all excuse!” depending on the context.
Ofelia: Finally, the third person plural is scusano for the indicative and scusino for the imperative.
Eric: Respectively meaning “they excuse” and “may they excuse!” Ok, now, let’s learn how to ask politely someone to repeat their name when you didn’t catch it.
Ofelia: You can say, può ripetere il suo nome più lentamente?
Eric: This sentence is formal Italian since it has the third person singular instead of the second, when addressing the other person.
Ofelia: In this case, the verb in the third person singular is può, meaning “you can.”
Eric: You can use a similar structure to make different requests.
Ofelia: Right, you can say Scusi, può followed by an infinitive.
Eric: Let’s give some examples.
Ofelia: Scusi, può mandare una mail di conferma?
Eric: “Excuse me, can you send a confirmation e-mail?”
Ofelia: Scusi, può firmare qui?
Eric: “Excuse me, can you sign here?” What if we are already using informal language with our business partner, maybe because he or she is our same age?
Ofelia: Just switch the same sentence to informal speech, so that you get Scusa, puoi ripetere il tuo nome più lentamente?

Outro

Eric: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time!
Ofelia: A presto!

21 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Try to write down a polite request in Italian.

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 01:09 AM
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Hi Stella,

thanks for your feedback.

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions!


Valentina

Team ItalianPod101.com

Stella
Thursday at 10:04 PM
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The sound is not very clear. But good lesson

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 02:29 AM
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Ciao Niki,

thanks for posting, great job! 👍


A presto,

Valentina

Team ItalianPod101.com

Niki
Sunday at 07:45 AM
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Mi scusi, può aiutarmi?

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:58 AM
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Hi Victoria,

thanks for posting!

The correct spellings are "informazioni" and "argomento". Other than that, great job!


Let us know if you have any questions!

Valentina

Team ItalianPod101.com

Victoria
Wednesday at 12:43 AM
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Mi scusi, puo dare un po di piu informatione su questo argumento (progetto)?

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:15 AM
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Hi Kim,

perfect!


Let us know if you have any questions.


Valentina

Team ItalianPod101.com

Kim
Wednesday at 10:20 PM
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Scusi, può passarmi i documenti, per favore?

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 12:27 AM
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Hi Laura,

your sentence is grammatically correct if you really meant "can you eat dinner tonight". If you wanted to invite someone for dinner, you could say "può venire a cena da me stasera?" (can you come have dinner at my place tonight), or "può uscire a cena stasera?" (can you dine out [with me] tonight?).


I hope this makes sense!

Valentina

Team ItalianPod101.com

Laura
Wednesday at 07:33 AM
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Scusi, puo mangiare la cena stasera?