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Lesson Transcript

Ciao! Hello and welcome back to Italian survival phrases brought to you by ItalianPod101.com, this course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Italy. You will be surprised at how far a little Italian will go.
Now, before we jump in, remember to stop by ItalianPod101.com and there, you will find the accompanying PDF and additional info in the post. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.
Today, we shall see a very useful phrase, meaning "I don't understand." It is very useful because many times you won't immediately understand what people are saying.
In Italian, "I don't understand" is Non capisco.
Non capisco.
Let's break it down by syllable: Non capisco
Now let's hear it one more time, Non capisco.
The first word Non means "I don’t".
This is followed by capisco, which in Italian is "understand". ca-pis-co
So to recap, we have Non capisco. Literally this means "I don’t understand".
Now let's take a look at another phrase Non lo so which means "I don’t know".
Let's say it slowly now. Non lo so.
Non lo so.
Another way to express that you don’t understand is asking someone "What does it mean?" This phrase in Italian is Cosa significa?
Cosa significa?
Let's break it down by syllable Co-sa si-gni-fi-ca?.
Now let’s hear it once again. Cosa significa?
The first word Cosa means "what".
Let's breakdown this word and hear it one more time. Co-sa.
This is followed by significa, which in English is "it means". si-gni-fi-ca.
So to recap here, we have Cosa significa? Literally this means "What does it mean?"
Cultural Insights
When engaged in a conversation with Italians, you're more than likely not to understand everything that's being said to you. This could be for a number of reasons: the accent, how fast the person is speaking or the vocabulary that the person is using. If this happens, don't be afraid to say, Non capisco.
Italians will be more than happy to try offer an explanation for what was just said. Or maybe you've understood the general sense of a phrase but there was a word someone used that you have never heard before. To find out the meaning of this new word, simply ask the person, Cosa significa? In English this means, "What does it mean?"


Okay, to close out this lesson, we'd like you to practice what you've just learned. I'll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you're responsible for shouting it aloud. You have a few seconds before I give you the answer, so buona fortuna, which means “good luck” in Italian.
"I don't understand." - Non capisco.
Non capisco.
Non capisco.
"I don’t know." - Non lo so.
Non lo so.
Non lo so.
"What does it mean?" - Cosa significa?
Cosa significa?
Cosa significa?
That’s going to do it for today. Ciao ciao!