“Bello, bello, bello.” Italians are always using the word ‘bello’ (beautiful) for anything and everything good. In Italy beauty reigns supreme. And the Italian language is no different. Widely appreciated as the language of love, it is no accident that Shakespeare set his play, Romeo and Juliet, in the romantic city of Verona, Italy.
Italian is also considered to be the language of music because of its sing-song “melody”. The melody is created through the high number of words that end in vowels, and the lack of words containing consonants in a row. This produces an uninterrupted open-mouthed sound which makes it perfect for singing. Think Nessum Dorma and Madama Butterfly.
With 64 million native speakers spread across the world to practise with, why not use your Italian to create a sense of beauty and musicality out of your every-day conversations.
- Hi/Bye = Ciao!
- Good morning/Good evening = Buongiorno/Buonasera
- It’s a pleasure to meet you = È un piacere incontrarti
- Yes/No = Si/No
- Thank you (very much) = Grazie (mille)
- Please = Per favore
- Excuse me = Scusami
- Where is the toilet? = Dov’ è il bagno?
- Where can I hire a Vespa near here? = Dove posso noleggiare una Vespa qui?
- Is it safe to swim at this beach? = Nuotare in questa spiaggia è sicuro?
- Do you know a park where we can have a picnic? = Conosci un parco dove possiamo fare un picnic?
- There’s no such thing as too much ice cream! = Il gelato non è mai troppo!
- I’m having a great time! = Mi sto divertendo molto!
- I really like opera. = Mi piace molto l’opera.
- Can you give me directions to the nearest cafè? = Puoi darmi indicazioni per il bar più vicino?
- Which pizzeria has the best Margherita pizza near here? = Quale pizzeria ha la migliore pizza Margherita qui?
- What type of pasta would you recommend tonight? = Che tipo di pasta consiglieresti stasera?
- Could I have a glass of red/white wine to go with that? = Potrei avere un bicchiere di vino rosso / bianco per accompagnarlo?
- What a beautiful view! = Che bella vista!
- Beautiful, wonderful = Bello/a
- Good night = Buonanotte
- See you soon! = Arrivederci!
How are you? = Come stai? (informal), Come va? (slightly more formal), Come sta? (formal)
Top Tip: With all the amazing cuisine Italy you’re going to try the Italians can be a bit specific about their food – for example, you’re not supposed to have a cappuccino in the afternoon and please don’t ask for pineapple on your pizza!
Top Tip 2: Italian appreciate politeness – remember to say thank you (grazie), you’re welcome (prego) and please (per favore).