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Italian Phrases

As one of the Italo-Romance languages, Italian is most closely related to Sardinian, Corsican and the other dialects of the peninsula. It has approximately 63,000,000 speakers. Italian is the official language of Italy, the Vatican City and San Marino, and one of the official languages of Switzerland, where it is used in the cantons of Ticino and Graubünden. It's also spoken by home speakers in Malta, Monaco, Slovenia and Croatia. Although modern standard Italian is used all over Italy, it is very few Italians' first language. Most speak one of the 15 regional dialects as their first language. In a fine display of the power of the pen over the sword, the Tuscan dialect established dominance not because Tuscany was a greater military or financial power than other Italian regions, but because the 3 great writers of the Middle Ages, Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch, wrote in the Tuscan dialect.

Pronunciation

Vowels

A: as in 'art', e.g caro (dear); sometimes short, e.g. amicola (friend)

E: as in 'tell', e.g mettere (to put)

I: as in 'inn', eg inizio (start)

O: as in 'dot', eg donna (woman); as in 'port', eg dormire (to sleep)

U: as the 'oo' in 'book', eg puro (pure)

Consonants

C: as 'k' before 'a', 'o' and the 'u'; as the 'ch' in 'choose' before 'e' and 'i'

Ch: as the 'k' in 'kit'

G: as the 'g' in 'get' before 'a', 'o', 'u' and 'h'; as the 'j' in 'jet' before 'e' and 'i'

Gli: as the 'lli' in 'million'

Gn: as the 'ny' in 'canyon'

H: always silent

R: a rolled 'rr' sound

Sc: as the 'sh' in 'sheep' before 'e' and 'i'; as 'sk' before 'a', 'o', 'u' and 'h'

Z: as the 'ts' in 'lights', except at the beginning of a word, when it's as the 'ds in 'suds'

 

Greetings

Hello: Buongiornio

Goodbye: Arrivederci. Ciao. (inf)

Yes: Si

No: No

Please: Per favour

Thank you: Grazie

That's fine/: Prego

You're welcome

Excuse me: Mi scusi

Sorry (forgive me): Mi perdoni

 

Small talk

What's your name: Come si chiama?

My name is .: Mi chiamo .

Where are you from?: Di dov' è?

I'm from .: Sono di .

I (don't) like: (Non) Mi piace .

Just a minute: Un momento

 

Signs

Entrance: ingresso/entrata

Exit: uscita

Information: informazione

Open/Closed: aperto/chuiso

Police: polizia

Toilets: gabinetti/bagni

Men: uomini

Women: donne

 

Paperwork

Name: nome

Nationality: nazionalità

D.O.B: data di nascita

Place of birth: luogo di nascita

Sex (gender): sesso

Passport: passaporto

Visa: visto

Getting around

What time does arrive/leave? .: A che ora parte/arrive .?

The aeroplane: l'aereo

The boat: la barca

The (city) bus: l'autobus

The (intercity) bus: il pullma / la corriera

The train: il treno

 

Directions

Where is .?: Dov è .?

Go straight ahead: si va sempre diritto

Turn left : giri a sinistra

Turn right: giri a destra

Behind: dietro

In front: davanti

Far: lontano

Near: vicino

Opposite: di fronte a

 

Around Town

I'm looking for.: cerco .

A bank: un banco

The church: la chiese

The city centre: il centro (città)

The  .embassy: l'ambasciata di .

My hotel: il mio albergo

The market: il mercato

The museum: il museo

The post office: la posta

A public toilet: un gambinetto

The telephone centre: il centro telefonica

The tourist office: l'ufficio di turismo

 

Food Basics

Breakfast: prima colazione

Lunch: pranzo

Dinner: cena

Restaurant: ristorante

Grocery store: un alimentary

 

Knife: coltello

Fork: forchetta

Spoon: cucchiaio

Menu: menù

Plate: piatto

 

Butter: burro

Cheese: formaggio

Jam: marmellata

Honey: miele

Oil: olio

Bread: pane

Cream: panna

Salt: sale

Pepper: pepe

Egg/s: uovo/uova

Sugar: zucchero


 

Carrots: carote

Onion: cipollo

Potatoes: patate

Peppers: peperoni

Peas: piselli


 

Oranges: arance

Bananas: banane

Strawberries: fragole

Apples: mele

Pears: pere

Peaches: pesche

 

Time, Date & Numbers

What time is it?: Che ora e/sono?

It's (8 o'clock): Sono (le otto)

In the morning: di mattina

In the afternoon: di pomeriggio

In the evening: di sera

Today: oggi

Tomorrow: domani

Yesterday: ieri

 

Monday: lunedì

Tuesday: martedì

Wednesday: mercoledì

Thursday: giovedì

Friday: venerdì

Saturday: sabato

Sunday: domenica

 

Numbers

Zero: zero

One: uno

Two: dyo

Three: tre

Four: quattro

Five: cinque

Six: sei

Seven: sette

Eight: otto

Nine: nove

Ten: dieci

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