10 Essential Italian Phrases Every Expat Should Know
If you’re moving overseas and want to get the most out of the experience learning the language of your host nation is really important.
Being able to speak and read the local tongue often makes it far easier for expats to acclimatise to the local culture and develop a sense of belonging. Furthermore, having even a basic grasp of the national language will significantly increase your employment prospects and can go a long way to helping you make friends and connections.
Compared with some languages Italian is comparatively straightforward to learn, and as very little English is spoken in some areas of the nation it’s a language well worth persevering with!
But if you’re panicking that you don’t have the time to learn to speak Italian fluently before you arrive in the country don’t worry, constant exposure to a foreign tongue can really help you pick it up more quickly. That being said, it won’t take you long to feel comfortable with a few key words and phrases, and once you’ve got those under your belt it will be easier to add to your repertoire.
These essential phrases are a good place to start!
Hello – Ciao
Goodbye – Arrivederci
Yes – Sì
No – No
Please – Per favore
Thank you – Grazie
My name is… – Il mio nome è
Pleased to meet you – Piacere di conoscervi
How are you? – Come stai?
Do you speak English? – Parli inglese?
Now, once you’ve committed those phrases to memory (and worked on your pronunciation) you might want to start learning these other basic Italian words and phrases…
Good Morning –Buongiorno
Maybe – Probabilmente
Where is the – Dove posso trovare
How much is this? – Quanta costa questo?
More slowly, please – Più lentamente, si prega di
I don’t understand – Non capisco
Car – Auto
Train – Treno
Plane – Aereo
Train Station – Stazione ferroviaria
Airport – Scalo
Left – A sinistra
Right – A destra
Bread – Pane
Beer – Birra
Wine – Vino
Juice – Succo
Waiter – Cameriere
Waitress – Cameriera
And, if you feel like you’re on a roll, try learning some Italian numbers!
One – Uno
Two – Due
Three – Tre
Four – Quattro
Five – Cinque
Six – Sei
Seven – Sette
Eight – Otto
Nine – Nove
Ten – Dieci
In our Country Guide for Italy we offer some more information about Italian and some tips when it comes to speaking the language.