Archive for August 7th, 2013

August 7, 2013

Un poco Italian

photo5I always recommend that my Italy bound clients learn a few basic Italian words and phrases. Although English is spoken in most tourist parts of Italy, knowing a little bit of Italian will definitely improve your experience. Italian’s genuinely appreciate the visitor who ‘makes the effort’, even if it is just your greeting “Buongiorno” or “Arrivederci”.

Dianne Hales, author of La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language says, “I’ve spent more than 25 years learning as much Italian as I possibly can, but the question I’m often asked is ‘What do I need just to get by in Italy?'”
Here Dianne shares her recommendations for the least Italian you should know:
•Greetings. Know how to say “buongiorno” (bwohn-JOR-noh) for “Good morning” or “Good Day”; “buona sera” (BWOH-nah-SAY-ra) for “Good evening”; and “arrivederci” (ah-ree-vay-DEHR-chee) for goodbye (obligatory when you leave a shop or restaurant).
•Disclosure. Say up front, “Non parlo italiano” (nohn PAR-loh ee-tah-leeAH-non) for “I don’t speak Italian.” A good follow-up question: Parla inglese? (PAR-lah een-GLAY-zay) Do you speak English?
•Courtesy. Please, thank you, and you’re welcome are the most important phrases in any language. The Italian phrases are “per favore” (pehr fah-VOH-ray); grazie (GRAHT-zee-ay) and prego (PRAY-goh).
•Personal preferences. Wherever you go, someone will ask, “Va bene?” (VAH BAY-ne): “Is it going well? Is everything okay?” If it is, you can reply “Si, bene!” (see BEHN-nay) for yes, all is well. “Mi piace” (mee pee-AH-chay) means “I like”; non mi piace, “I don’t like it.”
•Prices. Bottom line, you’re going to be buying food, tickets, souvenirs and other irresistible things. Before you do, you’ll want to know, “Quanto costa?” (KWAHN-toh KOH-sta): How much does it cost?

Buon viaggio! Have a good trip.

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