Travel Basics: Common Italian Phrases With English Translation

Traveling to Italy anytime soon? Don't forget to learn these keywords and phrases, and what they mean in English.

In Europe, it is not uncommon for people to know two, three, even four languages. However, in the United States, it is a rarity to find a person who can speak a language other than English. Normally, when an American travels abroad to a foreign country, they go with the hopes that the major hotels and tourist attractions will have somebody there who speaks English and, quite often, they do. However, if you decide to travel off the beaten path and explore the towns that do not have entire chapters devoted to them in your guide book, you may need to know a little of the language to get by. If you plan on traveling to Italy anytime soon, here are a few key Italian phrases you might want to learn for your trip.

I will put the English word/phrase first, followed by the Italian word/phrase and the pronunciation (in parentheses).

The Basics - These phrases and words will help you in exchanging pleasantries.

yes - si - (see)

no - no - (noh)

excuse me - mi scusi - (mee skoo-zee)

hello - buon giorno - (bwon jor-noh)

goodbye - arrivederci - (ah-ree-vuh-dare-chee)

thank you - grazie - (grah-tsee-eh)

yesterday - ieri - (ee-air-ee)

today - oggi - (oh-jee)

tomorrow - domani - (doh-mah-nee)

what? - quale? - (kwal-eh)

where? - dove? - (doh-ve)

The Shopping Phrases - You cannot go to Italy without a little shopping. After all, Italy is one of the leading fashionable cities in the world.

How much does this cost? - Quante'e, per favore? - (kwan-teh pair-fuh-vor-eh)

What time do you close? - A che ora chiude? - (ah keh or-ah kee-yoo-deh)

I am just looking. - Sto soltanto guardando. - (stoh sol-thahn -toh gwar-dan-doh)

I would like... - Vorrei - (vor-ray)

Do you accept credit cards? - Accettate carte di credito? - (ah-che-tah-the kar-teh dee creh-dee-toh)

The Restaurant Phrases - Naturally, you will want to dine out to taste authentic Italian cuisine while you are there, so these phrases should help you order and decode the menu.

breakfast - colzaione - (koh-lah-tsee-oh-neh)

lunch - pranzo - (prawn-tsoh)

dinner - cena - (che-nah)

waiter - cameriere - (cah-mair-ee-air-eh)

dessert - il dolce - (eel dole-che)

carbonated water - l'acqua minerale gassata - (lah-kwah mee-nair-ah-leh gah-zah-tah)

non-carbonated water - l'acqua minerala naturale - (lah-kwah mee-nair-ah-leh na-too-rah-leh)

garlic - aglio - (ah-lee-oh)

steak - la bistecca - (lah bee-steh-kah)

coffee - il caffe - (eel kah-feh)

cheese - il formaggio - (eel for-mah-joh)

ice cream - il gelato - (eel jeh-lah-toh)

milk - il latte - (eel lah-the)

bread - il pane - (eel pah-neh)

knife - il coltello - (eel kol-tell-oh)

fork - la forchetta - (lah for-ket-tah)

spoon - il cucchiahio - (eel koo-kee-eye-oh)

Numbers - If you know any Spanish, you may see many similarities in the way the Italian numbers are spelled and pronounced.

one - uno - (ooh-noh)

two - due - (doo-eh)

three - tre - (treh)

four - quattro - (kwa-troh)

five - cinque - (cheen-kweh)

six - sei (say)

seven - sette - (seh-teh)

eight - otto - (oh-toh)

nine - nove - (noh-veh)

ten - dieci (dee-eh-che)

twenty - dodici - (doh-dee-chee)

thirty - tredici - (treh-dee-chee)

forty - quattordici (kwah-tor-dee-chee)

fifty - quindici - (kwin-dee-chee)

sixty - sessanta (seh-sahn-tah)

seventy - settanta - (seh-tahn-tah)

eighty - ottanta - (oh-tan-tah)

ninety - novanta - (noh-vahn-tah)

one hundred - cento - (chen-toh)

Time Phrases

one hour - un'ora - (oon-oh-rah)

one minute - un minuto - (oohn mee-noo-tah)

Monday - lunedi - (loo-neh-dee)

Tuesday - martedi -(mar-teh-dee)

Wednesday -mercoledi - (mair-koh-leh-dee)

Thursday - giovedi - (gee-oh-veh-dee)

Friday - venerdi - (ven-aire-dee)

Saturday - sabato - (sah-bah-toh)

Sunday -domenica - (doh-men-ee-kah)

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