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a few Italian phrases to help us get by..

a few Italian phrases to help us get by..

Sep 29th, 2004, 06:30 AM
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My most handy phrase, learned in the language is: "I'm sorry, I don't speak French (Italian, Spanish)". Said with a sad smile.

You don't need "Do you speak English?" as either they do and will answer you in English when you speak English... or they don't. So as mentioned above the logic to this phrase, well it isn't particularly helpful.

Please, thank you, hello, goodbye, I'm sorry, excuse me, good morning, good evening are all worth having.

And (#1) the all important ability to ask where the bathroom is located!!!
suze is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 06:32 AM
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I made up a sheet with similar phrases in French and Italian for my parents that are traveling with us this winter. Here's the Italian;

Yes Si
No No
Please Per Favore
Please Per Piacere
Thank you Grazie
You?re welcome Prego
Excuse Me Mi Scusi
Good Morning Buon Giorno
Good afternoon/evening Buona Sera
Good night Buona notte
Sir Signore
Madam Signora
Miss Signorina
Good bye Arrivederci

My name is ___ Mi chiamo
Help police! Aiuto polizia!
I?d like to go --- Vorrei andare
Check, please il conto per
Where is? dov`e?
When? quando ?
How? Come?
How much? Quanto?
Who? Chi?
Why? Perche?
Which? Quale?
What? Che?
How much? Quanto corsa?
Where is the toilet? dov`e toilette?
Do you speak English? Parla inglese?
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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I also had a column that showed the phonetic pronunciation.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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When we were in Rome we were confused for the longest time about the use of prego. We had read that it meant you're welcome, but at people at restaurants/stores would say it when you first walked up to the counter. We found out that it also means "how may I help you?"
We were also thrown off a little bit when people would say "sera" or "giorno" withough the buon or buona. It's hard when people say something to you and you don't know how to respond.

We were really glad that we learned how to say: the bill (il conto)-since you have to ask them for it at the end of your meal, and the numbers for ordering.
jlmurdo1 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 09:23 AM
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the other word that seems to be used to mean multiple things is "pronto". It's used to answer the phone, as in 'hello'. It also means soon or immediately. I've read a few other usages though I can't remember them.
ssachida is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 09:49 AM
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Prego seems to mean just about anything in a restaurant. You can actually think of it as a replacement for "OK", it seems.

jlmurdo, I agree about learning the numbers, but I'm curious. Are any of you amateur Italian speakers like me, in that it is impossible to say any number without holding up the appropriate number of fingers at the same time? And by the way, I learned years ago that most Europeans do the finger signs for numbers starting with the thumb. I've become so accustomed to doing that, I do at it home and throw people off a lot.
Patrick is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 10:12 AM
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Yes, I'm guilty of using my fingers too-Just in case they don't understand what due means, I have to give them a little help! Maybe that's why they always answer me back in English-they feel sorry for me.
jlmurdo1 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 01:48 PM
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I just wanted to add a few things. I have never personally heard "quanto corsa?" [literally "how much does it run?"] used to ask for a price. Which is not to say that it is not used, but I think the more frequently used expressions are "quanto costa?" [literally "how much does it cost?"] or simply "quant'e'" [literally "how much is it?"]
The word "pronto" literally means "ready", and when used to answer the phone it means something like "I am ready to speak now." The word which means soon or quick is "presto" (not pronto) but the words which mean immediately are "subito" or "immediamente."
Finally, "prego" literally means "I pray" and is used instead of thank you to mean something like "I pray you, don't mention it." It is also used occasionally in the place of per favore to say something like "I beg of you, don't put your grubby hands on my beautiful fruit."
rbrazill is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 02:02 PM
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Hey gang, go to the Fodors home page--look under RESOURCES to find an entire list--with pronunciations.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 02:04 PM
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job816 - to be exact, "no gas" would be "senza frizzante"

Another nice phrase to use is "buona giornata" which means "have a good day" - it provides a nice parting greeting when leaving someone's shop, store, etc. It is particularly useful if you think "arrivederci" is more stiff or awkward of a word to use.
Huitres is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 02:17 PM
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rbrazil, now you've got my interest. Forget the "prego", tell me how to say "I beg of you, don't put your grubby hands on my beautiful fruit." I think that could come in handy a lot, particularly among the women travelers.
Patrick is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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Here are a few more VERY essential phrases (mainly but not only for women travelers) to memorize:

Those shoes are really beautiful. Quelle scarpe sono veramente stupende.

A little bigger, please? Un po' piu grande, per favore?

Are you alone? Stai da solo?

Are you a real Italian? Sei un vero italiano?

That was the smoothest grappa I've ever tasted. Quella grappa era il piu morbido che abbia mai assaggiato.

Why don't you sit here next to me? Perchè non ti siedi qui accanto a me?

How unfaithful, really, are Italian men? Quanto sono infedeli, in realta, gli uomini italiani?

I'd love to have dinner with you. Sarebbe un piacere cenare insieme.

Dinner was delicious. What's for dessert? La cena era squisita. Cosa c'è per dolce?

You're too sexy, I can't stand it. Sei troppo sexy; non posso piu.

Kiss me. Baciami.

We understand each other, right? Ci capiamo, eh?

He no longer loves me. Non mi ama piu.

That was such a sweet kiss. Quello estato un bacio molto dolce.

You have the softest lips. Tu hai le labbra le piu morbide del mondo.

Maybe we'd better stop. Forse dovremmo smettere..

You're not married, are you? Non sei sposato, no?

That feels wonderful. Questo mi fa sentirmi meravigliosa.

No, don't stop. No, non smettere..

What's your name again? Come ti chiami, ancora?

You have such a sweet touch. C'è l'hai una bella tocco.

Take off my clothes. Spogliami.

Slower. Piu piano.

Faster. Piu in fretta.

I love you. Ti voglio bene.

Tell me a secret. Dimmi un segreto.

You're so sexy. Sei tanto sexy.

I never want to get up. Non voglio alzarmi mai.

You're going to kill me. Mi ammazzarai.

Oh my God. Oh, Dio.

Kitten Micio

That was incredible. Era incredibile.

Should we get up, or stay in bed? Alziamoci o stiamo a letto?

Again? Ancora?

I'll miss you. Scrivami una cartolina.

I'll never forget you. Non ti dimenticherò mai.

Not on your life! Neanche un idea!

Turd (jerk, *sshole) Stronzo

Complete *sshole Proprio uno

Cretin (jerk, *sshole) Cretino

What are you, crazy? Ma sei pazzo?

Don't touch me Non mi tocchi

You're disgusting Fa schifo

Not even if you were the last man on earth Neanche se Lei fosse l'unico uomo sulla terra.

I have no idea where I got those...the internet someplace.

Infotrack is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 06:26 AM
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Marv wins.
Nikki is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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No kidding
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 08:19 AM
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What a great string! I need to save it for my next trip! It answered so many of our questions - like prego. Here's a question - when do you stop saying Buon Giorno and start saying Buona Sera? One of my group heard that noon was the cutoff, but then someone else told us 4 pm. My brother was being friendly to an old man, and said buon giorno at about 5 pm, and the guy laughed at him! (It was our 1st full day in Italy)It seems that buona sera is like our 'Good Evening', so I would think 4 pm sounds reasonable, but not definitive.
turnercindy is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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Marv, where were you when I needed you?? Why don't they have these in the language books? I will definitely save these!!!
turnercindy is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 08:31 AM
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Buona Sera is used after 4pm, when the traditional break for lunch ends.
Grinisa is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 08:38 AM
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I think it varies becuase I was corrected by an Italian gentleman when I said Buon Giorno and he looked at his watched and replied Buona Sera. It was about 2pm.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 09:40 AM
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hi marv: quite an amusing list, I'd say you won for interesting catch phrases! Just for fun, I ran these by my Italian friends and they cringed as some of the phrases are not grammatically correct/precise nor used in this way.

For those of you that may want to use some of the phrases, please note that 'stupendo' (singular) and stupende for plural means wonderful....belle is beautiful (plural), as in 'le scarpe belle' (beautiful shoes). 'Stronzo' is non-gender specific and is also used to call women a b**** You can use "piu rapido" for faster, fretta means in a hurry/haste. I'll miss you is "ti manchero" - the phrase you found means "write me a card" etc. etc.

These phrases are certainly entertaining though....
Huitres is offline  
Sep 30th, 2004, 11:42 AM
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Frankly, if you are using ANY of those phrases I don't think grammar would be a main concern!!!
nnolen is offline  

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