How do you say in Italian...

Jun 6th, 2011, 03:05 AM
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How do you say in Italian...

I'm about to go to Italy for the first time and am trying to pick up a little of the language. Being a total novice at Italian, I'll have some basic words and phases memorized, but I know I'll botch the pronunciation of place names or just reading from a restaurant menu. So my question is - what's a casual/colloquial way of saying "excuse my (undoubtedly-incorrect) pronunciation"?
Balto is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 03:49 AM
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Just about all guide books have a pronunciation key in the back of the book plus some basic phrases. I suggest you get a book or two from the library and copy the pages. Libraries also have language CDs so you can hear the way Italian is spoken before you leave.

I don't think you should speak "casual" Italian to people you meet unless they invite you to do so. Best to stick with formal phrases.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 04:05 AM
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I think you could say it a couple of ways:

Chiedo scusa per la mia brutta pronuncia.
Mi scusi la brutta pronuncia.

I agree with Adrienne about using the formal forms and phrases.

Enjoy your time in Italy! My experience has been that the people there appreciate our efforts to speak Italian.
magari is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 04:13 AM
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Here's your real problem: What if you badly mispronounce "Mi scusi la brutta pronuncia"?
k9korps is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 05:07 AM
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Then you'll have to say "Excuse me" in Italian until you get it right, and that could be a nightmare.
wanderful is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 05:27 AM
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Learn the polite phrases, and you'll be fine. If the person you want to speak with can speak English, he/she will be pleased that you made the effort to learn the polite words. If he/she doesn't, there's not much point in beginning a dialogue.

After all, it would be useless to learn how to say "Dove il stazione, per favore?" (Where's the train station, please?") if you won't be able to understand the person's answer.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 05:48 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about your pronunciation. I would concentrate on greetings - buona sera etc. and courtesies - grazie, per favore, mi scusi etc. I believe this approach works as "icebreakers" in any language. I speak some Italian and I found that when I visited Italy and struggled with a word I would say it in English and they would translate!!
worldinabag is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 06:06 AM
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Here's a simple, free course you can download that will give you the basics for travel in Italy in four-minute lessons. The free files will be perfectly fine for your purposes.
ellenem is online now  
Jun 6th, 2011, 07:48 AM
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I second the advice to download My Daily Phrase Italian. Excellent for your purpose.
charnees is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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Italian is about the simplest language in the world as far as pronunciation goes. It's completely regular, no exceptions. The last thing you need to worry about is pronouncing it correctly. Go online and check out the BBC or other oral courses and teach yourself the pronunciation and some useful phrases and you'll be fine.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 09:35 AM
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You can use Google translator. Type in what you want to say in the text box and select languages you want. When you get the translation, click the little speaker symbol that says listen. It's not going to be 100% accurate, but will let you hear many words correctly.
kybourbon is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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hmmm. I've used .."non parl italiano multo bene" (if I recall correctly) It came from a taped course we used back in 2001.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 11:25 AM
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parlo, not parl

Molto, not multo
StCirq is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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"Non parlo Italiano molto bene" is probably your best bet if you don't want to give the impression you can actually carry on a conversation. The Italians are very kind, in general, with anyone making an attempt at their language, but you'll find they will often just reply in English, even if you start off speaking to them in Italian.
hazel1 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 12:34 PM
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"Non parlo Italianio. Lei parla Inglese?" I don't speak Italian. Do you (formal, not familiar) speak English?

All you need other than a handful of courtesy phrases.
kayd is offline  
Jun 7th, 2011, 03:22 AM
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I'm pretty sure my most-used Italian phrase will be "Scusi; parla inglese?"
Balto is offline  
Jun 7th, 2011, 03:43 AM
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Try "Scusi, ma non parlo bene l'italiano." L'italiano (the italian) refers to the language. Italiano is a male italian. This phrase along with the recommendations above relative to simple greetings and courtesies will serve you well. Italians are great communicators so any and all attempts on your part to speak "l'italiano" will be appreciated and well received.
jim21 is offline  
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