It’s always a good idea to learn at least a few phrases of the local language when you’re visiting a foreign country. Making an effort to speak someone’s language (even if it’s just a few words) usually goes a long way. It’s also a good idea for safety reasons if you find yourself in need of a doctor. Sometimes guidebooks can over do it with the list of words and phrases you “need” to know, so below I’ve included a summary of the phrases and words I was most likely to use when traveling through Italy and not knowing much of the language. I’d recommend trying to memorize some of the words, but creating a cheat sheet for yourself is also useful to glance at before you order dinner or to keep on hand in case of an emergency.
- Ciao – Hello and Goodbye
- Buongiorno – Good morning
- Buona sera – Good evening
- Buona notte – Good night
- Arrivederci: A formal way to say goodbye
- Grazie – Thank you
- Per favore – Please
- Sì – Yes
- No – No
- Mi scusi – Excuse me
- Prego – You’re welcome
- Parla inglese? – Do you speak English?
- Mi dispiace – I’m sorry
- Metropolitana: Subway
- Treno: Train
- Macchina: Car
- Autobus: Bus
- Aeroporto: Airport
- Taxi: Taxi
- Buon viaggio: Have a nice trip
- Ristorante – Restaurant
- Albergo – Hotel
- Banca – Bank
- Bancomatif – ATM
- Dov’è il bagno? – Where is the bathroom?
- Quanto costa? – How much does it cost?
- Posso collegarmi con internet? – Can I get on the internet
- Dov’è la stazione (or street name or tourist site)? – Where is the station?
Numbers: Uno (1), due (2), tre (3), quattro (4), cinque (5), sei (6), sette (7), otto (8), nove (9), dieci (10)
Days of the week: lunedì (Monday), martedì (Tuesday), mercoledì (Wednesday), giovedì (Thursday), venerdì (Friday), sabato (Saturday), domenica (Sunday)
ORDERING FOOD AND DRINKS
- Buon appetito! – Enjoy your meal
- Un cappucccino, per favore – Cappuccino, please
- Un gelato per favore – Gelato, please
- Ci porta il conto? – Check, please
- Piatto del giorno – Daily special
- Cosa mi consiglia – What do you recommend for me
- Aiuto! – Help!
- Chiamate la polizia! – Call the police!
- Chiamate un’ambulanza! – Call an ambulance!
- Ho bisogno di un medico – I need a doctor
- Dov’è l’ospedale? – Where is the hospital?
What other phrases would you like to know?