Friday, March 14, 2014

Learning Italian with Incantato Concert Tours

Italian is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. You may already know that Italian is the first language in which opera singers learn to sing?
It is also an incredibly fun language to speak, full of expressive hand gestures and colorful phrases. Italian words can be rather long (and so poetic), but here is a helpful tip for pronouncing them: most of the time, stress falls on the second-to-last syllable. So “Venezia” is “Ve-NE-zia”; “castello” is “cas-TELL-o”.

Let's start with a few common phrases:
  • Buongiorno - Good morning. Usually said until 4pm. (bwon gee-orno)
  • Buona sera - Good evening. Usually said after 4pm. (bwon-uh say-ruh)
  • Buona notte - Good night. Only used to say goodbye, it is usually said before parting ways after 10pm, or before going to sleep. (bwon-uh no-te)
  • Ciao - Hello or goodbye. A very informal but common greeting.  (chow)
  • Arrivederci - A formal way to say goodbye. Literally means “until we see each other again.” (ah-ree-vay-der-chee)

Other common Italian phrases
  • Per favore - Please 
  • Grazie: Thank you. You may also hear “grazie mille” (literally “a thousand thanks”) to mean many thanks. (grah-tseeay)
  • Prego: You’re welcome (pray-go)
  • Mi chiamo…: My name is… You may also say “Sono….”
  • Non parlo italiano: I don’t speak Italian
  • Parla inglese?: Do you speak English? This is the formal version, but you can also ask parli inglese? if you’d like to be informal.
  • Sì: Yes. Other popular affirmations: va bene (fine), okay. 
  • No: No
  • Dove: Where. You may ask “Dov’è (street or landmark)…?” for directions.
  • Chi: Who
  • Quando: When
  • Cosa: What
  • Perché: Why
  • Excuse me - Mi Scusi (mee skoo-zee)
  • How are you? - Come sta? (koh-may stah)
  • My name is - Mi chiamo (mee kee-ah-mo)
  • What is your name? Come si chiama? (koh-meh see kee-ah-mah)


  1. Italian is best learned from a relative or best friend. It isn’t just grammar and proper nouns, rules, etc it’s really a dance! There are facial expressions, hand gestures, hip placements. Find a video on youtube of Italians speaking with each other and you’ll see what I mean. Get to know some authentic Italians before you think you know how to speak the language.

    Learn to Speak Italian

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