You are on page 1of 36

Beginners Guide to Learning Italian!

Learn Italian Faster Online Click ere !or "etails
Legal Notice:- The author and publisher of this Ebook and the accompanying materials
have used their best efforts in preparing this Ebook. The author and publisher make no
representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or
completeness of the contents of this Ebook. The information contained in this Ebook is
strictly for educational purposes. Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in
this Ebook, you are taking full responsibility for your actions.
The author and publisher disclaim any warranties e!press or implied",
merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose. The author and publisher shall
in no event be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, punitive, special,
incidental or other conse#uential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use
of this material, which is provided $as is%, and without warranties.
&s always, the advice of a competent legal, ta!, accounting or other professional
should be sought. The author and publisher do not warrant the performance,
effectiveness or applicability of any sites listed or linked to in this Ebook. &ll
links are for information purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy or
any other implied or e!plicit purpose.
Table of Contents
The Significance of Learning a Foreign Language ........................................... 3
History of the Italian Language ......................................................................... 4
Italian Words Used in the English Language ....................................................
!isconce"tions a#out Learning Italian ............................................................. $
Learning to S"ea% Italian &uic%ly ..................................................................... '
Total (oncentration ) The *est Way to Learn Italian ..................................... 11
!ethods to Im"ro+e ,our Italian .................................................................... 1-
Italian Language Hel" .nline .......................................................................... 14
If ,ou Thin% Li%e an Italian/ ,ou Will S"ea% Li%e an Italian ........................ 10
Learn the (ommon Errors to 1+oid ................................................................ 1$
Trac% ,our Family Heritage ............................................................................ -2
3omance Languages ........................................................................................ -1
The 4ialects of the Italian Language ............................................................... --
Tra+eling in Italy and other (ountries ............................................................. -3
,ou are What ,ou S"ea% ................................................................................ -4
Italian Sur+i+al 5hrases ................................................................................... -0
*eginning Italian ............................................................................................. -$
Italian 6er#s ..................................................................................................... -7
5ronouncing Italian 6o8els ............................................................................ 31
5ronouncing Italian (onsonants ...................................................................... 3-
5ronouncing Italian Words .............................................................................. 34
What is 5honology9 ......................................................................................... 30
Summary .......................................................................................................... 3
The Significance of Learning a Foreign Language
#hy is it so im$ortant to learn a !oreign language% The &hole &orld s$eaks English'
right% (ou are right the is a large num)er o! $eo$le &ho s$eak English and are li*ing in
a !oreign country' )ut not e*eryone in the &hole &orld. There are se*eral good and
*alid reasons !or learning to s$eak another language.
+ust !or starters' ,ersonal "e*elo$ment is one o! the reasons. #hen you learn a ne&
language you ac-uire a &hole ne& outlook &hile rein!orcing your o&n identity and sel!.
con!idence. Learning a !oreign language can contri)ute to a stronger $ersonality.
Then there are the Cultural /easons !or learning a !oreign language. Cultures de!ine
themsel*es through languages. 0 !oreign language &ill gi*e you admission into another
culture. (ou &ill ha*e the a)ility to communicate and to e1change thoughts and ideas
&ith $eo$le all o*er the &orld. #ithout the a)ility to communicate &ith them you may
ha*e ne*er had the o$$ortunity to kno& them.
Education is another good reason !or learning a !oreign language. Learning a !oreign
language allo&s you to see things di!!erently than you &ould ha*e other&ise. It has a
$ositi*e e!!ect on intellectual gro&th and allo&s !or the enrichment and enhancement o!
mental de*elo$ment. Learning a !oreign language &hen you are young is much more
e!!ecti*e. It &ill hel$ you to read and &rite in your o&n language. E*idence sho&s' like
musical education' it can contri)ute to the gro&th o! the indi*idual intelligence.
Economic /easons is the last reason !or learning a !oreign language. Li*ing in a &orld'
&hich is characteri2ed )y the international links and intercultural connections' language
skills are crucial !or )usiness communications. #ith kno&ledge o! !oreign language'
you &ill increase your 3o) o$$ortunities. In many careers' kno&ing a !oreign language is
a use!ul asset.
4o &hy did you choose Italian% 5ay)e you !ell in lo*e &ith countryside on your !irst
*isit' or may)e you &ant to kno& the language )e!ore you make that !irst *isit. ,ossi)ly
you ha*e !amily in Italy and you &ould like to )e a)le to s$eak to them. 5any
0mericans ha*e !amily in Italy and to con*erse &ith their !amily mem)ers they must
s$eak Italian. There are se*eral reasons $eo$le choose to learn Italian. The reason is
inconse-uential. #hat matters most is that you are doing it.
(ou should $ro)a)ly also kno& that i! you ha*e children and &ould like !or them to
e1$erience intellectual' it is much )est !or them to learn a !oreign language during their
younger years. Children &ho learn a second language &hile gro&ing u$ ha*e the a)ility
to think in )oth languages. They &ill also ha*e an easier time at reading and &riting in
school as &ell as the a)ility to $rocess in!ormation di!!erently than children taught only
one language during their !ormati*e years. (our children &ill also ha*e an )etter
chance o! learning se*eral additional languages' e*en a!ter they are gro&n. 0 child
learning a second language during their early years &ill ha*e a higher intellect than
children &ho dont. (ou &ill )e doing your children a great ser*ice )y allo&ing them to
learn a !oreign language &hile they are gro&ing u$.
History of the Italian Language
The Italian language is a mem)er o! the /omance grou$ o! the Italic su)!amily o! the
Indo.Euro$ean !amily o! languages. It is the $redominately s$oken language on the
$eninsula called Italy. o&e*er' you might )e sur$rised to kno& that Italian is also
s$oken in southern 4&it2erland' 4an 5arino' 4icily' northern 4ardinia' and on the
northeastern shore o! the 0driatic 4ea' as &ell as in 6orth and 4outh 0merica.
Italian is the direct o!!s$ring o! the Latin s$oken )y the /omans and !orced )y them on
the $eo$les under their control. Italian $reser*es the closest resem)lance to Latin than
all the other /omance languages.
"uring the e*olution $eriod o! the Italian language' se*eral dialects s$rang u$. The
assortment o! these dialects and their indi*idual claims )y their nati*e s$eakers as true
Italian s$eech $resented di!!iculty in the e*olution o! an acce$ted !orm o! Italian' &hich
&ould re!lect the cultural unity o! the $eninsula o! Italy.
E*en the earliest $o$ular documents' &hich &ere $roduced in the78
century' &ere
&ritten in a dialect o! Italian. "uring the ne1t three centuries Italian &riters &rote in their
nati*e dialects' &hich resulted in the $roduction o! se*eral com$eting regional schools
o! literature.
It &as in the 79
century the Tuscan dialect )ecame more $redominate. This could )e
due to the central $osition o! Tuscany in Italy as &ell as the aggressi*e commerce o! the
city o! Florence. The Tuscan dialect de*iated *ery little in the !ormation o! &ords and
the sound o! &ords !rom the classical Latin. Because o! this' it harmoni2ed &ith the
Italian traditions o! the Latin culture the )est. 5ost o! all' Florentine culture !ormed the
three literary artists &ho summari2ed Italian thought and the !eeling o! the late 5iddle
0ges and early /enaissance the )est. These artists &ere "ante' ,etrarca' and
The attem$t o! esta)lish a uni!ied norm !or the Italian language occu$ied &riters o! all
dialects. "uring the 7:
and 7;
centuries' the grammar s$ecialists o! the time tried
$utting their heads together to decide u$on a norm !or the $ronunciation' grammar' and
*oca)ulary o! the 79
century Tuscan' &hich &as at the time the status o! a central and
classical Italian s$eech. E*entually this meeting o! the minds' &hich could ha*e ended
&ith Italian )eing another dead language' &as )roadened to include the organic
changes' &hich are ine*ita)le in a li*ing tongue.
In the dictionaries and the $u)lications o! the 0ccadcemia della Crusca' &hich &as
created in 7:<= &as acce$ted )y Italians as the authority in Italian matters o! language
com$romised )et&een classical $urism and li*ing Tuscan usage &ere success!ully
achie*ed. "uring the 7;
century' the most im$ortant literary e*ent did not take $lace in
,ietro Bem)o' a >enetian' set out in 7:?: his $ro$osals !or a standardi2ed language
and style. is models &ere ,etrarca and Boccaccio and as a result )ecame the
modern classic. There!ore' the language o! Italian literature &as and still is modeled
a!ter the Italian s$oken in Florence in the 7:
Finally in the 7@
century the language s$oken )y educated Tuscans s$read and
)ecame the language o! the ne& nation o! Italy. In 7<;7' the uni!ication o! Italy had a
dramatic e!!ect on the $olitical scene as &ell as the social' economical' and cultural
Because o! mandatory schooling' the num)er o! $eo$le &ith the a)ility to read
increased and many Italians a)andoned their nati*e dialect in !a*or o! the national
Italian Words Used in the English Language
Italian &ords ha*e made their &ay into English o*er the course o! many centuries' you
&ill )e ha$$y to kno& that you already are using -uite a )it o! Italian. I! you are a
musician' you &ill )e !amiliar &ith the terms such as )el canto' cello' me22oso$rano'
$iano!orte' and solo. 4tructural design has )orro&ed &ords like cu$ola' loggia' and
stan2a. O! course then there is Italian !oods such as ra*ioli' mo22arella' lasagna'
*ermicelli' or $orcini. "uring the course o! some e*eryday li*es the Italian &ords' such
as $a$ara22i' gra!!iti' ma!ia' and ghetto are used e*ery day. 0s you can see your
*oca)ulary already consists o! se*eral Italian &ords.
Because o! the gro&ing in!luence o! 0merican culture through the media' this has
)ecome a t&o.&ay street. There are many English &ords' &hich ha*e )een ado$ted )y
the Italians. They e*en ha*e a name !or these &ords. It is called Itangliano' &hich
translates into highly anglici2ed Italian. 4ome o! these &ords are clu)' !lirt' sho$$ing'
s$ray' and style. #hen *isiting Italy' it may seem you hear more English s$oken than
Italian in the cities &here tourism is hea*y' such as Florence' /ome and >enice.
,oliticians and academics ha*e made a series o! e!!orts to de!end the Italian language
against &hat is kno&n as Italenglish or Itangliano. 0 cam$aign against English $hrases
and grammar &as launched )y the mem)ers o! ,arliament )ecause o! the stream into
their culture and language' and threatening to kill o!! Italian. +ust recently Italian o!!icials
*o&ed to sim$li!y the manner in &hich the state communicates &ith its citi2ens )y
declaring &ar on o!!icialese.

Misconceptions about Learning Italian

(ou may or may not ha*e heard some o! the misconce$tions a)out learning Italian. It
all )oils do&n to ho& much you &ant to learn Italian or &ould you rather sit around and
make e1cuses as to &hy you cant. Learning Italian is not unlike going on a diet or start
an e1ercise regime. (ou can dig in and get started' or you can come u$ &ith the
e1cuses as to &hy you cant do it. 5any o! these e1cuses can )e *ery con*incing' so i!
you &ant to learn Italian' dont listen to the e1cuses.
One o! the most common misconce$tions is Italian is more di!!icult to learn than English.
0ctually research sho&s Italian is easier to learn than English. Ignoring the scienti!ic
!acts' &hen you &ere a child learning English' you didnt kno& &hether it &as easy or
di!!icult. (ou really didnt kno& any )etter' so you didnt think a)out it. #hen learning
Italian to hel$ you through those !rustrating $eriods' you &ill need to remem)er that
e*eryone &as a )eginner at some time in their li!e. 0lso it might hel$ you to remem)er
that making mistakes is ho& one learns ho& to do it right.
(ou may think you &ill not )e a)le to roll your rs' )ut the !act is many Italians can not
roll their rs either. In Italy &hat is kno&n as the Aso!t rB is in many cases a result o! a
regional accent or dialect. It is also traditionally associated &ith the s$eech o! the u$$er
class. The Italians !rom the north o! Italy' close to the French )order' are !amous !or
this ty$e o! s$eech *ariation )ecause o! the in!luence o! the French language on the
local dialect.
I! you &ant to learn to roll your rs you should try $lacing your tongue on the roo! o! your
mouth' close to the !ront and trill your tongue. I! that doesnt &ork' then $retend you are
re**ing u$ a car motor or re$eat the !ollo&ing English &ords a se*eral timesC ladder' or
)utter. (ou might also remem)er that /rrrrru!!les ha*e rrrrrridges !rom the T>
(ou may )elie*e there arent any schools close to your home. In this day and time o!
the Internet a school )eing close at hand is no longer necessary. (ou can take courses
online' listen to an Italian audio course' or e*en !ind an Italian $en $al. There are many
&ays you can learn Italian and the Internet can hel$ you. 4ome o! the online courses
are !ree and you study on your o&n time. (ou are not set to a ridge schedule.
I! you )elie*e you &ill ne*er use Italian' you might &ant to rethink. There are many
&ays !or you to utili2e your Italian. In many cases o$$ortunities &ill $resent themsel*es
once you ha*e learned some Italian. I! all else !ails' learn Italian and then &rite a )ook'
or a letter to your Italian $en $al.
Thinking you are too old to learn Italian is 3ust silly. (ou are ne*er too old to learn
something ne&. There is no age limit on learning Italian. I! you li*e to )e 788 years old
you could learn Italian as long as you ha*e the &illingness and the commitment to the
time it &ill take to learn Italian. 0ge does not count in this scenario.
I! you close nit grou$ o! !riends do not s$eak Italian' there are &ays around that. 6o
you dont ha*e to make them learn 3ust so you &ill ha*e someone to con*erse and
$ractice your Italian &ith. Instead you can contact the Italian de$artment at your local
college' or call the Italian 0merican organi2ation. They o!ten s$onsor &ine tasting and
other e*ents &here $artici$ants can meet and mingle to $ractice Italian. (ou can e*en
3oin your local Italian Language 5eetu$ grou$. There &e)site is 5eetu$.com. They
organi2e the Italian Language 5eetu$ as a !ree gathering at a local *enue !or anyone
interested in learning' $racticing' or teaching Italian.
I! you !eel you time is limited' there are ten &ays to s$eak Italian -uickly' &hich &e &ill
co*er in this e.)ook. The !astest &ay to learn Italian is in a total immersion course. By
s$ending t&o &eeks at a language school in Italy you &ill learn Italian more e!!ecti*ely
than in a !ull year in high school or college. It &ill cost you less than a *acation. The
mornings are usually de*oted to the classes' )ut in the a!ternoon you are at leisure to
*isit the churches' museums' and other sites.
I! you are certain nati*e Italians &ill ne*er understand you' you might &ant to kno& that
the more e!!ort you $ut into it' the chances are good they &ill )e a)le to manage to
understand &hat you are saying. One o! the most im$ortant as$ects o! learning Italian
is )uilding your sel!.esteem. The more you try to e1$ress yoursel!' the -uicker you &ill
learn the language.
I! you are only $lanning a short *isit to Italy' then you &ill need to kno& the Italian
sur*i*al $hrases' such as A#here is the )athroom%B Then o! course there are some o!
the more mundane as$ects o! Italian' like making heads or tails !rom the Italian menu in
order to order your dinner' lunch' etc.
I! you are one o! those that needs a te1t)ook to read to learn Italian' that is not a
$ro)lem. I! you can !ind a )ookstore chances are you &ill )e a)le to !ind the te1t)ook
you need. I! you need &ork)ooks to com$lete' you may ha*e to sign u$ !or a course.
There are many &ays to learn Italian and they all &ork. o&e*er' the shotgun a$$roach
is recommended to a*oid )ecoming )ored or !rustrated.
Learning to Speak Italian Quickly
#e li*e in an age o! instant messaging and micro&a*e $i22as. #e e*en ha*e language
instructors $romising you &ill learn a language in 3ust one &eekend. I am not sure
a)out learning a language in a &eekend' )ut here are some ti$s' &hich &ill hel$ you
learn Italian -uickly.
The !irst suggestion is to go to Italy. 4u)merse yoursel! in the language. (ou &ill )e
!orced to s$eak only in Italian. (ou &ill learn Italian -uickly and ha*e the o$$ortunity to
see the $aintings o! /a!!aello and the /oman ruins &hile you are learning. o&e*er'
some o! us do not ha*e the time to s$end in Italy to learn the language. 4o &e &ill
mo*e on to some o! the other suggestions.
(ou could !ind Italian.s$eaking $eo$le in your to&n or neigh)orhood' so you can
$ractice your Italian. There are se*eral cities around the country that ha*e Italian
cultural institutes' &hich ha*e language e1change $rograms. I! you are una)le to locate
such a $lace' you might )e a)le to !ind an Italian con*ersation grou$. 5any times
Italian con*ersation grou$s are s$onsored )y )ookstores or sometimes the Italian
0merican societies.
One o! the most im$ortant skills o! learning a language is learning to understand the
language &hen someone else is s$eaking it. In these days and times se*eral ca)le
com$anies )roadcast Italian $rogramming !or a)out an hour e*ery day. This may 3ust
)e ne&s !rom the state tele*ision channel. There are also se*eral radio stations
accessi)le !rom the Internet such as /adio 5arte.
(ou could go out and rent an Italian mo*ie &ithout the su)titles or du))ing. This is a
great &ay to learn Italian. (ou &ill ha*e the o$$ortunity to hear Italian s$oken )y many
di!!erent actors' &hich &ill gi*e your ears the training they need at the same time.
(ou can al&ays check out the li)rary. There you should )e a)le to !ind Italian no*els'
tra*el guides and )ooks &hich &ill descri)e Italy. These )ooks &ill hel$ you im$ro*e
your learning e1$erience. The $arallel.te1t *ersion' &hich has Italian and English side
)y side' &ill )e !ound in some o! the Italian classics' such as La "i*ina Commedia' also
kno&n as The "i*ine Comedy.
I! you )uy yoursel! a music C" in Italian' you might yoursel! humming along. #hile you
are at it read the Liner 6otes !ound in the case o! the C". 5any times the lyrics to the
songs are in them' and then you can try singing along.
(ou &ant learning Italian to )e !un' so you can $lay some o! your !a*orite games in
Italian. #ork an Italian cross&ord $u22le or i! you are really !eeling gutsy' try your hand
at Italian scra))le. In order to $re*ent you !rom loosing interest and getting !rustrated
make learning Italian !un!
Dse $ Take a $ad o! $' &rite the Italian &ord !or the items you
look at e*eryday in your house' and $ost the sticky note on it. By saying the name o!
the item out loud e*ery time you see the item' soon it &ill )e automatic. (ou &ill !ind
yoursel! looking at the item and automatically thinking the &ord in Italian. ,lus it is a
great &ay to increase your *oca)ulary.
0s you learn Italian you &ill !ind a $hrase &hich &ill )e your !a*orite' such as Athank
youB in Italian' &hich is Amille gra2ieB. (ou &ill !ind yoursel! using this $hrase e*ery time
someone does you a !a*or. 4o e*ery time you learn a ne& essential $hrase you are
)roadening your &ord $o&er. Listen to the Italian &ord o! the day. Try using it in a
sentence' and soon you &ill )e s$eaking like a nati*e Italian.
(ou can get instruction or take a grou$ class. The routine and the structure
&ill hel$ you de*elo$ a )ase !or ad*ancing -uickly in the language. La Bella Lingua is a
school &hich o!!ers a $rogram' &hich is designed to make learning Italian !un and easy.
They ha*e a s$ecial hands.on class you might &ant to try.
Total oncentration ! The "est Way to Learn Italian
The -uickest and the most success!ul &ay to learn Italian is the total.immersion or
concentration method. This includes tra*eling to Italy !or an long *acation' studying in
one o! the many language schools located all o*er Italy' and con*ersing only in Italian.
5any $rograms include a com$onent &hich im$ro*es the cultural e1change. (ou &ill
literally eat' )reathe' and dream in Italian.
Because many o! us do not ha*e the o$$ortunity to s$end &eeks or months in Italy to
learn the language' &hile touring the ruins' si$$ing an es$resso' or meandering through
the museums' there are other &ays to learn Italian &ithout lea*ing your hometo&n.
0ctually you ha*e taken a *ery im$ortant ste$ to&ard learning Italian &hen you decided
to read this )ook. The most im$ortant $art o! learning Italian is to start studying. 0ny
method you choose &ill &ork &hether you decide to read an Italian te1t)ook' take a
course in Italian at a uni*ersity or a local language school' do e1ercises in an Italian
&ork)ook' listening to a ta$e or C"' or e*en 3ust talking to a nati*e Italian s$eaker.
It is a good ha)it to s$end some time e*ery day reading' &riting' s$eaking and listening
to Italian. This &ill hel$ you in )ecoming accustomed to the language. (our con!idence
&ill )uild one )a)y ste$ at a time' your accent &ill )ecome less a$$arent' your
*oca)ulary &ill increase and youll )e communicating in Italian )e!ore you kno& it. (ou
might e*en start s$eaking Italian &ith your hands.
Methods to I#pro$e %our Italian
#hen you take a class to learn Italian' you &ill re*ie& de!inite articles' direct o)3ect
$ronouns' and $re$osition. (our instructor &ill $ro)a)ly sho& you ho& to $ronounce
Italian &ords and there &ill $ro)a)ly )e an Italian audio la). (ou &ill come to a $oint
&here you &ill &ant to learn some shortcuts and -uick $ointers' &hich &ill gi*e your
lessons more $o&er. ere are some things they dont teach in language lessons that
&ill im$ro*e your Italian.
In Italian )asically it is A#hat you see is &hat you hearB. #hen you see an Italian
s$eaking nati*e o$en his mouth &ide' it isnt al&ays to shout as much as it is to $ro$er
$ronounce the )ig' round *o&els. 0s an e1am$le' i! you &ant to $ronounce the letter
AaB' you o$en your mouth &ide and say AahhhhhB.
By remem)ering the $hrase &hat you see is &hat you hear you &ill ha*e no trou)le
s$elling and $ronouncing the Italian &ords. Because Italian is a $honetic language
most &ords are $ronounced 3ust as they are &ritten.
5any o! the Italian &ords look like English &ords and ha*e similar meanings. This
makes learning Italian a little easier. There are only minor di!!erences in the s$elling
)et&een the English and the Italian &ords called cognates. They are called cognates
)ecause o! their similarities. In Italian they are called $arole simili. 4ome o! the
cognates are sta2ione or station' museo or museum' $ro!essore or $ro!essor' and
intelligente or intelligent.
There are other &ords in Italian' &hich are similar to English &ords' )ut ha*e a di!!erent
meaning. These &ords are kno&n as !alse cognates or !alsi amici. For e1am$le
$arente means relati*e' not $arent' and li)reria means )ookstore' not li)rary.
Because the endings o! con3ugated *er) !orms indicate $erson and num)er' Italian
su)3ect $ronouns can )e le!t out unless they are needed to clari!y' &hen they ha*e )een
modi!ied )y the &ord AalsoB or AancheB' or &hen there is an em$hasis or a contrast
needed. I! you are starting a !irst.$erson comment &ith AioB' such as AI studyB' or AI
&alkB' it sounds as though you are constantly calling attention to yoursel!' so in most
cases the AioB is le!t o!! the comment.
/emem)er to slo& do&n. Being !ast only counts in a car raceC !ast does not make you
!luent in the language and easily understood. #hen many o! us s$eak in English' &e
are notorious !or slurring our &ords together. #hen s$eaking in Italian it is )etter to
allo& the Italian *o&els and consonants to maintain their $articular' unchanging sound.
+ust rela1 and take a dee$ )reathe so that you can en3oy the language at a leisurely
#hen it comes to ad3ecti*es' you can only say molto )ene so many times )e!ore you
start )ecoming )ored &ith yoursel!. There are times &hen Italian ad3ecti*es' &hich are
the most e1$ressi*e &ords' get short.changed )ecause o! the usual em$hasis on the
nouns and the *er)s. (ou can learn alternati*e &ays to e1$ress yoursel! )y including
the use o! $re!i1es' such as stra and su!!i1es' such as ino' etto' ello' and accio. (ou &ill
-uickly increase your *oca)ulary )y doing so.
#hen it comes to !ormalities' you &ill see ho& sho$kee$ers' neigh)ors' and guests
$ercei*e you &hen you ingratiate yoursel! &ith them. It is good to remem)er your
manners and youre more likely to )e greeted &ith a smile. Learn the essential sur*i*al
&ords and $hrases in Italian and chances are they &ill hel$ you &ith your language
0)out the courteous !orm o! address in Italian' there are !our &ays o! saying you in
Italian tu' *oi' Lei' and Loro. Tu' !or one $erson' *oi' !or t&o or more $eo$le are the
!orms only used &ith !amily mem)ers' children and close !riends. #hen s$eaking to an
Italian they may ask A,ossiamo darci del tu%B &hich means A5ay &e s&itch to the tu
!orm%B a!ter a relationshi$ has $rogressed. This is the sign that you are no& a)le to use
the more common !orm tu.
Err' umm' ah' like you kno& are con*ersation !illers' &hich make you sound like a
teenager or &orse. The !act is you kno& &hat you &ant to say' )ut at that moment you
are tem$orarily incoherent. One remedy !or this is to $ractice inter3ections' sentence
starters' and additional use!ul $hrases' &hich &ill hel$ get your tongue started and )ack
on track. (ou can commit your !a*orite sna$$y ans&ers to memory to hel$ you a*oid
those )lank moments &hen you are at a loss !or &ords.
Talking loudly does not make you understood' it 3ust makes you loud. 5any $eo$le
ha*e a )ad ha)it o! almost screaming &hen asked to re$eat themsel*es. (ou may 3ust
need to $olish u$ your Italian skills. Those you are s$eaking to are $ro)a)ly not hard o!
hearing. (ou may ha*e mis$ronounced the &ord or may)e you 3ust used the &rong
choice o! &ords. 4o dont shout at them' they may )e a)le to hear 3ust !ine.
There is one thing you &ill notice &hen you s$end time in Italy' and that is Italians dress
to im$ress. They may 3ust )e taking their ritual e*ening &alk or ste$$ing out to the
o$era. Italians &ant to look good. 4o &hen you go to Italy and are *isiting the churches
and the museums' you may &ant to lea*e the shorts and sandals at the hotel. It &ill
im$ro*e your con!idence among all those &ell.dressed Italians' &hich can hel$ you
im$ro*e your Italian.
There &ill )e times that no matter ho& &ell you say something in Italian' sometimes it
&ill )e di!!icult !or e*en a linguist to inter$ret. It could )e &hat you are say and not ho&
you are saying it that is the $ro)lem. The cultural di!!erences )ecome increasingly
a$$arent &hen s$eaking a !oreign language. I! you are sure that &hat you are saying is
grammatical correct and you are still recei*ing )lank stares' you might try a di!!erent
Italian Language Help &nline
E*en though you might &ant to email "ante 0lighieri to ask him -uestions a)out Italian
grammar and usage' you are una)le to )ecause he is no longer li*ing. E*en i! he &ere
still ali*e chances are he &ould )e tied u$ in &riting his ne& )ook' or a screen$lay !or
one o! the )ooks he has already &ritten' such as the La "i*ina Commedia.
o&e*er' there are more $ractical solutions to your dilemma. The national language
academy o! Italy can )e access through the Internet and they can o!!er hel$ to those
&anting to master the Italian language. There is also the oldest language academy in
Euro$e' the 0ccademia della Crusca &ho also can )e accessed through the Internet.
The consulen2a liguistica section o! the &e)site has ans&ers to the most !re-uently
asked -uestions. They also ha*e a site &here *isitors can consult the online li)rary'
&hich contains the !irst Italian *oca)ulary !rom 7;7? as &ell as other historic
On the Internet you &ill also )e a)le to !ind other resources !or asking -uestions
regarding Italian grammar' dialect and usage. I! you need hel$ &ith $ronunciation or
translating a $hrase or may)e you &ant a recommendation on schools in Italy. The
0)out Italian Language Forum is a great $lace to !ind ans&ers.
The !orum is a $lace &here you can chat a)out *er) con3ugation' grammar'
$ronunciation or anything related to the Italian language. 4ome o! the more recent
message threads &ere discussions a)outE il discorso indiretto' hel$ &ith translating a
$assage !rom Luigi ,irandello' and the right &ay to learn Italian. On the !orum you are
a)le to $ost your notes and comments on the 0)out Italian Language )ulletin )oard and
you &ill recei*e in$ut !rom a *ariety o! $eo$le &ho are enthusiastic a)out the Italian
If %ou Think Like an Italian' %ou Will Speak Like an Italian
#hen learning to s$eak a language like a nati*e' you &ill need to !orget your nati*e
tongue. 4$ending time in Italy s$eaking only Italian &ill hel$ you s$eak as a nati*e. I!
you &ant to read Italian' you can $ick u$ an Italian ne&s$a$er and read the section that
interests you most. The goal is to increase com$etency in Italian. To do that you must
learn to think like an Italian' &hich means you &ill need to take o!! the training &heels so
to s$eak. Get rid o! those hel$ers' &hich are holding you )ack and hurt more than they
For instance )ilingual dictionaries are a crutch. I! your goal is to s$eak Italian' s$eaking
English to your !riends &ill )e a &aste o! your time. (ou dont &ant to make
grammatical com$arisons )et&een English and Italian )ecause it &ont hel$ you
achie*e your goal. E*ery language has rules and !orms' &hich are uni-ue and
sometimes illogical. I! you &ant to s$eak &ith com$etence' translating )ack and !orth in
your head )e!ore s$eaking or reading is a !ools errand' &hich &ill not get you
Too many $eo$le consider language as a science and get tongue.tied. 4tudents o! the
language o)sess o*er details. Italian can not )e dissected' instead o! 3ust s$eaking the
language and interacting &ith nati*e s$eakers. They should )e imitating them and
co$ying them in order to learn the language. (ou need to let go o! your ego and
$retend you are an actor )y trying to sound Italian. Books &ith something to memori2e
turns o!! most students and these )ooks are not use!ul.
The )est $iece o! ad*ice someone can gi*e to anyone studying Italian' regardless o! the
le*el o! study' &ould )e to sto$ thinking in English. To com$etently s$eak Italian you
ha*e to !orget a)out English grammar. (ou &ill not )e a)le to translate literally and
construct sentences according to English grammar.
One im$ortant !act you should kno& is that all languages are not e-ual and are not
interchangea)le. I! languages could )e interchangea)le' translation &ould )e e1tremely
sim$le and straight!or&ard. Learning another language &ould )oil do&n to nothing
more than learning to su)stitute one &ord !or another.
The !act is each language di!!ers in *ery im$ortant &ays' in grammar as &ell as
*oca)ulary. Each language has a uni-ue &ay o! looking at the &orld. 6o one can
)ecome !luent in a language until they sto$ translating and sim$ly think in the ne&
language. Each language has its o&n distincti*e medium o! thought.
(ou must let go o! your !ear o! making mistakes. (our goal should only )e to
communicate. (ou really dont &ant to sound as i! you ha*e a ,h" in Italian grammar
)ecause not only &ill you ne*er accom$lish that' )ut there are *ery !e& Italians &ho can
s$eak that &ell in their o&n language. But all Italians can communicate their emotions'
!ears' &ants' and needs. The one thing that &ill hold you )ack is using English as a
crutch and )eing a!raid o! o$ening your mouth &ide enough to s$eak the language.
"ont )e discouraged' )ut many o! the language learners 3ust dont seem to understand
the conce$t and they ne*er &ill. Its a lot like taking dance lessons. (ou can take
lessons !rom an e1$ert &ith the cut.out !eet and num)ers on the !loor to sho& the ste$s'
)ut &ithout rhythm' you &ill ne*er get it right. (ou &ill end u$ looking like a klut2 no
matter ho& hard you $ractice or the num)er o! lessons you take.
5emori2ing scri$ted res$onses &hen learning a !oreign language does not &ork. The
ma3ority o! the te1t)ooks !or the )eginners ha*e se*eral $ages o! dialogue. The
dialogue is sti!! and is a con*ersation you &ont ha*e e*en in your o&n language. I! you
ask a $erson one o! the -uestions !rom that dialogue and they dont ans&er according
to the dialogue you memori2ed' then &hat%
(ou are lost and ha*e no idea &hat to say ne1t. This is not learning the languageC this
is memori2ed scri$ts. Dn!ortunately &ith scri$ts' not e*eryone has the same scri$t you
doC lea*ing you &ith the ina)ility to res$ond to une1$ected ans&er.
#hen it comes to learning Italian or any other !oreign language' you &ill &ant to s$eak it
as &ell as you can s$eak English. 5emori2ing scri$ts dont &ork' &hich means you
ha*e to learn ho& to !ormulate sentences in Italian 3ust as you can in English.
Learn the o##on Errors to ($oid
0!ter you ha*e learned -uite a )it o! Italian and you are com!orta)le &ith the Italian
*er)s and can congiunti*o tra$assato' &hich in English means $ast $er!ect con3uncti*e
or com$ound tense. I! you are still re$eating grammatical mistakes' you &ill ne*er
sound like an Italian nati*e. Its these little grammatical errors' ha)it or tics' &hich &ill
al&ays gi*e you a&ay as a nati*e English s$eaker regardless o! ho& &ell you s$eak the
0s your lessons $rogressed your instructor' or Italian !riends ha*e made a $oint in
telling a)out these Italian grammatical errors' and you are still making them.
4ometimes those $articular Italian lessons 3ust didnt stay in your mind. ere is a list o!
some o! the mistakes made )y English s$eakers' &hich &ill make them stick out in a
cro&d no matter ho& &ell their $ronunciation o! the Italian &ords.
It is not unusual !or English s$eakers to ha*e a $ro)lem $ronouncing dou)le
consonants in Italian. Dnlike English and )ecause Italian is a $honetic language you
must $ronounce )oth consonants. I! it &ill make it easier !or you then say it and &rite it'
say it and &rite it. This &ill $re*ent you !rom asking !or $ain' &hich is $ena instead o!
$en' &hich is $enna.
5any o! the students o! Italian' es$ecially the )eginners ha*e a tendency to stick &ith
&hat they are !amiliar &ith. Once the )eginners learn the three modal *er)s' &hich
include $otere' &hich means to )e a)le to or can' they &ill then come u$ &ith many
sentences )eginning &ith the &ord A,osseF.% attem$ting to sound tact!ul' &hen the
*er) riuscire' &hich means to succeed' to manage' to )e a)le' is a more accurate *er).
This is a -uirk &hich &ill identi!y the s$eaker as a $erson !or &hom English is their
madrelingua meaning nati*e tongue.
For those students &ho are studying English as their second language' it may seem as
i! there is no rhythm or reason !or the use o! $re$ositions. For those &ho are studying
Italian' they seem to ha*e the same $ro)lem. 0s a student o! Italian you &ill need to
reconcile the !act that 3ust as in English' there are !e& rules and many e1ce$tions &hen
it comes to the use o! $re$ositions in Italian. By acce$ting that !act as soon as you
$ossi)ly can' you &ill )e a)le to mo*e !or&ard in the $rocess o! learning the language
much -uicker. There is one sure &ay to a$$roach the $re$ositions and that is to
commit to memory the use o! the sim$le $re$ositions' such as a' con' da' di' in' $er' su
and tra and !ra' &hich are interchangea)le.
For a $erson reasona)ly !luent in the English language as a second language' there are
certain usages o! &ords and $hrases you &ill ne*er hear them s$eak' such as re$lacing
the &ord says &ith the &ord goes. There are se*eral other &ords and $hrases' &hich
are not $art o! the !ormal English grammar )ut are used commonly )y us during casual
con*ersations. (ou &ill not !ind these $hrases or the im$ro$er usage o! &ords in the
!ormal or the &ritten language.
Italian is not that di!!erent. There are se*eral &ords and $hrases in Italian' &hich ha*e
minimal meaning in the language' )ut ser*e im$ortant !unctions &ithin the language.
#hen a $erson is ha*ing a con*ersation and ne*er uses those &ords sound slightly
o*erly !ormal. The &ords are di!!icult to translate' )ut mastering them &ill make you
sound as i! you !it into the norm.
Italians &ill use )ody language and hand gestures to em$hasis a $oint and add 3ust a
little more meaning that the &ord or $hrase is missing on its o&n. 4ince you dont &ant
to )e mistaken !or the indi!!erent' non.nati*e Italian' learn a !e& Italian hand gestures
and other non*er)al res$onses.
D$on asking an 0merican the colors o! the !lag o! Italy and most o! them &ill tell you
rosso' )lanco' e *erde' &hich means red' &hite and green. E*en though the colors are
correct the order in &hich they &ere said &ill sound grating to most nati*e ears. I!
someone said the colors o! the 0merican !lag &ere )lue' &hite and red' it &ould sound
the same to us as using the red' &hite and green is to the Italians. #e ha*e had the
red' &hite and )lue ingrained into our society and into the "60 o! our language that
saying the colors o! our !lag any other &ay is 3ust not the same.
The same holds true !or the Italian. To res$ond correctly to the -uestion o! the colors o!
their !lag' you should ans&er *erde' )lanco' e rosso or green' &hite and red. It may
seem as a tri*ial di!!erence' )ut it &ill tag you as a non.nati*e s$eaking Italian.
ere in 0merica as the &inter months !ade a&ay and the s$ring and summer starts
&arming u$ you &ill see many 0mericans dining outside &hether it is at home or in a
restaurant. 5any restaurants ha*e outside setting areas and as 0mericans &e re!er to
this as dining al !resco. There are se*eral restaurants named 0l !resco all across the
Dnited 4tates.
#hen you make you ne1t tri$ to Italy and u$on arri*ing at your !a*orite restaurant !or
lunch' the hostess &ill ask you i! you &ant to dine indoors or outdoors. The hostess &ill
$ro)a)ly snicker i! you tell her you &ant to dine al !resco. In Italian the &ord al !resco
means in the cooler' &hich is a slang term !or )eing in 3ail or $rison. I! you &ish to dine
on the $atio in a restaurant in Italy you &ill )e )etter o!! using the term alla$erto or
allareia a$erta or e*en !uori.
0nother term English s$eakers ha*e a tendency to misuse include il Bel ,aese &hen
re!erring to Italy. The $hrase is the name o! a $o$ular Italian cheese. It is similar to a
nati*e 6e& (orker re!erring to 6e& (ork City a The Big 0$$le. They almost ne*er say
it. 0nother $hrase usually !ound in English te1t)ooks or tra*el guides is la )ella lingua
&hen re!erring to the Italian language. 6ati*e Italians dont use that $hrase either &hen
re!erring to the nati*e tongue.
umor and $ro*er)s are $ro)a)ly the most di!!icult to learn &hen learning a !oreign
language. 5any times they are idiomatic and usually re!lect the culture. For instance
Italian $ro*er)s are usually agrarian or nautical in nature do to the countrys
)ackground. Consider this English $ro*er) AThe early )ird catches the &ormB. 0n
Italian $ro*er) &hich re!lects the same meaning is AChi dorne non $iglia $esciB' &hich
means A#ho slee$s doesnt catch !ishesB.
Language e1$erts &ill tell you that )y s$eaking $ro*er)s one learns a)out the language
and a)out the tradition and more a)out the culture.
I! you &ant to immediately )ecome kno&n as a non.nati*e Italian s$eaker' continue the
use su)3ect $ronouns as a language crutch e*en a!ter you ha*e learned ho& to
con3ugate Italian *er)s.
"i!!ering !rom the English language the use o! su)3ect $ronouns is not necessary and
the use is considered to )e redundant unless used !or em$hasis )ecause the *er)
endings identi!y the mood' tense' $erson' num)er and in some cases gender.
Track %our Fa#ily Heritage

5any Italian 0mericans are learning Italian to get in touch &ith their !amily heritage.
They are )asically looking !or &ay to identi!y' understand and )ond &ith their !amilys
ethnic )ackground. By learning their !amilys nati*e tongue they are a)le to use it as a
tool to unco*er their !amily roots &hen they *isit Italy.
It must )e a *ery touching' emotional e1$erience to go to the to&n in Italy &here their
grand$arents li*ed and gre& u$. "uring the *isit there is the chance o! running into an
old !riend o! your grand$arents or a cousin they didnt kno& e1isted. They are also a)le
to use their !amilys nati*e tongue in order to read the )irth certi!icates and marriage
license o! the !amily mem)ers they ne*er had the o$$ortunity to meet. By learning the
Italian language many Italian 0mericans !eel connected to their ancestors &ho are no
longer o! this &orld.
There are many reasons to study a !oreign language. It is a method )y &hich an
0merican can )ond &ith other generations o! their !amily. 0 large $art o! the 0mericans
&ho ha*e enrolled in Italian language courses ha*e tra*eled to Italy !or $leasure and to
*isit their ancestors homeland. There are many $ersonal )ene!its to )e recei*ed !rom
studying a !oreign language and learning Italian can )e $riceless.
In the $ast se*eral years' )a)y )oomers are aging and they ha*e an increase o! !ree
time. Because o! this there has )een an increase in the num)er o! students learning
the Italian language !or their !amily heritage. The a)ility to read' s$eak and understand
the Italian language is a $o&er!ul moti*ation !or adults to learn the language. ,eo$le
yearn !or that connection to their $ast and learning Italian &ill gi*e it to them.
I! you are searching !or Italian genealogical resources' there is a *ast amount o!
in!ormation to )e !ound online to hel$ you disco*er your !amily history. The Italian
0ncestry has a &e)site along &ith a maga2ine in $rint to hel$ you &ith your search.
0lso the 4icilian surname directory is a data)ase o! surnames' &hich are s$eci!ically
!ocused on that island. 0t the Genealogy el$list For Italy you &ill !ind a grou$ o!
*olunteers &ho are &illing to hel$ those &ho are looking !or in!ormation. They &ill get
the in!ormation you need !rom the institutions in their area or they &ill su$$ly other
in!ormation' &hich is accessi)le to them.
0s an organi2ation de*oted to the research o! immigrant !amily roots o! Italian origin' the
International Thematic /esearch can )e o! a great ser*ice to those looking !or the !amily
heritage. I! you are looking !or assistance in deci$hering Italian records' 5y Italian
Family $ro*ides research ser*ices using a net&ork o! $ro!essional genealogists &ith
e1tensi*e e1$erience in deci$hering Italian records. These are not the only resources
you ha*e a*aila)le to you i! you are looking !or in!ormation regarding your ancestry in
Italy. I! you go online' you &ill !ind se*eral other Italian genealogy search tools and
)o#ance Languages
#hen you think o! romance' your mind might go to a candlelight dinner' a )ottle o!
Cham$agne' roses' or stra&)erries di$$ed in chocolate. The last thing' i! it e*er came
to mind' &ould )e Italian' 4$anish' or ,ortuguese.
#hat are /omance languages% #hen discussing language' /omance languages are
the descendants o! the s$oken !orm o! Latin' &hich is also kno&n as >ulgar Latin. The
&ord *ulgar in this instance does not mean coarse or o!!.color. It means common or the
usual' ty$ically' e*eryday s$eech o! regular $eo$le.
The languages considered to )e /omance languages are modern French' Italian'
4$anish' /omanian' Catalan' the /omansch grou$ o! dialects used in 4&it2erland' and
4ardinian. 0lso included are the languages Occitan and ,ro*encal !rom France'
0ndalusian !rom 4$ain' Friulian !rom northeast Italy' Ladin !rom northern Italy' and
4icilian !rom southern Italy.
5any o! the /omance languages are regional dialects rather than the national language
o! the country &here they are s$oken. They ha*e )een classi!ied together )ecause
they ha*e a shared section o! *oca)ulary' &hich originated in the in!luence o! the
language o! the /oman con-uerors. Today there are nearly ;?: million $eo$le &ho
s$eak /omance languages.
Italian like the other /omance languages is the direct o!!s$ring o! the Latin s$oken )y
the /oman con-uerors' &hich &as !orced on them )y these /omans. O! all the ma3or
/omance languages' Italian ke$t the closest to the original Latin.
The *ialects of the Italian Language
#hen dining in Italy' there is one thing you &ill notice right o!! la cucina locale' &hich
means the local cuisine. This is not unlike here in our o&n country. I! you li*e in Te1as'
you &ill !ind on the menu o! most restaurants an entrGe called AChicken Fried 4teakB.
Once you cross the Te1as state )order' you &ill not !ind AChicken Fried 4teakB almost
any&here else in the country. In Italy e*ery region has their o&n s$ecialty and methods
o! $re$aring the dish' &hich &ill de$end on the season' the local $roduce and any other
ingredients. 4o it stands to reason most regions ha*e their o&n accent' dialect and
sometimes their o&n language.
The *arious languages and dialects ha*e e*ol*ed o*er centuries and remained distinct
!rom the standard Italian !or se*eral reasons' such as the ina)ility to tra*el' no radio or
T> until the t&entieth century and the attem$t to maintain their cultural heritage and
The dialects ha*e many distinct -ualities' &hich distinguish them !rom others. +ust as
an e1am$le the 6ea$olitan dialect is the most &idely kno&n )ecause o! its use in
$o$ular songs. The s$eakers o! this dialect cli$ the articles to single *o&els. In
/omanesco the letter ArB re$laces the letter AlB' so instead o! $ronouncing the &ord *olta
meaning once' they &ould $ronounce the &ord as *orta.
In all the regions o! Italy schoolchildren learn the standard Italian and sometimes their
regional dialect also. #hat is no& kno&n as the standard Italian has e*ol*ed !rom the
Tuscan dialect it started !rom to the common language o! Italy.
Tra$eling in Italy and other ountries
I! you *isit Italy and dont s$eak Italian' it &ill a$$ear as i! e*eryone s$eaks Italian )ut
you. That is not necessarily true. There are se*eral languages s$oken in Italy other
than Italian along &ith se*eral dialects o! Italian.
5ost regions ha*e their o&n dialect' accent and e*en their o&n language. The
languages s$oken in Italy ha*e e*ol*ed o*er the centuries. The di!!erent dialects are all
noticea)ly di!!erent !rom the standard Italy.
Italian is kno&n as an Indo.Euro$ean language and currently there are o*er :: million
s$eakers o! Italian in Italy. 4ome o! the indi*iduals are )ilingual in Italian and some o!
the regional dialects. There are an additional ;.: million $eo$le &ho s$eak Italian in
other countries.
Besides Italy' Italian in s$oken in se*eral countries' &hich include 0rgentina' 0ustralia'
Belgium' Bosnia and er2ego*ina' Bra2il' Canada' Croatia' Egy$t' France' Germany'
Israel' Li)ya' Liechtenstein' Lu1em)ourg' ,araguay' ,hili$$ines' ,uerto /ico' /omania'
4an 5arino' 4audi 0ra)ia' 4lo*enia' 4&it2erland' Tunisia' Dnited 0ra) Emirates' Dnited
Hingdom' Druguay' D40' and >atican 4tate.
There are se*eral regional dialects s$oken in Italy. The ma3or dialects o! Italian include
toscano' a)ru22ese' $ugliese' um)ro' la2iale' marchigiano centrale' cicolano.reatino.
a-uilano' and molisano.
Because o! the di!!erent regions o! Italy' there are also di!!erent languages s$oken in
Italy other than the standard Italian. Those languages include emiliano.romagnolo'
!riulano' ligure' Lom)ardo' na$oletano' $lemontese' sardarese' sardu' siciliano and
>eneto. 4ome o! these languages are kno&n )y di!!erent names' &hich are not listed
%ou are What %ou Speak
#hen you are listening to t&o $eo$le s$eak a !oreign language' does it seem they are
a)le to rattle o!! &ords at a)out I< r$m% (ou !eel like you are doing &ell at s$eaking
a)out == r$m. /esearch &as $u)lished in the +anuary' ?888 issue o! 6ature
6euroscience. The !indings o! this research stated the $rimary language a $erson is
raised &ith a!!ects the &ay he or she thinks and $rocesses in!ormation. Italian and
British college students &ere studied and it &as !ound the Italians read and $rocess
in!ormation !aster' e*en &hen reading &ords !rom other languages.
These !indings &ere o! no great sur$rise to language e1$erts &ho ha*e stated !or years
that our $rimary language !orms our minds and our $erce$tions. 0s an e1am$le
&estern language is &ritten and read !rom le!t to right and !rom to$ to )ottom. It is
)elie*ed that a #esterner &ill look a $hotogra$h starting &ith the to$ and mo*ing
do&n&ard to the )ottom' &here as $eo$le !rom 0sian nations' &ho read !rom right to
le!t and !rom )ottom to the to$ $rocess *isuals di!!erently than the #esterners.
The ma3or )reakthrough in this research' &hich &as $er!ormed )y Italian and British
scientists' &as that it )rought &hat is )elie*ed to )e the !irst $roo! that language has an
im$act on our )rain $hysiology. The )rain scans o! the student sho&ed Italians to ha*e
more acti*e su$erior tem$oral regions' &hile the British ha*e more acti*e !rontal and
$osterior in!erior tem$oral regions.
The immediate im$ortance o! the study' according to the researchers' is in the teaching
o! the language and reading. They )elie*e it to $lay a role in !uture anthro$ological
research seeking to e1$lain the di!!erences )et&een cultures.
Italian Sur$i$al +hrases

This is the !irst category in the essential $hrases !or tra*elers.. ere are the greetings.
4al*e! ello!
,ronto! ello! #hen you ans&er the $hone
Ciao! i! or )ye' )ye!
Buon giorno! Good morning!
Buon $omeriggio Good a!ternoon!
Buona sera! Good e*ening!
Come sta% o& are you%
Come *a% o&re you doing%
Ci sentiamo )ene #ere !eeling !ine.
Gra2ie' *a )ene cosi Thanks' 3ust !ine
0nother $art o! the essential $hrases !or tra*elers is the introduction. ere is a list o!
introductions in Italian along &ith the English counter$art.
5i chiamo 5ichele 5y name is 5ichael
,lacere di conosceria ,leased to meet you
Juesta e mia moglie This is my &i!e
Juesto e mio marito This is my hus)and
Come si chiama% #hat is your name%
"i do*e% #here are you !rom%
"o*e la*ora% #here do you &ork%
Che cosa studia% #hat are you studying%
Lei a)ita -ui% "o you li*e here%
4iamo -ui da una settimana #e*e )een here !or a &eek
o& to 0sk Juestions in Italian
#ho is Carlo% #here is the )athroom% #hat time is it% #hy do you run% o& do you
make $esto% This is a -uick ho& to instruction on ho& to ask the right -uestions in
7. Juestions asked )eginning &ith a -uestioning &ord' the su)3ect is usually $laced
at the end o! the sentence. E1am$leE Juando guarda la T> 5ichele% #hen
does 5ichael &atch T>%
?. Chi% 5eans #ho% Or #hom%
=. To ask #hich KoneL or #hich KonesL use Juale% Or Juali% ,lural
9. CheE means #hat% Or #hat kind o!%
:. I! you are asking a)out o& much% Or o& many% Dse JuantroMaMiMe%
;. Come% Indicates o&%
I. To ask #hy% Ds ,erchae%
<. Juandro% KChe cosa e' coseL says in English #hat isF% In a re-uest !or a
de!inition or an e1$lanation.
@. "o*e% means #here%
Here are a fe, tips ,hen for#ing a -uestion in Italian.
7. Che and cosa are a))re*iated !orms o! che cosa. The !orms are
?. 0s &ith all ad3ecti*e' the -uestioning ad3ecti*es agrees in gender and num)er
&ith the nouns they modi!y' e1ce$t !or che' &hich stays the same.
=. ,re$ositions such as a' di' con' and $er al&ays $recede the -uestioning che. In
Italian' a -uestion &ill ne*er end &ith a $re$osition.
"eginning Italian
In checking out Italian courses this is an online course and &hat they o!!er !or )eginners
only. Beyond AItalian !or BeginnersB is not listed here. This is 3ust to gi*e you an idea o!
&hat to e1$ect &hen you start taking instructions on ho& to s$eak Italian &hether it )e
in a classroom online or a corres$ondence course.
Lessons .The lessons they o!!er are sim$le' direct lesson in grammar' s$elling'
$ronunciation' and *oca)ulary.
0udio ,hrase)ook (ou &ill )e a)le to )uild your *oca)ulary &ith a glossary o!
essential terms )y to$ic &ith audio.
E1ercises (ou &ill ha*e &ork)ook e1ercises' &orksheets' drills and acti*ities to hel$
you as you are learning Italian.
Buon "i*ertimento Included &ith your *oca)ulary and other studies you &ill learn
some Italian humor' )y learning to read Italian 3okes' $uns' and riddles. (ou &ant your
learning to )e !un' dont you%
>er)s (ou &ill learn the essential in!ormation on Italian *er) !ormation' moods'
tenses' con3ugation charts' and ho& to use them.
4tudy Guide They &ill gi*e you a study guide to challenge &hat you ha*e learned and
test your kno&ledge o! the *arious to$ics o! Italian language.
0udio La) (ou &ill ha*e a &ord o! the day to learn to hel$ you increase your
*oca)ulary' along &ith sur*i*al $hrases' a $ronunciation guide' and more. Listen to a
nati*e Italian s$eaker.
0rticles 0)out Italian (ou &ill ha*e the o$$ortunity to read articles on Italian language'
culture' history' and current e*ents.
Italian ,ro*er)s These are saying much like those &e ha*e in English. These are
&ords to li*e )y as seen !rom the $ers$ecti*e o! an Italian &ith English translations.
0))re*iations and 0cronyms (ou &ill ha*e access to a glossary o! Italian
a))re*iations' acronyms' and initials.
Italian /erbs
0s a student learning Italian you &ill ha*e a tendency to look !or grammatical $atterns.
This is normal. 4tudying Italian *er)s in a regulated !ashion is a &ise idea. In other
&ords take it in as a com$uter &ould acce$t a ne& $rogram' &ithout thinking a)out it or
trying to analysis it. 5ainly )ecause it is an e!!icient use o! time' $lus Italian *er)s are
grou$ed in a *ariety o! &ays.
#hen studying Italian you must a*oid the tem$tation o! making com$arisons in English.
They are not e*en remotely the same and you &ill only end u$ !rustrating yoursel!.
There may )e some similarities )et&een the t&o languages' )ut there are so many
)asic di!!erences they can not com$are to each other. 0s in the English language there
are many e1ce$tions to the rules.
>er)s are a )asic $art o! e*er language' so the same is true &ith Italian. There are
three $rimary grou$s o! *er)s in Italian. They are grou$ed according to the ending o!
their in!initi*es. There is the !irst con3ugation K.are *er)sL' second con3ugation K.ere
*er)sL' and third con3ugation K.ire *er)sL.
The ma3ority o! the Italian *er)s )elongs to the !irst con3ugation grou$ and !ollo&s a *ery
consistent $attern. Once you ha*e mastered the con3ugation o! on are *er)' in
essence you &ill ha*e learned hundreds. The second con3ugation *er)s total a)out one
-uarter o! the *er)s. 5any o! them ha*e some sort o! erratic structureC there are also
many regular ere *er)s. The !inal grou$ o! *er)s is those that end in ire.
In Italian there is a di!!erence )et&een tense and moody. 5ood re!ers to the attitude o!
the s$eaker to &hat he or she is saying. The attitude is not directed at the $erson they
are s$eaking to. There are !our !inite moods modi !inite in Italian is $in$ointing' &hich
is used &hen $in$ointing !actsC su)3uncti*e congiunti*o' &hich is used to e1$ress ho&
the s$eaker !eels or his attitude to&ard an e*entC conditional condi2ionale' &hich is
used to e1$ress &hat &ould ha$$en in a certain situation that is hy$othetical and
im$erati*e im$erati*e' &hich is used to gi*e orders. The English language only has
three o! these !inite moods. They are indicati*e' su)3uncti*e' and im$erati*e.
There are also three inde!inite moods in ItalianC the !orms do not s$eci!y the $erson'
such as !irst' second' or third. They are in!initi*e in!inito' $artici$le $artici$io and
gerund gerundio.
5oods are di*ided into one or more tenses' &hich tell the time &hen the action o! the
*er) takes $lace &hether it is $resent' $ast or !uture.
Con3ugating Italian >er)s
There are si1 di!!erent *er) !orms !or all o! the Italian *er) tenses in the !our !inite
moodsC each *er) !orm corres$onds &ith each o! the si1 $ersons used as the su)3ect.
First $erson
4econd $erson
Third $erson
First $erson
4econd $erson
Third $erson
Learning all si1 o! the !orms !or e*ery *er) could )e a daunting task. Fortunately most
Italian *er)s are regular *er)s' meaning they are con3ugated using a regular $attern.
There are only three erratic !irst con3ugation *er)s. Once you ha*e the regular *er)
endings memori2ed the $attern can )e a$$lied to other *er)s o! the same grou$. I! they
are irregular they do not !ollo& a normal $attern.
E*en though they are numerous' e*en the irregular second and third con3ugation *er)s
!all into a !e& grou$s' &hich make it easier to memori2e.
(ou cant s$eak Italian &ithout the *er)s essere to )e and a*ere to ha*e. These
t&o *er)s are essential and are used in com$ound *er) !ormations' along &ith idiomatic
e1$ressions' and many other grammatical constructions. (ou &ill &ant to )ecome the
master o! these t&o *er)s )ecause it is a giant ste$ to&ard learning Italian.
6e1t is the transiti*e *er). These are the *er)s that take a direct o)3ect' such as in Luis
reads a )ook. Transiti*e *er)s can also )e used in the unconditional sense' &hich
means &ith an im$licit direct o)3ect Areads a )ookB. Intransiti*e *er)s on the other had
are those that ne*er take a direct o)3ect AGiorgio &alksB. 4ome *er)s can )e classi!ied
as either transiti*e or intransiti*e' de$ending on the conte1t o! the sentence.
Italian *er)s ha*e t&o *oices. 0 *er) is considered to )e in the acti*e *oice &hen the
su)3ect o! the sentence $er!orms the action o! the *er)' such as 5arco ha $re$arato le
*aligie 5arco $acked the suitcases. 0 *er) is considered to )e in the $assi*e *oice
&hen the su)3ect is acted on )y the *er)' such as La scena e stata !ilmata da un
!amoso regista The scene &as !ilmed )y a !amous director. Only transiti*e *er)s &ith
a clear direct o)3ect can )e changed !rom the acti*e *oice to the $assi*e *oice.

(ou start e*eryday &ith re!le1i*e *er)s *er)i ri!lessi*i. These *er)s re*ert the action
to the su)3ect such as 5i la*o I &ash mysel!. In Italian re!le1i*e $ronouns I $ronomi
re!lessi*i are needed &hen con3ugating re!le1i*e *er)s.
In Italian there are three im$ortant *er)s kno&n as *er)i ser*ili or *er)i modali modal
*er)s. These *er)s are $otere to )e a)le to' can' *olere to &ant' do*ere to ha*e
to' must' can take on their gi*en meaning and stand alone. Functioning to modi!y the
meaning o! these *er)s' they can !ollo& the in!initi*e o! other *er)s.
There are a grou$ o! Italian *er)s that are con3ugated &ith t&o di!!erent $ronoun
$articles. Included in this grou$ o! *er)s is mera*igliarsene and $ro*arcisi and are
called $ronominal *er)s *er)i $ronominali. There are still grou$ed &ith either the !irst
con3ugation' second con3ugation or the third con3ugation according to the ending o! their
To the dismay o! students o! all le*els and a)ilities there is no hard and !ast set o! rules
go*erning the grammatical usage o! these ne1t *er)s &ith $re$ositions. There are
certain *er)s' &hich are !ollo&ed )y s$eci!ic $re$ositions such as a' di' $er' and su.
Because o! the uns$eci!ied rules &ith these *er)s and $re$osition usage' students must
!amiliari2e themsel*es &ith ta)les' &hich include Italian *er)s and e1$ressions !ollo&ed
)y s$eci!ic $re$ositions as &ell as *er)s !ollo&ed directly )y the in!initi*e.
+ronouncing Italian /o,els
The correct $ronunciation in Italian can )e di!!icult !or some )eginners. (et it is
standard and stays the same. Once the rules are understood it is sim$le to $ronounce
each &ord correctly. ere are some ste$ )y ste$ instructions on ho& to $ronounce the
Italian *o&els.
0 sounds like a in !ather
E has t&o soundsE short *o&el like e in $en and the long *o&el similar to ai in !air
I sounds like ea in tea.
O has t&o soundsE like o in co2y or similar o! o in cost
D sounds like u in rude.
Italian *o&els are al&ays s$oken in a shar$' clear !ashionC they should ne*er )e slurred
or $ronounced &eakly. >o&els al&ays kee$ their *alue in di$hthongs. Italian is a
$honetic language. This means it is s$oken e1actly the &ay it is &ritten. Italian and
English use the same Latin al$ha)et' )ut the sounds )y the letters are di!!erent in the
t&o languages.
+ronouncing Italian onsonants
In Italian $ronunciation can )e di!!icult es$ecially !or )eginners (et much like the
*o&els the sound each consonant makes is a regular sound and remains the same' so
once the rules are understood' it is sim$le to $ronounce the &ords correctly. ere are
the ste$ )y ste$ instructions on the &ay the consonants are $ronounced in Italian.
The consonants B' F' 5' 6' and > are $ronounced e1actly as they are in English.
#hen the C is )e!ore a' o' u and )e!ore a consonant is has the sound similar to the
English letter H. #hen the C comes )e!ore the e and I it sounds *ery similar to the
English sound o! the Ch.
" is much more e1$losi*e in Italian than it is in EnglishC &ith the tongue near the ti$ o!
the u$$er teeth )ut &ith no as$iration.
#hen G comes )e!ore a' o' and u and )e!ore consonants it sounds like the g in goodC
&hen it comes )e!ore e and i it sounds like the g in general.
Gli sounds like ll in million and Gn sounds like they ny in canyon.
The in Italian is silent.
The L sounds like it does in English e1ce$t &ith a shar$er tone and more !or&ard in the
, sounds as it does in English' )ut &ithout the as$iration' &hich sometimes ha$$ens in
Ju sounds as it does in English like in the &ord -uest.
/ is *ery di!!erent !rom the EnglishC it is $ronounced &ith one !li$ o! the tongue against
the gums o! the u$$er teeth. This &ill make the trill sound o! the r.
4 )e!ore *o&els and un*oiced consonants such as c' !' $' -' s' t is $ronounced like the s
in the English &ord rose.
T is $retty much like the T in English' )ut &ith no esca$ing o! )reath to go along &ith it
in the Italian.
N can )e *oiced' like ds in )eds' or it can )e *oiceless' like ts in )ets.
0ll Italian consonants ha*e a corres$onding dou)le consonant' &hose $ronunciation is
similar to' )ut not e1actly like the single consonant. The mis$ronunciation o! the dou)le
consonants can result in miscommunication.
Italian is kno&n as a musical language )ecause e*ery sound is clear and distinct )ut
stays so!t rather than hard. The consonants &ill ne*er lose their sound *alue e*en
&hen linked together &ith sylla)les and &ords.
#hen they say Italian is a $honetic language' they mean it is s$oken the &ay it is
&ritten. Italian and English share the Latin al$ha)et' )ut the $ronunciation o! each letter
di!!ers )et&een the t&o languages.
+ronouncing Italian Words
I! you en3oy listening to the sounds as the o$era and listening to the *oices o! the Italian
stars in !oreign !ilm' then you &ill lo*e learning to s$eak Italian. ere are some ste$ )y
ste$ instructions on the correct &ay to $ronounce the Italian &ords.
5ost Italian &ords are stressed on the ne1t to the last sylla)le.
#hen the !inal e is omitted !rom a &ord' as it sometimes ha$$ens &ith some o! the
masculine titles' and they are immediately !ollo&ed )y a $ro$er name' the $osition o!
the stress remains the same.
Hee$ in mind the a)o*e rule' dottore doctor )ecomes dottor 6ardi "octor 6ardi and
$ro!essore $ro!essor )ecomes $ro!essor ,ace ,ro!essor ,ace.
I! the last *o&el in a &ord is to )e stressed' there &ill )e an accent o*er that *o&el.
It is im$ortant to remem)er that o$en e and o occur only in stressed sylla)les.
The &ritten accent is used &ith a !e& monosylla)les as a &ay to distinguish them !rom
others that ha*e the same s$elling' )ut the &ords ha*e a di!!erent meaning.
What is +honology0
,honology according to 5arian 6es$or' and Italian linguist and author o! the )ook
AFonologiaB' it is the $art o! grammar that deals &ith the sounds made in natural
languages !or communicating meanings. Basically &hat that )oils do&n to is the study
o! the meanings o! the sounds &e make as &e s$eak.
There is an im$ortant !act &e must make clear and that is there is a di!!erence )et&een
$honology and $honetics. ,honetics analy2es all sound coming !rom human s$eech'
the meaning and the language does not matter. #here as $honology takes and studies
the sound in its en*ironment. ,atterns are sought )y determining &hich sounds contain
meaning. Then e1$lain ho& these sounds are understood )y a nati*e s$eaker.
,honetics may study ho& the letter ATB is $roduced and ho& it seems to )e' &hile
$honology analy2es ho& the &ords !a and *a ha*e di!!erent meanings' e*en though
there is only one di!!ering sound. In other &ords $honology is the musical side o!
#hen you are listening to Italian notice the di!!erence in the rhythm the language is
s$oken in as o$$osed to the rhythm English is s$oken. There is a noticea)le di!!erence
)et&een the t&o. ,honological in*estigations ha*e )een conducted )y linguists to
study the *arious rhythmic $atterns o! languages. #ith the use o! com$uter $rograms'
the linguists re$laced all the consonants &ith the letter AsB and all the *o&els &ere
re$laced &ith the letter AaB. The end results sho&ed each language di!!ers )y only its
o&n musicality.
The $ath to learning to s$eak a language as a nati*e s$eaker is )locked &ith )arriers
you' &hich are a$$arent' such as accents' and *oca)ularies' )ut e*en &ith the mastery
o! )oth is really not enough. The su)tle )arriers not as easily s$otted are the $ro$er
in!lection and intonation and kno&ing &here to $lace the correct stress are the more
musical as$ects o! the languages. ,honology is the study' &hich &ill hel$ to $oint out
these o)scure keys to !luency and is a )asis on &hich other as$ects o! linguistic can
)egin their studies.
The crossroads )et&een $honology and mor$hology is &here there is an interesting
mystery o! &ordsC linguists !ind is di!!icult to de!ine the e1act $ro$erties o! a &ord. 0t
!irst it may )e a$$arent &hyC !or those &ho are learning Italian you &ill need to $ay close
attention to ho& changes are made in &hat you hear' such as !rom the nonsense
sounds to &ords !ull o! meaning. This &ill )e im$ortant as you $rogress in learning a
ne& *oca)ulary. (ou may )e tem$ted to use $honological clues' such as tone' stress'
and $auses !or )reath to classi!y a &ord' )ut as you &ill see this may not )e a correct
,honology is a &ide ranging su)3ect' &hich co*ers other -uestions &ith com$licated
names' such as assimilation' e$enthesis' the adding sounds to &ords' and $honotactics
sound com)inations are allo&ed &ithin a gi*en language. Then there are su)3ects &ith
much more sim$ler terms' such as the mysterious $ro$erties o! the letter AsB in Italian.
These are all interesting to$ics )ecause o! the misconce$tion' &hich surrounds them. It
is ho&e*er' through the mastery o! $u22les like these that you can come almost to the
understanding o! Italian' &hether you are a nati*e s$eaker or not.
0s a )eginner learning Italian can )e *ery re&arding and ins$iring' or it can )e an
e1tremely !rustrating and misera)le e1$erience. #hether or not you en3oy studying
Italian de$ends on your attitude' your e1$ectations and your learning techni-ue.
ere are some ti$s on ho& to learn Italian.
Find an Italian course you like and make sure you stick to it. "ont go &ith 3ust any old
course' the chea$est one' or e*en the one that is the most ad*ertised. Check &hat they
look like and sound like. One o! the keys to success in learning Italian is !inding the
course you like. I! you like the course chances are greatly you &ill stick &ith it.
a*e !un &hile you are learning. 5ake the lessons !un. #hile you are out &ith !riends
include your Italian lessons' )y naming the Italian &ord !or &hat you see. I! you like
reading )ook' or &atching a mo*ie' get the Italian *ersion o! the )ook or the mo*ie
&ithout the su)titles. They can )e distracting. (ou could e*en $lay an Italian *ersion o!
your !a*orite *ideo game.
Be realistic a)out your e1$ectations. "ont set your goals so high that they are
unattaina)le. Failing to meet your deadline you set !or yoursel! &ill only discourage you.
Chances are you &ill not stick &ith the course &hen !acing constant !ailure. E1$ect to
!orget a lot o! &hat you ha*e learned that is normal. /emem)er $rogress is ne*er
steady' you &ill !ind you &ill learn more some days than others. Its okay.
Learn at least one ne& &ord e*ery session. 4tudying a !oreign language is a
$sychological game. (ou need to !eel like you are getting some&here or you &ill &ant
to -uit. By learning a ne& &ord e*ery lesson or day' you &ill !eel like you are getting
there e*en i! it is slo&ly.
Esta)lish some long term goals and !ocus on them. I! you are learning Italian to )e a)le
to s$eak to $eo$le and to )e a)le to understand them as &ell' those are the skills you
&ill &ant to !ocus on. 5ake sure the course you select em$hasi2es the as$ects o!
learning the language you &ant to !ocus on. I! it is 3ust s$eaking and understand' you
dont &ant a course that s$ends the ma3ority o! your time reading and &riting.
Learn Italian Faster Online Click ere !or "etails