Do you speak Italian? These 10 simple idiomatic expression will make you feel even more fluent. Don’t you speak Italian? You can learn them anyways and impress your friends! Go local 🙂
Did you know that learning foreign languages increases the size of your brain, your creativity, flexibility and your memory?
And if it still hasn’t convinced you…clever is sexy
The Mesh Guy goes to Italy
Pizza, pasta, mamma mia… maybe you already know some Italian words that actually don’t impress any Italian anymore.
In the first episode of The Mesh Guy goes abroad, we will provide some useful, local, very common expressions that will facilitate your approach to the country and to the melodic Italian language.
..And to the people, of course 😉
But before we start, keep something in mind: Italian is read in the way it is written (more or less).
This is a common exclamatory expression also in France, Switzerland, Germany etc, and actually it has adapted to the landing country: in Italian, in fact, bravo is only masculine, while brava addresses a girl.
Ciao is used almost anywhere but there is a slight difference in the usage that Italians do of this expression. In fact, in Italy ciao can be said both when arriving and leaving, while in other countries it is exclusively the equivalent of bye bye.
#3.Non fa niente
‘It doesn’t matter, it’s ok’. When someone does something wrong to you, or you just want to convey a feeling of indifference towards something..well, ‘Non fa niente’ has it all.
#4. Ma anche no
‘Do you want to clean the living room with me?’ ‘Ma anche no’ (But-also-not): thanks, but I have other plans, like watering the plants or looking at the wall for hours. NB. This expression is funny but not very polite, use it only with friends.
#5.Ci stai forse provando?
‘Are you maybe flirting with me?’ The word ‘provando’ actually means ‘trying’, i.e. ‘trying to seduce’. It’s not highly contextual but rather clear and unambiguous, so use it with caution.
#6. (Ma) smettila!
‘But stop it!’ This is extremely common and popular, and can be articulated in different situations according to the intonation and the context. It might mean ‘oh c’mon, don’t say bullshit’ but also ‘Stop annoying me!’ as well as a shy and modest ‘Thank you’ in response to a compliment.
This expression belongs to the Roman dialect, but it is well understood all over Italy.
The ‘da’ read like in the word ‘Dark’, the ‘j’ as an ‘y’ and remember to pronounce the last ‘e’, which sounds like the first ‘e’ in the word ‘Emirates’, otherwise it may be misunderstood with #10.
Daje is a colourful exhortation/exultation, a mix of ‘Great-let’s go-come on-agreement-ready-bravo’ all in one. ‘I’ve started learning Italian!’ ‘Oh, daje!!’ = 加油, don’t give up, bravo! 😉
‘I don’t know’ – simplified version. Always acceptable (maybe not in a very formal situation), from the north to the south, from the Adriatico Sea to the Tirreno Sea, no one will question the meaning of a ‘Bo’. There’s no H at the end, a Bo is discrete, short and conclusive.
#9.Non sono mica nato imparato
That’s a hard one. This sentence is grammatically incorrect, but it has been absorbed by the Italian idiomatic expressions and it is nowadays pretty commonly used. It literally means ‘I wasn’t born already learnt’ as to say that wisdom and knowledge are no inborn qualities. It might also sound like a defence after a bad gaffe due to a grammar mistake or due to some ‘healthy’ ignorance.
Easy, effective, almost always applicable, it needs a preliminary presentation to your listener though: it is pronounced like the word ‘Die’ and it may lead to several problems. In fact, dai serves as an exhortation in almost any situation. ‘Come to the party, dai!’ ‘Study, dai!’ ‘Don’t wish anyone to die, dai’. Generally it can be translated with ‘Come on’.
Well, here you are! Practise with friends and try to incorporate these #10 useful Italian idiomat expression in your vocabulary! You’ll sound exotic, international and polyglot !