What Are Common Italian Phrases That a Foreigner Should Learn Before Visiting Italy?


Quick Answer

"Parla inglese," "non capisco," "quanto costa," 'il conto" and "per favore" are common Italian phrases that a foreigner should learn before visiting Italy. Most basic phrasebooks cover such essential phrases and words.

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Full Answer

"Parla inglese" means "Do you speak English?" The question comes in handy at times when one needs to get around or conduct business while possessing limited Italian-language skills. "Non capisco" is "I don't understand." Knowing how to ask for prices is helpful during shopping and dining, especially when using foreign currency. "Quanto costa," or "How much does it cost," is acceptable. "Il conto" is "the check," and "per favore" means "please."

ReidsItaly.com, an Italy travel and trip-planning site, recommends many other words and phrases, as does TripAdvisor and Dummies.com. Each website also offers its own set of words that travelers to Italy should learn. However, all of the lists have a handful of words in common, such as "grazie" ("thank you"), "prego" ("you're welcome"), "buon giorno" ("good morning"), "mi dispiace" ("I'm sorry") and "dove si trova" ("where is it?").

Dummies.com's list of words and phrases includes "Può ripetere, per cortesia," which means "Can you please repeat?" TripAdvisor also suggests that travelers learn the phrase "Vai via," which is Italian for "Go away!"

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