Speak Italian like a native with our Cheat Sheet

Grazie Mille to Rob Giachetti! He visited the site and offered to tweak and update our phonetic pronunciations here to bring out the
very best in your experiences in Italy and in Italian. Rob has also kindly done a quick pronunciation guide for us. Enjoy!

Benvenuto! Ben ven uto welcome!  
Benvenuto a … ben ven uto ah welcome to …  
… nostra casa nostra cah sah our house  
… nostro villaggio nostro    
Buon giorno Bwohn journo hello/good day, mate  
Buona sera bwohn ah say rah good evening after work
Buona notte Bwohn ah nau-tay good night actually going to bed
Salve sahl vey sort of a laconic latin greeting  
Parla inglese? Par lah in gley say do you speak english?  
Per favore pear fa vor reh please used all the time
Grazie graht see ay thanks  
Grazie mille mee leh thanks a lot  
Grazie tante tan teh    
Grazie infinite een fin eet ay    
Prego preh goh you are welcome also used as “can I?”
Vorrei vor ray I would like … start any “want” sentence.
Voi… voy… Do you want …  
Volete… vol ate tey would you guys like …  
Vorremmo vor ray mo we would like  
… qualcosa qual cosa something  
… un’altra oon all tra another  
… qualcosa’altra qual cos all tra another something  
… qualcosa da bere dah beh reh to drink  
… qualcosa da mangiare dah mahn jar reh to eat  
hai mangiato bene? eye man jot toe bay neigh did you enjoy that food?  
e’ sufficiente? eh sue fish en tay is that enough?  
e’ sufficiente eh sue fish en tay that’s enough, I’m fine, no more  
sei securo? Say sea coo roh you sure?  
Hai fame? Eye fahm eh? Are you hungry?  
Hai sete? Eye seh teh? Are you thirsty?  
Viene con me vee eh nee con may come with me  
Posso poh sew can I? May I?  
(Use this to point at something, like: “can I sit there?” Touch this? Go there? Pretty handy.)
Scusi scu see excuse me  
scusi, ma scu see ma excuse me but…  
puo dire mi pwo deer me can you tell me…  
dove’ doe VEH where is …  
(Scusi, ma puo dire mi dove’ ____________?)
 dove doe vay where  
A che ora ah Kay ora you got the time?  
(Scusi, ma puo dire mi a che ora ____________?)
Sinistra ah sin eest rah left usually “a sinistra”
Destra ah day stra right usually “a destra”
Diretto dee rehtoe straight ahead  
Sempre diretto semp ray keep going straight  
No no no easy, huh?
Si see yes  
Forse for seh maybe  
Puo darsi pwo dar see maybe  
Basta bah sta enough as in “stop”!
Basta va via vah duh vee ah Enough! Go away for pests
Aiuta mi eye oota mee help me  
Seguiremi seg wee reh mee follow me  
Mi chiamo mee key amo I call myself … my name is
Si, e’ un nome italiano- See eh un nomay yep, it is an italian name  
No, non e’ “ No, nohn eh… no, it isn’t an italian name  
Come’ si chiama co may see key ahma how do they call you?  
Come’? co may? Huh?  
Sono Americano/a sew- no a meh ree cahno I’m an american omasc. “a” fem.
Siamo americani see amo amer ee can ee- we are  
Abbitiamo ahb beet tee ah mo we live …  
nord di Boston nord dee north of boston  
Questa e’ qwest ah eh this is …  
mia moglie mole yay my wife  
questi sono qwestee sew no these are  
I miei genitori ee mee yeahee gen ee tory- my folks  
Sorrella/e sore rell luh/lay Sister/sisters  
Fratello/I frah tell oh/ee Brother/brothers  
Amica/o ah mi ka/ am mi ko friend (fem./masc.)  
(Hai sorrelle, fratelli in italia eye sore ray lay/fraa tell ee) you got sisters, brothers in italy?
Quanti anni hai? Quantee anni eye? How many years do you have?  How old are you
Che fai in italia? Kay fai een it al ee ah? What do you do in italy?  
Piacere! Pee ah chair ray Pleased Usually: pleased to meet you
Il piacere e’ mio ill pee ah chair ray eh mee-o pleasure is mine  
Faccio il fahch cho ill I do the …  
publicita’ poob lee chee tah advertising Sure looks like Publicity doesn’t it?
Frequento la scuola ______ free qwen toe la squola ______ I go to school at …  
a Lugano ah Loo gahn o in Lugano note: “at” a city,
in Ticino een tih chi no in Ticino note: but its “in” state or country
Sono un sew no un I am a  
disegnatore dee sayn yah torreh designer  
artista art teesta artist  
studentessa stu dent tay sa student (female type)  
Faccio le fahch choh lay I do  
ricerche ree chair kay research  
lavoro qui lav or oh quee I work here  
a questo uffico ah quest oh oo fi choh at this office  
abito a __________ ah beet toe ah … I live in (city of your choice)  
e’ vicino eh vee chee no it is near (city of your choice)  
Un cappucino oon cappooocheeno one foamy coffee  
Con cacao cone cah cow-o with powdered chocolate on top – (usually only for mornings)  
E una pasta ay una pa sta and a pastry – they are all called a pastas interestingly  
Questa qui qwesta queee this one here  
Ce’ frutta interno? Cheh froot ta een tear no Is there fruit inside that one?  
Marmellata? Mar mayl la tah marmalade inside?  
Un gelato Un jay latto ice cream u scream  
Un cono cone no in a cone  
Due gusti do ay goose tee two flavors “Scoops” = palline
La lista la lee sta menu  
Il conto ill cohn toh check  
Un litro di lee tro dee a liter of  
l’acqua la acqwa water  
minerale mee nair ahl eh mineral  
Con gas (Gassata) cone gaas carbonated  
Naturale na toor ahl eh natural  
Posso Poh sew can I  
Posso avere Poh sew ah veh ray can I have  
Possiamo avere Poh see ah mo ah vey ray can we have  
(Possiamo avere un litro di l’acqua minerale, per favore? Con gas.)
Con ghiaccio cohn gi ahch choh with ice – (expect 1 or 2 cubes, maybe)  
Posso vedere Veh dehr eh Can I see  
Possiamo vedere … Poh see ah mo veh dehr eh can we see …?
can use “many” infinitives after Possiamo
Devo vedere … Deh voh I must see  
Dobbiamo vedere … Doe beeamo veh dehr eh Oh, we must see …  
Dobbiamo mangiare doe beeamo mahn jar eh We must eat! Now.  
Mangi! Mahn gee Eat! Eat!  
Ho mangiato oh mahn jah toe I ate  
Hai mangiato eye “ you (singular, familiar) ate  
Ha mangiato ah “ you (singular, formal) or he/she/it ate  
Abbiamo mangiato ahb bee yah mo we ate  
Piace … pea ah cheh do you like …  
Calcio cal choh soccer  
Piace giocare joe car reh play (as in play soccer, play cards, any game)  
(piace giocare le carte?) want to play some cards?
Quando? Qwan doe when?  
Domani doe mahn ee tomorrow  
Doppo domani doe poh doe mahn ee after tomorrow (as in day after tomorrow)  
Ieri yea ree yesterday  
L’altro ieri lawl tro yea ree the other yesteday (as in day before yesterday)  
Sta mattina stah mah tee nah this morning  
Sta sera stah say rah this evening  
ABBIAMO MANGIATO BENE! (ahb bee yah mo mahn jah toe bay neh) We ate well. Strangely, this seems to be the ultimate compliment in a home or restaurant. Try it going out the door of a restaurant in Italy and enjoy the moment. Always a winner.
Buon divertimento a tutti. Bwohn dee vehr tee mento Everybody have fun!