We’ll get you speaking like a local in Italy with these simple Italian phrases.
- Italian is spoken by more than 60 million people worldwide
- Italian shares a lot of words and phrases with English, so it’s easy to learn
- Speaking Italian could lead you on many travel adventures
- Italian has some great expressions!
- Begin studying Italian with Babbel
Why learn Italian phrases?
Surely the question is why not? With 63 million native speakers worldwide and another three million boasting Italian as a second language, it’s the 20th most spoken language in the world. Who wouldn’t want to join such a huge community of Italian speakers?
It really is a huge community, spread far and wide. Italian is not only the official language of Italy - it’s also an official language of San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican City. Italian speakers tend to travel though, leading to there being large Italian-speaking communities all over the world, including in Argentina, Puerto Rico, Tunisia, the UAE and even the UK and USA.
This means that learning Italian could really open up a whole world of opportunities to you. Italy has long been a very popular destination for English-speaking tourists, but think how much more of the country’s beautiful and remote countryside you would be able to explore if you could speak Italian! There’s no need to worry about finding it too difficult either, as Italian is actually one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn, thanks in part to the number of common words the two languages share, care of cuisine and the Latin derivations of many words and phrases.
What are the best Italian phrases to learn?
The difference between speaking like a foreigner who knows some Italian and speaking like a native is knowing some of the most used and up-to-date phrases and colloquialisms. Here are five of the best to learn right now:
“Avere la braccine corte” We all know someone who “forgot their wallet” when it was their turn to pay for the restaurant bill. Twice. Well, the Italians have a word, or rather a phrase for people like that. Literally translated this mean “he has short arms” - i.e. too short to reach his wallet!
“É nei miei denti” Use this expression when you’ve absolutely had it up to here with someone. It means “he’s in my teeth” and it’s a wonderfully expressive way of saying someone is getting on your last nerve.
“In bocca al lupo” This means “into the mouth of the wolf”. Sounds menacing right! Thankfully, it’s anything but - this quirky Italian phrase is the language’s equivalent to telling someone to break a leg. Anyone who says this to you is actually wishing you well!
“Non si vive solo pane” I’m sure you’ve said something along the lines of “there’s more to life than this” in English. The Italian version goes “there’s more to life than bread”, meaning, there’s more to life than the very basics. Life is for the living! Don’t hold back!
“Sputa il rospo” What is it with Italian and animal-themed phrases? This charming little expression means “spit out the frog” - in other words, just say whatever it is you have to say already!
Learn Italian expressions with Babbel
You’ll be able to learn these common phrases and more if you decide to learn Italian with Babbel. Offering courses at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, you’ll be able to try out the first lesson of each course you can accurately choose which one matches your current skills and learning goals. It’s perfect for learning on the go as you can catch up on your lessons on your mobile phone while you’re out and about. The straightforward subscription service also means you can choose for how long you want to learn, and do away with those annoying adverts. Che grande!