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23 Italian Expressions You’ll Hear All of the Time


The musical cadence of Italian phrases, the hand gestures, and the colourful humor important to the tradition make studying and talking it enjoyable. Whenever you go to Italy, you’ll hear quite a lot of idioms and expressions that may sound unusual to newbie learners. Studying just a few widespread Italian expressions forward of time will enable you to take part confidently in additional candid conversations.  

Rosetta Stone tutoring can even enable you to acquire confidence utilizing these Italian expressions. Interactive conversations with skilled language instructors make sure you’re saying and utilizing all these phrases accurately.

Boh (I don’t know)

Why waste phrases on “I don’t know, man” or “I don’t know” when a easy boh will do? This exclamation is often used with family and friends however can be utilized with strangers in casual settings. To get the purpose throughout successfully, increase your shoulders and frown. These gestures on their very own can talk the sentiment nonverbally like an exaggerated shrug. 

Mah! is the same expression however extra exasperated. The subtext for it may be, “I’m confused.” In some areas, notably the south, chi sacciu? (“Who is aware of?”) is extra widespread.

Dai (Come on, please?)

This phrase is used most frequently by kids begging to get what they need. However adults generally is a little infantile, too. Gestures that go along with dai embody frowning and seeking to the facet, grabbing the opposite individual’s arm (once more, commonest with kids and their caretakers), or a whiny tone of voice. 

In bocca al lupo (Good luck!)

If you wish to want an Italian good luck, say in bocca al lupo. The literal translation of this expression of properly needs is “within the wolf’s mouth.” The proper response to it’s, crepi il lupo (“could the wolf die”) or just, crepi. Northern Italians have a extra vulgar variation we received’t element.

Che figuraccia (We made a foul impression)

These two phrases convey embarrassment whenever you make a idiot of your self. Fare una figuraccia is the verb phrase “to make a foul impression,” so in case you’re apologizing in a extra formal setting, you’ll be able to say, ho fatto una figuraccia (“I made a foul impression”). 

Mamma mia! (My goodness!)

Mamma mia, right here we go once more! You’ve heard this one however could or could not know all of the contexts when Italians use it. Mamma mia can specific any robust emotion, and Italians often open their arms whereas saying it to specific frustration. Whether or not it’s shock, pleasure, impatience, bewilderment, or despair, this basic exclamation has you lined. 

Che bello/bella (How pretty)

This phrase actually interprets to “how lovely” or “how pretty” however can be utilized to point out enthusiasm in different contexts, too. Should you’re speaking a few masculine individual or factor, use bello. Should you’re speaking a few female individual or factor, use bella

Whether or not it’s an imposing constructing, a scrumptious pasta dish, or a hottie throughout the piazza (sq.), Italy will provide you with loads of causes to make use of this exclamation. Che carina (female) or che carino (masculine) is the same expression, nearer to “how cute” or “how candy.” This one is generally used for infants, animals, or something small and cute. 

Uffa! (Ugh!)

Uffa is a transparent and simple strategy to specific anger, boredom, frustration, or annoyance. It’s often paired with eye rolling. Even in case you don’t know any Italian, you’d most likely perceive how somebody felt in case you heard it. The exclamation is taken into account casual, however not vulgar. Kids typically use it when adults would use extra, properly, grownup language. Whenever you’re actually, actually pissed off and wish to be dramatic about it, elongate the “f” sound to Uffffffffffa!

Che ne so? (What do I do know?)

Che ne so is a flexible phrase. As a press release, it may imply “So far as I do know” or “No matter,” relying on the context and its place within the sentence. As a query, it interprets to “What do I do know?” In casual conditions when somebody asks a query you couldn’t reply in case your life trusted it, simply shrug and hit them with che ne so?

Mannaggia (Dang)

This phrase is an expression of annoyance or frustration principally utilized in southern Italy. It doesn’t have an English equal, however “dang” is fairly shut in spirit. Mannaggia is taken into account a minor curse phrase. So possibly don’t use it in entrance of somebody’s nonna (grandmother), however it’s not terribly offensive in most circumstances. There are different incessantly used phrases that embody the phrase: Mannaggia la miseria is equal to “for goodness’ sake.”

Figurati (You’re welcome; It’s okay)

This phrase is a response to grazie (“Thanks” in Italian) that’s equal to the English “It’s okay.” You should use it in formal and casual settings. English audio system have a generational break up over responding to “thanks” with “no drawback,” however Italians contemplate comparable responses to be completely right and acceptable in all conversations. 

Magari (if solely)

Magari is a flexible phrase that has no direct English equal and comes from the Greek phrase makàrios, which suggests “blessed occasion.” The phrase can imply “if solely,” “hopefully,” “I want,” and even “probably.” Principally, it’s an expression of what you hope. If an Italian asks if you wish to win the lottery, magari would work as a response. Should you’re invited to a celebration and you propose on going, you would use it then, too. 

Ti sta bene! (Serves you proper!)

Ti sta bene! can imply three various things. It might imply “It fits you” when complimenting somebody’s garments or haircut.  As a query, it means “Is that okay with you?” As an exclamation, it means “Serves you proper!” or “You had it coming!” when somebody will get the punishment or penalties they deserve. 

Che schifo! (Yuck!)

Che schifo! is an expression of disgust. Whether or not it’s meals that’s gone dangerous, an disagreeable state of affairs, or seeing one thing nasty, turning up your nostril and exclaiming these two phrases can pack a punch. It can be used sarcastically if it’s stated with a sly smile and a jaunty tone. 

Che figata! (Cool!)

This expression is most frequently utilized in southern Italy. The English equal is “cool” in an impressed or pleasantly shocked context. The literal translation is “What a giant fig.” Up to now, a extremely large fig would certainly be cool sufficient to base an exclamation round. In northern Italy, they use the longer ma che figata extra typically.

Non te la prendere (Don’t fear about it)

This phrase is often spoken when somebody is upset or labored up about one thing out of their management. Relying on the tone, the phrase may be genuinely soothing or come off as dismissive. Use it rigorously and obtain it with grace. 

Che macello! (What a large number!)

This expression interprets actually to “What a slaughterhouse!” Figuratively, it means “What a large number!” or “What a screw-up!”  We are able to assume that slaughterhouses get messy and gross even with out having expertise with them. 

Non mi va (I don’t really feel prefer it)

Should you’re requested to do one thing and also you’re too drained or just not within the temper, non mi va is the response you want. The expression actually interprets to “It doesn’t go for me,” however the which means is nearer to “I don’t really feel prefer it” or “It doesn’t sit properly with me.” 

Mi raccomando (Please, I encourage you)

This phrase emphasizes desperation whenever you ask for one thing. The verb raccomandare means “to suggest.” However in its reflexive kind, raccomandarsi, it turns into “to beg” or “to plead.” You may consider it because the extra grown-up model of dai.

Meno male (Thank God)

This expression of aid is widespread throughout Italy. It actually means “much less dangerous,” however its utilization is extra like “Thank God.” Meno male is often paired with a praying gesture, which is sensible and is commonly involuntary. It might additionally pair with different gestures relying on the area and age of the individual.

Porca miseria! (Distress is a pig)

Porca miseria! is a helpful, versatile exclamation for any unlucky state of affairs. Stubbed your toe? Distress is a pig! Left your keys in your automotive? Distress is a pig! Acquired fired out of your job? Distress is a pig! 

Mi tocca ___ (I don’t really feel like ___)

Much like non mi va, this phrase is used whenever you don’t really feel like doing one thing. Mi tocca means “It’s my flip.” When it’s used on this context, adopted by the factor you don’t really feel like doing, it turns into an expression of dread for one thing you don’t wish to do however must get finished. For instance, mi tocca studiare is “I’ve to check, however I don’t really feel prefer it.”

Sei fuori (You’re out of your thoughts)

This expression is a response to doing one thing loopy or poorly thought out. It actually interprets to “You’re out.” Out of your head or out of your thoughts is implied. We’ve that in English, however we don’t shorten it for comfort. 

Che pizza (How boring)

What might be extra Italian than pizza? Pizza is so commonplace that Italians say, “What a pizza” to imply “How boring.” The expression can be utilized for occasions, duties, and even folks. Che noia (actually “How boring”) is one other equal. 

Good your Italian with Rosetta Stone

Now that you realize just a few enjoyable Italian expressions for various conditions, observe saying them. Our TruAccent speech recognition engine helps you sound extra like an area by evaluating your voice to hundreds of native audio system’. Add these 23 phrases to your checklist of important Italian phrases for journey, and also you’ll match proper in in your subsequent journey. 

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