If you want to say “girl” in Italian, you would say “la ragazza.” Want to say “boy” instead? Then use “il regazzo.” The plural of each is “i regazzi” (the boys) and “le regazze” (the girls).
The ins-and-outs of Italian nouns and pronouns are pretty straightforward. After all, you probably already know many Italian words––and not just the ones directly related to food. “Arrivederci,” “prego,” and “molto bene” are all common Italian words or phrases you’ve heard thousands of times. Plus, if you already speak another Latin-based language, like French or Spanish, you’re likely to progress quickly with Italian. Even English, while technically a Germanic language, has been influenced by the same Latin roots that formed the Italian language. Basically, if you speak another major European language, you’re already on track to start speaking Italian .
Learn Italian Words and Phrases
Concerned about the commitment to learn Italian? There’s no need. Rosetta Stone breaks up your journey into small steps so you can schedule the lessons into your life–– rather than schedule your life around lessons. So when you’re taking a break from childcare, commuting home from work, or have some downtime on campus, Rosetta Stone makes it easy for you to take the steps needed to learn and speak Italian authentically .
To get started on your learning journey, here are some useful phrases:
- How do you say … in Italian? = Come si dice … in italiano?
- Where is the hotel? = Dov’è l’hotel?
- Could you repeat that, please? = Potrebbe ripetere, per favore?
- Where are you from? = Di dov’è?
- Do you speak English? = Parla inglese?
- Yes, I speak English = Sì, parlo inglese
- What does that mean? = Cosa vuole dire? (or Cosa significa?)
- How much is this? = Quanto costa questo?
If you’re a new student of the Italian language, one of the first aspects of the language you’ll likely notice is the use of double consonants. This double consonant feature appears in a variety of popular words, such as the words pizza or anno or the name Alessandra. And while every word is enunciated differently, a handy tip for learning how to pronounce these double cononants is to deemphasize the preceding vowel.
Another notable aspect of Italian pronunciation relates to the letter c. By comparison, in other languages such as Spanish, the c is often pronounced like an “s” (this is referred to as el ceceo and differs markedly with Iberian Spanish). Yet in Italian, the letter c is often pronounced with a hard “ch” noise, such as in the English word “charge.”
There are exceptions to this general rule. The letter c is pronounced differently in specific contexts. Notably, it can sound like an English c ––which is often pronounced like “k” in words such as company, capital, campfire, Caroline, coordination, Compton, and collar. Likewise, you’ll hear this pronunciation in Italian words. Those Italian words always include an a, o, or u, such as the words Capri, Campari, capra (goat), cannoli, and campione (Champion).
Have you ever ordered a delicious potato-filled pasta, called gnocchi, from an Italian restaurant? Gnocchi is a popular dumpling-style dish that can also teach us a lot about the Italian pronunciation of the gn sound. The letter combination of gn is pronounced nasally and is analogous to the Spanish ñ sound. We can look at the Spanish translation of gnocchi to learn more:
- Italian = gnocchi
- Spanish = ñoqui
Refining your Italian pronunciation requires feedback so you can make corrections, and then practice until you get a feel for how to shape the specific sounds that make up the Italian language. Rosetta Stone integrates our patented speech-recognition engine, TruAccent, into each and every language learning lesson. TruAccent offers immediate feedback to help you match your accent with that of native Italian speakers. It was developed by scanning and analyzing the speech of native and non-native Italian speakers, and can be a very powerful tool in helping you learn to understand and be understood in Italian.
Once beginning learners have acquired the basics that make up the building blocks of speaking Italian, it will be a natural transition to learning the longer phrases that make up the backbone of Italian conversation. Rosetta Stone’s brief and bite-sized 10-minute lessons are built to help you do just that. The lessons lead naturally to speaking Italian with confidence.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with Italian whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.