How to Say Good Evening in the Italian Language
If you want to say “good evening” in Italian, you would generally use “buona sera.” Later at night would be “buona notte” (good night), while earlier in the afternoon/day would be the classic “buongiorno” ( good morning/day ). There are also other expressions, both formal and informal, like “ciao,” which you likely already know and which you can always fall back on as a catch-all.
The ins-and-outs of these greetings may feel a little intimidating, but don’t stress. Most new students of the language tend to get used to them with practice. After all, you probably already know more than a few Italian words––and not just the ones related to food. “Arrivederci” and “molto bene” are just a couple of the ones you may have heard a few hundred times, if not playfully said yourself. Plus, if you already speak another Latin-based “romance language” like Spanish or French, you can generally move along in learning Italian. Even English, while technically based on the Germanic root language, has been quite influenced by the same Latin roots that formed modern Italian. Basically, if you speak one of these other western European languages, you’re already on your way to learning and speaking Italian.
Learn Italian Words and Phrases
Are you concerned about the commitment to learn Italian? Good news: there’s no need to be. That’s because Rosetta Stone has developed a series of small steps for your journey to learn the Italian language. This approach lets you easily schedule Rosetta Stone language lessons into your life, rather than schedule your life around lessons. Whether you’re taking a break from childcare, or making your way home from work, or walking across campus between classes, Rosetta Stone language lessons make it attainable for you to learn to confidently speak and understand the Italian language.
To begin your journey to understanding Italian, here are some useful phrases you’ll want to learn first:
- 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 learner of Italian, one of the first characteristics of the language you’re likely to note is the common use of double consonants. Double consonants appears in a broad spectrum of Italian words and include examples such as pizza or anno or the first name Alessandra. And although every Italian word that includes double consonants is enunciated somewhat differently, a useful tip to learning how to correctly pronounce these double consonants is to deemphasize the vowel that comes just before them.
A second notable characteristic of Italian pronunciation relates to the letter c. By comparison, in other Romance languages such as Spanish, the c is quite often pronounced like an s. This use of c is referred to as el ceceo and differs quite markedly with Iberian Spanish. But unlike Spanish, in Italian the letter c is very often pronounced with a hard ch sound as you hear in the pronunciation of the English word “charge.”
Naturally, there are some exceptions to this general rule. The letter c is pronounced in other ways in different contexts. For example, the Italian letter c can sound like the English letter c, which is sometimes pronounced like a k in common and familiar words such as company, capital, campfire, Caroline, coordination, Compton, and collar. You’ll hear this same k-sounding pronunciation in some Italian words. You’ll find that those Italian words always include an a, o, or u after the c, such as in the Italian words Capri, Campari, capra (goat), cannoli, and campione (champion).
Have you ever gone to an Italian restaurant and ordered the potato-filled pasta, known as gnocchi? This delectable dumpling-style dish is not only very popular, it can also help us to learn the accurate Italian pronunciation of the gn sound. In Italian, that two-letter combination of gn is pronounced quite nasally, comparable to the Spanish ñ sound. Let’s look more closely at the Spanish translation of the Italian word gnocchi to understand this:
- Italian = gnocchi
- Spanish = ñoqui
Honing your Italian language pronunciation requires immediate feedback on your attempts, so you can make needed corrections. Then you can practice correct pronunciation until you acquire a feel for making the specific sounds. Rosetta Stone incorporates our proven and patented speech-recognition engine, named TruAccent, into each and every language learning lesson. TruAccent gives you with immediate pronunciation feedback so you can fine-tune your accent with the accent of native and non-native Italian speakers. It can be extremely valuable in helping you learn to confidently understand and speak Italian.
Once new learners have acquired the basics that are the building blocks of spoken Italian, they can comfortably move to learning the longer phrases that make up much of everyday Italian conversation. Rosetta Stone’s brief and bite-sized lessons are designed to help you do exactly that. Rosetta Stone language lessons lead naturally to speaking Italian comfortably and with confidence.
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