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Meeting and Greeting in Italian

(Note: This post was written by Laurel Regan and originally published in a separate blog called “Insalata di Alfabeto”, which was later merged with Alphabet Salad.)

Welcome (or welcome back!), and thank you for joining me on this fun and exciting ride that is all things Italian. I hope you’re practicing all the things you’ve been learning! Let’s do a quick inventory of the knowledge we’ve picked up to date, shall we?

So far, we’ve…

(Psst… don’t worry – even if you’ve just found this blog there’s no reason why you can’t go back and start your Italian journey now!)

I don’t know about you, but I’d say that’s worth several pats on the back!

So, what next?

Meeting and Greeting in Italian

How about we take some time to learn a few simple words and phrases that will help you to confidently greet and introduce yourself to the people you meet when you visit Italy?

Italian Greetings

Hint: Why not try incorporating some of these Italian greetings into your everyday life? Your family and friends might give you funny looks, but you know that the best way to learn is to practice!

ciao (chee-AH-oh)
(hello or goodbye, so long – informal)

arrivederci (ahr-ree-veh-DEHR-chee)
(goodbye – when addressing a single person formally)

buongiorno (bwonJOHR-noh)
(good morning – formal and informal)
(goodbye – formal, used in the morning)

buon pomeriggio (bwon poh-meh-REE-joh)
(good afternoon – not normally used in conversation; might be heard when addressing a group, e.g., on the radio)

buonasera (bwoh-nahSEH-rah)
(good evening – formal)
(goodbye – formal, used in the afternoon and evening)

buonanotte (bwoh-nahNOHT-teh)
(good night – both formal and informal)

a presto (ah PREH-stoh)
(see you soon)

a più tardi (ah pyoo TAHR-dee)
(see you later, so long)

a domani (ah doh-MAH-nee)
(see you tomorrow)

Italian Introductions

Now let’s get a bit more personal.

signore (see-NYOH-reh)
(sir, Mr.)

signora (see-NHOH-rah)
(madame, Mrs.)

signorina (see-nyoh-REE-nah)

mi chiamo __________ (mee kee-AH-moh __________)
(my name is __________)

come si chiama? (kOH-meh see kee-AH-mah?)
(what’s your name?)

come sta? (kOH-meh stAH?)
(how are you?)

come va? (kOH-meh vAH?)
(how’s everything?)

molto bene, grazie (mOHl-toh bEH-neh, grAH-tsyeh)
(very well, thanks)

Italian Courtesy

Please don’t forget to be polite!

per piacere (pehr pyah-CHEH-reh) or
per favore (pehr fav-VOH-reh)

grazie (grAH-tsyeh)
(thank you)

mille grazie (mEEl-leh grAH-tsyeh)
(thank you very much)

prego (prEH-goh)
(you’re welcome)

mi dispiace (mee dee-SPYAH-cheh)
(I’m sorry)

mi scusi (mee skOO-see)
(sorry, excuse me)

permesso (pehr-MEHS-soh)
(excuse me, may I get through?)

non importa (nohn eem-POHR-tah) or
di niente (dee NYEHN-teh)
(it doesn’t matter)

va bene (vah bEH-neh)
(okay, that’s all right)

Good work! Now you can get out there and “meet and greet” in Italian with confidence!

Photo courtesy morgueFile, photographer hotblack

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.