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My 5 Favorite Italian Words/ Phrases (And How To Use Them)

 

First of all, grazie mille to the Dolce Vita Bloggers hosts Jasmine of Questa Dolce Vita, Kristie of Mamma Prada, and Kelly of Italian at Heart! This month’s topic is 5 Favorite Italian Words and Phrases.

Italian Words and Phrases

So, here is my list of favorite Italian words and phrases:

 

Allora

(Ah-loh-rah)

Okay, so I first learned this word from the show Master of None! “Allora” is a filler word (so, well, then, therefore, etc.). Use this word if you hate awkward silence, or if you are still thinking about what you’re going to say. In Filipino, the closest translation I could think of is “bale”.

Salve

(Sahl- veh)

My good friend from Torino taught me this word. It is a polite way of saying “hello” without being too formal. It is more formal than the friendly “Ciao!” but less formal than “Buongiorno”. It is interesting to note that in my native language (Filipino), there is no direct translation for “hello”. The closest expressions that I could think of is “kumusta” (“how are you”) and “mabuhay” (“may you live”).

Perditi

(Pehr-di-ti)

This word literally means “to lose yourself”. Perditi anche tu, divertiti (Lose yourself, have fun). When you are traveling in a beautiful place like Italy, it is so easy to lose yourself in the moment. As a mom of two boys, I often feel like I lose myself (my identity) because I give so much of myself to them. Check out this mantra bracelet from www.perditi.com:

Come mai?

(Coh-meh-mai)

It is synonymous to “perche?” (“why?”). It literally means “how is it ever possible that?”. I like this expression because my Italian tutor said that I should use this phrase instead of “perche”…if I want to impress other people. Come mai?

Che bello!

(Keh- beh- loh)

It means “how beautiful/ handsome”. So many Italian grandmas have come up to my baby boy Lucas to say “cheย bello”! (Proud mamma moment.)

Mamma and Lucas #mammaebambino #miobambino #filipinabloggers #mammablogger

A post shared by Bellissimamma (@thebellissimamma) on

 

Do you have any favorite Italian words and phrases? Share your thoughts in the comments section! Check out the Dolce Vita Bloggers linky to read about their favorite Italian words!

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20 thoughts on “My 5 Favorite Italian Words/ Phrases (And How To Use Them)”

  1. Carmela, your post reminded me that I have to watch The Master of None!!!! A friend recently told me that the whole second season is about Italy?! You picked absolute classics, all the ones I love as well! And your little fellow is BELLISSIMO!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Love these! I feel like all I hear is Salve when I go out around Milan. Must be a particularly useful one for not being too formal but also being a bit of a reserved Milanese! Lol! Perditi I didn’t know could be used in this way. And I definitely get the loss of identity being a fellow mum! Thank you for adding these, they’re brilliant x

  3. Alloooooora, this made me laugh. Since I watched Master of None, I can only ever it hear it in Aziz Ansari’s voice when I read it ๐Ÿ™‚

    And perditi is a good thing? That’s so good to know. Without having read it here, I would have assumed it would have been more like “get lost!” in the negative way of someone telling you to beat it.

  4. Great word choice!! Allora is sooo funny! It is a great filler and now our 3 year old is saying it all the time too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great words! I actually have some bad memories associated with “come mai” so it makes me think of people who used it in a not very nice way. I love the “allora” clip, I’ve never seen that before x

  6. Ahhh allora! I love saying/hearing this word! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love perditi because sometimes it is good to lose yourself in the moment, and I’m grateful Italy reminds me to do that!

    1. Thanks Kelly! So, I asked my Italian teacher if “perditi” is really used in that sense. She said that it’s not that common. I did see you IG story about “perditi nel momento” (lose yourself in the moment)- that really makes the word more meaningful in that context!

  7. I love to use Salve, because, as you said, it’s something in between ciao and buongiorno! Sadly now I have bad memories connected to said word, because my ex boss was angry with me as I used that word with our customers. Salve was the perfect choice, for me, as it wasn’t too formal. They were the kind of customers you had to form same sort of bond, you know, so yeah, I though it was appropriate to say salve. My ex boss, though, didn’t agree and said the origin of that word came from the military world, so it was “offensive” to use it. I was appalled, honestly. Then I discovered it was not true, since it was first introduced by the Romans who used it to wish people ” a good health”. So, not offensive at all, lol.
    Sorry for the rant, but everytime I see that word, I think about this fact!

    1. Hi Sara! Thanks for this information. I did not know that some people find that word “offensive” because of its origin. Well, I would love to be wished “good health”! So really, I think “salve” is a lovely word to use.

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