Introduction to Italian: Lesson 5

Just some trivia before we start:

Italian for hi and bye is ciao.

Most people know this word already. A lot of people also know the Italian song bella ciao which means bye beautifull. What people don’t know is that it comes from Latin dialect schiav which implies (I am your) slave (the non-dialectal medieval Latin version of the word is sclavus).

So, again, how would you say:

1 translation: Hi!

Let’s carry on.

Italian for but is ma.

You can say:

2 translation: I speak Italian but I don’t understand everything.

Italian for I want is voglio.

This gl produces a lj sound like in ll from the Spanish from Spain. It’s similar to the sound you would get if you said I’ll call you soon.

Can you say:

3 translation: I want.

Italian for now is adesso.

Try to say:

4 translation: I want it now.

What about:

5 translation: I want to speak Italian now.

That’s pretty cool. Another interesting word is I can:

I can is posso in Italian.

This is seen in the word possible (which is, by the way, possibile in Italian) which implies that if something is possible, it can be done.

How would you say:

6 translation: I can’t learn French but I want it.

You want would be vuoi.
You can then is puoi.
The word to do in Italian is fare.


7 translation: You can’t do anything but you want to do everything.

You can also ask:

8 translation: What do you want to do?

9 translation: What do you want to speak?

Italian for and is e.

Just this letter. You can say:

10 translation: What do you want to learn and what do you learn?

There is one last thing I want to tell you.

All the conversations you have learnt are informal. You are talking to a person who is your friend or who you have met randomly and are having a friendly conversation with.

You can call this person tu.

You don’t talk like this to the Queen of Zanzibar or whatnot... And this brings us to the end of this course. Traditionally, I want you to have a short conversation to demonstrate some of your newly acquired conversational skills.

11 translation: Hi!

12 translation: Hi! How are you?

13 translation: I am fine. I am Mario. And you?

14 translation: I am Luigi. Where are you from?

15 translation: I am Italian. Do you speak Italian well?

16 translation: I don’t speak it well but I learn it now.

17 translation: Where are you from?

18 translation: I am American.

19 translation: Do you work? Do you study?

20 translation: I study.

21 translation: What do you study?

22 translation: French.

23 translation: I work. But it is not good. I want to study.

24 translation: Why don’t you study?

25 translation: Because I can’t study. Do you understand?

26 translation: I don’t understand. But fine, bye!

If you found that conversation weird, don’t worry: Italians have weird conversations all the time.

Just kidding.


Answers to Lesson 5

1 answer: Ciao!
2 answer: Parlo italiano ma non capisco tutto.
3 answer: Lo voglio.
4 answer: Lo voglio adesso.
5 answer: Voglio parlare italiano adesso.
6 answer: Non posso imparare francese ma voglio lo.
7 answer: Non puoi fare niente ma vuoi fare tutto.
8 answer: Cosa vuoi fare?
9 answer: Cosa vuoi parlare?
10 answer: Cosa vuoi imparare e cosa impari?
11 answer: Ciao!
12 answer: Ciao? Come stai?
13 answer: Sto bene. Sono Mario. E tu?
14 answer: Sono Luigi. Di dove sei?
15 answer: Sono italiano. Parli bene italiano?
16 answer: Non lo parlo bene ma lo imparo adesso.
17 answer: Di dove sei?
18 answer: Sono americano.
19 answer: Lavori? Studi?
20 answer: Studio.
21 answer: Cosa studi?
22 answer: Francese.
23 answer: Lavoro. Ma non è bene. Voglio studiare.
24 answer: perché non studi?
25 answer: perché non posso studiare. Capici?
26 answer: Non capisco. Ma bene, ciao!