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Introduction to Italian:
Lesson 5

By Linas

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:

Hi!

Answer: Ciao!
Not correct. Please try again.

Let’s carry on.

Italian for but is ma.

You can say:

I speak Italian but I don’t understand everything.

Answer: Parlo italiano ma non capisco tutto.
Not correct. Please try again.

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:

I want.

Answer: Lo voglio.
Not correct. Please try again.

Italian for now is adesso.

Try to say:

I want it now.

Answer: Lo voglio adesso.
Not correct. Please try again.

What about:

I want to speak Italian now.

Answer: Voglio parlare italiano adesso.
Not correct. Please try again.

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:

I can’t learn French but I want it.

Answer: Non posso imparare francese ma voglio lo.
Not correct. Please try again.

You want would be vuoi.

You can then is puoi.

The word to do in Italian is fare.

Say:

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

Answer: Non puoi fare niente ma vuoi fare tutto.
Not correct. Please try again.

You can also ask:

What do you want to do?

Answer: Cosa vuoi fare?
Not correct. Please try again.

What do you want to speak?

Answer: Cosa vuoi parlare?
Not correct. Please try again.

Italian for and is e.

Just this letter. You can say:

What do you want to learn and what do you learn?

Answer: Cosa vuoi imparare e cosa impari?
Not correct. Please try again.

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.

Hi!

Answer: Ciao!
Not correct. Please try again.

Hi! How are you?

Answer: Ciao? Come stai?
Not correct. Please try again.

I am fine. I am Mario. And you?

Answer: Sto bene. Sono Mario. E tu?
Not correct. Please try again.

I am Luigi. Where are you from?

Answer: Sono Luigi. Di dove sei?
Not correct. Please try again.

I am Italian. Do you speak Italian well?

Answer: Sono italiano. Parli bene italiano?
Not correct. Please try again.

I don’t speak it well but I learn it now.

Answer: Non lo parlo bene ma lo imparo adesso.
Not correct. Please try again.

Where are you from?

Answer: Di dove sei?
Not correct. Please try again.

I am American.

Answer: Sono americano.
Not correct. Please try again.

Do you work? Do you study?

Answer: Lavori? Studi?
Not correct. Please try again.

I study.

Answer: Studio.
Not correct. Please try again.

What do you study?

Answer: Cosa studi?
Not correct. Please try again.

French.

Answer: Francese.
Not correct. Please try again.

I work. But it is not good. I want to study.

Answer: Lavoro. Ma non è bene. Voglio studiare.
Not correct. Please try again.

Why don’t you study?

Answer: perché non studi?
Not correct. Please try again.

Because I can’t study. Do you understand?

Answer: perché non posso studiare. Capici?
Not correct. Please try again.

I don’t understand. But fine, bye!

Answer: Non capisco. Ma bene, ciao!
Not correct. Please try again.

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

Just kidding.

Maybe.