Italy has a culture and a language of its very own, but if you do already speak English (as I might guess, since you have landed on this page), you might find that being understood by an Italian is not as difficult as you might have supposed.
To prove this point, I want to introduce you to some English words you can actually use with an Italian. Here’s a brief (and perfectly believable, let me add) scenario in which English words are used within a dialogue between two Italian people.
Watch the Video on YouTube
Or test your comprehension by listen to the dialogue on SoundCloud!
Sara: Avete già il Wireless nel nuovo appartamento?
Do you already have Wireless in the new apartment?
Federica: Si, ma noi staremo nell’hotel per un paio di giorni ancora.
Yes, but we will spend a couple more days at the hotel
Sara: Devi essere stata proprio stressata per via di questo secondo trasloco.
You must have been really stressed out because of this second move
Federica: Si, lo ero, un po’, ma adesso sono OK
Yes, I was, a little, but I’m O.K. now
Sara: Bene! Quindi verrai con noi a sentire la band di Davide?
Good! This means that you’ll come with us to hear Davide’s band play?
Federica: Mi piacerebbe, ma questo weekend ho un workshop da attendere e devo ancora finire di sistemare alcune cose
I would like to, but this weekend I have a workshop to attend to and I still have some things to sort out.
Sara: Eh, va beh, allora sarà per la prossima volta. A proposito, ma l’hai già sentito lo scoop riguardante Marta?
Alright, it’s going to be next time, then. By the way, have you already heard the scoop about Marta?
Federica: Si, mi sono dimenticata di dirti che l’ho vista ieri mentre stava facendo dello shopping , e mi ha detto tutto
Yeah, I forgot to tell you that I saw her yesterday while I was doing some shopping…and she told me everything.
Sara: A me sembra proprio che a volte si comporti da teenager
To me it seems that she behaves just like a teenager at times
Federica: Ed a me pare che cerchi sempre di istigare un match con il suo ex ma è lei che finisce k.o.
And to me it looks like she’s always trying to instigate her ex into a fight, though she’s the one ending up K.O.
Sara: Ho sentito dire che il suo boss lo voleva licenziare per colpa sua
I heard that his boss wanted to fire him because of her
Federica: Può darsi, ma alla fin fine questi non sono affari nostri…Vuoi qualcosa dalla vending machine?
Maybe, but in the end this is none of our business. Do you want something from the vending machine?
Sara: No, grazie, ma sei sicura che sia on?
No, thank you, but are you sure that it’s on anyway?
Federica: Hai ragione, sembra che sia proprio off
You are right, it seems to be really off
Sara: Fede, non ti girare, ma credo che qualcuno ci stalki
Fede, don’t turn around, but I believe there’s someone stalking us
Federica: Chi? Quello? Non importa, è solo un clown.
Who? That one? It doesn’t matter, he’s just a clown.
(She said before being attacked and kidnapped by one of the top most wanted serial killers in the area, nicknamed Smiley Face…
Okay, I was just kidding. But hey, serial and killer are another couple of words you can comfortably use in Italian, without being misunderstood.)
Sara: Forse…ma sapere un po’ di karate sarebbe proprio un asset in situazioni del genere!
Maybe, yet knowing a bit of karate would be a real asset in a situation like this!
Well, hope that was useful. I need to warn you though: the words might be the same, but the Italian pronunciation might be a bit tricky to interpret and understand on the go, starting from K.O., which is actually pronounced as “Kappa Ooh”.
You can find a detailed list of English words used by Italians on a day to day basis here.