Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Learn Italian With Harriet!

italian lesson
So I was a bit of an idiot when I left for Italy. I think I somehow thought that I'd just immerse myself in the country and that combined with a Latin GCSE from six and a half years ago would mean suddenly streams of perfect, if slightly old fashioned Italian would issue forth from my lips.

That's not what happened.

I actually got there and realised the only word I knew in Italian was Cappuccino! But with the help of
my guide book and a phrase book I stole from my friend (sorry Kate, you'll get it back soon!) I managed to muddle through a surprising array of situations for which I was totally unprepared. And thus Harriet's Italian Lesson was born! Everything you need to see you through a holiday in Italy or to wow your friends with your amazing multilingual abilities!

The Basics
Yes - Si No - No (that's an easy one!)
Hello - Buongiorno - bwon-
jor-no Hi - Ciao/Salve Goodbye - Arrivederci - ar-reevedairchee
Thank You - Grazie - gratzee-ay
Please (asking for something) - Per favore - per fa-vo-ray Please (offering)/You're Welcome - Prego - pre-go Sorry/Excuse Me - Mi scusi - mee skoo-zee

Getting Stuck

I don't understand - Non capisco - non ka
Do you speak English? - Parla Inglese? - parla eeng
I can't speak Italian - Non parlo Italiano - non p
arlo eetal-yano

Tickets and Travelling

I'd like a ticket please - Vorrei un biglietto per favore - vo-
ray oon bee-lye-to per fa-vo-ray
one way - di solo andata - dee so-
lo an-da-ta
return - di andata e ritorno - dee an-
da-ta e ree-toor-no
Stop/station - La Fermata/La Statzione - fer-
Bus - l'autobus (city bus)/il pullman (intercity) -
low-to-boos/eel pool-man
Train - il treno - eel

Where is the..? - Dove 'e..? - do-
Go Straight Ahead - Si va sempre diritto - see va
sem-pre dee-ree-to
Turn Left - Giri a sinistra -
jee-ree a see-nee-stra
Turn Right - Giri a destra -
jee-ree a de-stra


How much is it? - Quanto costa? -
kwan-to ko-sta
I'll take it! - Lo/La compro - lo/la
I'm just looking - Sto solo dando un'occiata - sto s
olo dando oon okk-yata
I think perhaps you've short changed me - Penso che abbiate sbagliato di darmi il resto - p
enso kay abb-yatay sbal-yato dee darmee eel resto
Do you have it in black? - Avete nero? - a
vaytay ne-ro?


A table for one/two/three please - Un tavolo per una/due/tre per favore - oon t
avolo pair oona/doo-ay/tray per fa-vo-ray
I'd like - Vorrei - vor-
Do you have any vegetarian dishes? - Avete piatti vegetariani? - av
etay p-yat-tee vejetar-yanee?
We didn't order this - Non lo abbiamo ordinato - non lo abb-yamo ordeenato
The bill please - il conto per favore - eel k
onto per fa-vo-ray

Postcript: Learn Italian with James

Before I left my ever so helpful boyfriend (who
does speak some Italian, how annoying!) decided to teach me a few useful phrases to help me on my way. Here is his guide to Italian:

Il mio asino a guasto - my donkey is dead

Victato l'accesso nel bar agli elefanti, dopo le otto - elephants are not permitted in the bar after eight o'clock

Il drago insiste che noi sacrifichiamo una vergine, altrimenti brucera il villaggio - the dragon insists we sacrifice a maiden otherwise he will burn the village to the ground
so good luck with those!


Leia said...

LOL - your bf is hilarious!

Harriet said...

haha - he thinks he is anyway!

OceanDreams said...

Wow, I give you props for knowing that much, that says a lot (ha literally) and I am sure it was very helpful. Your BF is funny, why are they always that way? ;) Thanks for your nice comments on my fear post, you totally helped me this morning because I started worrying about all of the junk food yesterday, and then I decided to go for a jog during my lunch break! Thanks!

Kate said...

haha, I got so excited with the last phrases that you (well, your fella) wrote in the post, I thought, 'I can so use these on my italian friends at work, haw haw'. and proudly used the dead donkey line (since they all know how much I love donkeys)... only to be laughed at and told that it actually said 'my donkey is broken/out of order'! nooooo!

well, at least it's not dead!

Harriet said...

Kate - Oh dear, haha! Sorry about that! I told my boyfriend about the donkey being out of order instead of dead and he said he reckoned that was even better though, so just tell them that was what you meant!