Lesson 15: Basic Italian Courtesy Phrases? Sì, grazie!

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This is a very important lesson if you want to fit in while in Italy. I always try to learn how to say these few expressions when I travel abroad. I think locals really appreciate your effort. Except in Prague. Ok, I’m kidding… Plus I already told you. What can I say? I still think about it as a major fail. Days to learn how to simply say thank you in Czech and then no-one appreciated that, no one smiled back at me or said anything. In Germany people always praise my good will. I’m still convinced I learnt a wrong word. Who knows what I kept saying for days! Anyway, learn these basic Italian courtesy phrases and I’m sure Italians will be delighted!

Basic Italian Courtesy Phrases

  • Yes:  [see]
  • No: No [noh]
  • Please: Per favore [pehr fah-VOH-reh]or Per piacere [pehr pyah-CHEH-reh]
  • Thank you: Grazie [GRAH-tsee-eh] Don’t forget: Do pronounce clearly the final “eh”, otherwise you’ll be immediately rumbled!
  • You’re welcome: Prego [PREH-goh]
  • Excuse me: Mi scusi [mee SKOOH-zee]if you’re talking to one person, Scusate [skooh-zah-teh] if you’re talking to more than one person
  • I’m sorry: Mi dispiace [mee dees-PYAH-cheh]or mi spiace [mee SPYAH-cheh]
  • May I come in? Posso entrare? [POHS-soh ehn-TRAH-reh]
  • May I? Permesso? [pehr-MEHS-soh] You can say permesso also when passing through a crowd. This is the Italian way to ask people: Let me pass! It doesn’t work every time, though.
  • May I use the restroom? Posso usare il bagno? [POHS-soh ooh-ZAH-reh eel BAH-nyoh]
  • Come in! Entri pure! [EHN-tree POOH-reh]
  • Don’t worry! Non si preoccupi [nohn see preh-OHK-kooh-pee]or Non vi preoccupate [nohn vee preh-ohk-kooh-PAH-teh)], depending on whether you’re speaking with one person or more than one.

As usual, here’s my audio file to help you with the pronunciation. Turn on your speakers and enjoy!