Useful Tips

30 phrases for the first conversation in Italian


Going to the Apennine peninsula, Sardinia or Sicily, be prepared to meet a warm welcome from local residents. Everywhere you will hear the word "hello" in Italian, meet smiles and welcome gestures. The article will tell you what words a tourist needs to know in order to demonstrate a friendly attitude in response.

The most common greeting in a sunny Mediterranean country is ciao. It is known to any European and is extremely popular anywhere in the world where you can find immigrants from Italy. It is curious that the same word is often used in parting. Its counterpart in Russian is "hello."

How does "hello" sound in Italian in Russian transcription? "Chao," learned? You must have heard this word more than once. It came to Italian from the Venetian dialect and initially sounded like schiavo vostro, which means “at your service” or “your slave”.

Greeting is usually used only in the circle of familiar people: family, colleagues, neighbors. It applies to everyone whom the Russian would speak to "you." It can be supplemented by indicating the circle of persons or a specific person to whom the greeting is addressed:

  • Ciao a tutti (Chao a tutti).
  • Ciao ragazzi (Chao ragatsi).

In the first case, the greeting is addressed to everyone, and in the second, to the guys.

What other options are there? How do you say hello in Italian? The second most commonly used is salve. Greeting is convenient in that it applies regardless of the time of day and is appropriate for unfamiliar and unfamiliar people. This is very important, because in Italy it is customary to say hello everywhere: on the street, in shops, bars, all kinds of institutions.

The word is of Latin origin and is derived from the verb salvare ("salvara"). His literal translation is as follows: "hello." Therefore, it is more consistent with the Russian counterpart. Like ciao, salve is used in parting, which should not be surprising.


We offer the reader one of the most polite forms of greeting, which is appropriate both in the morning and afternoon. The latter is usually counted in the afternoon. “Hello” in Italian reads “buongiorno” and consists of two words: “good” - buono and “day” - translation of the word giorno. The second form of the same greeting is also widespread - buono giornata (buono jornata).

Words can also be perceived as parting, on which you should focus your attention. Everything will depend on the context and circumstances.

It is appropriate to add a recipient to such a greeting:

  • Buongiorno maestro (maestro). - Good afternoon, teacher.
  • Buongiorno signora (signora). - Good afternoon, madam.
  • Buongiorno professore. - Good afternoon, professor.

The word pomeriggio (pomeridigio) is often used to indicate the time from noon until evening, so the greeting is acceptable - buon pomeriggio. It is especially common in several regions of the country. For example, in Bologna.

The wish of all a good and successful time of day is in the style of Italians. Therefore, phrases indicating the time of day, as well as a specific period, will be derivative. For example, holidays, weekends, etc. Let us consider in more detail.

Buonasera and other options

Evening time for Italians starts at five o’clock. At this time, "hello" in Italian will sound like buonasera (buonasera) - "good evening." When parting, one can say buona serata (buona serata).

Good night's wish would be: buonanotte (buonanotte). It is curious that it can appear in the form of a whole idiomatic expression and mean literally a whole phrase - "it's time to end this bastard thing."

What other periods for wishes do the Italians set aside?

  • Buon finne settimana. This is a wish for a good end to the week.
  • Buona Domenica (Domenica Buona). Before us is the wish of a good Sunday. You need to know that Italians work 6 days a week, so this is about one day off.
  • Buona vakanza. The literal translation is "a good vacation."

By the way, there is a derivative from buongiorno that is informal. It can often be heard from representatives of the youth subculture - buondi (buondi).

The subtitle contains a greeting that is used by telephone and sounds similar to "hello" in Italian. The pronunciation of this word is prono. What is his literal translation? This is essentially a short adjective meaning "ready." In the context, it sounds like an invitation to continue the conversation, because the subscriber has the ability and desire to communicate by phone.

It is curious that it is used by both parties. The caller uses this greeting, as if asking how much time the caller rang. Just hearing the expected pronto in response, he seems to get the go-ahead to continue the dialogue.

How is it appropriate to end the conversation? You can use the greetings that were already given above, as well as the following words:

  • A dopo (a dopo), a presto (a presto). Both words convey the meaning of "see you soon." They are used when the next meeting or conversation takes place at the best time.
  • Arrivederci (arivederchi). A bright, emotional term that is often used by guests of the country. The word is similar to Russian "goodbye."
  • Ci vediamo (chi vediamo). So the Italians say when they intend to meet in person. That is how the expression translates - "see you."

Welcome questions

In Russian, a welcome message can be replaced by a question. For example, "how are you?" Similar phrases are in any language, but they do not cancel "hello" in Italian. As a rule, they are used after the words ciao or buongiorno:

  • Come sta? The phrase is pronounced "kome sta" and means "how are you?" or "how are you?"
  • Come stai? The same question, but addressed to someone with whom pretty close communication is maintained on "you."
  • Come va (kome wa)? A more universal question translated "how are you?" It can be asked for absolutely anyone.
  • Come va la vita (kome va la vita)? Literally - "how's life"?
  • Novita (Novita)? This question is used to find out what's new in human life.
  • Come va la famiglia (kome va la last name)? This is a question about the family of the dialogue participant - “how is the family”?
  • Come stanno i bambini (kome stano and bambini)? The same question, but about children.
  • Come sta tua moglie (kome sta tua molye)? The spouse becomes the subject of interest of the questioner - “like a wife”?

There may be many more questions, but we settled on the most commonly used. Below are the most common answers.

Answers to welcome questions

Often on the streets of Italy you can hear such a welcome dialogue:

The new word is amico ("amiko"), which means "friend" in translation. On an example we see how in Italian "hello". Russian letters - "ciao"! Such a greeting applies to familiar people with whom you are communicating with “you,” so the word “friend” is appropriate in the dialogue. We are interested in the answer to the question "how are you?" The communication partner uses the expression bene gracie (bene grazie), which literally translates as "thank you, good."

Consider other common options:

  • Bene! Tutto bene! Va bene (wa bene)! Translation - "good", "all is well."
  • Benissimo (Benissimo). This is not just good, but excellent, beautiful, wonderful.
  • Come al solito (kome al solito). In Russian, it will sound "as usual", "as always."
  • Cosi-cosi (kozi-kozi). If things go wrong, then the Italian uses these words, which means "so-so."
  • Male (male) is Italian "bad".
  • Malissimo (Malissimo). The use of this word means that things are going extremely badly.

As a rule, Italians are friendly and positive. They rarely talk about their sorrows during casual encounters with friends. And what words are used if the tourist is visiting?

Benvenuto and other options

We are also guests on the Apennine Peninsula, so you can already hear at the airport: benvenuti a Roma. It is a synonym for "hello" in Italian - "welcome to Rome." In relation to a particular person, the word benvenuto is used. It consists of two parts. The first is derived from buon, and the second is from venire (to come).

If in response we want to express joy, we can use the word incantato (incantato) used in the conversation. Literally, this will mean that a person is "stunned" by a meeting or reception.