How to Say Vowels in Italian
- A: “ah”
- E: “say”
- I: “ me”
- O: “oh”
- U: “you”
- When you get up in the morning the first thing you say when you encounter someone is: Buon Giorno! You say buon giorno to people that you don’t know or even to close friends the first time you see them in the morning.
- In the afternoon (after 2-3 p.m.) you say Buona sera! (Good evening).
- When you go to bed at night you say (to both friends and formal or casual acquaintances): Buona notte
- When you thank someone say: Grazie! They may reply: Prego!
- Dov’è? – Where is?
- Una birra per favore – “a beer, please”
- Basta – Perhaps one of the most important Italian commands; use this any time when you’ve had enough (wine, pasta, cycling, etc.)
- Ancora – is the opposite; it means “more”
Cycling-specific phrases and “Buzzwords”
- Dai! Dai! – People will say this to you to cheer you on while you are cycling; it means literally, “give, give; give it all you’ve got.”
- Ale’ Ale’ – Another, “go, go” cheer for cyclists
- Salve vs. Ciao – “Ciao” is a familiar greeting among friends – you would not normally use it with complete strangers; cyclists, however, like to consider themselves friends so in this instance they might use “salve,” the Latin greeting among friends: it is not formal but it is not familiar either. Other cyclists will often say this to you, especially if you greet them first with “salve”!
- Bravo & Brava – English speakers often use “Bravo” mistakenly for anybody they wish to applaud. In Italian, you say “bravo” for a male and “brava” for a female. If there is more than one man (or a mixed gender group), you say “bravi”, and for two or more women it is “brave”. Making this distinction will set you apart from most other tourists.