Italian is the perfect language for a college student to study: it’s melodious, it comes from a fascinating background of art and poetry, and it has easy grammar rules for the English-speaker to come to terms with.  And, of course, for any young student or admirer of Italian, there is the opportunity of a semester abroad in Italy.  No matter what city you choose, from the dazzling Rome to the romantic Venice to the foodie’s paradise of Naples, it’s sure to be a life-changing experience.  Get started on the right foot by knowing these crucial Italian phrases which will help make your cultural transition that much easier.

1. Ubirra_itlianana birra, per favore.  An important phrase in any language, “One beer, please,” will get you through most social situations until you learn enough Italian to cobble together an actual conversation with someone.

2. Scusate il mio italiano.  Sono uno studente internazionale.  “Pardon my Italian.  I’m an international student.”  Of course, no Italians are going to expect you to speak fluently as a newcomer to their country, and they will very likely be thrilled that you’re studying their language.  Still, this is a good way to explain to them that you’re still a beginner and liable to make mistakes.

3. Qual è il tuo vino preferito?  “Which is your favorite wine?”  It would be a shame to travel all the way to Italy and not learn a thing or two about good wine, so ask around.  Italians are very proud of their history of winemaking, and will be thrilled to tell you how to select wine like a pro.

4. I tuoi occhi sono belli come il mare.  If you plan to have a social life in Italy, you will quickly learn that romance and pretty one-liners are an important part of dating, even among the younger generation.  Start with something simple and straightforward like the above, “Your eyes are beautiful like the sea,” to strike up a conversation.  As you get more confident with your speaking skills, you can move on to more complex lines.  If you need ideas for something charming and insincere to say to an attractive person in a bar, you can always lift quotes from any Fellini movie.

5. Dove è la mia classe?  It happens to us all; we get disoriented in a new environment and start to panic.  Ask anyone on your campus, “Where is my class?” and they will do their best to point you in the right direction.

6. Mi fa cagare!  A slang term that literally means, “It makes me poop!” this is a more colorful way of saying, “That’s awful!” and can be used in any situation, from missing your bus to flunking an exam.

7. Dante è sopravvalutato.  “Dante is overrated.”  On second thought, don’t say this to anyone.  You’ll be thrown out of the country.  However, if you wish to get started with your Italian lessons as soon as possible, send us an inquiry or take a look at our different levels of classes.