The Family Friendly Guide
10 Italian Words to Teach Your Kids
Traveling to Italy with the family? Like in any country you visit, any effort you make to try to speak the language will be appreciated by the locals, so why not also teach your kids some Italian basics? Not only will it enrich their travel experience, but knowing a few Italian words will also get them to interact with people. Here are 10 essential words and phrases to give your children a linguistic leg up:
1. “Buongiorno!” (Hello/Good morning/Good day): Learning how to properly greet other people is part of basic etiquette so this is an important one. “Ciao”, which is used to say hello as well as goodbye in a more informal context, is also a good word to know, and so is “arrivederci” (Goodbye).
2.“Mi chiamo” (My name is): They may also say “Sono….” (I am…) when introducing themselves. You can also teach them “Come si chiama?” (The formal way to say “What is your name?”) or “Come ti chiami?” if they’re talking to another kid for instance.
3. “Per favore” (Please): Kids learn the importance of the magic words “please” and “thank you” at a very early age so these are essential words to know in Italian as well!
4. “Grazie” (Thank you) and the polite way to respond: “prego” (you’re welcome).
5. “Mi dispiace” (I’m sorry): This expression can very useful for kids playing together, for instance when your child needs to show sympathy and make amends. A good one to know as well is “scusi!”, the formal version of “scusa!” (Sorry, as in excuse me) for instance when your child pushes someone by accident or needs to grab someone’s attention.
6. “Non capisco” (I don’t understand): When they’re having issues communicating with native speakers, this is how they can to let them know.
7. “Non parlo italiano” (I don’t speak Italian)
8. “Parla inglese?” (Do you speak English?)
9. “Il bagno” (the washroom): knowing the phrase “Scusi, dov’è il bagno, per favore?” (Excuse me, where is the washroom, please?) will surely come in pretty handy.
10. “Posso avere…” (Can I have…): This is a useful phrase to know for ordering in a restaurant, bakery, or coffee shop.
Most of all, have fun introducing your child to Italian! Once in Italy, they’ll probably be excited to try and communicate with locals, and this may even help them make some new friends! What’s more, languages help children develop an appreciation for other cultures — they might just want to continue learning Italian when you come back from your trip! So book you and your family a beautiful homebase from the south of Italy where you can practice rolling your Italian r’s under the brilliant Mediterranean sun.