In this article I will give you 9 tricks to speak Italian as a true native speaker and stop sounding like a foreigner! These tricks are used by Italian speakers naturally in their daily conversations!
Learn How to Talk like an Italian Speaker Fluently
The first trick is:
1 – Give answers like an Italian
Surely you will have already noticed that there are some small answers that Italians use almost automatically, without thinking much about it, in any context. Here are some examples: “Ah sì?” (“Ah yes?”), “Davvero?/Ma va?” (“Really?”), “Sul serio?/Seriamente?” (“Seriously?”)
Here are some examples:
Rocco: “Ho vinto al SuperEnalotto!” (“I won the SuperEnalotto!”)
Graziana: “Ah sì?” (“Ah yes?”)
Rocco: “1 MILIONE” (“1 MILLION!”)
Graziana: “Davvero?” (“Really?”)
Rocco:”Non ci posso credere!” (“I can’t believe it!”)
Graziana: “Ma va?” (“Really?”)
Trick number two:
2 – Say SE instead of SI’ (YES)
This trick may seem a little strange to you, but you should know that very often, especially in informal contexts, Italians use SE instead of SI’ to give an affirmative answer to a question.
Graziana:”Hey, hai preso tu le mie cuffiette?” (“Hey, did you take my earphones?”)
Rocco:”Se, le ho prese io!” (“Se, I took them!”)
Trick number three:
3 – Apostrophe with the pronouns MI, TI, LO, LA, CI, VI
Once again, in informal contexts, when the only thing that matters is to convey the message as quickly as possible, without giving too much importance to the form, Italians tend not to pronounce the final vowel of the pronouns MI, TI, LO, LA, CI, VI when these precede a word that begins with H or VOWEL.
With LO and LA is the norm, but, in my opinion, doing so with other pronouns in formal contexts is not recommended.
Here are some examples:
Graziana: “Sai chi m’ha chiamato prima?” (“Guess who called before?”)
Rocco: “La tipa che t’ha derubato la borsa?” (“The girl who robbed you?”)
Graziana: “No! Il poliziotto che c’aiutati a sporgere denuncia!” (“No! The cop who helped us file a complaint!”)
Rocco: “Meno male che l’abbiamo visto!” (“Thank God we saw him!”)
Trick number four:
4 – Use CEH
To be honest, I’m not sure how to write this word, because it’s only used as a saying in oral or spoken language and is not reported in dictionaries. In any case, CEH is a word used to clarify or rephrase what we said before. Indeed, I am quite convinced that it is an abbreviation developed from the word CIOÈ.
Let’s see some examples:
Rocco: “Non penso che licenziarsi fosse una buona scelta… Ceh, capisco che fosse infelice, ma ora come farà a mantenere la sua famiglia?” (“I don’t think quiting was a good choice… Ceh, I understand he was unhappy, but now how’s he going to support his family?”)
Graziana: “Non sono d’accordo con te… Ceh, non è che quello che tu abbia detto sia sbagliato, però credo che una persona debba prima di tutto essere felice con se stessa.” (“I don’t agree with you… Ceh, it’s not that what you said is wrong, but I think a person should be happy with themselves first.”)
Trick number five:
5 – Use “DICIAMO” (Let’s say) as an expression
Italians, especially to gain time or to be vague, insert, in almost every sentence, the word “DICIAMO”. It’s not a nice habit and, if you overdo it, it might even bother or sound ridiculous. However, if used wisely, it will give you that natural touch you are looking for!
Here’s an example:
Rocco: “Che ne pensi se, diciamo, aprissimo un altro canale nel quale giochiamo ai videogiochi?” (“What do you think if, let’s say, we opened another channel where we play video games?”)
Graziana:”Ecco, diciamo… non è proprio il genere di cose che piace a me…” (“Well, let’s say… it’s not really the kind of things I like…”)
Trick number six:
6 – Use “ECCO” instead of “CAPISCO”
Very often, Italians, instead of saying “Ho capito” (“I understand”) or “Capito” (“Understood”), they say “Ecco”.I’ll give you an example to help you understand how it should be used:
Graziana: “Perché non sei uscito con la macchina?” (“Why didn’t you go out with the car?”)
Rocco: “Perché si è rotta la marmitta!” (“Because the muffler broke!”)
Graziana: “Ah ecco!” (“Ah understood!”)
Trick number seven:
7 – Sign up for “Italiano in Contesto”
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Trick number eight:
8 – Use idiomatic expressions
You will never be able to speak Italian as a true native speaker without using idiomatic expressions! Don’t worry, I know it can look like a mission impossible, but I’ve thought about everything: I created a playlist with my boyfriend with hundreds of idiomatic expressions, so you can try to learn as much as you can!
The last trick, as well as the most important is:
9 – Ask rethorical questions
This is a powerful rhetorical device that allows us to build statements in the form of questions. In other words, a rhetorical question is presented as a real question for which, however, we do not need any answers!
Let’s see some examples:
Rocco: “Prima sei andata al supermercato, no? Perché non hai comprato la Nutella?” (“You went to the grocery store before, didn’t you? Why didn’t you buy Nutella?”)
Graziana:”Non credi che la Nutella faccia ingrassare? Dovresti metterti a dieta, sai?” (“Don’t you think Nutella makes you fat? You should go on a diet, you know?”)
Rocco: “Non pensi di essere un po’ troppo ossessionata con questa storia della dieta? Quello che conta è essere belli dentro, no?” (“Don’t you think you’re a little too obsessed with this diet thing? What matters is being beautiful inside, isn’t it?“)
Words and expressions in red can be used to construct rhetorical questions as in the example.
You now know the 9 tricks to speak Italian like a native, but don’t forget to enroll in our course Italiano in Contesto! If you use the coupon code VoglioStudiare, you’ll get 37% off!
Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!