Language in Italy (2023)

Knowledge levels Italian language

Language in Italy follows the level assessment scheme of the European Language Portfolio (QCER). The six levels of competence (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2) are used as parameters to provide language teachers with a reference model for the preparation of teaching materials and for the assessment of linguistic knowledge.

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Beginner Level

The student can recognize familiar words and very basic statements concerning him/herself, the family and immediate concrete surroundings. He /she can use single phrases and sentences in areas of immediate need, can write a short postcard, fill in a form with personal details, can ask and answer simple questions.


Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

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Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.


Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

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Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.


Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

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C2 Level - MASTERY

Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.

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How do you respond to tutto bene? ›

When you're asked “Tutto bene?”, you can answer: SI, GRAZIE! A TE? – Yes, thanks!

How do you respond to Ciao? ›

Here, the reply could be altrettanto (nice to meet you too).

How do you respond to come va in Italian? ›

Bene. Good. If you are asked “come stai?” or “come va?” and you are fine, then the best way to answer is “bene”. If you feel extremely good, you can also say “molto bene.”

What is molto bene? ›

very well used to express (reluctant) agreement to a request etc. very well fine, okay.

How do you respond to te gusta mas? ›

The answer will be sí, me gusta(n)… or no, no me gusta(n)… ¿Te gusta la sopa, Fernando?

Should you say Ciao Bella? ›

Italians generally use ciao bella/o among close friends or acquaintances—not with strangers, superiors, or elders—and roughly as an equivalent to the English “See ya, lovely” or Later, buddy.”

Why do Italians say Alora? ›

Allora (so, then, well) is one of those filler words that's highly useful when thinking of what to say in Italian. It buys you a little time and tells the listener you're thinking things over, especially when used by itself, or to introduce a sentence.

What does Ciao tutti mean? ›

If you want to address a group of people say 'Ciao a tutti' which means 'Hello everyone. ' You can also say 'Ciao' to say 'goodbye.

What is Italy first language? ›

Italian language, Italian Italiano, Romance language spoken by some 66,000,000 persons, the vast majority of whom live in Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia). It is the official language of Italy, San Marino, and (together with Latin) Vatican City.

What language is spoken in Italy? ›

Although Italian is the official language of Italy, it's not widely known that the country boasts some 34 spoken languages and related dialects. The majority of these languages are Romance-based, meaning that they evolved from Vulgar Latin. These include Sicilian, Neapolitan, Sardinian, and more.

What is the most spoken in Italy? ›

Italian is the official language of Italy, and 93% of population are native Italian speakers. Around 50% of population speak a regional dialect as mother tongue. Many dialects are mutually unintelligible and thus considered by linguists as separate languages, but are not officially recognised.

What language is tutto bene? ›

Tutto bene! is a fun way to help you speak and understand Italian in no time!

How do you say in Italian are you OK? ›

Ciao, tutto a posto? Meaning: Hello / Hi, is everything okay? Tutto a posto literally means everything in place but in Italian, it is a very common way of saying all is well or everything is ok. a posto?

How do you answer Prego? ›

The response to grazie that you're most likely to use or hear is prego (you're welcome), or you could say di niente (not at all).

Is Tutto Bene Italian? ›

Pictures bearing the slogan andrà tutto bene – everything will be alright – are all over Italian social media today as people seek to reassure each other and brighten up days spent at home under quarantine.

What is di niente Prego? ›

The response to grazie that you're most likely to use or hear is prego (you're welcome), or you could say di niente (not at all). For greater emphasis you can use s'immagini or si figuri in the formal form, and figurati informally (don't mention it).

What is Molto Bella? ›

[Italian] fem. Very Pretty or Very Beautiful.

What does no mi gusta mean? ›

i don't like.

What do Mi gusta mean? ›

Me gusta is a Spanish verb phrase that translates to “I like (it).” The me gusta face, as the image is commonly called, is a drawing of a bald, moonlike head with a scrunched-up face, pinched lips, and giant, bloodshot eyes that appear as if they've popped out of their sockets.

What is Le Gusta? ›

This verb takes the indirect object. pronouns (me, te, le, nos, les) in front of the conjugated verb form. - Me gusta- I like. - Te gusta- You like (informal) - Le gusta- He, she, you like(s) (formal)

How do you say good food in Italy? ›

1. Buono! The first word all learners should add to their Italian vocabulary is the adjective buono. Although it has other meanings such as nice, kind or positive, it literally translates as good or tasty when referring to food.

What is the Italian word for OK? ›

In the Italian language, “Ok” means “Va bene.” Although it is an English word, “Ok” has become a pretty common Italian word with time. It is often used in other languages.

What is a popular Italian saying? ›

Start learning the most common Italian phrases

Mi scusi: Excuse me. Mi dispiace: I am sorry. Vorrei un biglietto di sola andata per Roma: I'd like a one-way ticket to Rome. Quanto costa?: How much is it?

Why do Italians say Prego first? ›

You are welcome

It basically is an automatism and it is considered the cornerstone of basic politeness. If someone says “grazie” to you and you don't reply “prego,” you might be considered rude, so watch out for that!

What Prego means in Italian? ›

/'preɡo/ (risposta / invito) please / you're welcome , after you , don't mention it. - “Grazie mille” – “prego” “Thank you so much” – “You're welcome” Prego, si accomodi!

What do you call a female Italian? ›

Noun. maestra f (plural maestres)

What does ciao Papi? ›

Translation of "Ciao papi" in English

Ciao, papi! < figlia 1: Good night, daddy.

What is Grazie tutti? ›

English translation of Grazie a tutti in context

TRANSLATION. thank you all.

What does ciao Bellissima mean? ›

What is Ciao Bellissima? The English translation is: Bye (see you), you beautiful girl!

Is Italy a easy language? ›

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) considers Italian to be one of the easiest languages to learn. Indeed, it is a lot faster language for monolingual English speakers to learn than for example Russian and Chinese. Russian might take nearly twice as many classroom hours as Italian to reach the same level of fluency.

Is Italian Easy language? ›

The US Foreign Service Institute considers Italian a 'tier one' language, which means that it's one of the easiest languages for a native English speaker to learn. Their research suggests that it'll take roughly 480 hours of practice to reach fluency.

Do people in Italy speak English? ›

What languages are spoken in Italy? Nearly 97% of the Italian population speaks Italian or one of the several dialects. Although English follows Italian as the second most spoken language, only 13% of Italians speak English.

Is Italian like Spanish? ›

Overall, Spanish and Italian share a lot in common, including similar phonology, similar conjugation rules and verb tenses, and an SVO (subject-verb-object) sentence order that will be intuitive to any English speaker. And no, you won't get out of having to learn grammatical gender with either of these languages.

Is Italy like Spanish? ›

Spanish and Italian are mutually intelligible to various degrees. They both come from “Vulgar Latin,” that's why they have so much in common. Italian and Spanish share 82% lexical similarity.

What language is most like Italian? ›

According to many sources, Italian is the closest language to Latin in terms of vocabulary. According to the Ethnologue, Lexical similarity is 89% with French, 87% with Catalan, 85% with Sardinian, 82% with Spanish, 80% with Portuguese, 78% with Ladin, 77% with Romanian.

Who speaks faster Spanish or Italian? ›

One 2011 study from the Université de Lyon looked at 7 languages, which reported the order as Japanese (7.84 syllables per second), Spanish (7.82), French (7.18), Italian (6.99), English (6.19), German (5.97) and Mandarin (5.18).

Why is Italian spoken so fast? ›

Since our language is syllable-timed and not stress-timed, of course we seem to speak at a slightly faster pace than languages which basically pronounce one syllable per word and blur the rest, like English does, to convey the same amount of information.

What does come Stai? ›

Phrase. come stai? (informal) how are you, how are you getting along synonym ▲ Synonym: (formal) come sta.

What does un po di mean in Italian? ›

Poco and un po' are two expressions that mean “a little / a bit” in Italian.

What language is molto? ›

The sweet sound of the Italian language is partly made of just that. Almost everything rhymes! The word 'molto' means 'very', 'a lot', 'very much', ' a great deal' and so on. This blog is to explain, very basically, why the ending of the word 'molto' changes sometimes and when we need to change it.

What is the Italian word for no? ›

Common ways to say no in Italian. Non penso/ Non credo.

How do say I want you in Italian? ›

Ti voglio/desidero – “I want you.” Sono pazzo di te – “I am crazy for you.”

Why do Italians say Grazia? ›

You say grazie when someone is offering you something that you want to accept, but you also use it if you want to refuse. Unlike English, there is no difference such as Yes, please/ No thanks in Italian. Italians say grazie in any case, both if they want to accept or to refuse.

Do you say Grazie or Grazia? ›

While some language learners may assume that grazia is just a feminine form of grazie, the Italian word actually translates to “grace” and is no longer used except perhaps as a woman's name. Grazie is the proper term for an expression of thanks regardless of masculine or feminine forms.

Is it Grazzie or Grazie? ›

Grazie. You wouldn't think anyone would give you a sour look after thanking them, but sadly many non-Italian speakers get a slap on the hand for mispronouncing the word thank you. It's not graz-i. There is an E on the end of grazie that you pronounce almost like an A sound.

How do you politely greet in Italian? ›

The common verbal greeting is “Ciao” (Hello). This is quite casual. People may also say “Buongiorno” (Good day) or “Buonasera” (Good evening) to be more formal. Address a person by their title and last name, and continue to do so until invited to move to a first-name basis.

How do you say thank you for the wishes in Italian? ›

thank you all for your best wishes! grazie a tutti voi per gli auguri!

What does Ciao Bella? ›

What does ciao bella mean? Ciao bella is an informal Italian expression literally meaning “goodbye (or hello), beautiful.”

What is Grazie Prego? ›

If you've just said Grazie to someone, they may reply with Prego literally meaning You're welcome or My pleasure.

Why do Italians say Prego? ›

When someone says “thank you”, Italians reply with prego. That's how you say “you're” welcome in Italian.

What is the response to Grazie? ›

The response to grazie that you're most likely to use or hear is prego (you're welcome), or you could say di niente (not at all). For greater emphasis you can use s'immagini or si figuri in the formal form, and figurati informally (don't mention it).


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