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Do I have to learn some Italian words?

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Ottawa
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114 posts
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Do I have to learn some Italian words?

Do I have to start learning some Italian for my trip to get around? I do not even know how to count from one to ten...

Montreal
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17,790 posts
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1. Re: Do I have to learn some Italian words?

You don't *have* to; most people dealing with tourists speak some English.

Learning to count from one to ten might be useful; learning to say please and thank you would be polite. Almost any guidebook will tell you these words.

UK
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for Venice
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2. Re: Do I have to learn some Italian words?

You really not have to, but it is appreciated if you try,

Dallas
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3. Re: Do I have to learn some Italian words?

I think I will have a somewhat different opinion than some on here but I would say if you are staying in Central Rome than NO you do not NEED to.

I was very surprised not just by how many people speak English but also of the quality of the English they could speak. The few people that I ran into in the service industry that did not speak English could still make their intent clear.

I would recommend, however, learning at least enough to be polite. And with just a little practice it makes it easier to pronounce location names and to understand location names that others may tell you about. Also it doesn't take too much Italian to be able to get the gist of a lot of things since they have a lot of words that are similar to English words.

Texas
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4. Re: Do I have to learn some Italian words?

I found that even knowing "excuse me" or "thank you" is better than nothing. I tend to feel like a rude tourist/person if I buy something or bump into someone and can't express myself.

Texas, USA
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5. Re: Do I have to learn some Italian words?

Yeah they say you will bring smiles to people faces if you can say a few things. One guidebook says learn a few words and you won't look like an "ugly american". For some basic things you could learn, you can go to this link below. You can just try to learn a few things under "Basics".

www.bbc.co.uk/languages/italian/quickfix/

Ottawa
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6. Re: Do I have to learn some Italian words?

Thank you. I think I 'll start to practice some common words, and numbers.

Washington, DC
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7. Re: Do I have to learn some Italian words?

You can get by without knowing any Italian, but you will enjoy your trip more if you learn a little bit - even just enough to be able to be polite. As other posters have said, you will feel more comfortable if you can say good morning, good night, please, thank you, and excuse me in Italian, even if people reply in English. Being able to recognize signs for things like entrance, exit, toilets (and men/women), train station, etc. will also come in handy.

Wheneven I visit a country with a different language, I buy a CD aimed specifically at tourists, and practice in my car on my way to work for months before my trip. In Italy, I didn't actually need to speak much of what I learned (beyond the polite phrases) but being able to recognize words has been very useful.

Cork, Ireland
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for Ireland
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8. Re: Do I have to learn some Italian words?

We just returned from Rome yesterday. Before I left I think I knew 'Ciao' and 'due' - for some strange reason.

I could not have found the roman people more friendly and helpful and we were able to communicate very well despite having no Italian whatsoever. They did not seem to mind that we didn't speak Italian but were helpful to us with words if we asked.

However, if I were going again out of respect for Italians I would certainly make more of an effort and we have both vowed to take a beginners course in Italian before our next trip there.

So to answer your question, Yes, I think you should definitely know some of the more obvious words and if there is time maybe a short course in basic Italian might make the experience more meaningful for you.

athlone, ireland
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9. Re: Do I have to learn some Italian words?

no you dont need to at all not in rome anyway.

though like most people said its appreciate if you try.

i learned grazie which is thank you!

Cork, Ireland
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for Ireland
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10. Re: Do I have to learn some Italian words?

Yes, Grazie was one which very much appreciated and of course they always replied with "Prego"