The Italian language really is beautiful. I was drawn to it from the minute I set foot in the Campo dei Fiori. The passion, the musicality of it made it so enticing and I immediately set forth on a journey to master the language. I learned the basics first but what I loved more than anything was the idioms and colloquial expressions that I came to know much later and only as I was immersed in the language on a daily basis. There are several words and expressions that are just SO perfect that I wish everyone could know them so I could use them and get my point across. So in my crusade to share all things Italian with the world, here is a list of 5 that you need to commit to memory. Try using them this week…. Before you know it, we will all be wearing scarves, drinking prosecco and cheering for our favorite soccer team!
1. Boh… obviously, with any Italian expression, there is a hand gesture that goes along with it. For this one, a little shrug of the shoulder with your palms faced upward. Boh means I don’t know but it just sounds so good. Where is you brother? Boh. What do you want to do tonight? Boh. Boh is sometime proceeded by non lo so which also means “I don’t know”. This redundancy is perfectly acceptable in Italian. I mean, this is a people who say “good bye” no less than six times before actually hanging up the phone.
2. Insomma – this is filler (as if Italians need to add any words into the conversation). It means “anyway” but sounds so good. I think it actually gives the Italian time to take a true breath before continuing on with the conversation.
3. Che palle – ok, this is a little crass but really so expressive. It literally means “What balls” but the translation is “how annoying” or “what a pain”. It needs to be said with complete exasperation.
4. Salve – what other countries still use the Latin language in greeting. Salve is Latin for hello and is a common formal greeting in Italy. Used often by shop keepers.
5. Porca la miseria! – literally, it is “pig misery” but you can use it in the place of “Darn It!” Try it. It’s fun to say.
Try these out and let me know how it catches on for you! Also, post some of your favorites (keep it clean) and we can embrace Italian expressions every day!