No matter how much you study a language, there will always be things you can’t learn in a classroom.
That’s because Italian has its own unique idioms and colloquialisms that, when translated literally, frequently don’t make any sense at all.
Slang is a huge part of regular interactions among native speakers. To help you improve, we’ve compiled the top 10 Italian Phrases That Make You Sound Like a Local
1 – In bocca al lupo (Good luck!)
Perhaps you have a friend facing a difficult task and you want to wish him good luck. “Buona fortuna” would work, but “In bocca al lupo” really makes you sound Italian. Literally, it means “in the wolf’s mouth!” Your friend will probably answer “Crepi il lupo“, which means “Hopefully the wolf will die!”
2 – Acqua in bocca! (Don’t say a word!)
When you want to share a secret with someone but want to make sure that she won’t tell anyone else, say” Acqua in bocca”, which means “water in mouth.”
3 – Salute! (Bless you!)
When someone sneezes, you say “Salute!”, which means “health.” Saying this word is a way to wish the person good health.
4 – Macché! (Of course not! / Certainly not!)
Italians love to talk, but in some situations, they prefer to say just one word: macché! It’s a strong and determined way to say “Of course not!” or “Certainly not!”
5 – Neanche per sogno! (In your dreams!)
“Neanche per sogno” literally means “not even in a dream.” It’s a way“ to say “No way!
6 – Peggio per te! (Too bad for you!)
You don’t show much sympathy when uttering this phrase, but if you’re looking for the Italian equivalent of “too bad for you,” then “peggio per te” is what you need.
7 – Piantala! (Stop it!)
The literal translation of “piantala“, an informal expression, is “Plant it!”
8 – Vacci piano! (Slow down! / Take it easy!)
Use “vacci piano!” when you feel that somebody is going too fast or being overly enthusiastic about something.
9 – Gatta ci cova! (There’s something fishy going on!)
“La gatta” is the female cat, and “covare” means “to brood.” When Italians say “gatta ci cova” they mean “There’s something fishy going on here.”
10 – Sono nel pallone! (I’m flustered!)
People say “sono nel pallone” to indicate that someone doesn’t know what to do or how to behave in a difficult situation.
You might want to keep learning Italian online with these free resources: