Welcome to our second lesson!

After the first lesson, in which we learned five words, now we’re going to learn five more words in Italian.

Read the text accompanying each word, listen to how the word is pronounced and repeat it. Don’t worry if you can’t remember everything — you’ll get plenty of practice later on.

At the end of the page you’ll find some suggested exercises.

In this lesson we’ll see:

  • Buongiorno!
  • Caffè
  • Latte
  • Per favore
  • Prego
  • Good Day in Italian

    Buongiorno means Good day.

    Buongiorno
    Buongiorno means literaly good day. ‘Buon’ means ‘good’ and ‘giorno’ means ‘day’.

    It is a formal greeting, but you can use it in informal situations as well.

    Buongiorno is used until around 1pm or 2pm but there isn’t a precise rule for it, so feel free to use it anytime during the day (till the sun starts to go down).

    • In Italian if g is followed by e or i , it is always pronounced like ‘j’ in ‘jolly’.
    • So, the ‘gi’ in giorno is pronounced as the single sound ‘j’.

    How to Say Coffee in Italian

    Caffè is the Italian word for coffee.

    Caffè

    Italians love drinking coffee. So it’s time to join them for a nice cup of coffee.

    • You already know (from the first lesson) that in Italian if c is followed by e or i, it is always pronounced like ‘ch’ in ‘church’.
    • But what happens if c is followed by some other vowel? If c is followed by any other vowel, it is always pronounced hard, like ‘c’ in English ‘coffee’. Therefore caffè is pronounced with a hard ‘c’.
    • The grave accent over the ‘e’ basically causes more emphasis to be placed on the second syllable, rather than the first. But, depending on the region, in normal conversation, you may not be able to really hear much difference.
    • Note the double consonant, ‘ff’. Caffè is pronounced almost like two words; Caf-fè. Double consonants are important in Italian; you need to linger a little longer on the constant and say it quite strongly.

    Milk in Italian

    Latte means milk.

    Latte

    We thought it could be useful to teach you ‘latte’ in case you like a little milk in your coffee.

    • Once again we find a double consonant in ‘latte’; this time two t’s. So again, latte is pronounced with a strong emphasis on the ‘tt’, almost as two separate words, lat-te. There’s no accent here over the final ‘e’, so the emphasis is on the first syllable.

    How to Say Please in Italian

    Per favore means please.

    Per favore
    In Italian ‘per’ means ‘for’ and it is usually used before another word, as in ‘per favore’.

    So now you can head into a café in Italy and say ‘Bungiorno! Caffè, per favore’! This is not a complete sentence yet, but don’t worry because everyone will understand it. :).

    • Per favore is not the easiest thing for beginners to pronounce; make sure you pronounce every vowel clearly.
    • The ‘v’ is generally not pronounced quite as strongly as in English, but don’t worry too much about it — your accent will improve with practice.

    “You’re Welcome” in Italian

    Prego means You’re welcome.

    Prego

    ‘Prego’ means literally “I pray”, but is used to mean ‘you’re welcome’.

    • The ‘e’ here is prounounced quite long; a little bit like ‘ai’ in English ‘care’. But not really … you’ll have to listen to the audio! Vowels followed by single consonants tend to be prounounced longer than vowels followed by double consonants. There’s probably no need to really memorise this; you’ll gain a feel for it automatically with practice.

    Exercises

    Once again, play each word three times and repeat it out loud after every time. And check that you can still remember the words from the first lesson. In the next lesson we’ll look at a full sentence in Italian.

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