I’ve been thinking about how much Italian I’ve been saying on an every day basis here that is going to be really hard for me to stop once I’m in America because I will probably get really weird looks in public!
Scusa! – this is the informal version of excuse me so I say it a lot on the streets and in crowded places like the grocery store etc. It’s actually become some sort of a joke with my friends because I say it so much that even when we’re out and I want to get someones attention I just yell “scusa!”
Grazie – I found out soon after stepping off the plane back in January that it’s pronounced Graz-E-ay and if you say it any other way you’re an “ignorant American who doesn’t take the time to learn the native language” no joke, that’s what they told us. Naturally, “thank you” is in one’s daily vocab and it’s become a habit.
Prego – No one really knows what this word means. Well I’m sure the Italians do but it really means a ton of things. For example, if someone says “grazie” you respond with “prego”. So I’m thinking it means you’re welcome..wrong. If you walk into a store or cafe they greet you with “Prego!” Then when you decide what you want and walk up to the counter to order they say “Prego?” If people are on the street and see a friend, “Prego!” is the word that comes out first. So it’s kind of like a greeting but who really knows. My Italian class has asked our teacher many times and we’ve had numerous discussions on what it means and she just shrugs and is says “prego just means prego”.
Allora – This is probably my favorite Italian word. It’s kind of like the American “um”. So when my teacher is talking and is thinking of an example she’ll say, “allora..” You seriously hear it so much that it’s hysterical. My friends and I have started just saying it all the time and we make funny voices with it so we have fun with it.
Pronto! – The word used instead of hello or “ciao” when answering the phone…it basically means like ready! as in ready to talk! but it’s just funny to hear people say it that I say it just randomly now.