Learning to Communicate with the Locals in Italy
Learning to Communicate with the Locals in Italy
You’re planning an exorbitant Italian retreat, but spend most of your time trying to pick up the language. If this sounds like a familiar situation, know you are not alone. Being a tourist in Italy doesn’t have to make you feel lost. Sure, there is the dreaded language barrier, but there are plenty of ways to know how to communicate with locals of Italy that do not have to contain elaborate sentences in Italian. If you want to voice your thoughts or ask something, you can follow some simple steps to get yourself through without losing out at the thought of not to know how to communicate with locals.
Pick Up the Basic Phases
If you are wondering what people in Italy speak, you do not need an extensive vocabulary to ask or tell something to the locals. You can learn Italian communication by taking up a language dictionary and learn some basic phrases for please, thank you, excuse me, goodbye and sorry. Learn how to greet the locals in their language for each time of the day. You can even download language apps on your smartphone to help you out when you are out and about. If you still can’t get the grasp of it, then as a last resort, ask for them if they can speak English. Most European countries are quite well versed in dealing with tourists, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself getting by in English more than Italian communication.
Pay Attention to Body Language
Italians are quite expressive with their language, and what better way to send the point across than to use their body as well. In Italian communication, they use their hands a lot when they talk, so pick up some of that when talking to local next time. Some hand gestures are polite, while others can be rude, so watch and learn how to mix and match with what you are trying to say.
Be Polite and Courteous
Movies and TV shows usually flaunt Italians as being loud and extravagant in their manners, but the reality is far from it. Unless it is a celebration or an event which requires one to be jovial, Italians are quiet and reserved. So do not mistake the scene and talk loudly, as it will be seen as rude and a form of aggression. Also, if you have to stop someone along the way to ask or tell them something, keep in mind that they might have some other important matter or task that might be worth seeing into more than answering your queries, so always ask them politely if they have a minute to help you. While some towns are abuzz with activity all the time, others are quite laid back, so depending on where you are, watch what the locals are doing and follow suit.
Do What the Italians Do
Greetings are a great way to know how to communicate with locals in any part of Italy. Acknowledge your servers when you walk into a restaurant or café with a warm greeting. Know what time of the day you should say what salutation. The friendliest of Italians have a habit of giving two pecks on each cheek when greeting someone. Only attempt this gesture if you are familiar with the person since most Italians would back away from people they do not know.
While it is common courtesy to make a queue, Italians are an exception. You won’t find a queue as such while waiting in line for anything, be it for getting coffee or your groceries. So it is only fair you should take your spot in front if you don’t see anyone else placing their order. Be prepared to face long lines at the grocer’s, since most of them only give out undivided attention to only one person at a time. They are also quite chatty, hence the long wait time. But once you reach the front, you too will receive the same treatment, and you can carefully choose whatever you want with the most attentive grocer around.
What Not to Talk About: Politics
For most, comparing one place with another, either in a negative or positive light, is an ice breaker and a conversation starter. But not for the Italians. Most Italians are very sensitive when it comes to comparing different areas of their country. So it is best avoided to bring up any other place than what you are currently staying in, even if it is for a compliment. The north and the south do not gel that well because of political reasons, so any conversation bringing it up will only upset the Italians.
Prepare Yourself On What You Have to Say
If you are going out on your own to get something and you don’t know how to say it or go about it, prepare for it in advance. You can take the help of your dictionary or ask a friend or a friendly stranger to help you out. Mentally prepare what you are going to ask for and then go out and say it. It is okay if you make mistakes since most Italians are quite understanding of a tourist’s plight. You don’t even need to string together a bunch of fancy words, you just need one or two of the main item or service that you seek, and they will understand the rest. Couple that with some apt gestures and you are in for a win.
And Most Importantly, Smile!
Getting around a new place must be a nerve-wracking experience, but it need not be so. Italians are quite friendly and forgiving towards foreigners and tourists if they do a mishap. Hence you need not worry so much about how you are saying it, rather focus on what you are trying to say. Sooner or later you will get the hang of it, and at the end, you will always get what you wish for. And most importantly, don’t forget to thank them and smile.
Now that you have the basics down for how to communicate with the locals, you can safely leave the comfort of your hotel room and venture out in this beautiful country. But if you still feel skeptical about getting lost, BenvenutoLimos is your best bet for getting around Italy. BenvenutoLimos is the best provider for luxury limos and chauffeur services in Italy, and you can plan your sightseeing trip with them. They will take you around all over Italy, riding on the lap of lavishness. BenvenutoLimos provide the best, luxurious experience of a lifetime that you will never forget.