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Thursday, March 30, 2023

38 Italian Sayings that Italians Actually Use

Each language has its personal turns of phrase and quirky sayings, and we Italians are keen on our many aforismi e proverbi (“aphorisms and proverbs”).

Give it some thought: what higher approach is there to sound like a local than to include native expressions into your speech?

Plus, by studying Italian sayings you’ll get an perception into Italian tradition and the way Italians suppose.

On this article, you’ll discover standard Italian sayings about life, success, friendship, household, and meals, in addition to some Latin expressions which might be nonetheless extensively used within the Boot and an inventory of Italian idioms.

Italian is my native language, so I’m very proud to share these.

Pronti? By way of! (“Prepared? Let’s go!”)

10 Italian Phrases About Life (+ a Bonus!)

Life is stuffed with surprises, isn’t it? Each good and dangerous ones. But it surely doesn’t seem like Italians are ever actually shocked. In truth, they appear to have a proverb or idiom associated to about each attainable scenario in life.

As there are a lot of Italian sayings about life, I’ve collected 10 of the preferred ones for you. As a bonus, I’ve additionally added a saying that isn’t highly regarded however makes up for it in allure.

1. Il Mattino Ha l’Oro in Bocca – “The Early Fowl Catches the Worm”

In the event you’re an early riser, this Italian quote is likely to be your motto.

Actually translated as “the morning has gold in its mouth”, il mattino ha l’oro in bocca means that the early morning hours are those which result in extra productiveness.

This phrase is taken into account to be the equal of the English “the early chook catches the worm” as a result of, regardless of not that means the very same factor, they’ve an identical message: those that begin off earlier than others catch the most effective alternatives.

2. Nessuna Nuova, Buona Nuova – “No Information Is Good Information”

There’s little to elucidate about nessuna nuova, buona nuova because it has a precise equal in English: “no information is sweet information.” Additionally, you will hear it as nulla nova, bona nova, the unique Latin model of the saying.

In the event you’re not accustomed to the phrase in any of these languages, you’ll catch its that means after studying its Italian counterpart: le notizie brutte si sanno subito. (“dangerous information is instantly identified”)

Not listening to any information about an individual often signifies that their routine is happening as at all times, therefore there isn’t any must report any adjustments.

3. Ai Mali Estremi, Estremi Rimedi – “Determined Occasions Name for Drastic Measures”

This Italian phrase comes from the Latin extremis malis, extrema remedia. It actually interprets to “to excessive wrongs, excessive cures”, however would often be rendered in English as “determined occasions name for drastic measures”.

This phrase is used when speaking about critical conditions. If an issue is harsh, the proverb means that the answer ought to be equally heavy.

4. Finché C’È Vita C’È Speranza – “Whereas There’s Life, There’s Hope”

Italians are keen on this phrase. They prefer to do not forget that they need to hold hoping for the most effective, even when they’re in a dire scenario or issues look unattainable.

Finché c’è vita, c’è speranza has a sibling proverb: la speranza è l’ultima a morire (actually: “hope is the final one to die”).

5. Meglio Tardi Che Mai – “Higher Late Than By no means”

Meglio tardi che mai is one other Italian phrase that factors to a glass-half-full mindset. It’s a reminder that it’s higher when issues occur late, however nonetheless occur, relatively than not taking place in any respect.

This proverb has a twin associated to portions: meglio poco che niente (“one thing’s higher than nothing”).

Each phrases are sometimes used sarcastically.

6. Trip Bene Chi Trip Ultimo – “He Who Laughs Final, Laughs Longest”

Due to this saying, I’ve at all times been cautious throughout competitions. You must by no means really feel just like the victory is yours earlier than the competitors is definitely over!

Trip bene chi journey ultimo is just not solely used as a warning but in addition as an ethical. Its that means typically coincides with that of the sayings non vendere la pelle dell’orso prima di averlo ucciso (actually: “don’t promote the bear’s pores and skin earlier than having killed it”) or non dire gatto se non ce l’hai nel sacco (actually: “don’t say cat in the event you don’t have it within the bag”), which each imply “don’t rely your chickens earlier than they’re hatched”.

7. L’Abito Non Fa il Monaco – “Garments Don’t Make the Man” and “Don’t Decide a E-book by Its Cowl”

Actually translated in English l’abito non fa il monaco turns into “the garments don’t make the monk”. We are able to see in it a hint of the heavy significance of the Catholic faith in Italian tradition.

If we have been to search for the English equal of this idiom, we’d discover two. Let’s see why.

Firstly, it’s not the monk’s garments that make him a holy man, however his actions. On this case, the phrase means “garments don’t make the person”.

However then, if a person is clothed as a monk, he isn’t essentially one. On this case, the English translation can be “don’t decide a e-book by its cowl”. There even is one other saying for this in Italian: “non è tutt’oro ciò che luccica” (“all that glitters is just not gold”).

8. A Caval Donato Non si Guarda in Bocca – “Don’t Look a Reward Horse within the Mouth”

You’d be shocked at how typically this saying is utilized in Italy. How bizarre is it to speak about wanting a horse within the mouth?

When horses have been a vital useful resource, patrons checked a horse’s mouth earlier than buying them to ensure it was in good well being. They assured themselves that the horse was well worth the cash spent and would be capable of carry out its duties properly. That’s what we nonetheless do once we’re contemplating shopping for a product, in any case.

However would you test the standard of a present you’ve obtained in entrance of the one who gifted it to you? That’d be impolite.

That’s what this saying means. You ought to be grateful for what you get and never search for causes to dismiss a present.

9. Batti il Ferro Finché È Caldo – “Make Hay Whereas the Solar Shines”

Batti il ferro finché è caldo (actually: “beat the iron whereas it’s scorching”) is the Italian phrase used whenever you need to encourage somebody to behave whereas there is a chance to seize. In truth, giving iron form is feasible solely when it’s scorching sufficient to be reformed. When it cools down, there’s nothing you are able to do to bend it.

10. Chi Troppo Vuole Nulla Stringe – “Grasp All, Lose All”

Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe actually means “those that need an excessive amount of find yourself protecting/getting nothing”.

It’s a colloquial however sensible saying that brings to thoughts considered one of Aesop’s fables: Il Cane e l’Osso (“The Canine and The Bone”).

On this story, a canine is having fun with a bone on the facet of a river. Whereas he’s chewing his meal, he occurs to look down on the water’s floor. He errors his reflection for one more canine chewing on what appears to him like an even bigger bone. Wanting to get a greater meal, the canine opens his mouth to get the opposite bone… However what occurs as an alternative is that his personal meal falls into the river, the place the canine can’t get it again.

There’s one other Italian phrase with an identical that means. It’s: il meglio è il nemico del bene (“the proper is the enemy of excellent.”) Whereas there’s nothing unsuitable in aiming to provide your greatest effort, the proverb teaches that wanting an excessive amount of perfection may lead you to lose the work you set as much as get one thing merely good.

11. Bonus Italian Saying: La Vita È Come Una Fotografia. Se Sorridi, Viene Meglio (“Life is Like a {Photograph}. If You Smile, It’s Higher”)

This one is just not highly regarded as it’s more moderen than any of the above-mentioned phrases, however I wished to incorporate it as a result of it’s probably the most stunning Italian sayings I’ve ever heard.

5 Italian Phrases About Success

There are fairly a number of Italian expressions associated to success. Listed here are 5 which might be incessantly utilized in Italy:

12. Chi Dorme Non Piglia Pesci – “You Snooze, You Lose”

Chi dorme non piglia pesci actually interprets to “those that sleep don’t catch fish.”

Does it sound prefer it is unnecessary? Properly, give it some thought. You may’t anticipate to catch fish if all you do when going out to the river is sleep on the financial institution.

Equally, you possibly can’t anticipate to get outcomes in the event you’re too lazy to work for them.

13. Chi Fa Da Sé, Fa Per Tre – “Do It Your self If You Need It Performed Proper”

In keeping with this saying, doing issues your self is as in the event you did the job of three individuals. What Italians need to say is that you must do issues your self if you would like them to be finished correctly. And right here I’m penning this glorious article about Italian sayings, so in fact, I feel it’s true. 😄

14. Chi Non Fa, Non Falla – “He Who Makes No Errors, Makes Nothing”

The precise English translation of chi non fa, non falla is “who does nothing makes no errors”.

It doesn’t sound like a lot of a proverb, does it? Making no errors might even be thought-about one thing optimistic. However the saying is smart when that there’s an implicit conclusion to it.

In truth, Italian dad and mom by no means tire of reminding their youngsters that errors pave the trail to nice achievements. Who hasn’t been instructed that making errors is a solution to study new classes?

So by saying “who does nothing makes no errors,” the proverb signifies that those that do nothing obtain and study nothing.

15. La Pazienza È la Virtù dei Forti – “Endurance is a Advantage”

In Italian, we are saying that “endurance is the advantage of the sturdy”. Anybody may give in to anger or get impatient, however few are sturdy sufficient to maintain calm and wait for all times to occur at its personal tempo.

With the ability to by no means lose my mood is a superpower I’d like to have.

16. Non Rimandare a Domani Quello Che Puoi Fare Oggi – “There’s No Time Just like the Current”

Elevate your hand in the event you’ve delay one thing you wanted to do solely to search out that you simply ran out of time. 🙋

This Italian saying is a sensible warning to keep away from that sort of scenario. Non rimandare a domani quello che puoi fare oggi actually means “don’t postpone what you may do right this moment to tomorrow.”

4 Italian Sayings About Pals and Household

Household and associates maintain an essential place in Italian tradition. For that reason, there are a number of Italian proverbs associated to family and friends.

Let’s uncover 4 of them.

17. Chi Trova un Amico, Trova un Tesoro – “He Who Finds a Good friend, Finds a Treasure”

Considered one of my middle-grade academics as soon as taught me {that a} true good friend is somebody who wouldn’t hesitate in letting you keep at their place if your own home burnt down. It’s an excessive instance, however it covers what true friendship ought to convey.

On this Italian saying, discovering a good friend is in comparison with discovering a treasure as a result of a real good friend seems to be a useful companion in life.

18. Noi Non Potremo Avere Perfetta Vita Senza Amici – “We Couldn’t Have a Excellent Life With out Pals”

This quote by Dante Alighieri is likely one of the most well-known Italian sayings nonetheless utilized in on a regular basis speech regardless of its old school phrasing. You may hear it from Italians who’ve studied traditional literature at college.

By studying this quote and the saying above, you possibly can perceive how helpful friendship is in Italy.

19. Quale il Padre, Story il Figlio – “Like Father, Like Son”

Additionally quoted as story padre, story figlio, this saying is commonly used with a unfavourable connotation.

It implies {that a} son has the identical values, morals, or behavioral tendencies as his father and often serves as a criticism or reproval of stated traits.

20. Tra Moglie e Marito Non Mettere il Dito – “By no means Intrude Between a Husband and Spouse”

Tra moglie e marito non mettere il dito is actually translated as “don’t put a finger between spouse and husband.” Granted, it doesn’t stand out for readability, however no less than it rhymes in Italian.

I’ve learnt this phrase from my Italian grandparents. Getting concerned in a pair’s enterprise when they’re arguing is just not a superb factor in the event you have no idea the depth of the scenario.

4 Italian Sayings About Meals

You may need scrolled down or skimmed the earlier elements to get to this one. I don’t blame you in the event you did, few individuals can resist the phrases “Italian” and “meals” in the identical sentence.

Italians do very properly after they cope with meals within the kitchen, however what about after they combine it up with proverbs and sayings? I’ll allow you to decide.

21. L’Appetito Vien Mangiando – “Urge for food Comes With Consuming”

In the event you’re planning to go to Italy and are fascinated about studying just one saying, that is the one. It’s not significantly significant, however it’s used fairly often.

To be sincere, the reality behind the saying is just not a lot about urge for food as it’s about gluttony, however I suppose it sounded higher this manner. It signifies that individuals at all times need greater than they have already got.

And with Italian delicacies, you guess they do. 😉

22. Non Tutte le Ciambelle Riescono Col Buco – “Not Every thing Turns Out as Deliberate”

Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco actually means “not all doughnuts come out with a gap.” If this saying makes you’re feeling perplexed, don’t fear, you’re not alone: even some Italians are usually not too eager on it!

To begin with, why would Italians speak about doughnuts as they’re not a typical Italian meals? That’s a superb query, and the reply may disappoint you in its simplicity. In truth, there isn’t an actual reply. Italians simply appear to have warmed as much as doughnuts and determined that they’re the proper ingredient to prepare dinner up a proverb.

Secondly, what does the saying imply? This I do know. A doughnut is meant to seem like a hoop of dough, however typically an error within the preparation may lead to a hole-less doughnut. Not every little thing in life seems the best way you deliberate!

23. Tutto Fumo e Niente Arrosto – “All Bark and No Chunk”

Are you aware individuals who prefer to rant lots, however in the case of taking motion, they all of the sudden develop into very shy? You would say about them that they’re tutto fumo e niente arrosto.

You may as well use the expression to explain hyper-hyped merchandise or initiatives that become lots lower than what they’d been marketed as.

24. Cercare il Pelo nell’Uovo – “To Be Nit-Choosy”

Cercare il pelo nell’uovo actually translated to English can be “to search for the hair within the egg”. It means to separate hairs, on the lookout for the fault or minor error in a scenario.

4 Italian Sayings About Love

If you concentrate on it, love is an unattainable idea to outline in all its magnificence. Nonetheless, Italians strive their greatest to place it into phrases. They’ve some ways to speak about romantic love with their companions, for instance.

Right here, you possibly can study 4 Italian sayings about love.

25. L’amore È Cieco – “Love Is Blind”

This saying might have a number of interpretations. Whether or not it pertains to blindness in the case of bodily look or a love curiosity’s faults, the message is obvious: whenever you fall in love, you do it no matter something.

26. Al Cuore Non Si Comanda – “The Coronary heart Desires What It Desires”

Al cuore non si comanda (actually: “you possibly can’t rule the guts”) signifies that love blooms unexpectedly and you’ll’t management it.

I’ve heard from trusted sources that it’s a favourite motto of rom-com scriptwriters.

27. Sfortunato al Gioco, Fortunato in Amore – “Unfortunate at Playing cards however Fortunate in Love”

To be sincere, this proverb doesn’t have a tried-and-true message to ship. It’s extra of a superstitious perception than an ethical.

I, for instance, am very unfortunate at each. 💔

28. Occhio Non Vede, Cuore Non Duole – “Out of Sight, Out of Thoughts”

The literal translation of occhio non vede, cuore non duole is “eye doesn’t see, coronary heart doesn’t harm.”

What this saying implies is that what you don’t see with your individual eyes gained’t harm you. It’s used when speaking about love delusions.

5 Latin Sayings Utilized by Italians

In Italy, the research of historical Latin and Greek is well-looked upon because the civilizations they’re linked to are an essential basis of Italian tradition.

In addition to small phrases or expressions like viceversa (“the opposite approach round”), idem (“identical”), and in extremis (“on the final second”), Italians have conserved a number of Latin expressions for day-to-day use. Listed here are 5 of them.

As you’ll discover, they’re brief, which makes them simpler to recollect and use each day.

29. Repetita luvant – “Repeating Does Good”

In Italian, repetita Iuvant turns into ripetere la stessa cosa, aiuta (“repeating the identical factor helps”), however the Latin model is used essentially the most.

It’s utilized in conditions when repetition may very well be thought-about boring, similar to in class, to remind the listener that repeating issues makes them simpler to recollect.

I learnt this one from my nonno (“grandfather”), who used to inform me repetita iuvant once I bought uninterested in my faculty work.

30. Verba Volant, Scripta Manent – “Phrases Fly Away, Writings Stay”

Verba volant, scripta manent, or le parole volano, gli scritti rimangono in Italian, is a quote from a well-known speech by the Emperor Titus on the Roman senate.

It’s a reality that spoken phrases might be forgotten or ignored, however written phrases stay tangible and visual proof.

31. Advert Maiora Semper – “In direction of Larger Issues”

Advert maiora semper means verso cose più grandi (“in direction of better issues”). It’s a phrase for encouraging individuals when their life is opening as much as new potentialities, similar to after commencement.

32. De Gustibus (Non Disputandum Est) – “There Is No Arguing About Style”

This phrase, which in Italian turns into i gusti non si discutono, is used to say that there isn’t any arguing about style as it’s subjective.

A few of my associates use it once I inform them their love for pineapple pizza is irrational.

33. Carpe Diem – “Seize the Day”

The Italian model of carpe diem is cogli l’attimo (“seize the second”). This Latin phrase is standard worldwide as a reminder to benefit from the current.

5 Italian Idioms

You’ve learnt many Italian proverbs and sayings in addition to some Latin ones… Now how about attending to know some Italian idioms? Let’s do this.

34. In Bocca Al Lupo! – “Good Luck!”

Sure, you’ve learn this proper. A standard colloquial solution to want somebody good luck in Italian is to inform them “within the mouth of the wolf.”

This idiom’s origin is unclear, however a preferred perception is that it comes from the legend of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. The twins have been discovered and raised by a wolf from a younger age, and due to this, the wolf represents safety and care.

Nonetheless, this poetic model clashes with the everyday reply to the interjection: crepi il lupo (“might the wolf die”). This may occasionally stem from the occasions when wolves have been thought-about essentially the most harmful animals in Italy.

35. Cavolo! – “Darn!”

Think about this example: you’re on the until on the grocery store and the cashier has completed scanning your week’s value of groceries. You’re about to take out your pockets to pay when… Cavolo! (actually, “Cabbage!”) You understand you’ve left it at dwelling.

36. Un Freddo Cane – “It’s Freezing Chilly”

Brrr… If you wish to shiver in Italian, you have to use this humorous idiom: fa un freddo cane. It’s laborious to translate it to English in a approach that is smart.

Cane (“canine”) on this case is used as an intensifying adjective, so the phrase doesn’t imply “it’s canine chilly” however “it’s actually, actually chilly”.

37. Sogni d’Oro – “Candy Desires”

To want your liked one a superb evening in Italian, you possibly can inform them to have sogni d’oro (actually: “golden goals”).

38. Farsi in Quattro – “Bend Over Backwards”

Farsi in quattro (actually, “Make oneself in 4”) is the Italian solution to say that you simply’ve gone out of your solution to do one thing. It’s an idiom typically used to explain dad and mom’ efforts to provide the most effective to their youngsters.

What’s Your Favourite Italian Saying?

So, what do you consider these Italian sayings? I stay in London now, so I don’t get to make use of them fairly often, and it felt so good to share them with you!

Now, it’s your flip to make use of them! In bocca al lupo! (“Good luck!”)

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