How to Say 'Hello' in Italian

by Andrew Smith

There are as many ways to say "hello" in Italian as there are moods to say it in. Appropriately categorized among the Romance languages -- the direct descendants of Latin -- Italian has an emotional, lyrical quality that can fill the simplest phrase with passion. When you greet someone in Italian, don't just pronounce the words, savor them.

Say “salve” (pronounced "sal-vey") if you wish to say “hello,” or “ciao” (pronounced "chow") for a simple, less formal “hi.”

Use “buon giorno” (pronounced "bwon jorno") for "good morning," “buona sera” (pronounced bwonah se-rah) for "good evening" and “buona notte” (pronounced bwonah not-tey) for "good night."

Ask “come sta?” (pronounced "komay stah") if you want to know how the person is doing. This is a simple "how are you?" greeting in Italian.

Shake hands when greeting both men and women. If meeting a close friend or relative, a kiss on both cheeks is appropriate.

About the Author

Andrew Smith has been a freelance writer since 2006, specializing in sports and technology. His work has appeared on various online sites. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Pennsylvania State University.

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