View from inside the Space Needle

We're coving the 10 most important things to know to get by in Italian. First, we looked at Italian greetings, at the common courtesies, and asking questions. Then, we looked at things you will need, numbers, and directions. And last week we covered basic Italian verbs, descriptive words, and words to describe body parts. Today we're going to cover the last item on the list.

10. Vital information


When we talk about vital information, we're talking about important things that you should be able to describe about yourself for sake of basic survival. Your name and address, for instance, though these are easy because they won't be translated. However, if you are a vegetarian, or if you have any sort of allergies or medical conditions, you should be able to communicate that.

Sono vegetariano.
I am a vegetarian.

Sono allergico ...
I am allergic to ...

alle noci.
to nuts.

al pesce.
to fish.

agli frutti di mare.
to shellfish.

all'aspirina.
to aspirin.

agli antibiotici.
to antibiotics.

alla penicillina.
to penicillin.

Sono incita.
I am pregnant.

Sono asmatico.
I am asthmatic.

Sono diabetico.
I am diabetic.

Sono epilettico.
I am epilleptic.

Prendo la medicina per ...
I'm taking medication for ...

Non può sentirsi. È sordo.
He can't hear you. He's deaf.


That doesn't cover everything, but it's a good sample of what you should know. If you have a medical condition, legal status, or other detail which you should know about, which wasn't listed here, I suggest you go to WordReference.com and learn how to say it.

Putting it together


If you're being treated by a doctor, you can add some of these phrases to the body parts we learned, and build informative phrases like Prendo la medicina per il mio cuore, meaning I'm taking medicine for my heart.

If you're in a restaurant, you can say Cosa può consigliarmi di vegetariano? to ask if the waiter can recommend something for a vegetarian. And if you have a food allergy, you can say Sono allergico alle noci. Posso mangiare questo? to tell the waiter I'm allergic to nuts. Can I eat this?

Final comments


Well, that's the end of my Ten most important things to know, in order to get by in Italian. This list is still untested by me, though I will be putting my 10 things to the test in Lithuanian this fall. Still, common sense tells that it can't be far off.

The important thing is that you shouldn't feel the need to limit yourself to these ten things. This is a good guideline to begin your studies, especially in preparation for travel. But there is always more to know, and no reason why you should stop after just learning what I've written out in my list.

 

 

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