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Italian Words and Phrases for Kids

written by: Audrey Alleyne • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 3/2/2012

Kids love games and stories. Make your class of Italian words-phrases for kids interesting by telling them that, even before they begin their study of the language, they already know and use quite a number of Italian words.

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    Introduction to the Italian Language

    Suggest some of the Italian words your students already know, such as umbrella and pizza, and see if they can come with some of their own. Assist them by giving them some more like broccoli, studio, and piano. Talk a little about the popularity of Italian cuisine. Give examples of Italian recipes. Talk about Italian films and Italian music. Now give them a little synopsis of how many people they can speak to in the world if they learn Italian.

    Tell them that there are over 62,000,000 people in the world who speak Italian. In addition to Italians in Italy and the Vatican State, there are people in other countries in Europe, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, and South America who speak the Italian language. Tell them that they can have the opportunity to practice the Italian they learn in class if they ever travel to any one of those countries.

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    Greetings and Farewells

    After you have taught your students the Italian alphabet, play a game of Greetings and Farewells. Assign an Italian name to each student. Tell the students to imagine they are in Italy in an Italian class, and have them introduce themselves and spell their names in Italian.

    • Student A: Buongiorno.Come ti chiami? (Good morning. What’s your name?)
    • Student B: Mi chiamo Vittorio. (My name is Vittorio.)
    • Student A: Mi chiamo Antonia. (My name is Antonia.)
    • Student A: Questo è un bel nome. (That’s a nice name.)
    • Student B: Grazie. Ci vediamo. (Thanks. See you later.)
    • Student A: Ciao. (Bye.)
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    Colors

    Students can use colored slips of paper, pieces of cloth, or colored index cards to learn colors in Italian. The following are some colors they can learn:

    Italian - English

    • Nero/a - Black
    • Bianco/a - White
    • Marrone - Brown
    • Grigio/a - Grey
    • Verde - Green
    • Rosso/a - Red
    • Giallo/a -Yellow
    • Rosa - Pink
    • Azzurro/a - Light Blue
    • Blu - Dark Blue
    • Arancione - Orange
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    Numbers

    Numbers should be a necessary part of any beginner’s lesson. Start with numbers in groups of ten. Here are the first ten numbers in Italian.

    • 0 – zero
    • 1 – uno
    • 2 – due
    • 3 – tre
    • 4 – quattro
    • 5 – cinque
    • 6 – se
    • 7 – sette
    • 8 – otto
    • 9 – nove
    • 10 – dieci

    Play this game. Have students line up and say the numbers from one to ten. They then start counting backwards from ten to one. If a student makes a mistake, he or she steps out of the game. Give winning points or a small prize to the last person standing.

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    Words and Phrases

    Other useful words and phrases are as follows:

    Social Greetings

    • Good afternoon - Buongiorno
    • Good evening - Buonasera
    • Goodnight - Buonanotte

    Essential Phrases

    • How are you? - Come sta[i]?
    • And you? - E lei?/E tu?
    • Please - Per favore/Per piacere
    • Thank you - Grazie
    • Sorry - Scusi
    • You're welcome - Prego

    Replies

    • I don't understand - Non capisco
    • I understand - Capisco
    • Help! - Aiuto
    • No - No
    • Yes - Si

    These Italian words-phrases for kids used in the forms of games and activities will have your students motivated to learn more and more Italian as they discover the joys of learning another language.