Lingua Digitale

E-mail and text like an Italian

No doubt you already know the proper way to answer the phone in Italy (“Pronto”) and how to say goodbye politely (“Arrivederci”). But what about e-mail and texting? They have a style all their own. Here are some tips that will prevent you from getting “lost in translation”:

Proper e-mail etiquette can go a long way toward helping you make a reservation or get information from a travel agency.

  • Greeting: Address the recipient as “Gentile Sig.” or “Gentile Sig.ra,” which translate to “Dear Sir” and “Dear Madam.”
  • Closing: You might be tempted to use “Ciao,” but that is reserved for informal situations and would be considered rude if used in a formal email. Instead, use “Cordiali saluti,” the English equivalent of “sincerely” or “salutations.” If you are thanking someone in advance for a favor use “Anticipatamente ringrazio.

The Italians are just as busy texting on their smartphones as Americans. The American “LOL” has even made its way into Italian texting lingo. Here are other tips for deciphering Italian text messages:

  • Trp means troppo, “too much.” “Bologna e’ trp lontana!” “Bologna is too far away!”
  • Sn means sono, “I am.” “Sn in piazza.” “I am in the piazza.”
  • Xké means perché, “why” or “because.” “Xké nn usciamo?” “Why don’t we go out?”
    Xké sn stanca.” “Because I’m tired.”
  • Px means posso, “I can.” “Px passare da te!” “I can come to you!”
  • Gg means giorni, “days.” “Fra 3 gg parto.” “I will leave in 3 days.”

This article is from Urbino Now magazine’s Go Native section, a collection of tips and info to help you feel like a local. Please view more magazine articles or order a complete printed copy of Urbino Now.