Five Mispronunciations That Drive Italians Crazy

Annoying Italians and coffee shop workers the world over, is the all-too-common error of pronouncing “espresso” as “expresso.”  X does not mark the spot when it comes to espresso, it marks the individual as one who does not know Italian.

In Italy, asking for a “panini” (the plural for sandwich), when you want just one sandwich (panino) is a sure-fire way to confirm your non-native status. Since this word has been woven into common English usage, it takes time to remember that it’s “un panino” and “due panini.”

Forgetting to pronounce the “e” at the end of grazie is another direct route to confirming your foreign status.

No problemo
The tactic of adding an “o” to the end of an English word when you’re stuck for the Italian one may work some of the time, but when overdone it makes native Italian speakers cringe. In this case, the correct expression is “nessun problema.”

Por favor
A common mistake made by Spanish-speaking visitors to Italy is to over-rely on the similarities between the two Latin languages. While knowledge of Spanish helps one to understand many Italian words, slipping in the occasional”por favor” (please) or “gracias” (thank you) is an instant giveaway that you’re still not fully confident in Italian! In Italian, it’s “per favore.”

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