Similarities Between English and Italian

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similarities between english and italian

Italian is what many people would consider to be a beautiful language, but language beauty is subjective. It brings to mind, among many other facets of culture that Italy has influenced throughout history, the picturesque countryside of Tuscany, the historic sites of Rome, and the cutting-edge fashions of Milan. It makes sense that the English language would borrow some vocabulary from other languages. There are countless English words that have Italian roots. Continue reading this blog till the end to know about the similarities between English and Italian.

Connection Between English and Italian

Italian and English are similar to each other for a few reasons. Although Italian is a Romance language and English is a Germanic language, Latin, one of Italian’s ancestors, had a significant influence on English. We’ve gathered some of the most popular English words that are actually Italian and divided them up by category to show you how much Italian you know without actually speaking it. This list only includes words that went from Italian to English without passing through another language, unless specifically stated otherwise (many words went from Italian to French to English).

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Similarities between English and Italian

Below mentioned are similarities between English and Italian:

  1. Alphabet: Italian words are composed of the same 26 letters as English words, but the letters j, k, w, x, and y are only used in import words because they are regarded as foreign. The English letters r and e, which sound like the Italian letters a and I, may cause Italian learners to misspell words that contain them. Days, months, languages, and other words that are capitalized in English are not capitalized in Italian.
  1. Phonology: Italian learners frequently struggle with vowel differences in minimal pairs like sheep, sheet, bet, mat, and coat. Additionally, English’s propensity to “swallow” weak vowels makes it difficult to understand what is being said as well as to produce speech that sounds natural.
  1. How to pronounce consonants: The difficulties with words containing the “‘th letters”—such as “thin,” “this,” “other,” “lengths,” etc.—fall under this category. Another issue is the failure to aspirate the h in words like house, hill, and hotel (or the hyper-correction of aspirating the h in every word that starts with a vowel).  Italian learners frequently add a short vowel sound to English words ending in consonants because the majority of Italian words end in a vowel. This leads to the stereotypical Italian production of sentences that sound like I had soup for lunch. This is compounded by the temptation to give full value or emphasis to every syllable.
  1. Grammar – Verb/Tense: The present, simple past, imperfect, future, and conditional are the five inflected tenses in Italian. Auxiliaries are used to form the other tenses. However, the absence of the auxiliary do in Italian causes errors like What you do? and “I don’t like German food.” Also, Italian does not use the perfect tenses in the same way that English does to connect past events to the present. This causes issues like the fact that I completed my homework on the bus. Interference errors like: What will you do when you leave school? result from a similar lack of correspondence between the two languages’ usage of tenses. or Since 1999, I have lived in Germany.
  1. Vocabulary: Italian and English both have many Latin-derived words in their vocabulary. This makes it easier to pick up new words, but it also brings with it the issue of false friends. Here are a few typical instances. First up is the Italian false friend: editore (publisher) / editor; bravo (good/clever) / brave; fame (hunger) / fame; Libreria (bookshop) / library.
  1. Other: The language of Italy is phonetic. Italian language learners consequently experience the typical English language barriers faced by speakers of similar languages. specifically, that they are unable to predict accurately. The first is the pronunciation of any new word they read, and the second is the spelling of any new word they hear.

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Italian Words in English

If you play music, you probably already know what bel canto, cello, mezzo-soprano, pianoforte, and solo mean. Words like cupola, loggia, and stanza have been appropriated by structural design. Of course, there are also traditional Italian dishes like vermicelli, mozzarella, lasagna, and porcini. Italian words like paparazzi, graffiti, mafia, and ghetto are frequently used in our daily conversations. As you can see, you already know a few Italian words in your vocabulary!

This has turned into a two-way street as a result of the media’s growing sway over American culture. Numerous English words have been directly assimilated by the Italian language without being translated.

Examples of Italian Words in English

Below mentioned are the Italian words in English:

  • Venire: To come
  • Sapere: To know
  • Stare: To stay
  • Mangiare: To eat
  • Vedere: To see
  • Fare: To do
  • Aspettare: To wait
  • Dire: To say

English Words in Italian

Club, flirt, bar, shopping, spray, and style are a few of these words. Terms like meeting, staff, marketing, computer, mouse, and fax are particularly common in the business and technological lexicon.  Alternatively, they occasionally add an Italian suffix to an English word to make it sound more Italian. 

For instance, the verb “to download” should be translated as “scaricare,” but you’ll frequently hear Italian speakers use the word “downloadare.”  Especially in touristy cities like Florence, Rome, and Venice, it might seem like you hear more English than Italian when you are in Italy. The Italian language has been defended against this foreign invasion by politicians and academics in a number of ways.  

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Examples of English Words in Italian

Below mentioned are examples of English words in Italian:

  • Stiletto – Little Stylus
  • Umbrella – Ombrello
  • Bravo – Brave
  • Diva – Goddess
  • Maestro – Master
  • Solo – Alone
  • Scenario – Scenery
  • Studio – Room of study
  • Gonzo – Rude
  • Fresco – Cool & Fresh
  • Jeans – Cloth of Genoa
  • Tutti – Frutti – All Fruits
  • Riviera – “Riverbank or Shore”


Q1. How are English and Italian similar?

Ans. There are a couple of reasons for the similarities between Italian and English. Though English is descended from a different family — Italian is a Romance language, English a Germanic — English was heavily influenced by one of Italian’s ancestors: Latin.

Q2. Does Italian have the same grammar as English?

Ans. Italian grammar is similar to English grammar in many ways that make it fairly easy to make connections between the two languages.

Q3. Is Italian more similar to English or French?

Ans. Long story short, French and Italian share a lot of similar-sounding vocabulary, but, as an English speaker, you’ll probably be more familiar with French words. Another major difference you’ll notice between these languages is that Italian has much more straightforward pronunciation.

We hope this blog has helped you in knowing about the similarities between English and Italian. If you wish to study abroad and are looking for assistance, connect with our experts on 1800 57 2000 and book your 30-minute free consultation.

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