How to introduce yourself in Italian

How to introduce yourself in Italian

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Hello again! We are pleased to welcome you to our next Italian lesson for beginners! Today we want to tell you how to make a good impression on new friends or colleagues from Italy. Let's talk about introducing yourself.

Introducing yourself is a great way to start a conversation and make a good impression. Unlike English, in Italian there are two main ways to introduce yourself: formally and informally. Which one to use - you ask? The choice depends on the level of familiarity, age and relationship between you and the person you talk to.

Informal introduction is OK with family members, friends or people of a similar age / social status. In these case you are free to use the informal second person singular pronoun "tu" (you) to address the person. Informal introductions are more relaxed and friendly.

Formal introductions are used when you talk to someone you don't know well or who holds a position of authority or seniority. They are also appropriate when speaking to older people, customers, or in professional settings. In formal introductions, you use the third person singular (lei) and show respect and politeness in your language. If you are unsure, it's safer to start with formal introductions until the other person indicates that you can switch to the informal.

We learned the common Italian greetings before. Let's explore how to introduce yourself formally and informally using the greetings.

Start with a greeting

Informally:
Use the informal
Ciao (Hello / Hi)
to greet the person.
This is a friendly and informal way to greet someone.

Formally:
Use
Buongiorno (Good morning / Good day)
or
Buonasera (Good evening)
instead of the informal Ciao.

State Your Name

Use the next phrase:
Mi chiamo* Maria (My name is Maria).
This way is OK for formal and informal greetings.

* In the example above, we used a form (mi chiamo) of the reflexive verb "chiamarsi" (to be named, to call oneself). We will write more about reflexive verbs in another article. For now, all you need to know is that "chiamarsi" has the same stem and endings as its non-reflexive version "chiamare" (to call someone).
So, if you want to ask someone what his/her/their name is (are), use the following method:
Come
  [ What ]

(io) mi chiamo (is my name) ?
(tu) ti chiami (are your name) ?
(lui, lei) si chiama (is his/her name) ?
(noi) ci chiamiamo (are our names) ?
(voi) vi chiamate (are your all names) ?
(loro) si chiamano (are their names) ?

Add "Nice to Meet You"

Informally:
Use the informal second person singular pronoun "tu" (you) to refer to the person you are addressing, and the second person singular form of the verb when talking about the person:
Piacere di conoscerti (Nice to meet you).

Formally:
Don't forget to use the formal third-person singular pronoun "lei" (she) to refer to the person you are addressing, and the third-person singular form of the verb when talking about the person.
Piacere di conoscerla (Nice to meet you).

Say Goodbye

When you finish the conversation, don't forget to say goodbye before leaving.

Informally:
Ciao (Goodbye! / Bye!)

In addition to "ciao," there are a few other informal ways to say goodbye in Italian:
A presto! (See you soon!);
A dopo! (See you later!);
Ci vediamo! (We'll see each other!).

Formally:
Arrivederci! (Goodbye!)

Examples

Example of a simple informal introduction:
Ciao (Hi!);
Mi chiamo Maria (My name is Maria);
Piacere di conoscerti (Nice to meet you!);
Ciao (Goodbye!/Bye!)

Example of a simple formal introduction:
Buongiorno, Signor Mancini (Good morning, Mrs. Mancini);
Mi chiamo Maria (My name is Maria);
Piacere di conoscerla (Nice to meet you!);
Arrivederci (Goodbye!)

Additionally, if you want to share more information about yourself, you can add details such as your nationality, occupation, or where you are from:
Sono americano / americana (I am American);
Lavoro come traduttore (I work as a translator);
Vengo dagli Stati Uniti (I come from the USA).

One more advice is to keep a friendly and positive mood when introducing yourself. All people, and Italians especially appreciate this. So don't be afraid to add Grazie (Thank you) and Per favore (Please) whenever possible.

Summary

Remember that both formal and informal language play a significant role in Italian communication and culture. Practice your pronunciation by saying words and phrases out loud. After a while, you will be able to begin a simple conversation or chat in Italian, which will help you make new friends in the Italian-speaking environment.
We are waiting for you in the next lesson, where we will talk how to call days of the week and months in Italian. Good luck!