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Ital-Phrases-art- 11/2/02


"Useful Italian phrases from Florio" by Lord Anton de Stoc. Excerpts from a period book on speaking Italian written for an English audience.


NOTE: See also the files: languages-msg, Italy-msg, Latin-msg, Latin-online-art, literacy-msg, taverns-msg, beer-msg, wine-msg, p-Italy-food-bib, fd-Italy-msg.





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                               Thank you,

                                   Mark S. Harris

                                   AKA:  Stefan li Rous

                                         stefan at florilegium.org                                        



Useful Italian phrases from Florio

by Lord Anton de Stoc


Giovanni Florio wrote two 16th century books on speaking Italian for an English audience, being Florio’s First Fruits and Florio’s Second Fruits. Most of it was phrase-based, with each phrase of a conversation presented in Italian on the left column, and on English on the right. Florio’s two books are available as part of Da Capo Press’ "Early English Experience" series of reprints of pre-1640 printed works, and should therefore be available in good libraries (ANU is where I found them). For other books in the EEE series, see my "Da Capo Press Primary Sources" series on Stefan’s Florilegium.


Here are some Italian phrases that I think readers will find useful, especially in the Tavern at Rowany Festival.


Powre out some wine, and giue me to drinke.

Merfci del vino, e dammi da bere.


I maruell how you can drinke so earlie.

Io non so come poffiate bere cofi a buon hora.


I drinke verie seldome between meales.

Rare volte foglio bere fuor di pasto.


It is good to drinke in a morning to charme the mist.

Il bere la matina e buono da incatare lanebbia.


(2; p12-13)


Giue me a cup of beere, or else a bowle of ale.

Dammi una coppa di birra, oeur una tazza di ceruogia.


(2; p50-51)


These are fortune’s common tricks with me.

Quelfi fon de’tratti che mifuol far la fortuno.


What a hotch-potch, what a shoofling doo you keepe with thise cardes ?

Chev guazzabuglio, che mescuglio fate con quefte carate ?


Me thinkes you pack and fet them.

A me pare che voi le interzate.


(2; p68-9)


Will you that I keepe you companie ?

Volete che io vi facci compagnia ? (1; p7)


Fayre mayde, wyll you that I loue you ?

Bella figlia, volete che io vi ami ? (1; p1)


Shal wee goe walke into the fieldes ?

Debbiamo andare neli campi ? (1; p2)


Let us go unto the Theater to see a Comedie, and if it please you to go with me, I wyll be glad of your companie.

Andiamo al Teatro a veder la Comedia, e fi vi poace andar meco, io faro alagro de la vofra compagnia. (1; p2)


I will goe with you willingly.

Io andero con voi volentieri. (1; p2)


Who loueth me, loueth my hound.

Chi mi am, me ama il mio cane (1; p29)


Between doing and saying there is great space.

Dal ditto al faito, vi e un gran tratto (1; p30)




1; John Florio ; Florio’s First Fruites ; London ; 1578

2; Giovanni Florio ; Florio’s Second Frvts ; London ; 1591



Copyright 2002, Ian Whitchurch, 27 Atherton St Downer ACT 2602 Australia <Ian.Whitchurch at dewrsb.gov.au>. Permission granted to reproduce for not-for-Profit purposes, provided that the work is properly attributed.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org