Sicily Campaign Blog 3

Top 10 phrases to know for your next trip to Sicily

Alex Shaked
by Alex Shaked

October 12, 2023

2 minute read

Did you know that speaking Italian and speaking Sicilian are two different things?

Sicilian is distinct enough that it’s considered a separate language, and is recognized as a vulnerable, potentially endangered language by UNESCO. It’s reason number one to learn some simple phrases ahead of your trip to Sicily.

Reason two: Sicilians are well-known for their welcoming nature and incredible hospitality. Going the extra mile to speak to them, even a bit, in their own language will not go unnoticed. Those small moments are going to make your stay richer and more fulfilling. Trust me on this one.

That being said, doing your own web search of Sicilian vs. Italian phrases will send you down a confusing, contradictory rabbit hole. As someone who doesn’t speak either language, I promise you, I’m speaking from experience. You will find some websites whose authenticity will be questionable at best.

But good news! We’re here to help you get started with the basics. Collette’s tours are designed by travelers, for travelers, and our expertise stretches around the world. Our Italian team members come from across the country, including mainland Italians and Sicilians. They were instrumental in making sure this list of phrases will set you up for success.

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(A programming note from one word nerd to another: The native Sicilian consulted for this language lesson is from Palermo. This means some spellings may shift on different parts of the island.)

All right, traveler. Grab your notebook. It’s time for Sicilian school to commence. Amunì! (Let’s go!)

Good day = Bon jornu

Hello / a general greeting = Ciau

Thank you = Grazzi

Yes =

No = No

Please = Pi faùri

Pardon me or I’m sorry = Mi scusassi

How are you? = Comu si senti?

Fine, thanks, and you? = Bonu, grazzi, e Lei?

And, when in doubt …

I don’t speak Sicilian = Iu nun parlo sicilianu

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