Italian All-in-One For Dummies
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Business contacts with people in other countries continues to increase in importance. Because modern technology supports the quick exchange of information over vast distances, you may have to talk to foreign business partners — or even travel to their countries. If you happen to have business contacts with Italian companies, knowing some basic Italian business vocabulary may be useful. Because English is the language of business, however, Italian has adopted many English computer and software terms.

Italian has at least three words for "company" — la compagnia (lah kohm-pah-nyee-ah), la ditta (lah deet-tah) (which also means "the firm"), and la società (lah soh-cheh-tah). These words are virtually interchangeable.

L'ufficio (loof-fee-choh) is Italian for "office," but people often use stanza (stahn-tsah) (room) to refer to their personal office.

The following sentences give you a taste of the phrases you hear in uffici (oof-fee-chee) (offices) everywhere:

  • La mia scrivania è troppo piccola. (lah mee-ah skree-vah-nee-ah eh trohp-poh peek-koh-lah) (My desk is too small.)
  • È una grande società? (eh oo-nah grahn-deh soh-cheh-tah) (Is it a big company?)
  • Non proprio, diciamo media. (nohn proh-pree-oh dee-chah-moh meh-dee-ah) (Not really, let's say medium-sized.)
  • Lavora per una piccola agenzia. (lah-voh-rah pehr oo-nah peek-koh-lah ah-jehn-tsee-ah) (He works for a small agency.)
  • Amo il mio lavoro. (ah-moh eel mee-oh lah-voh-roh) (I like my job.)
To learn a language, you have to work, too. Here's the conjugation of the verb lavorare (lah-voh-rah-reh) (to work).
Conjugation Pronunciation
io lavoro ee-oh lah-voh-roh
tu lavori too lah-voh-ree
lui/lei lavora loo-ee/lay lah-voh-rah
noi lavoriamo noh-ee lah-voh-ree-ah-moh
voi lavorate voh-ee lah-voh-rah-teh
loro lavorano loh-roh lah-voh-rah-noh

S.p.A. is the Italian abbreviation for Società per Azioni (soh-cheh-tah pehr ah-tsee-oh-nee) (joint-stock company), whereas a S.A.S., Società in Accomandita Semplice (soh-cheh-tah een ahk-koh-mahn-dee-tah sehm-plee-cheh) is a limited partnership. Another type of company is an S.r.l. (Società a responsabilità limitata) (soh-cheh-tah ah rehs-pohn-sah-bee-lee-tah lee-mee-tah-tah) (public limited company, also know as a p.l.c.).

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