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Italian for the Phone

In today’s lesson you’ll learn useful phrases for dealing with phone calls, so you can gain confidence with it.

Public telephones are available throughout Italy and you can use phonecards which can be purchased at bars, post offices or tobacconists, even if the most part of the people use their  own mobile phone.

Calling Italy from the USA : Italian country code (0039) + area code (dropping the initial zero) + phone number

For instance,  If I call from New York City to Milan: 0039+(0)2+7129…..

Calling the USA from Italy : 001+ area code (dropping the initial zero) + phone number

By the way,  always remember the time difference! ( fuso orario).

Calling a mobile phone from Italy: company prefix + phone number

Calling an Italian mobile phone from the US: Italian country code+company prefix+phone number

The main cell phones company in Italy are Vodafone, Tim, Wind, Tre.

The Italian White Pages are the best place to help you find an address or a phone number; if you’re looking for businesses, try also the Yellow Pages.

New research has revealed that italians are addicted to mobile phones. According to the study, in fact, that involved over 300 people between 14 and 64 years old, 55% of italians cannot do without it, considering it a necessary complement to their daily life. They don’t use it only for calling, but they like to navigate on internet , to answer emails or send messages (SMS).


Common expressions used to make a telephone call:

  • Pronto? = Hello?
  • Pronto, sono Marco = Hello this is Mark
  • C’è Anna? = Is Anne there?
  • Vorrei parlare con…= I’d like to speak to…
  • Chi parla?/Con chi parlo? = Who’s speaking?
  • Sono Carla = Carla speaking
  • Attenda prego/Resti in linea = Hold on, please / Hold the line, please.
  • Potrei parlare con Carlo? = Could I speak to Carlo?
  • Non è qui, al momento = He isn’t here, at the moment
  • Non può venire al telefono ora, posso prendere un messaggio = He/She can’t come to the phone right now, may I take a message
  • E’ desiderato al telefono/ Ti vogliono al telefono = You are wanted on the phone.
  • Chi lo desidera? = Who’s calling?
  • Le passo l’interno ( richiesto) = I’ll put you through the extension number ( you require)
  • Parla la segretaria del direttore = This is the manager’s secretary.
  • E’ caduta la linea = We’ve been cut off.
  • La linea è disturbata = It’s a bad line.
  • La linea è occupata = The line’s engaged/busy
  • Non riesco a prendere la linea = I can’t get through.
  • Il numero è libero = The number is ringing.
  • Può darmi la linea per favore? = Can you put me through, please?
  • Posso fare una telefonata? = May I make a phone call?
  • Il telefono è guasto = The telephone is out of order.
  • Scusi ho sbagliato numero = Sorry, I got the wrong number.
  • Il numero era sbagliato = It was the wrong number.
  • Segreteria telefonica = Answering machine
  • Risponde la segreteria telefonica del numero 714617 = This is 714617.
  • Lasciate il vostro numero e un messaggio dopo il segnale acustico = Please, leave your number and a message after the signal/ after the tone.
  • Ti richiamo più tardi = I’ll call you back later.
  • Elenco telefonico = Telephone directory
  • Telefonata interurbana = long-distance call.
  • Telefonata a carico del destinatario = Collect call
  • Prefisso = code
  • Scheda telefonica = Phonecard

Leaving messages = Lasciare messaggi

If you need to leave a message on the phone, this is the usual outline to follow:


  • Hello, this is Chiara
  • It’s about 9 in the evening. I’m calling to see if you would like to go to the restaurant tomorrow tonight for a pizza
  • Would you mind call me back?
  • My number is 339/453200….
  • Thanks a lot, I’ll talk to you later


Ciao, sono Chiara

Sono le nove circa di sera e chiamo per sapere se domani sera sei libero per andare al ristorante a mangiare una pizza

Ti dispiacerebbe richiamarmi?

Il mio numero è 339…….

Molte e grazie, ti parlerò più tardi

Don’t be rude, be nice on the phone = Non essere maleducato,sii sempre gentile al telefono.

Having good manners makes you a pleasant person to be around = Avere delle buone maniere fa di te una persona piacevole da avere vicino.

By Elisa Bressan

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