Here are some important Italian business words and phrases, which will prove very handy to know. Some of them are English false friends that is, they are similar to English words, but have a different meaning; some others are easy to remember as they actually have the same meaning as in English. Click the links below to familiarise yourself with pronunciation.
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Useful Italian business phrases
Biglietto da visita (Business card)
The Italian format is similar to the English one with first name followed by last name, company name and contact details.
Le lascio il mio biglietto da visita
(lit. I leave you my business card)
To ask somebody for theirs: mi lascia il Suo biglietto da visita per cortesia?
(Lit. Could you leave me your business card please?).
Recapito (Contact information)
When you meet someone at a trade show or conference someone could ask you to give them your “recapito”, that is your contact information, so be ready to give them your biglietto da visita (business card).
Mi dà un recapito per cortesia?
(Lit. Can I have your contact information please?)
This Italian business word is easy to remember as it is similar and has the same meaning of the English word appointment. Please remember to use the verb prendere (to take) or fissare (to set up) and to help you with this there is an example below.
Vorrei prendere un appuntamento con l’Avvocato Muzzolon
(lit. I would like to take an appointment with the lawyer Muzzolon).
Cultural tip: It is important to use titles, in written Italian the title initial goes in capital letter.
Often the English word meeting is used particularly in the finance industry.
Vorrei fissare una riunione con il Dottor Rossi e la Dottoressa De Cesaris
(lit. I would like to set up a meeting with Mr Rossi and Ms De Cesaris).
Cultural tip: please note everyone who achieves a degree takes the title of Dottore (m) o Dottoressa (f).Dottore/ssa are also used for Doctors in medicine.
“Affari” is the plural of “affare” which resembles the English word affair, however, affari has nothing to do with a secret romantic relationship, but means business. Un uomo d’affari is a business man.
Come vanno gli affari? (How is business?).
Gli affari vanno benissimo (Business is great)
Gli affari vanno così e così (Business is ok, could be better)
Gli affari vanno male (Business is bad)
As we have seen above “affare” is the singular noun of affari. If “affari” means business, “affare” means deal and is used as in English when buying a product or a service and get a great price.
Ho fatto un affare a comprare le azioni della vostra azienda.
(Lit. I’ve got a great deal by buying your company shares).
It can also be used in a sarcastic way using a different tone of voice and facial expression.
Ho fatto proprio un affare a comprare le azioni della Solution Ltd
(Lit I really got a deal by buying the Solution Ltd shares).
When someone is indaffarato (m) or indaffarata (f) means they are busy doing many things with little time to spare.
Useful Italian business phrase using indaffarato/a
Sono indaffarata al momento, può aspettare 10 minuti?
(Iam busy at the moment, could you wait 10 minutes?)
Un accordo (An agreement)
Accordo is an essential Italian business word. When trying to make a deal “fare un affare” you need to reach “un accordo” (an agreement).
Abbiamo finalmente raggiunto un accordo, affare fatto
(lit.We have finally reached an agreement, we closed the deal).
As seen above “affare fatto” indicates that finally an agreement has been reached and all the parties made a deal.
Affare fatto, compreremo la vosta azienda per 75 milioni di euro.
(We made a deal, we will buy your company for 75 million euros).