Twelve dialect words to help you survive in Rome

Mar 17, 2019 169

The Roman dialect was singled out by poet Dante as the ugliest in all of Italy. The writer said it wasn't worthy of being described as a 'vulgar tongue' but was merely 'profanity'. In fact, some people call the dialect 'Romanaccio' (instead of the more formal 'Romanesco'), with the suffix 'accio' carrying negative connotations (a 'giornataccia' for example is 'a terrible day').

But there's a beauty to the language. Each word is spoken as if it's being savoured, and the insults are wonderfully creative. What's more, you'll need to understand it if you want to keep up with quick Roman chatter. To speak like a local, two starting points are to drop vowels at the starts of words and double up on consonants. For example, articles (that's un, uno and una) lose the 'u' and become 'n, 'no and 'na, while 'buono' becomes 'bonno' or 'bonn'. Another peculiarity is that 'l', when followed by a consonant, is pronounced like 'r' - so you're living 'la dorce vita'. 

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