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Have you ever heard good news from an Italian friend and wanted to convey the right level of excitement in Italian, but weren’t sure how to do it? I’ve been there too, so I’ve compiled a quick list to find the perfect sentiment every time nella bella lingua.
– Congratulazioni! – General congrats!
– Complimenti! – Well done!
– Bravo/a! – Congrats/good job!*
*Bravo/a is a great, versatile word to get comfortable with in your vocabulary – both for listening and speaking. For example, let’s say you’re struggling, trying to talk to an Italian friend, but finally you get the whole sentence out and with minimal errors. You can almost guarantee a hearty “bravo” or “bravissimo” (really, REALLY good job) at the end! Bravo is said to children, adults, elderly and everyone in between and can stand alone or be a part of a sentence.
– Auguri – General well wish, can be used in many contexts (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
– Auguroni – A more forceful “auguri,” “big wishes”
– Buon anniversario! – Happy anniversary
– Dopo ___ anni, siete ancora inseparabili! – After ___ years you’re still inseparable! This Emphasizes the length and strength of the relationship.
– I nostri migliori auguri! – Our best wishes (if coming from more than one person, like a family)
– Cento di questi giorni – A hundred more days like this one! Many happy returns!
– Buon compleanno – Standard happy birthday
Soon to be married:
– Tanti auguri per una vita felice insieme! – Many wishes for a happy life together!
– Auguri e figli maschi! – A wish for many sons, popular to say in southern Italy! Side note, for my wedding, I was wished this so many times, I am now terrified that someday I will have enough sons for my own calcio team!
– Congratulazioni ai nuovi fidanzati! – Congrats to the newly engaged!
– Evviva gli sposi! – Long live the bride and groom!/General congrats! This is a great one to shout to the bride and groom if you see them on the streets of Italy.
– Tanta felicità – Tons of happiness for your future!
– Ormai la frittata è fatta! – No going back now! A playful congratulations used among friends/family
– Congratulazioni dottore* – Congrats grad!
*In Italy, “dottore” is the term given to those who complete the equivalent of a bachelors degree in the U.S.
– Secchione – Braniac! (Can also be used negatively but in this context it is like saying “well, aren’t you a smarty pants?!”
– In bocca al lupo* per il tuo primo giorno di lavoro – Good luck on your first day of work!
*When using “in bocca al lupo” don’t forget that the appropriate reply is always “crepi!” The expression means “into the mouth of the wolf” and the reply is akin to saying “it dies before it eats me.” Sounds a bit odd, but it makes sense if you think about the wolf as the big task you have to overcome, and it dying is akin to you slaying the task at hand (in a good way).
– Complimenti per il tuo nuovo lavoro! – Congrats on getting a new job!
– Tanti auguri alla nuova mamma – Congrats/well wishes for the first time mom
– Auguroni al nuovo arrivato – Well wishes for the new arrival! (in case of a son)
– Auguroni alla nuova arrivata – Well wishes for the new arrival! (in case of a daughter)
Do you have any others to add? Ever had something said to you that you didn’t understand? Let me know below!