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“Common” Italian words Americans are Misusing and Mispronouncing

Italian is a beautiful, romantic language that Americans have slowly ruined by mispronouncing and misusing the language. Here are the top eight most common Italian words Americans have misinterpreted. 

1. Latte
In America, if you order a latte, you will expect to receive an espresso with steamed milk. However, in Italy, if you only order a latte, without stating ‘caffè’ before it, you will only receive steamed milk. 

2. Panini 
Oh, the delectable, warm sandwich to enjoy on a fall afternoon. If ordered in Italy, you should expect two sandwiches coming your way instead of just one like in America. 

3. Pepperoni 
The misuse of this word can lead to major issues for those who can’t handle spice. In America, pepperoni on pizza is a common combination, but in Italy, if you order pepperoni, you will receive a pizza full of hot and spicy peppers. To avoid this, order a pizza with salame piccante instead. 

4. Confetti
This may come as a surprise, but confetti in Italian is actually sugared almonds. Fitting for a party right? If you are looking for the confetti we are used to in America, make sure to ask for ‘coriandoli’. 

5. Mozzarella 
A tale as old as time; how to pronounce the beloved cheese. To be a true Italian, the correct pronunciation is ‘mots-a-rella’.

6. Versace 
Moving onto Milan, the fashion district of Italy, Versace is correctly pronounced ‘ver-sa-che’, not ‘ver-sa-chee’.

7. Per favore 
The common phrase Americans have become accustomed to using should really be pronounced ‘pehr-fa-vor-eh’, not our American pronunciation of ‘por-fa-vor’.

8. Espresso
To finish how we started, espresso is pronounced just how it is spelled: ‘es-press-oh’, not with an ‘X’. To learn more about the coffee culture in Italy and how Americans, especially Starbucks, have gotten it wrong, head over here. 

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