Hello, hi and other informal greetings

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by dylanG3893, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. dylanG3893

    dylanG3893 Senior Member

    United States
    There must be a few slang words that mean the same as hi.
    In America, there's Hello, Hi, Hey etc.
    Is there only Ciao and Salve? Salve really just means Greetings and I wouldnt say that to a friend. What could I casually say to a friend in Italy instead of ciao?
  2. Saoul

    Saoul Senior Member

    Spain, Valencia
    Well "ciao" is absolutely the most common way of greeting someone.
    You can hear a lot of "ehi là" around, but this is not as common as ciao.
    In recent years young people have developped a sort of taste for "Bella!" "Bella lì!" "Allora?" and things like that... let's say sort of very slang expressions... but please don't get accustumed to them.
    Use "ciao".
  3. dylanG3893

    dylanG3893 Senior Member

    United States
    How is EHI LA pronounced?
    Like Eh - hee - lah (in english)
  4. Saoul

    Saoul Senior Member

    Spain, Valencia
    Ehi is identical to your "Hey".
    La is lah.

    Hey lah
  5. gabrigabri

    gabrigabri Senior Member

    Italian, Italy (Torino)
    Ehilà (without H!, not Heila!)
    Ciaux (actually in chat!)

  6. victoria luz

    victoria luz Senior Member

    Mai usato/sentito usare nessuno di questi, eccetto "!" (ma, più che ciao indicherebbe sorpresa di incontrare qualcuno in un luogo/momento inaspettato).
    Probabilmente si tratta di espressioni con un uso decisamente regionale. Altra ottima ragione per limitarsi al caro vecchio ciao.
  7. Juri Senior Member

    Koper, near Trieste
    Il Diz. etim. stranamente non riporta l'origine di "ciao", che discende dal veneto s'ciao, che anticamente significava " schiavo vostro".
  8. bella oochi Member

    If the formal way to say 'Hello,Greetings' is 'Ciao,Salve'? Please correct me.Thanks!

    Merci Beaucop? :p
  9. LukeTheDuke3000

    LukeTheDuke3000 Senior Member

    No, you cannot use "ciao" and "salve" togheter. You must choose between one of them. (And "merci" is french! :D - we say "Grazie")
  10. LukeTheDuke3000

    LukeTheDuke3000 Senior Member

    Actually, "salve" is just more formal than "ciao"
  11. clare lorraine Senior Member

    English - Italy
    I may be wrong but in Lombardy/Piedmont at any rate, 'salve' is a dated expression which was very much used by young-ish people and shop assistants/office workers dealing with the public about 5-6 years ago when they didn't want to appear too formal by saying 'Buon Giorno' nor too informal by saying 'Ciao'. Or else they didn't want to appear too respectful towards their elders!
    I think they also used it to wait and see whether the other person was going to talk to them using 'tu' or 'lei'.
    I never heard 'salve' used between friends.
    As an older person it always grated on me and I would definitely stick to ciao for friends and buon giorno/arrivederci for acquaintances
    It also bothered because it comes from Latin and maybe on saying 'goodbye' should have been (but was never) replaced by 'Vale'
  12. Juri Senior Member

    Koper, near Trieste
    Never heard in Italy the expression 'Vale'. May be a regional one?
    But it's interesting how old Romans closed the letters with:EVESUV=
    "Ego valeo et spero ut valeas"(I'm healthy, and hope you are healthy too)
  13. clare lorraine Senior Member

    English - Italy
    Vale was a joke :)
    But just to show annoyance of ignorance of people who said 'Salve' to mean goodbye as well as hello. In Latin it could only mean hello and goodbye was Vale. That's all I meant.
    Ciao and have a nice weekend
  14. InOrbit

    InOrbit Member

    Italian- Italy
    Queste sono forme scorrette giovanilistiche e storpiature (ciauz, e varianti) in uso molto, molto informale e al limite dell'accettabilità.
    Personalmente, se uno mi salutasse con "Cià" mi darebbe l'impressione di un cretinetti, ma al di là dei gusti personali, non credo sia un'ottima idea suggerire questo tipo di vocaboli ad una persona che intende apprendere l'italiano.
    In qualsiasi contesto scrivere "Uelà" è sbagliato (sembra una traslitterazione fonetica)... è più o meno, come se si dicesse "guarda si dice: becoz... byz... 10Q".
    Niente di personale, ovviamente. :)

    Buona sera Lorraine,
    devo dire che uso a volte "salve", e anche "salute". Ho seguito con interesse la tua analisi della psicologia di chi utilizza questa forma al posto del buongiorno o arrivederci. :)
    Credo che vi sia un grado di "distacco" in salve -preciso il tuo esempio sul commesso-, ma francamente non mi è mai capitato di pensare "... adesso vediamo come risponde e se è il caso, passo al buongiorno e buonasera" : )).

    Sul serio, l'unico motivo per cui mi sento a volte di salutare con "salve" non è altro che trovare un'alternativa al solito "buongiorno". E' anche una forma di augurio (Lat. salve, imp. di salvere; propr. “stai bene”. )

    Avviene in maniera spontanea, almeno per quanto mi riguarda. Non penso alla radice latina e non provo certo imbarazzo nel rivolgere un bel CIAO a qualcuno. :)
    Ad ogni modo, tutto può essere.

    Penso che sia più questione di gusti soggettivi.

    Passa una buona serata.
  15. milchkeksi Member

    German (Austria)
    My Italian friend sometimes writes me messages starting with "Heila", that's why I'm wondering now, as I just saw this entry that it should not be Heila with "H". I was checking the exact meaning of "Heila" but I couldn't find anything.
    Is it the same as Ehilà?
    Thanks for your comments!
  16. Hermocrates Senior Member

    Italian & British English (bilingual)
    It's a mispelling. He actually means "Ehilà". :)

  17. milchkeksi Member

    German (Austria)
    Okay, that's strange, because I received this greeting several times... so I don't think that he just typed it wrong.
    But thanks for your quick reply! =)
  18. MünchnerFax

    MünchnerFax Senior Member

    Italian, Italy
    It's indeed a frequent mistake among Italians to misspell interjections (e.g. ehi becomes hei, boh becomes bo' or bho, etc.). Apparently, your friend falls into this trap too. :)
  19. milchkeksi Member

    German (Austria)
    I see ... at least now I know not to use it when talking to other Italians! :D
  20. Hermocrates Senior Member

    Italian & British English (bilingual)
    What MünchnerFax said. Many Italians are confused about how to spell interjections in their own native language and thus make up spurious spelling forms often influenced by English. That because while grammar is extensively studied in school since early age, usually interjections are not taught in school (and use of them in writing is discouraged in school).


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