“Good luck”, “break a leg”, “best of luck”, “fingers crossed”… The English language has many ways of wishing good luck to someone.
The same goes for our beloved boot-shaped country, and today we’re going to see all the ways you can say good luck in Italian.
Most of them are quite predictable if you know some basic Italian. Others, like the local equivalents of “break a leg”, need some context to be understood.
But we’ll get to that in a minute.
6 ways to wish good luck in Italian
The most common way of wishing good luck in Italian is buona fortuna.
It is the literal translation of “good luck”, and there’s not much else to say about it. Another common expression is auguri, which means “best wishes” and can be used interchangeably with buona fortuna.
Buona fortuna per il tuo esame!
Good luck with your exam!
Auguri per il tuo colloquio!
Good luck with your interview!
There is also incrociamo le dita, which is the Italian translation of “fingers crossed”.
And then, the Italian language has many scaramantic best wishes, some of which are kinda… colorful, so to speak.
Here are the 3 most common ways to say good luck in Italian.
1) In bocca al lupo! This is the most common Italian equivalent of “break a leg“. It means “into the mouth of the wolf“, and like its English counterpart is used in a superstitious way.
Both expressions date back to a time when it was thought that the forces governing the world made the opposite of what people wished out loud to come true.
So wishing for your friends to be mauled by wolves was meant to trick these dark forces into keeping them safe. The traditional reply to this wish is “crepi il lupo!” (“may the wolf die”).
2) In culo alla balena! This one means “into the ass of a whale”. Like the previous expression, it is used to mean the contrary of what you’re saying out loud. The standard reply is: “speriamo che non caghi!” (“let’s hope it doesn’t shit”).
3) Merda!This one is used by stage actors when they are about to start a play. It just means “shit”, and actors usually yell it three times altogether just before going to their positions.
Cheer for your buddies
The best way to make new friends in Italy is to be kind and supportive. Cheer for them and wish them good luck in Italian with the expressions you just learned.
Also, using the superstitious expressions you’ve read above will earn you extra sympathy points, as they are considered much funnier and informal than buona fortuna.
Which one did you find funnier? Let me know in the comments 🙂
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