Let’s start with the formal ways.
Formal translations of “nice to meet you” in Italian
The literal translation of “it’s nice to meet you” is “è un piacere conoscerti“, but no Italian would say it like that.
They often change it to piacere di conoscerti, or use some variants depending on the context.
There are formal and informal ways to say it, and they are very similar to each other.
As I wrote above, the standard way to say “nice to meet you” in Italian is piacere di conoscerti.
However, if you want to sound formal or you’re talking with someone older than you, you should change it to piacere di conoscerla.
This is because of a courtesy form that Italians use when they want to show respect to someone.
It consists of replacing the pronoun tu with lei and declining every other word accordingly.
E.g.: Imagine your friend Sergio introduces you to his friends at the pub. They’ll probably say something like:
Ehi, piacere di conoscerti. Come hai conosciuto Sergio?
Hey, nice to meet you. How did you meet Sergio?
But if instead, Sergio decides to bring you home and make you meet his parents, and you’ll have to say something like:
Piacere di conoscerla. Lei ha una bellissima casa, lo sa?
Nice to meet you. You have a lovely house, you know?
If you want to sound even more formal, you can say “sono lieto di conoscerla” (I’m glad to meet you). This form, however, is obsolete and is used in rare situations.
All the informal ways to translate “nice to meet you” to Italian cut on the final part of piacere di conoscerti. For instance, you can just say piacere and skip the rest.
Piacere, sono John.
Nice to meet you; I’m John
Alternatively, you can say molto piacere, which means you’re very glad to meet the person you’re talking to.
Molto piacere, sono Marta. Non ci siamo già visti al Bar Rossi la scorsa settimana?
It’s very nice to meet you, I’m Marta. Haven’t we already met at the Rossi Bar last week?
Finally, how do you answer when someone tells you “nice to meet you” in Italian? Even in this case, there is a standard sentence (il piacere è mio) that can be extended when you want to sound extra formal (il piacere è tutto mio) or shortened in informal situations (piacere mio).
Practice makes perfect
Basically, all the ways to translate “nice to meet you” to Italian derive from a single expression, which can be shortened or modified depending on the context.
But how do you figure out which form best suits your situation? Simple: through practice.
Listening and repeating is the best way to learn any language. Time after time, the logic behind each expression or grammatical structure will become more and more clear to you.
That’s one of the reasons why we have a bundle of audio lessons focused on repeating Italian conversations.
The more you try to speak Italian and engage in real-life conversations, the more you’ll interiorize these nuances without needing an explanation.
But if you’re having a hard time figuring out how to say something, keep checking this blog! See you soon! 🙂
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