You ask and I answer. And to set the record straight, it is NOT “Ciao il mio nome è…”
Chiamare | to call
I’m not the first to say that a little goes a long way in trying to communicate in a language not your own, but when introducing yourself in italian, it’s as simple as 3 words plus your name. Example:
Ciao, mi chiamo Rowena (informal) or Salve, mi chiamo Rowena (formal).
Literally it translates to Hi, myself I call Rowena, but once you get the hang of the syntax it gets easier. Of course after you’ve introduced yourself, you’ll want to ask the other person’s name.
What is your name? Come ti chiami? | KOH-meh tee kee-AH-mee (informal)
Literally, How to you/yourself you call?
What is your name? Come si chiama? | KOH-meh see kee-AH-mah (formal)
This is the polite form used when speaking to strangers or persons of authority.
What is his/her/its name? Come si chiama? (Note the example answers given)
His name is Peter. Si chiama Pietro.
Her name is Mary. Si chiama Maria.
Its name is Cousin Itt. Si chiama Cugino Itt.
Italian verbs become even more interesting when used as an imperative or urgent request:
Call the police! Chiama la polizia!
Don’t call the police! Non chiamare la polizia!
And then it gets downright confusing when the english-to-italian translation requires a different word to express something correctly. For us, call has a broader meaning but in italian, it’s necessary to use a new verb/word altogether:
• I will call you back in a few minutes. Ti richiamo tra un paio di minuti.
(richiamare = to call back)
• It’s not nice to call a person names. Non è carino canzonare le persone.
(canzonare = to tease)
• Call your sisters to dinner! Di’ alle tue sorelle di venire a cena! (imperative)
Literally, Tell to your sisters to come to dinner. The imperative for dire | DEE-reh (to tell) has a slanted dot above the letter “i”. Dì la verita! Tell the truth!
That’s it for today, I’m calling it quits.