Appendix:Italian Swadesh List
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Appendix:Italian Swadesh List

This is a Swadesh list of words in Italian, compared with that of English.


For further information, including the full final version of the list, read the resource article: Swadesh list.

American linguist Morris Swadesh believed that languages changed at measurable rates and that these could be determined even for languages without written precursors. Using vocabulary lists, he sought to understand not only change over time but also the relationships of extant languages. To be able to compare languages from different cultures, he based his lists on meanings he presumed would be available in as many cultures as possible. He then used the fraction of agreeing cognates between any two related languages to compute their divergence time by some (still debated) algorithms. Starting in 1950 with 165 meanings, his list grew to 215 in 1952, which was so expansive that many languages lacked native vocabulary for some terms. Subsequently, it was reduced to 207, and reduced much further to 100 meanings in 1955. A reformulated list was published posthumously in 1971.


No. English Italian
1 I io /'i:o/
2 you (singular) tu /tu/
3 he egli, lui /'ei/, /'lu:i/
4 we noi /'no:i/
5 you (plural) voi /'vo:i/
6 they essi, loro /'lo:ro/
7 this questo /'kwesto/
8 that quello /'kwello/
9 here qui, qua /kwi/, /kwa/
10 there /la/
11 who chi /ki/
12 what che /ke/
13 where dove /'do:ve/
14 when quando /'kwando/
15 how come /'ko:me/
16 not non /non/
17 all tutto /'tutto/
18 many molti, tanti /'molti/, /'tanti/
19 some alcuni, qualche /al'ku:ni/, /'kwalke/
20 few poco /'p?:ko/
21 other altro /'altro/
22 one uno /'u:no/
23 two due /'du:e/
24 three tre /tre/
25 four quattro /'kwattro/
26 five cinque /'ti?kwe/
27 big grande /'?rande/
28 long lungo /'luo/
29 wide largo /'lar?o/
30 thick spesso /'spesso/
31 heavy pesante /pe'sante/
32 small piccolo /'pikkolo/
33 short corto /'korto/
34 narrow stretto /'stretto/
35 thin sottile /sot'ti:le/
36 woman donna /'d?nna/
37 man (male) uomo /'w?:mo/
38 man (human) uomo, persona, essere umano /'w?:mo/
39 child bambino /bam'bi:no/
40 wife moglie /'moe/
41 husband marito /ma'ri:to/
42 mother madre /'ma:dre/
43 father padre /'pa:dre/
44 animal animale /ani'ma:le/
45 fish pesce /'pee/
46 bird uccello /ut'tllo/
47 dog cane /'ka:ne/
48 louse pidocchio /pi'd?kkjo/
49 snake serpente /ser'p?nte/
50 worm verme /'v?rme/
51 tree albero /'albero/
52 forest selva /'selva/
53 stick bastone /bas'to:ne/
54 fruit frutta /'frutta/
55 seed seme /'se:me/
56 leaf foglia /'fa/
57 root radice /ra'di:te/
58 bark (of a tree) corteccia /kor'tetta/
59 flower fiore /'fjo:re/
60 grass erba /'?rba/
61 rope corda /'k?rda/
62 skin pelle /'p?lle/
63 meat carne /'karne/
64 blood sangue /'sawe/
65 bone osso /'?sso/
66 fat (noun) grasso /'?rasso/
67 egg uovo /'w?:vo/
68 horn corno /'k?rno/
69 tail coda /'ko:da/
70 feather piuma /'pju:ma/
71 hair capelli /ka'pelli/
72 head testa /'t?sta/
73 ear orecchio /?'rekkjo/
74 eye occhio /'?kkjo/
75 nose naso /'na:so/
76 mouth bocca /'bokka/
77 tooth dente /'d?nte/
78 tongue lingua /'liwa/
79 fingernail unghia /'uja/
80 foot piede /'pj?:de/
81 leg gamba /'?amba/
82 knee ginocchio /di'n?kkjo/
83 hand mano /'ma:no/
84 wing ala /'a:la/
85 belly pancia /'panta/
86 guts intestino /intes'ti:no/
87 neck collo /'k?llo/
88 back schiena /'skj?:na/
89 breast petto, mammella /'p?tto/, /mam'm?lla/
90 heart cuore /'kw?:re/
91 liver fegato /'fe:?ato/
92 to drink bere /'be:re/
93 to eat mangiare /man'da:re/
94 to bite mordere /'m?rdere/
95 to suck succhiare /suk'kja:re/
96 to spit sputare /spu'ta:re/
97 to vomit vomitare /vomi'ta:re/
98 to blow soffiare /sof'fja:re/
99 to breathe respirare /respi'ra:re/
100 to laugh ridere /'ri:dere/
101 to see vedere /ve'de:re/
102 to hear udire /u'di:re/
103 to know sapere /sa'pe:re/
104 to think pensare /pen'sa:re/
105 to smell odorare /odo'ra:re/
106 to fear temere /te'me:re/
107 to sleep dormire /dor'mi:re/
108 to live vivere /'vi:vere/
109 to die morire /mo'ri:re/
110 to kill uccidere /ut'ti:dere/
111 to fight combattere /kom'battere/
112 to hunt cacciare /kat'ta:re/
113 to hit colpire /kol'pi:re/
114 to cut tagliare /ta?'?a:re/
115 to split fendere /'f?ndere/
116 to stab pugnalare /pua'la:re/
117 to scratch graffiare /?raf'fja:re/
118 to dig scavare /ska'va:re/
119 to swim nuotare /nwo'ta:re/
120 to fly volare /vo'la:re/
121 to walk camminare /kammi'na:re/
122 to come venire /ve'ni:re/
123 to lie (as in a bed) giacere /da'te:re/
124 to sit sedere (action), essere seduto / stare seduto (state) /se'de:re/, /'?ssere se'du:to/, /'sta:re se'du:to/
125 to stand stare in piedi (state) /'sta:re im 'pj?:di/
126 to turn (intransitive) girare /di'ra:re/
127 to fall cadere /ka'de:re/
128 to give dare /'da:re/
129 to hold tenere /te'ne:re/
130 to squeeze spremere /'spr?:mere/
131 to rub strofinare /strofi'na:re/
132 to wash lavare /la'va:re/
133 to wipe asciugare /au'?a:re/
134 to pull tirare /ti'ra:re/
135 to push spingere /'spindere/
136 to throw lanciare /lan'ta:re/
137 to tie legare /le'?a:re/
138 to sew cucire /ku'ti:re/
139 to count contare /kon'ta:re/
140 to say dire /'di:re/
141 to sing cantare /kan'ta:re/
142 to play giocare /do'ka:re/
143 to float galleggiare /?alled'da:re/
144 to flow fluire /flu'i:re/
145 to freeze gelare /de'la:re/
146 to swell gonfiarsi /?on'fjarsi/
147 sun sole /'so:le/
148 moon luna /'lu:na/
149 star stella /'stella/
150 water acqua /'akkwa/
151 rain pioggia /'pj?dda/
152 river fiume /'fju:me/
153 lake lago /'la:?o/
154 sea mare /'ma:re/
155 salt sale /'sa:le/
156 stone pietra /'pj?:tra/
157 sand sabbia /'sabbja/
158 dust polvere /'polvere/
159 earth suolo, terra /'sw?:lo/, /'t?rra/
160 cloud nuvola /'nu:vola/
161 fog nebbia /'nebbja/
162 sky cielo /'t:lo/
163 wind vento /'v?nto/
164 snow neve /'ne:ve/
165 ice ghiaccio /'?jatto/
166 smoke fumo /'fu:mo/
167 fire fuoco /'fw?:ko/
168 ash ceneri /'te:neri/
169 to burn bruciare /bru'ta:re/
170 road strada /'stra:da/
171 mountain montagna /mon'taa/
172 red rosso /'rosso/
173 green verde /'verde/
174 yellow giallo /'dallo/
175 white bianco /'bja?ko/
176 black nero /'ne:ro/
177 night notte /'n?tte/
178 day giorno /'dorno/
179 year anno /'anno/
180 warm caldo /'kaldo/
181 cold freddo /'freddo/
182 full pieno /'pj?:no/
183 new nuovo /'nw?:vo/
184 old vecchio /'v?kkjo/
185 good buono /'bw?:no/
186 bad cattivo /kat'ti:vo/
187 rotten marcio /'marto/
188 dirty sporco /'sp?rko/
189 straight dritto /dritto/
190 round rotondo /ro'tondo/
191 sharp (as a knife) aguzzo, affilato /a'?utt?so/, /affi'la:to/
192 dull (as a knife) smussato /zmus'sa:to/
193 smooth liscio /'lio/
194 wet bagnato /ba?'?a:to/
195 dry asciutto, secco /a?'?utto/, /'sekko/
196 correct corretto /kor'r?tto/
197 near vicino /vi'ti:no/
198 far lontano /lon'ta:no/
199 right destra /'d?stra/
200 left sinistra /si'nistra/
201 at a /a/
202 in in /in/
203 with con /kon/
204 and e /e/
205 if se /se/
206 because perché /per'ke/
207 name nome /'no:me/
  • Orthography:

When the words have various forms (verb forms, gender and number agreement, declensions), the orthography is as follows:

  • verbs: infinitive
  • other words: masculine, singular, nominative (subject)

For specific cases (no infinitive, feminine name, plural name, for instance), the simplest form is used.

  • Pronunciation:

Depending on the speakers and the area, the actual pronunciation may differ, more or less significantly, from the pronunciation shown.


  • Mini dictionnaire français-italien / italien-français, Hachette & de Agostini, Paris 2003 - ->ISBN
  • Les langages de l'humanité (Michel Malherbe), Robert Laffont, Paris 1995 - ->ISBN

Further reading

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