How to speak like a modern roman

How to speak like a modern roman I

First part

I grew up in a multi-dialectal family. I still remember when I learnt the first words in venetian dialect in school, when I was a child. Not at home like most part of my friends.

The reason behind that was that I used to go back home from school and I used to say to my grandma she spoke English because she used stranger words.

Those words belonged to another dialect, the one from her town located in the area between Naples and Salerno. What is more, during summer period I used to spend a whole month in Apulia, in Salento, where my granparents talked anything but italian.

You know that when you are a child you assimilate everything and you don’t realise there are some differences. That is why, as time passed, I learnt those southern dialects as well.

Only when I grew up, I realised “those italian ways of speaking” were three different languages and I often couldn’t use many northern words when I was in the south or vice-versa.

My passion for languages was born in the moment I understood that treasure that, later on, I used to learn some languages more easily. Like spanish, french and even catalan.

When I arrived in Rome, three years ago, another wide vocabulary started to get into my life. Even if the roman way of talk is not a proper dialect, since it doesn’t have full non-italian sentences or full conjungations, roman people have their own vocabulary that I wasn’t aware of when I moved there.

Here the first part of our little vocabulary of roman talks:


I can say that Flashare is the roman verb that I really feel it belongs to me after those roman years. It might be because it doesn’t have a proper italian translation.

Flashare means “realise that what you just saw isn’t what you think it was” or “what you tought was one way it is actually different”

Here some examples:

“Look, that’s Anna! Ah no, I flashato (flashed)!”;

“I tought I got into the course, but I flashato (flashed)”

A buffo

The translation of “a buffo” is very close to the adverb: “randomly” or “out of the blue”, but it can be used in different contexts.

“I decided I am going to Brazil, a buffo” (there is no specific reason)
“I was so happy, I just started to laugh a buffo” (out of the blue)

A fette

It literally means: “by walking” , “on foot”.

Annamo a fette“: “We’re going by walking”


It means: “leave it”, “stop with that”

Accanna your studying and let’s go for an aperitivo”

Accanna that topic”: “Stop talking about that”


It means: “entering some place unexpectedly”

“My flatmate has imboccato into by bedroom”


It means cigarette.

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