Can I speak Italian to a Hispanic and hope to be understood?

No, I’m not one of those "ignorant Americans" who thinks that Spanish and Italian are the same language. In fact, I’m half-Swiss and German is my native language along with English. I learned Spanish for some time and then I took up Italian because I was inspired by a trip to Italy. I have noticed countless similarities between the two languages- similar vocabulary and similar grammar/structure. I like Italian better than Spanish but can’t learn them both because I’ll just confuse the two (which I’ve already done!). Besides, if I learn Spanish, that’s an invitation that all those illegal Mexican immigrants in the US are better than me (analogy: if a guy kills himself over a girl, then that’s an invitation that the girl is better than him). I’m actually hoping to move back to Switzerland, so Italian would be better. So, can the Hispanics/Spaniards understand at least the "gist" of an Italian conversation? I’d like input from native Spanish speakers, preferably.
OK, I’m sorry if I offended anyone with the comment about illegal Mexican immigrants. It’s just that I feel the US is being invaded by them and we’re learning Spanish to communicate with them since they don’t know much English. So, if I learn Spanish, those illegal immigrants will be happy and I’ll be forced into doing something I don’t really want to do. However, I should consider the legal immigrants as well, and I have used a little Spanish with them. On a slightly different note, Italy is a country I’d want to visit over and over, but a vacation to Latin America or Spain is the last thing on my mind in terms of vacation ideas.


  1. My friend you have issues and one of them is arrogance which of course, second to your ignorance. Americans speak Spanish because many of them are Hispanics themselves. Learn history first. California, Nevada,New Mexico, Texas, South of Florida, etc were Spanish colonies and later Mexico.

    Second, English speaking Americans learn Spanish because, unlike you, they are trying to be more educated because being bilingual is just the result of effort and self improvement which pays off when looking for a job and kill XENOPHOBIA.

    Third, go back with your nasty europoean predujice to Shitzerland or whatever u call it and stay there.

    What makes you think that a paper named "visa" makes you better that another human being?

  2. Ok, No, in fact i just met a guy who speak Italiano fluently and when he speaks to me, more os less 20% is understandable or similar to spanish… basiclly is not the same, would be easy to lear spanis or italinao either way, but yeah, they are primitive cousins lenguages.

    But give a try.

    PS: I try to understand your comment about the Illegal Inmigrats, but not luck, hope you will explain that to me,
    Thank You!

    Hey Guyz!
  3. I’m italian and I understand a little of spanish because it’s very similar to the dialect it’s spoken in my zone..
    but many words are COMPLETELY different..
    maybe you’d be understood at 50 %, but everyone would notice that you’re not talking in spanish

  4. The short answer is no. While much vocbulary and structure is similar, the amount of dissimilarities combined with the italian accent would render an Italian coversation incomprehensible to a Spaniard. Certain words would be able to be understood, but as a I know from personal experience, the "gist" of the Italian conversation would be lost on Spanish ears.

    Andy E
  5. I guess it would just depend on the person. I’m Hispanic and I don’t really understand Itlaian except for some words. Some words are pronounced the same.

    almost there
  6. I’m a Spanish speaker and have had conversations with italians. Sometimes you have to rephrase someting to get understood, but the languages are similar enough to allow a certain level of understanding.
    I certainly don’t get the analogy with the illegal Mexican immigrants… I don’t see why learning Spanish would prove anything besides your ability to learn the language…

  7. No there is no similarity as you mention between Spanish and Italian, I speak both and like in many languajes you can find similar words, but grammar is different.
    I don’t understand your comment about immigrants, you are one, right? You said you are half Swiss and German, so what makes you better than mexicans?

  8. It depends what experience you have with either language. I’m a native heritage speaker of Spanish and currently study Italian at my university. The courses are specifically Italian for Spanish speakers.

    Spanish has been the greatest tool in learning Italian they are strikingly similar but different enough to make it challenging.

    I find your analogy to be repulsive and insensitive. Why bother learning any language with that closed mentality ?


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