Italian word of the day: ‘Pazienza’

Italian word of the day: 'Pazienza'
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
The little Italian word we all need a lot of at the moment.

Here's a word you'll no doubt be hearing and possibly using a lot at the moment.

While te meaning is quite obvious – patience – here's a look at the different ways it can be used.

Similar to forza, it's a word you'd use to comfort and encourage those going through difficult times – which is, it's fair to say, pretty much everyone at the moment.

You could use it alone in response to an Italian friend's description of the giornataccia she's just had, particularly if she's reaching the end of her tether.

While in English we probably wouldn't say “patience” to someone in that situation, it's fairly common in Italian –  and doesn't sound as unsympathetic as you might think.

Alternatively, you could say:

– Devi avere pazienza

– You must be patient/hold on

– Dobbiamo affrontare questo momento con santa pazienza e molta determinazione.

– We'll need a lot of patience and determination to deal with this situation/moment (in time)

Your Italian friends might say it themselves after listing a few complaints.

– ma, vabbè, un po'di pazienza

In this context it means something like “oh well, never mind.”

Patience is definitely a virtue in Italy even in the most normal of circumstances, and you may hear pazienza requested in all sorts of situations.

– abbi pazienza

– bear wih me

Do you have an Italian word you'd like us to feature? If so, please email us with your suggestion.

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