Gaveena's blog

Sardinian language survival tips

By Gaveena & Giusi Carai | 02 Jun 2016
Sardinian language survival tips
You probably know that Sardinia is in Italy, but do you know that we have our own native sardinian language? Or, I should better say, languages! I know you are thinking: less than 2 million unhabitants and more than one language? No way! Well, the story goes that we have Sardo and then Catalan, Sassarese, Gallurese and Tabarchino. If you head to cities such as Cagliari or Sassari you will realize that people don’t use Sardinian very often. But in the villages all around the island you are more likely to encounter young people as well as adults who proudly speak their native dialect. Among the dialects under the Sardo family there are many varieties which can differ a lot. However, Eja (yes) and Ajò (let’s go) are used everywhere.
Although everyone speak also Italian, it could be very complicated to impress the locals with an easy ciao, so you’d better learn these easy language survival tips to surprise your sardinian friends.

Use Sardinian language at the bar

Drinking is social activity in Sardinia. The rule is that you should never drink alone!
Go for Bùffasa calincuna cosa? to suggest people to drink something with you in Cagliari and south Sardinia.
If you happen to be in Alghero the local expression would be for the barman posa a bèra (pour something to drink) or tell your friends Anem al bar let’s go to the bar.
If you show up at cashier and try to pay, most likely you will be told è tottu pagàu, that is everything is already paid. Your sardinian friends are not eager to let you pay since you’re the guest.

Go shopping and ask for prices in Sardinian language

As you know Sardinia has plenty of traditional products that you might wish to take home with you. Whenever possible, we recommend you to buy things directly from the artisan, the producer or in the local markets. Here are some useful Sardinian tips to face such a situation.
How much is it? A cantu este? In central Sardinia.
Quant val el peix? If you want to ask for price of fish in Alghero.

At the restaurant

Wondering what’s on the menu today? Ask it in Sardinian and impress the waiter. Maybe you will have a tasty mirto liqueur offered at the end of the meal.
Itta si pàppara? in southern side or ite b’azzese a mannicare? in Central Sardinia.
If you are really satisfied by a lunch – so probably you will be totally full – in south Sardinia you can express your appreciation with misèu prandiu, that is litterally I’m duly lunched.
If you are in north Sardinia and wish to warmly thank someone you shoud use chi Dèu ti ru paghia, that is may God be grateful to you.

Would you like to learn more Sardinian language? Join Gaveena’s local fellows in these authentic travel experiences:

Fooding and Wining in Barbagia

Activitalizing Break in Cagliari

Glamourless Gallura and Costa Smeralda
Sardinian language survival tips
Sardinian language survival tips

People in Sardinia are always friendly, smily… and often driving special vehicles © Ola Lindberg

You may test your skills with sardinian language during cool events like carnival - © Mauro Murgia

Fish market is the perfect place where to test your sardinian language skills © Aurelio Candido

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