"Get Lost" phrase

Might sound like a stupid question----can anyone tell me a SIMPLE phrase to say in Italian to those people who are "bugging" you for whatever reason, or "gypsy" type people preying on you.

Thanks

Posted by Janis
St. Louis
49 posts

I was a bit disappointed that I was never called upon to use the very mean Italian phrase I learned before we went. Alas...

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5763 posts

Basta! Vada via! (pronounced "BAHS-tah. VAH-dah VEE-yah")
It means "Enough! Go away!"

Or just "Basta!"

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

Speaking might escalate. Ignore them and don't make eye contact.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5763 posts

It's not been my experience in Italy that speaking will escalate the situation. Quite the contrary. It lets them know that you're not a patsy. In the US, however, I would ignore and walk away.

Posted by Debra
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1001 posts

I've done the ignoring thing. I've said a firm (but not mean) "no" in my best nonexistent italian accent, both have worked fine for me.

Posted by Audrey
Singapore
314 posts

Probably best not to speak Italian. Ignore them or a firm "no" in English and walk away.

Posted by Jo
Nokomis, FL, usa
46 posts

I believe that in one of RS's books he recommended saying "va via!" which translates to "go away!" I always say it firmly, hold up my hand and walk away. It has worked every time for me.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5763 posts

And of course everyone is free to say whatever they want. But I don't understand why someone would think is it better to speak in English (thereby confirming that you're a clueless tourist) than to say a quick "Basta" in Italian, raising at least a little doubt in their mind that maybe you didn't just fall off the turnip truck and you know your way around Italy. :-) Why would using a foreign language (English) be better?

And forgive me for quibbling, but "Va via" is not correct. You should use the imperative instead - "Vada via". "Va via" means "It goes away," (although ironically that is what you're hoping for). :-)

Anyway, that's the great thing about this board. Lots of different experiences and perspectives get shared.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

I've heard Italian security guards using the term "Vai" to get rid of scammers. I've been told that this isn't a "polite" term, but never had occasion to try it.

Posted by Laurel
Rome, Italy
2208 posts

"Vai" is the informal verb for "go." Informal means the "tu" conjugation, used with children, relatives, close friends, never with strangers, business associates, etc. It is only impolite if it is used to address a stranger or adult who would normally be treated to the formal version, "va." I think the security guards are right: VAI! (It's what I say to my dog when I want her to mvoe along quickly.)

Posted by steve
gaston, oregon, usa
842 posts

This past June the usual polite "no!" did not work, so I used a very loud and repeated "Basta" on some street vendors. They got the hint.

I am NOT afraid to speak up....... when it is appropriate.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Laurel,

Thanks for the clarification. Having taken some Italian lessons, I should have clued in to that form of the verb. I believe it's the same as using Come Sta vs. Come Stai, with the familiar form only being used with close friends or family.

"Basta" wouldn't be my first choice for that situation, as I don't believe it's "strong" enough. If they can't take a hint, I have some less polite responses to use but I won't mention those here.

In any case, "Vai" seemed to have the desired effect in getting rid of the scammers.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5763 posts

Paul, two problems. 1 - That's obscene, which I think is not what Fredrica was hoping for. And 2 - That's Spanish, not Italian. :-)

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

It's also probably genderly incorrect and it is definitely grammatically incorrect. Not only that it doesn't make sense -- it's randomly arrayed words.

There's a problem answering a question (even with a simple 'No') when you don't know what the question was.(Have you quit hitting your kid with a baseball bat?)

It doesn't mark you as a patsy if you ignore somebody; it just shows that you don't have the time of day for them. There's no rule that says you have to speak to every butt-head in the world.

You'll also notice that these type have a territory of a few yards, ignore them and move through it. They'll drop off to protect their turf and pester the next person.