I am an English speaker who is slowly learning Italian through textbooks and sites like this, but I have little command over the Italian language itself.

I am wondering if it is alright to ask for a translation or phrase without attempting a translation myself (for fear of butchering it), or is it encouraged/required for the OP to give their best attempts?

  • 2
    Welcome to Italian.SE! :)
    – Charo Mod
    May 1, 2015 at 15:19

2 Answers 2


It's always better to give your best attempt to translate the sentence. See https://italian.meta.stackexchange.com/a/14/707.


My Italian is even more "basic" than yours, so I am answering based on sites where I am stronger. Here's something I wrote on the Spanish SE site.

You should always give a "best efforts" translation, so that people can gauge your level of proficiency, and tailor their answers to that level. That is to say, people will think, "he knows X, so I won't bother with that but I need to help him correct Y." Also, it shows that you are making a bona fide attempt to learn the language for the long term, rather than just using a quick (and free) translation "service."

We all make mistakes in learning a language. Even native speakers (when they were younger). That's just part of the "drill." So don't worry about "butchering" anything. Over time, you will improve by making mistakes.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .