Slang in Other Countries – Speak Like a Local

Going somewhere and you don’t really speak the language or want to feel like a local using the right slang? No problem! With our list of the right words to use in various countries in Europe, and Asia you will be surprised how people will look at you while on holiday when speaking their mother tongue!

Speak like a local with our insider tips regarding slang in different locations all over the world.



La vita est bella! Feel like a real Italian when visiting Rome mostly by using slang and abbreviations that are very emotional and typical for Italians with their cheerful temper:

 nnamo = Let’s go (from “andiamo“).

Teso’ = for “tesoro” (literally “treasure”). You often hear parents addressing their little children in this way.

Che schifo! = How disgusting!

Che palle! = How annoying!

Daje! = Hurry up!

Bo – meaning as much as “I have no idea.”

Mortacci tua ! = Your death! – which you will hear a lot on the Roman streets.

Scialla = Relax. – which you will hear a lot as response to the above on Roman streets.



Berliners are known for their loose tongue aka Berliner Schnauze (literally, Berlin muzzle) which originates from East German. The most important fact when wanting to come across as credible Berliner is that the “g” sound is replaced by a “j” . So N’Juten would normally be pronounced as N’Guten which means as much a “a good one” for Good Morning (pronounced “N’Yooten”). English speakers will be delighted by this one: “ich” (“ich” means “I” in German) is pronounced “ick” in Berlin.

Ick gloob, meen Schwein pfeift (“I believe my pig is whistling,”) means as much as – “I can’t believe this!”

Furthermore there is:

Ick liebe Dir/Ick liebe Dich – I love you

Uff jeden – Of course

Keene Ahnung – No idea

Ick freu mer wie Bolle – I am happy like Bolle (which refers to a traditional German song about a guy called Bolle who was always very happy but died at young age) – yes the Germans are drastic.



By having invented verlan, the French made it clear that they feel the need of having to possibility to talk this kind of slang that no real French person can understand, by inverting syllables. Meuf  for example means woman which was inverted from Femme. If you want to understand what they say

Ouais = instead of oui

C’est fou/Un truc de ouf! = It’s crazy!

Dingue / La vache! = Wow!

Coucou = Hey there

J’sais-pas = I don’t know

Fringue = clothes

Bouffe = food

un truc = basically usable for any item (in case you forgot the name)

Thunes = money.



Still being spoken by English is the cockney slang, that originates from East London and was overall used by criminals who wanted to talk secretly. Get your groove on because this slang works by choosing a two- or three-word phrase ending in a word that rhymes with the one you want to hide. It is quite tough to figure in the beginning but once you get ahead of it, it is very amusing and you will be turning heads if you are  dropping them rhymes in London town:

Pork Pies = lies. “Stop telling porkies!”

Ruby Murray = curry. “Fancy a Ruby tonight?”

Whistle and Flute ­= suit. “Nice whistle, mate.”

Adam and Eve ­=believe. “I don’t Adam and Eve it.”

Brown Bread = dead. “He’s brown bread.”

Dog and Bone = phone. If someone’s phone is ringing: “Is that your dog barking?”

Lady Godiva = fiver. A five-pound note… “He owes me a Lady.”

Loaf of Bread = head…”Use your loaf.”



By using email or SMS, you will actually be  able to communicate with Chinese without speaking the language! Reason for this is that Chinese, due to avoid censorship, use the pronunciation of each number to create a kind of code. For example, the numbers are pronounced as follows (the numbers after each written pronunciation indicates the tone, of four, that should be used):

0 = ling (2)

1 = yi (1)

2 = er (2)

3 = san (1)

4 = si (4)

5 = wu (3)

6 = liu (4)

7 = qi (1)

8 = ba (1)

9 = jiu (3)

10 = shi (2)

8147 (ba yao si qi) = Don’t be angry.

56 (wu liu) = bored.

517 (wu yao qi) = I want to eat. Fun fact: The number for McDonald’s in China, which offers 24-hour delivery, is 4008-517-517, i.e. 4008-I want to eat-I want to eat.

520 = “wu(3)er(2)ling(2)” or “I love you.” To say “I love you” is “wo(3)ai(2)ni(3)” and that sounds very similar.

So, if you are crying or sad, you can write “55555” (i.e.”wuwuwuwuwu“)

5376 (wu san qi liu) = I am angry.

Then sign off your message with 88. The number 8 is pronounced “ba” in chinese which sounds like “bye,” so instead of writing it, you can just write “8” or “88”—or “888888888”!”