Italian with Cher
30 Minute Italian
[Italian Lesson] How rusty is your Italian?

[Italian Lesson] How rusty is your Italian?

Plus a chance to practice speaking Italian with two native speakers!

How do you tell someone that your Italian is rusty? In the sense that you haven’t used it a whole lot and are just getting the hang of it again?

Use this phrase

Scusami / mi scusi, il mio italiano è un po’ arrugginito. - Sorry, my Italian is a little rusty. 

“Scusami” is informal, and “mi scusi” is formal. You can read more about the difference here if you’re unfamiliar. 

Ecco altri modi di esprimere questo pensiero: 

  • Scusi/Scusami è tanto che non esercito il mio italiano. - Sorry, it’s been a while since I practiced Italian.

  • Scusi/Scusami devo riprendere ad usare il mio italiano, è tanto tempo che non lo parlo. - Sorry, I have to pick my Italian back up, it’s been a while since I spoke it.

  • Mi perdoni/perdonami per il mio italiano ma sto ricominciando adesso a parlarlo dopo tanto tempo. - Excuse me for my Italian but I’m starting to speak it again after a long time.

  • Mi dispiace se non sono molto chiara, ma è passato davvero molto tempo dall'ultima volta in cui  ho parlato in italiano. Sto iniziando a riprendere confidenza! - I’m sorry if I’m not clear, but a lot of time has passed since the last time I spoke Italian. I’m regaining my confidence!

If you‘re required by your position or the situation to be really formal, you can say:

  • Mi scusi per il mio italiano un po’ claudicante. - I’m sorry that my Italian is a little halting.

And if you find that you need more phrases to have extra time to think during your conversation, memorize these. 

Buono studio!

Un abbraccio,


If you want to get some conversational practice in, Irene Malentacchi (the native Italian speaker who edits these articles and lessons) and her colleague, Cristina Numini, are hosting summer conversation sessions. The next one is on Wednesday, July 26th. You can read more about them here.

Note of language love: All of our articles, lessons, and podcast episodes have been edited by Irene Malentacchi, the founder of Italian in Love. However, if you find a mistake, let us know! We want these articles to be accurate, accessible, and easy to understand. Reach out directly at or leave a comment. Grazie in anticipo!

Italian with Cher
30 Minute Italian
Boost your confidence in speaking Italian in 30 minutes or less with the 30 Minute Italian Podcast. We cover expressions, sometimes sexy grammar, and culture through personal travel stories and detailed examples.