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Italian Language/use of "Buon lavoro!~"


Dear Lauren,

I hope you don’t mind another question about this same dialogue.  

I need to ask another question about #10.

1  Editore: Avanti!

2  Piero: Buongiorno, Marco.

3  Editore: Ciao, Piero. Come va?

4  Piero: Bene, e tu?

5  Editore: Non c'e male. Conosci Gabriella?

6   Piero: Ah, forse si.

7  Gabriella: Lei è il signor Corsetti, vero?

8  Piero: Si, sono io. Salve!

9  Gabriella: Piacere, Gabriella Borelli.

10  Editore: Bene. Dopo le presentazioni è ora di lavorare. Il vostro compito è  questo: una guida d'Italia nuovissima, bellissima e motto originale. E ora devo proprio scappare! Buon lavoro!

11  Gabriella: Arrivederci!

12  Piero: Ciao!

Can you please tell me how to translate “Buon lavoro!”  

It seems like “Buon lavoro”  must mean something other than just saying “Good Work!” in this dialogue.   

This makes me wonder if  “Buon lavoro” is a  colloquial expression in Italian - but, I don’t know what it would mean.

Thank you very, very much.



Hi Rich,

Thanks for this question. 'Buon lavoro' is an interesting one - although as you rightly say, it literally means 'Good work', I feel that the most appropriate translation for this would simply be 'Good luck' as in 'best of luck with the job at hand.'

Italian is a very versatile language in that you can add 'buon' before almost any noun to express best wishes. So rather than simply say 'buona fortuna' all the time, you can adapt the phrase to the situation at hand.

To give you other examples that are similar:
Buon viaggio - literally 'good trip' but actually 'enjoy your trip/have a good time etc'
Buon compleanno - literally 'good birthday' but again 'happy birthday/have a good birthday etc'
Buon appetito - literally 'good appetite' but again 'enjoy your meal'

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Italian Language

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Lauren O' Hagan


Although not my mother tongue, I have spoken Italian fluently for more than 12 years so I am very confident to answer any questions about the Italian language. I am also competent in Roman Dialect if there are any questions relating to this.


MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) Received the top grade in the whole of UK for GCSE Italian, receiving a letter of congratulations from the Italian Consulate Completed my two-year A Level in 1 year with a grade A country. Carried out many translation jobs for a wide range of clients and topics including self-help, literature and exam papers. For personal reference, I have also translated Federico Moccia's Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo and 2 of Francesco Totti's book.

El Pensador, University of Bristol

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Letter of recognition from the Italian consulate MA Applied Linguistics BA Hons Modern Language Studies CELTA qualified C1 CILS C2 DELE

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