How exactly do you say milk in Italian?
As you will see in this lesson, there are many kinds of Italian milk. Read on to learn them all!
Let’s start! Iniziamo!
How do you say milk in Italian?
Latte is how you translate milk into Italian.
It is a masculine uncountable noun, so it has no plural form: il latte (definite, the milk), del latte (indefinite, some milk).
Its pronunciation is similar to laht-teh and it comes from the Latin lacte, “milk”. Make sure the final -e doesn’t have a -y quality, as Italian vowel sounds are clean!
Nella bottiglia è rimasta una piccola quantità di latte.
There’s a tiny amount of milk left in the bottle.
Potrei avere un bicchiere di latte, per favore?
May I have a glass of milk, please?
Elena beve latte ogni mattina.
Elena drinks milk every morning.
Latte macchiato is what you need to ask for to get a latte in an Italian café! If you ask for plain latte, you will likely be given… a glass of milk. Latte macchiato literally means “stained milk”.
Kinds of milk in Italian
There’s cow milk, almond milk, goat milk. How do you say these in Italian?
Latte di mucca
The latte di mucca, literally “milk of cow”, is also commonly called latte vaccino, from the Latin vacca, “cow”. This is where the English word vaccine comes from!
Esistono molte alternative al latte vaccino, come il latte di capra, il latte di mandorla e il latte di cocco.
There are many alternatives to cow milk, such as goat milk, almond milk and coconut milk.
Another common (and delicious) kind of milk in Italy is the latte di bufala, which is used to produce mozzarella di bufala. Try it on your pizza!
Latte di bufala
Preferisco il latte di bufala a quello di mucca.
I prefer buffalo milk over cow milk.
Other kinds of milk in Italian based on the animal are:
Latte di capra
Latte di pecora
Di cosa sa il latte di capra?
What does goat milk taste of?
Il pecorino è un derivato del latte di pecora.
Pecorino cheese derives from sheep’s milk.
If you are a vegetarian, you can find drink latte di soia, latte di mandorle or the sweet and falory latte di cocco!
Latte di soia
Il latte di soia è un ottimo sostituto del latte vaccino.
Soy milk is a great substitute for cow milk.
Latte di mandorle
Sara ha messo un po’ di latte di mandorle nel caffè.
Sara put some almond milk in her coffee.
Latte di cocco
Hai mai assaggiato il latte di cocco? È dolce.
Have you ever tasted coconut milk? It’s sweet.
Whole milk or skimmed milk in Italian?
There are two common kinds of milk that you can find in Italian supermarkets:
Il latte intero mi crea problemi allo stomaco.
Whole milk upsets my stomach.
Il latte scremato ha meno calorie di quello intero.
Skimmed milk has fewer calories than whole milk.
Latte parzialmente scremato
Partially skimmed milk
Other less common, but still very used, kinds of milk in Italian are:
Latte a lunga conservazione
Latte in polvere
Literally: Artificial milk
Latte arricchito con vitamine
A cosa serve il latte in polvere?
What is powdered milk used for?
Compriamo sempre latte a lunga conservazione.
We always buy long-life milk.
Freshly milked milk is called latte appena munto or latte fresco di mungitura, where mungere is the translation for “to milk”.
Latte appena munto
Freshly milked milk
If you forget it in the fridge and the milk goes bad, you can use the verbs andare a male, “to go bad”, or scadere, “to expire”.
Latte andato a male
Milk gone bad
Il latte scaduto può causare problemi all’intestino.
Expired milk can upset your intestines.
Breast milk is called latte materno, literally “maternal milk”.
Mio figlio non beve abbastanza latte materno.
My son doesn’t drink enough breast milk.
From latte comes the adjective latteo, “milky”. In fact, our galaxy, the Milky Way, is translated into Italian as…
La Via Lattea
The Milky Way
La nostra galassia si chiama Via Lattea.
Our galaxy is called the Milky Way.
Verbs with milk in Italian
To milk, as already said in the previous paragraph, translates to mungere in Italian.
Hai mai munto una mucca?
Have you ever milked a cow?
Raw milk, il latte crudo, is pasteurized, pastorizzato, from pastorizzare, to kill off any pathogen that might hurt us.
Il latte viene pastorizzato per evitare contaminazioni.
Milk is pasteurized to prevent contamination.
And obviously, milk can be skimmed, scremato, from the verb scremare, “to skim”.
Milk itself can curdle, cagliarsi.
Cagliare il latte
To curdle milk
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Other expressions featuring milk in Italian
Let’s wrap up our lesson on how to say milk in Italian with a few expressions and sayings featuring this word.
Dente da latte literally translates milk tooth.
Il dente da latte
The milk tooth
Quando cominciano a cadere i denti da latte?
When do milk teeth start to fall out?
Dairy products such as…
- il burro (the butter)
- il formaggio (the cheese)
- la panna (the cream)
- lo yogurt (the yogurt)
are called latticini.
The dairy products
Now for a couple of sayings featuring milk in Italian:
Piangere sul latte versato
To cry over spilled milk
Avere ancora il latte alla bocca
To be young and naïve
While piangere sul latte versato can be literally translated into English, avere ancora il latte alla bocca literally means “to still have milk on your mouth” and it’s used to address someone who is still young and naïve about life.
And that’s it, now you know how to say milk in Italian!
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