How exactly do you say spider in Italian?
In this lesson, we will take a look at the different words you can use to talk about spiders in Italian. Read on to learn them all!
Let’s get started! Iniziamo!
How do you say spider in Italian?
Ragno is the most common way to translate spider in Italian.
It is a masculine noun, so it uses the articles il (definite, the spider), and un (indefinite, a spider).
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Its pronunciation is similar to rah-ñoh (with the Spanish palatalized n) and it comes from the Latin word aranĕus, which comes from the Greek aráchnē. This is also where arachnophobia, aracnofobia in Italian, comes from! Make sure the final -o has a clean sound, because Italian vowel sounds are clean.
For example, you could say…
La vedova nera è un ragno molto velenoso.
The black widow is a very venomous spider.
Come si chiamano i ragni gialli con strisce nere?
What are the yellow spiders with black stripes called?
L’Uomo Ragno è il mio supereroe preferito.
Spider-Man is my favorite superhero.
Il bambino schiaccia il ragno con un giornale arrotolato.
The child squashes the spider with a rolled-up newspaper.
Non si uccidono i ragni, portano fortuna!
Don’t kill spiders, they bring good luck!
There’s a special kind of black widow spider that is common on the Italian peninsula: la malmignatta. It’s less venomous than its international sister, but it can still require a visit to the pronto soccorso, emergency room.
It’s also curious to note that Italian makes no distinction between venomous and poisonous animals. Velenoso, from veleno (poison/venom) is the only adjective you’ll need.
Ragnetto is another common translation for spider in Italian.
It’s used as an affectionate term (it literally translates to “little spider” thanks to the Italian suffix -etto) to refer to those little house spiders that are smaller than a few millimeters.
For example, you could say…
Un ragnetto è appena saltato sopra al vaso di fiori.
A spider just hopped over the flower pot.
Not all spiders weave webs, but those that do are called ragni tessitori, orb weavers.
Orb-weaver spider, orb weaver
Ragnatela is the most common way to translate spiderweb in Italian (another less common term would be tela di ragno. It’s a feminine noun.
It’s a compound word that obviously comes from ragno, spider, and tela, meaning “canvas”. A more literal translation for web would be rete, but we never use “ragnarete” so don’t use that either!
Quanto impiega un ragno a tessere una ragnatela?
How long does it take a spider to weave a web?
And that’s the end of our lesson on how to say spider in Italian!
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