20 Best Responses to “Di Dove Sei”

Have you ever questioned a natural Italian speaker, “Di dov’é sei?” Even when you are unsure of what it means?

Did this question come up frequently in talks you had with others who spoke the language, and you were unsure of how to respond?

If that describes you, read on to learn how we can accomplish this goal as a team.

What Does Di Dov’é Sei mean?

“Di Dov’é Sei” is an Italian phrase that translates to “Where are you from?” in English. This simple question is used to inquire about someone’s nationality or place of origin.

It is often used in social interactions, conversations, or when meeting new people. By asking this question, individuals express curiosity and interest in learning more about others’ backgrounds and cultural diversity.

It fosters communication and understanding, allowing people to connect on a deeper level. Embracing such phrases promotes global harmony and encourages people to share their unique stories and experiences, promoting inclusivity and empathy in society.

But, how do you respond to this question as someone who isn’t so fluent in Italian and speaks English that they can also understand, albeit not as much?

20 Best Responses to Di Dove Sei

Here are a few ways you can respond based on your choice depending on the situation;

  1. I am from ….
  2. Before I answer, is there a reason you asked?
  3. I am not fluent in Italian but I come from
  4. Who is asking?
  5. You can decide to make it there
  6. I am from
  7. I hail from
  8. I have roots in
  9. I originated from
  10. My state or country of origin is
  11. I am sorry I don’t want to share
  12. I find it inappropriate that you will ask me such a thing
  13. May I know why you’re asking that?
  14. I am sorry but I don’t give out such information to strangers
  15. Let’s not wander from the subject
  16. Let’s discuss that at a later time
  17. Just know I’m not from around here
  18. It’s a secret, shhh
  19. I’ll tell you later
  20. I’m from [insert impossible origins here]

Positive Responses

How to Respond to Di Dove Sei

The ones in this category can be used if and when you feel obliged or comfortable enough to give them the information, maybe as a sign of goodwill to satisfy their curiosity or to open up a channel for more friendly conversation.

So, if you happen to be ok with it, here are some ways you can respond to “Di dov’é sei?”;

I am from… 

I am from…” is a very simple and straightforward response to “Di Dove Sei” because it’s the start of any simple sentence that relates to telling where a person is from.

When using this, it simply means you are willing and going to tell them directly, what your base location or area of origin or locale is.

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Of course, it would actually mean that these people are trustworthy enough to give such information to, depending on the situation.

I hail from… 

“I hail from…” is also perfect to respond to “di dove sei.” It is a more posh method or way of saying the same thing as the one above. I hail from would be something to come from the old or Victorian English era.

It sounds more official and fancy so it has the tendency to make you seem more interesting and more cultured than a regular person.

Which might score you some points if they know about that. It is also a great way to tell them where you come from and seem more interesting at the same time.

Before I answer, is there a reason you asked? 

“Before I answer, is there a reason you asked?” as a response to “di dove sei” gives good space to know what the motive is for asking such a question. Especially if it came at an awkward or unfamiliar time.

That way you could tell what the situation is and know if it is safe to give them said information or not. Safe, meaning it could also be trying to keep yourself safe from being the butt of an uncouth joke that may even be made without malicious intent.

I am not fluent in Italian, but I come from…

First off, stating that you are not fluent in the language is actually one of the best conversation starters with native speakers or speakers in general as most would want to know how fluent you are and then start to tell you about mistakes you made or new terms to learn.

And telling them such before you tell them about your place of abode would alert them to the need to switch to the language you are more fluent in if they have fluency in it as well.

This way, you remove the language or communication barrier.

Who is asking?

“Who is asking?” is used in situations where “di dove sei” is asked by a character that seems shady or lacking in credibility or in recognition level. Meaning you do not know them or where they might come from.

Some may be asking that for creepy or downright malicious reasons. Or just reasons that do not in the slightest, make any sense.

You can decide to make it there

“You can decide to make it there” is a response that could be used when in a playful mood and you basically tell them that they could get their gear and go over to the location you are about to name.

Maybe showing yourself as a happy-go-lucky soul that just likes to be a bit playful, and they can reciprocate, or you have been in a few conversations with the person asking and already have some established basis for humor.

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I was born in

There are different locations you could tell the one questioning as to where you were from. But this one specifically is used to give birthplace information.

Maybe the town or city or state, maybe even the country you happened to be born in. This is a valid means of expressing that.

I have roots in…

This is mostly used to describe a place pertaining to ethnic groups or ethnicity, or a country or continent where one can call home when out.

Like if someone were to say “I have roots in the Western part of Africa, but I live in the United States”, it would be that they either have ancestry or some history with Africa and have a heritage there they could lay claim to as well.

How to Respond to Di Dove Sei

I originated from

Again, a posh and more complicated way of saying where your roots lie or where you were born. It is basically saying your birthplace is located in a certain place or geography.

This can also be used as a comedic caricature of how posh the English ones would speak it which could get your Italian-speaking friend to laugh a bit.

My state or country of origin is

This gives straightforward information on the state or country of origin with no extra stuff. It’s simply talking about where one is from as directly as possible, but limiting, g it to state or country.

This is the most commonly needed response since it’s usually what the one asking is curious about.

Negative Responses

I am sorry I don’t want to share

Say they’re a complete stranger you don’t want to talk to anymore about that matter, a concise and simple response like this would do just fine to help you let them know you didn’t want to tell them.

I find it inappropriate that you will ask me such a thing

Now again, this will be a good way to show that you are not inclined to tell them where you are from and the question makes you feel uncomfortable. Now you needn’t worry about them asking again.

May I know why you’re asking that? 

This just helps to get the message across indirectly that you don’t want to talk about it with them. It would be more indicative of this with the right tone of voice.

Asking this question would most times be followed by stuttering or trying and failing to come up with a reasonable answer and so they give up on their own.

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I am sorry but I don’t give out such information to strangers

Stranger danger! It’s something we’ve all been taught from our younger days that not all information should be given to strangers.

That applies even now, and if you think of the situation of someone you don’t know much about asking you “di dov’é sei?”, then you can use this response to make it clear that you do not want to tell them because you don’t know them.

Let’s not wander from the subject

Say you’re in a conversation and someone randomly pops “di dov’é sei?” while the conversation is going on, you could try this technique to subtly dodge the question and at the same time, return their minds to the main conversation.

Let’s discuss that at a later time

Another way to divert attention away from the contents of the question and focus it on another matter while making space to delay telling them about it so that they forget about it perhaps.

Just know I’m not from around here

This is a great one you can use to tell a person that while they can know you’re new to the neighborhood, they can’t and shouldn’t pry any further as it would then be inappropriate or uncomfortable for you.

It’s a secret, shhh

This is a witty and playful way of telling someone you don’t want to answer the question, di dov’é sei. It basically says that it is something to keep secret.

Though playful, it says exactly what needs to be said. And staying on it for long enough would eventually make them lose interest in knowing.

I’ll tell you later

This is easier to use than, “let’s talk about it later”, because it is more casual and more reassuring. One would have it in mind that they would get an answer soon before they forget about it after a while.

I’m from [insert impossible origins here]

Imagine walking up to someone and asking, “di dov’é sei?”, And what you get back is “I’m from Mars…”, “I’m from the moon” etc.

Those given replies would be enough to draw laughs and to make them forget what they needed to ask or simply and silently moving the conversation to a more wanted topic after sensing that it wasn’t a welcome one.

Final words

There are plenty of reasons why a person would ask you “di dov’é sei?”. There are also a lot of reasons for anyone to disclose their place of origin or not.

With the responses discussed above, then it should now be easy to respond to it depending on how you feel about them or answering the question in general.

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