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The use of the word piano to mean slow



 in music “piano” means quiet  as in the opposite of “forte”. When I looked up  “speak slowly please” on my translator app it uses “lentamente”  instead of piano. I certainly don't want to ask someone to speak more quietly by mistake so I just want to be certain  piano also  means “slowly”. 



Hi CathyM18

Direcct translation in languages often doesn't work.  The usual expression is “piano, piano” (slowly, slowly.).  An example - the equivalent in Spanish is “Paso a paso” - step by step.  Not a direct comparison, but an equivalent.

I'm not sure where piano originated, but my only concern is to communicate well, and piano is a lovely Italian way of expressing the concept.

I hope that helps.

Buona fortuna.






Hi Cathy, 


Thanks for your question! Indeed “piano” can mean both “slowly” and “quietly”. Depending on the context and on the other communication factors (face expressions, hand gestures, tone of voice etc.) it will be clear to convey the right meaning.

Pair it with the right hand gestures, and you'll be alright! :D 

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