Curious things on one of the most loved languages!
Are you a student of Italian language? Are you planning to start a course of Italian? Are you just passionate with languages? Here for you are 5 interesting facts about Italian language that you might not know!
A very renown language
The Italian language ranks only 21st for the number of its mother tongue speakers. But even if it is little widespread, it is considered to be one of the most important idioms thanks to its cultural relevance. As a matter of fact, it is the fourth most studied language in the world: Italian is the language of classical music and lyric opera, the language of fashion, and the language of style!
The first scholar of Italian studies
Early Italian was born out of the language-contact between Vulgar Latin (a late variety much different from the one spoken by Caesar) and the idioms of the peoples who invaded Italian peninsula at the End of the Roman Empire (Goths, Lombards, Frankish).
One of the first scholars who studied and gave intellectual dignity to this new language mainly used by the lower classes was Dante Alighieri himself! His treaty De Vulgari Eloquentia along with his literary production can be somehow considered the dawn of Italian studies.
The division of dialects
Another interesting fact about Italian language is the huge quantity of local dialects. For the sake of practicality scholars have defined three macro-areas: northern, central, and southern dialects. The first are divided by the “La Spezia-Rimini” line, the latter by the “Roma-Ancona” line (both highlighted in red).
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s intuition
In 1964 the novelist and movie director Pier Paolo Pasolini suggested that a new kind of language that he called Neo-Italian would soon be born. This language would be characterized by the loss of much of the Latin heritage and the use of many technology-related terms as a result of the cultural hegemony of the Bourgeois of the industrialized North. Some scholars believe that the variety of Italian filled with English words that is typical of Northern Italy could be Pasolini’s intuition.
Is Italian difficult to learn?
It is not an easy task to assess how hard it is to learn a language, many factors like motivation or age differently affect the learning process. However, as BBC points out in its guide to languages:
It’s read as it’s written so, helpfully, it looks similar to how it sounds.
Pronunciation is clear with every vowel distinctly enunciated and the sing-song intonation makes sounds easier to identify. Vocabulary is similar to other languages of Latin origin.
Nouns can be masculine or feminine and, as a result, adjectives need to agree with them. There are six endings for each verb tense.
Although certain aspects of the language can seem tricky at first, grasp some simple rules and you’ll be able to communicate in a variety of situations.
Do you wish to keep learning interesting facts about Italian language? Follow us on Facebook and keep updated on Learning Italy’s educational offering!