An Overview of the Italian Language
Italian is the official language in Italy, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The third most widely spoken first language in the European Union and recognised as a minority language in Croatia and Slovenia. It is a Romance language spoken by 85 million people and has a vocabulary closest to Latin.
The History of Italian
- Origins: The earliest surviving texts of the Italian language are the 4 official juridical documents written between 960-963 in southern Italy known as the Placiti Cassinesi along with Veronese Riddle which was written by a Christian monk from Verona in northern Italy. The standard Italian Language originated from the poetic and literary writings of Tuscan writers in the 12th century, and in the 14th century, Standard Italian was formalised through the works of a Tuscan writer Dante Alighieri.
- Renaissance: The Renaissance period started using Italian as the language in the courts of every state in the peninsula. A debate raged throughout Italy about the criteria that should govern the establishment of a modern Italian literary and spoken language.
- Modern era: In the early 19th century,Napoleon conquered Italy and contributed on the diffusion of the Italian language. It propelled the unification of Italy and pushed the Italian language to be the lingua franca used by clerks, Italian courts and bourgeoisie.
- Contemporary times: The nation unified in 1861 and only 2.5% of Italy’s population could speak the Italian standardised language properly. After unification, more words and idioms from their home languages were introduced by civil servants and soldiers recruited from all over the country.
Interesting Italian Language Facts:
Italian is the standard language for musicians around the world. It is the universal language of classical music. The musical terms like crescendo, forte, soprano, alto, and tempo are Italian words.
The longest Italian words are the 29-letter esofagodermatodigiunoplastica, which refers to “a reconstructive surgery related to the removal of the stomach” and a 26-letter-long adverb “precipitevolissimevolmente” which means “in a way like someone/something that acts very hastily”.
English has borrowed a lot of Italian words like pasta, pizza, opera, and diva. Italian has also borrowed some English words like cliccare (to click a computer mouse) and stoppare (to stop).
The Italian alphabet has only 21 letters and doesn’t include the letters j, k, w, x, and y.
It’s one of the most beautiful spoken languages in the world. Knowing how to speak Italian is beneficial in several career fields like culinary arts, design, fashion, and music. Italy is one of the global top economies and many employers are looking for people who can speak both Italian and English. Knowledge of the Italian language is also an advantage in understanding most of the world’s cultural heritage sites found in Italy and they have the most numbers of words for describing food too.
Learning Italian with Overpass Apps
Overpass wants learning another language easy for you. We have released Learn Italian Bubble Bath Game which will definitely help you increase Italian vocabulary and understanding of the language. So whether you just want to watch an Italian movie without a subtitle or planning to visit Rome, then it’s better to be equipped with this app.
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