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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
Knowing a little more about the language you want to speak will make learning it even more interactive and fun. So sit back, relax, and prepare to discover some must-know facts about the Italian Language.
Where does Italian come from?
In a nutshell, the first texts that can be called early Italian – which is vernacular and came after Vulgar Latin - are the Placiti Cassinesi from the Province of Benevento that date from 960–963. After a lengthy poetic debate on which language writers should use, Italian was first formalised in Dante Alighieri’s epic poem the 'Commedia' (which was subsequently titled ‘Divina Commedia’ by Giovanni Boccaccio). The Divina Commedia was read throughout the Italic Peninsular and the dialect used by Dante quickly became known as the ‘canonical standard’, comprehensible to all literate Italians. To-date, Dante is known as the poet who mainstreamed the Italian language and the dialect of Florence that he used became the origin of the modern Italian language.
Who speaks Italian?
Italian is the official language of Italy and also one of the four official languages in Switzerland. In Argentina, Italian is the second most spoken language. People also speak Italian in Malta, the Vatican State, San Marino, Croatia, parts of France such as Corsica and Slovenia.
What Italian words do we use daily?
Other languages have adopted many Italian terms in relation to music, food, architecture and science.
For example, have you ever found yourself greeting someone with a ‘ciao’ or eating ‘al fresco’? Do you ever order ‘spaghetti’ or ‘pizza’ or ‘broccoli’? If you play a musical instrument or sing, you’ll know the words ‘maesatro’, ‘solo’, ‘a cappella’ and ‘orchestra’.
What is the longest word in Italian?
Traditionally, the longest word in Italian contains 26 letters and is ‘precipitevolissimevolmente’ which means very quickly. The word is part of the official Italian language and was coined in 1677 by poet Francesco Moneti however the word does not follow the correct grammar form; in fact, it should be ‘precipitevolissimamente’. There are many other new, long words – the most famous probably being the neologism ‘psiconeuroendocrinoimmunologia’ which has 30 letters.
What are some famous Italian quotes?
Galilei Galilei: ‘Eppur si muove’.
This famous quote by Galileo Galilei – translated as ‘And yet it moves’ – was allegedly whispered by the scientist/philosopher after he was found guilty of heresy by the Italian Inquisition. He was guilty of suggesting that the Earth moved around the Sun and not viceversa as was commonly thought at the time.
Leadonardi Da Vinci: ‘Ogni nostra cognizione principia dai sentimenti’
Translated as ‘All our knowledge has its origins in perception’,
Dante Alighieri in the Divina Commedia: L'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle.”
Translated as: ‘The love that moves the sun and the other stars’.
Francesco Petrarca: ‘L' uomo non ha nemico maggiore di se stesso’.
Translated as ‘Man has no greater enemy than himself’.
I hope these facts were entertaining and useful – if you know of any more famous Italian quotes or other Italian words we use in our everyday language please comment below!
Image 1: http://www.italymagazine.com/sites/default/files/story/italiansign.jpg
Image 2: http://becomingitalianwordbyword.typepad.com/.a/6a01053707c797970b01b7c6f62f69970b-pi