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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!
In the grand scheme of things compared to other languages not that many people speak Italian and it isn’t even one the official languages of the UN! Despite this many are drawn to it for its enchanting words and melodious tones. The Italian language is most commonly associated with love and passion, poetry from the Renaissance and great musicality; in fact many words used to describe music are taken from Italian. The word ‘piano’ (originally pianoforte) for example derives from the Italian terms ‘piano’ (soft) and ‘forte’ (loud) which refer to the multiple variations of tones the instrument can acquire. Italian is a phonetic language which means most words are pronounced as they are written and, according to multiple surveys, Italian is considered one of the most aesthetically pleasing and beautiful languages in the world! But before I turn into the Italian version of the father of the bride in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ (who relishes any opportunity to say how every word comes from Greek and how great the language is – if you haven’t seen this film it’s a must watch!) let’s talk about the origin of the Italian language.
Like many other Romance languages, Italian derives from Latin which was spoken by the Romans thousands of years ago! Over the course of hundreds of years the language evolved and various dialects began to develop in different parts of the Italic peninsular. The most famous form of dialect was that of Tuscany which, during the 14th and 15th Century, became the centre of growth and commerce both due to its dynamic geographical location, great for trading, and its leading role in the Italian Renaissance. The dialect spoken in Tuscany resembled Latin considerably and was used by illustrate poets such as Dante Alighieri, author of the Divide Comedy, and Francesco Petrarch who both transformed the dialect into the language of poetry. When Italy finally became an official country in 1861 it was the Tuscan dialect which became the official language of Italy and after decades of using this form of dialect the Italian language as we know it was born, along with other regional dialects.
Today Italian is spoken in Switzerland, the Vatican City, San Marino and Italy and is used as a second language in Malta, Croatia and Slovenia; Italian is spoken as a native language by 59 million people in Europe, that's 13% of all Europeans (source: the Bologna statistics of the EU)! Like French, Italian words can be one of two genders, masculine and feminine, and articles take the same gender as the word they are linked to. For example ‘the boy’ would be ‘il ragazzo’ and both article and noun are masculine. Another grammatical convenience about Italian which may sound strange is that sometimes the noun goes before the adjective; so instead of saying ‘the blue pen’ Italians tend to say ‘la penna blu’ (‘the pen blue’).
If you enjoyed learning about the origin of the Italian language and are interested in learning a few basic terms keep on checking the page for more articles!