Five Fun Facts About The Italian Language
Otherwise known as the lingua dell’amore (“the language of love”), the Italian language is one that contains vast history. Italian culture is a staple in general terms worldwide, from fashion to sportscars. In regards to the Italian Language, Italian words, Italian to English translation, or Italian translation in general, this is no different.
Here, we will show you 5 fun facts about Italian diction. Sometimes even single words don’t have an Italian to English translation. Some don’t have any type of Italian translation into other languages at all. In numerous cases, these depict the profundity of Italian culture. From major curiosities of the Italian way of speaking to Italian culture referents, here you will find everything about the Italian language!
The Italian Language Has a Lot of History
As you may suspect, the Italian language holds a long storyline. First off, it’s a language of Latin origin, as others such as French and Spanish. This means that many Italian words hold some similarities with other languages.
Secondly, Italian is a language that has quite many dialects. Given that Italy has formally existed as a country since 1861, there were many regions before that. Every one of the regions had its own dialect and very own Italian words. As a matter of fact, only 2.5% could speak standard Italian in 1861. It was only until the 1950s that less than 20% could speak it. The identity of these regions runs so deep that many of the dialects could also become separate languages. i.e., Venetian and Neapolitan.
Thirdly, as crazy as this may sound, Italian is not the official language of Italy. According to Wikipedia, the Italian Constitution does not formally establish Italian as the formal language. Conversely, it’s adopted by the convention. It does appear as an official language in certain legal documents, though. Even if an estimate of 93% of the total population speaks Italian, it’s not official. In March 2007, there were efforts to transform it into the official language, but to no avail.
Italian Language Has a Father Figure
Italian culture exists anywhere. When it comes down to literature, it surpasses any concepts of language translation. Maybe you read an Italian to English translation or any type of Italian translation. Some authors are certified classics in the Italian language.
An example of this is Dante Alighieri. This man by himself is a key component in Italian culture and the Italian language as a whole. His world-famous work is from 1320 and is called La Divina Commedia (“The Divine Comedy”). This literary text is a major part of Italian culture because it’s the first text ever written in the Italian language.
Before this, Italian texts were written in Latin, not in Italian terminology. This iconic piece of Italian culture set a milestone for the Italian language. This work has had an Italian to English translation, and an Italian translation into other languages as well. Actually, in many other languages, you wouldn’t expect to, as it’s a universal literary work. Furthermore, Italian words like fertile are still present both in the English language and in the Italian language.
The Italian Language Has Some Pretty Interesting Words
It should be no surprise that a language such as Italian has some complex words. For instance, the word precipitevolissimevolmente (loosely translated into “very hurriedly”) is one of the longest Italian words. This word has 26 characters! This particular word has no Italian to English translation. Talking about Italian words that have no Italian to English translation, here are some: apericena, culaccino, menefreghista, gattara, pantofolaio, baffona.
Another aspect that should be stood out is that there are still some Italian words that have made their way into English. Some of them are: ‘arabesque’, ‘archivolt’, ‘cameo’, ‘fresco’, ‘patina’, ‘terra-cotta’, and many others. Italian influence doesn’t only restrict to languages since other words with no Italian translation are present in music too. Some examples are: arpeggio, piano, staccato, allegro, andante, and so on.
There are 85 Million Italian Speakers Worldwide
Although this number is an estimate, there are around 85 million Italian speakers worldwide. Obviously, it doesn’t have as many speakers as English or French, but it’s still a high number. Sixty million people in the European Union consider it a first language. Other 15 million consider it a second language.
Besides Italy, countries like Switzerland, San Marino, the Vatican City and Istria consider it a first language as well. Besides these, many nations speak the Italian language such as the United States, Australia, Malta, and Argentina. If you were Italian, it might come as a surprise if you know the number of countries where no Italian translation is needed!
Italian Language Has Many Interesting Grammatical Notions
Here are some other quirks you may find enchanting about Italian. One of them is that nearly all words end in a vowel. Another one is that in Italian the stress is generally placed on the second-to-last syllable. What you’ll also find surprising is that there are seven vowel sounds present in the language. Although there are 5 distinct vowels (a, e, i, o, u), there are still more phonemes present. These phonemes represent the “extra sounds” such as the long O’s that make the Italian accent so charming. This is the reason why most of the Italian words actually reflect the pronunciation of the whole word per se.
One last fact that will surely come across as odd involves the alphabet. Although the Italian alphabet has the same number of words as the English one, 21 letters are the main ones. Those words that use j, k, w, y are most likely loanwords.
How Wonderful Is This Language!
Italian is a fantastic language with a great story supporting it. From its origins to the artists that brought it to light, you cannot deny its influence in literature and arts. From Dante Alighieri, to many world-renowned classical composers and filmmakers. Italian is a language that has many curiosities that make it a language worth discovering.
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