Italy Official Language
By: Ayesha Zaheer
Italy is famous for its enriched history, beautiful architecture, and delicious cuisine. Therefore it is considered the world's top tourist destination spot. When we talk about fine arts then it will be unfair for us not to discuss the names of renowned artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. To your surprise, Mona Liza is also from Italy. Are you inquisitive to know what languages are spoken by these famous artists? It is the Italian language. It is the official language of Italy and its oldest scriptures are 1000 years old.
Origin of Italian Language
In the past, Italy was known as the Roman Empire, and at that time their official language was Latin and Greek and they used Latin alphabets that are still not changed today. The writing system that the Italian language adopted is from Tuscan authors in the 12th century. Do you know that their lexicon and grammar is still not changed till now? It originated from central Tuscany and writer Dante Alighieri validated it at the start of the 14th century. The writing of this author has become the standard of writing in Italy and the people of Italy understand this standard well. Thus the credit for the standardization of Italian literature goes to Dante Alighieri. The important thing to note is Dante's work is known as Commedia. The contemporary author Petrarca also added Divina in their work.
How Italian Become the Official Language of Italy
Although Italian is the official language of Italy, the majority of Italians are not happy about it. Do you know that the Italian language has been protected in the constitution? They did vote in the parliament and as a result of this, the Italian language became the official language of the country. This decision was opposed by 75 members of parliament that are mainly leftists who are against cultural colonialism and Northern separatists that don’t want to obey any order from Rome.
One of the parliament members from the Northern League party, Federico Bricolo said that according to his nationality, his language was not Italian but Venetian. According to him, the dialect of Venice was spoken by millions of women and men around the globe. Bricolo said, “It’s the language spoken in my family, in schools, at work. I am Venetian, Mr. President, my language is that of Venice. When he was saying that the microphone of the parliament was switched off. This is because he was going against the official status of the Italian language. He was of the view that the Italian language should only be spoken in parliament.
Another member of the communist party Franco Russo said that the post-war constitution is the result of the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini that wanted to Italianise the country with force. The rule to make Italian the official language gets 361 votes. On the other hand, 75 votes were against this rule but their opposition does not change the legal status of the Italian language and other languages that are spoken in other parts of Italy.
The people that support this rule are of the view that Italy is recognized as a Modern Italy because of the Italian language. This country emerged by uniting the rival cities and regions in 1870.
One of the Italian important dialects Tuscan gained great popularity because the famous writer Dante wrote the famous poem Inferno in the fourteen century. It became the official language of Italy however many people still speak local dialects that are understandable in all parts of the country.
Italian the Official Language
Italian, the official language of Italy, is spoken by 70 million people of the country. Do you know that it is also the official language of San Marino and Switzerland? It is mainly spoken in Grigioni cantons and Ticino. Moreover, it is also spoken in some areas of Croatia and Istria in Slovenia where a minority of Italian people live. To your surprise, Italian is also the second official language of Vatican City. People living in Corsica and Nice and Albania spoke it widely. Moreover, in Monaco and Malta, it is taught and well-recognized. The Italian language is mutually intelligible with two Italo-Dalmatian languages, one is extinct Dalmatian and the other is Sicilian. These three languages are a part of the Italo-Western grouping that is part of the subgroup of the Indo-European Italic branch.
Dialects of Italian Language
The regional dialects of the Italian language are Tuscan which is spoken in central Italy. It is mutually intelligible with standard Italian. The other dialects of the Italian language are Gallo-Italian, Sicilian, and Neapolitan. They are not like each other and contain different syntax, vocabulary, and grammar.
When did the Italian Language Get Official Status?
Do you know that the Italian language didn’t get official status until 1861? However, there are many dialects of this language that are spoken for centuries. Only 2.5% of the entire population of Italy spoke standard Italian in 1861.
It Contains 21 Letters Only
Unlike other romance languages, Roman characters are used in this language. The letters it contains are less than English. The letters that are not included in the Italian language are j, k, w, x, and y. If you come across any words in the Italian language that contain these letters will mean that these words are borrowed from other languages.
The Old Italian Writing is 100 Years Old
In the years between 960 and 963, there are four juridical documents named Placiti Cassinesi . They were first written scriptures of the Italian language. They are related to a land dispute between a local landowner and three Benedictine monasteries.
Volt Word Came from Italian Inventor
We all know that Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. What was the use of this invention if Alessandro Volta did not discover the word Volt? Volt is the standard measurement tool to check the voltage of electricity. Thus the word volt came from his name both in Italian and English language.
The famous Italian writer Dante Alighieri had introduced the Italian written rules. He had written a masterpiece of comedy known as Dante’s Inferno. With his writings, one can imagine hell and paradise. The basics of the Italian language are derived from his writings. Moreover, grammar rules and writing style is also derived from his writings.
It is Considered the Language of Classical Music
You might have come across some words in classical music like forte (loud), crescendo (get louder), and staccato (detached). To your surprise, all these words are derived from the Italian language. Do you want to know why? Because all musical codes were invented in Italy at a time of renaissance. Therefore, it is considered the language of classical music.
Italian is not Spoken in Italy Only
Of course, the Italian language is spoken in Italy. But it is also widely spoken in other 29 countries that are Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, and Croatia. The other countries where Italian is spoken are Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Eritrea, Libya, Liechtenstein, Paraguay, and Luxembourg. Additionally, people of Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Romania, Tunisia, San Marino, Slovenia, Switzerland. Uruguay, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Vatican State, and the USA also speak this romance language. In short, Italian speakers are spread all around the world.
Do you Know the Longest Words of Italian Contains 29 and 26 Letters?
To your surprise, the longest word in Italian has 29-letters. This word is esofagodermatodigiunoplastica which means surgery related to the removal of the stomach. Another 26-letter long word is precipitevolissimevolmente that means very fast.
Different Dialects of Italian Language
There are many dialects of Italian that are spoken in Italy. The major dialects of Italian language are Abruzzese, Pugliese, Umbro, Toscano, marchigiano central, Laziale, mosliano and cicolano-reatino-aquilano
Statistics of Italian Language
45.9% of Italian people speak Italian frequently at home. Moreover, 32.2% speak different dialects and Italian both and 14% speak dialects only.
Standard Italian is Spoken in Which Part of the Country
What Part of Italy Speaks Standard Italian?
What is the standard language? The standard language is that language that has standardized grammar and usage. The general public uses this language for communication. You will find this language in official documents and dictionaries. You can also say it as a reference language. If we compare it to other languages, it is a neutral language. Do you want to know where the standard Italian language is spoken? It is spoken all over Italy and in some parts of Switzerland. Moreover, standard Italian is also spoken in big towns and cities. On the contrary, dialects are spoken in villages and small towns. People at the workplace, students at school speak standard Italian whereas they prefer to speak dialects in public spots and with strangers.
Aren’t you amazed to know about this amazing language of the top economy of the world? Many global companies around the world are looking for bilingual employees that can speak English and Italian. According to a rough estimate, 7500 American companies want to do business with Italy. Moreover, 1000 US firms have offices in Italy like IBM, Motorola, and Citibank. On the other hand, many Italian firms have offices in the U.S. Do you want to become a part of a global giant company, then what are you waiting for? Enroll yourself in Italian learning classes.