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Italian Language

Italian language is one of the languages from which almost everybody knows at least one word (mostly about food or music). It quickly identifies a culture full of life and color. Isn't Italian food famous for its pizzas, spaghettis, and macaroni? Isn't Italian opera famous by its tenors and sopranos? And we shouldn't forget both the sublime literature and the striking Italian film industry which has left us sentences as well known as "la dolce vita" and other adventures. Italian is the language of a vibrating culture.

A language that deserves not only to be identified with the wonders Italy brings to the world, but also being studied, spoken, and lived. 

Italian Today

In Italy there are many different dialectal groups: The Northern Italian or Gallic-Italian and Venetian in the Northeast of Italy,  Tuscan (which includes Corsican) in central Italy, and three dialectal groups from the South and East of Italy, such as the one from Umbria and Rome and other territories, the one from Naples, Lucani and Puglia and other regions; and those from Calabria, Otranto and Sicily. 

In general, they are all part of an intelligible continuum of languages which nevertheless, can really differ from each other. Sardinian, on the contrary, spoken in Sardinia and particularly the dialects from the South and Center of the island, separates from the group of peninsular Italian dialects. It stems from a separate branch of the Romance languages. Now well, all these dialectal forms are spoken all around the Italian territory but they don't have a written expression, so when it is time to express things in writing they always turn to the standard Italian which dominates the whole country. 

Not all Italian people dominate the written language, so it can be easily said that the lower the education of an individual, the further his speech from the standard language, until reaching a point where there are Italians who can't speak Standard Italian at all. It is interesting to observe that most Italians don't get in touch with standard Italian until they reach elementary school.

The future of Italian.

Nowadays, Italian is the native language of almost 66 million people in the world, mostly living in the Italic peninsula. It is the official language of Italy, San Marino, Vatican City (along with Latin) and Switzerland (along with French and German), in the canton of Ticino, where it is spoken by 500 000 people. It is also spoken in the Alps and in the Côte d'Azur, and in small communities in Croatia and Slovenia. Outside of Europe, it is estimated there are 1 500 000 native Italian speakers who live in the United States of America, 700 000 in Brazil, and 600 000 in Argentina. Although they usually speak dialectal forms instead of standard Italian, as they follow family traditions. In Somalia, its use is also spread, but it is dying in Libya and Ethiopia. 




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