Italian is one of the best languages in the world. A lot of students choose to learn this language, joining an Italian school or following online lessons. In this article we’re going to discover 10 things you don’t know about Italian language, so that you can discover more about Italian.
- Italian derives from Latin
The first thing you have to know is that Italian derives from Latin. Some people think that Italian language derives from classical Latin, but it’s not true because it derives from vulgar Latin, that was the language spoken by the plebs.
- Placito Capuano: the oldest document
The oldest document written in Italian is the so called Placito Capuano. It is a deed written in Latin with some Italian sentences and it was written in 960.
- Italian dialects
Italy is a country with a lot of dialects: the country can be divided into three big areas, which are northern Italy, central Italy and southern Italy. Some people speak Italian very well and one or more dialects, others instead speak a dialect very well and the so called popular Italian, which means that they don’t know all the grammar rules and so they make some mistakes.
- The war has helped Italian language
During the war soldiers were obliged to speak Italian to dialogue, because they spoke different dialects and so there were some problems of communication. This helped Italian to become the language of the country and to become increasingly widespread.
- Pierpaolo Pasolini and the neoitaliano
Pierpaolo Pasolini proposed the so called neoitaliano, which had a simpler structure, a lot of technological words and less Latin words. This language has never become an official language, even if some say that our modern language with lots of English words can be considered an evolution of neoitaliano.
- Dante Alighieri and the De vulgari eloquentia
Dante Alighieri was one of the first to say that vulgar had to replace Latin. Dante has written also a book about this topic, the title of his work is De vulgari eloquentia, in which he has explained why vulgar had to become the official language according to him.
- Territorial languages: which are the most popular?
Territorial languages are Italian dialects which are spoken by a lot of people. The most popular is napoletano, which is spoken by 5.7 millions of citizens. The second is siciliano with 4.7 millions of citizens, then Veneto follows with 3.8 millions.
- The birth of Regno d’Italia
When in 1861 there was the birth of Regno d’Italia 80% of citizens was illiterate, instead after one hundred years illiterates were less than 9% of Italian people. In 2001 illiterates were only 2% of Italian population.
- Standard Italian and neostandard Italian
Standard Italian is the language that is taught at school, instead neostandard Italian is the colloquial language. The second one has some different rules and some grammatical mistakes are considered acceptable.
- Learning Italian is difficult?
Before joining an Italian course, students wonder if learning Italian is difficult. We suggest to read our guide that answers the question how long does it take to learn Italian?.