Speaking Italian

The Italian language has a long and illustrious history. It is a part of the Italianate Romance languages, which include Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Romanian. These languages are based on the old classical Latin after the Roman conquerors insisted that it be used as the official language of any conquered territory over the native languages originally spoken in the conquered lands after they were made a part of the Roman Empire. If you are planning on Speaking Italian, it would be great to get some inside information on the Italian Language.

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Italian Language History

Italian, compared to all of the other Romance languages, still closely resembles the Latin form used by the Romans. The struggle to employ the written, though dead Roman language and to integrate the variations of the live speech as it was spoken by different groups within the country was carried on the longest in Italy. Most of these dialects that formed Italian were derived from the Vulgar Latin spoken by the commoners of Rome.

When thinking of speaking Italian, what came to be known as “Modern Italian” really didn’t come into being until in the 19th century when the dialect of those speaking Italian was that which spoken mostly by educated Tuscans. Prior to that time, any Italian literature was produced in the author’s own particular dialect. Experts in literature agree that even the oldest well known Italian documents, written sometime during the tenth century AD, are written down in differing Italian dialects, and during the next three or so centuries Italian writings were written in the native dialects or the writers, a situation which produced a number of rival regional schools of literature.

A Rich History

In the fourteenth century, the dialect spoken by the residents of Tuscany began to have dominion above all of the other dialects spoken at the time. Scholars believe this was true because Tuscany was centrally located in Italy, and because of the aggressiveness of commerce conducted in its most prominent city, Florence. Furthermore, among all of the dialects of Italian, the Tuscan one departs the very least in its phonology and morphology from classical Latin. It was believed to harmonize the very best with the Latin culture’s Italian traditions. Lastly, it was the Florentine culture that scholars of literature agree produced the three artists of literature who summarized Italian feeling and thought the best late in Middle Ages and the early Renaissance period. These three writers were the famous writers, Dante, Petrarca, and Boccaccio.

The Unifying of a Culture

The unification of Italy in 1861 helped the Tuscan version of Italian to become the language of a new nation. The unification also had a profound impact in that there was a significant transformation in social, economical, and cultural arenas. Mandatory schooling increased the rate of literacy through standardized courses in Italian, and many speakers were willing to abandon their native dialect in favor of the new “national” language, an accepted form of Italian that would reflect the new feeling of cultural unity, which spread throughout the entire Italian peninsula.

Speaking Italian happens today mostly throughout the Italian peninsula, in the southern part of Switzerland, the islands of Sicily and Corsica, San Marino, northern Sardinia, and on the Adriatic Sea’s northeast shore, as well as in South and North America. Italian is considered to be a single language with numerous dialects, and modern courses in Italian will most likely be able to give you a general enough grounding in the language to make you understand most of those natives speaking Italian.

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