Italian is one of the most popular languages of Europe. It is one of the Romance languages. Apart from Italy it is also the official language of Switzerland, Vatican City, and Western Istria. It is also one of the official languages of the European Union. Italian is also spoken in countries like France, Australia, Brazil, etc. The total number of Italian speakers all over the world are around 85 million.
History and origin: Like many other languages Italian is also derived from Latin. It was first used in a legal document regarding a dispute over land ownership between southern Italian monasteries. These documents are known as the Placiti Cassinesi. Dante Alighieri, a well known poet wrote one of his most famous works The Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia) in Tuscan dialect which forms the basis of the modern day Italian. Hence, Dante is rightly known as the “father of the Italian language”. Francesco Petrarcha, another well known poet, played an important role in the Tuscan dialect becoming the national language of Italy. In 1861 Italy became a unified nation and adopted the Tuscan Italian as its national language.
Why is Italian known as a musical language? Italian is a language that has a powerful influence on the musical world. Musical notation gained an important place in the world since the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Most of the musicians and composers of this period were Italian and hence Italian became a standard language for the musicians around the world. Some of the most popular musical terms like crescendo, forte, soprano, alto and a tempo are all Italian terms. Besides, one of the most popular genres of music: The Opera is a gift of the Italian language. Most of the masterpieces of Mozart, a famous music composer are in Italian.
Furthermore, the presence of the double consonants in the language makes it more rhythmic and musical. The knowledge of Italian also helps you to enjoy and understand the classical music better. Also, many of the musicians consider the knowledge of Italian language as a key professional skill. Italian hence is known as a musical language.
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Did you know that Italian consists of only 21 alphabets? The alphabets j, k, w, x and y do not exist in the language. The words containing either of these letters are borrowed from some other languages.
Spanish, French and Portuguese are some of the languages that are similar to Italian. The lexical similarity between Italian and French is almost 89%. Also the French grammar and the Italian grammar are almost the same. Along with French, Spanish also has some similarities with Italian.
The Italian culture is one of the most popular cultures in today’s world. Besides Italy is also one of the top 10 economies in the world. Italian is also one of the commonly used languages in Europe. Italian is considered as a key language in the fields of art history, literature, archaeology and philosophy. Hence, learning Italian would be of great advantage to all the language lovers.
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Written by: Ms. Rucha