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Why You Should Learn Italian

Why You Should Learn Italian
on March 26, 2017

This post kicks off one of several in a series that are aimed at anyone who wants to learn Italian. Altogether, my posts are packed with tips and info that are key to being able to speak Italian and understand basic dialogues, signs, instructions etc. This updated and effective teaching method will make you even more motivated and eager to learn and/or improve your Italian language skills. 

First of all: If you want to learn Italian, don’t be afraid to use all the gestures that can help you communicate. Italians use their hands a lot and not just for touching. When communicating in Italian, talking is not enough. Gesture plays a key role in communication and Italian native speakers use it extensively. It is not considered rude and it will definitely help you understand each other. To dig into speaking Italian, read this post.

Secondly: Spanish and Italian are very similar (they derived from Latin) so if you can’t come up with anything in Italian and you can speak Spanish, feel free to resort to it!

If you decide to resort to English, keep in mind that, just as you, often Italian people are not used to native speakers, thus you must speak slowly using plain and simple English, and avoiding the use of slang terms and very idiomatic expressions. This way they will surely appreciate your effort and do the same for you when speaking in Italian or English.

Before we dig in any further, let’s take a moment to talk about the history of Italian. This is important if you really want to learn Italian. The modern Italian language is the evolution of Latin. Between the fifth and the sixth centuries A.D., the Roman Empire progressive decadence involved the slow disappearance of Sacred Roman Empire official language, the Latin, which however preserves its dominance among the literate elite and its supremacy upon the variety of spoken languages for long time to come. The “vulgar tongue” (from which takes origin modern Italian) transformed itself into a literary modern language only in thirteenth-century thanks to Tuscan poets and writers. Cast yourself back in time: in 1224, St. Francis composed the magnificent Canticle of the Creatures, first real text of Italian literature written in the Umbrian vernacular. This important document is followed by the lyrical poetry of Sicilian poetical school in vulgar during the Frederic the Great's age. This Sicilian poetry is such a success that is soon imitated in Tuscany by the most important literary movement of the twelfth century in Italy, the Dolce Stil Novo (Italian for "sweet new style", sweet in the sense of gentle, noble-mindedness used in the main subjects of their writings, Amore i.e. love). This introspective elevated poetry ennobles Tuscan vulgar into a standard and paves the way to the modern Italian national language. The Dante Alighieri Tuscan masterpiece “Commedia”, called “Divina” by Boccaccio, is one of the major output of this literary movement.

 Check out some of my other posts below if you want to continue to learn Italian.

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