Ciao everyone! Today, let’s talk about Italian.
Italian counts between 63 million and 85 million speakers. It is among the 21 most widely spoken languages in the World. Most Italians, of course, live in Italy. But there are many native Italian speaker who live in the EU and outside the EU. For example, Italian is the second most common language in Argentina and in certain parts of Brazil too.
There are many reasons why English to Italian translations can have a positive impact.
- Even though Italians learn English in school, only around 30% of the Italian population speak English. Translating your content and making it available in Italian will allow you to reach and connect with more potential customers.
- If you are trying to share a message across the Italian culture, translating and localizing this message is essential. The Italian language is very complicated and has many peculiarities. Therefore, having the message come across in English just won’t have the same effect.
- Having your content available in Italian will increase your visibility and allow you to build trust with your customers/readers.
- A research found that 75% of internet users prefer buying from websites that have their language available. For this reason, having your content available in Italian will benefit your business.
A BIT OF HISTORY
Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. It descends directly from vulgar Latin, and it originated in the Middle Ages. Tuscan writers used the standard Italian language in poetry and literature around the 12th century. It is thanks to the writings of Dante Alighieri that the Italian language was formalized. This dialect became the standard that all Italians could understand. For this reason we could say that Italian is the evolution of the Florentine dialect. All the other dialects remained, evolved, and can still be heard around Italy and its regions. But their use has declined significantly in the modern era.
1. Italian is still not the official language of Italy!
Yes, it sounds weird, but it’s true! Italian became an official language in 1861 with the unification of Italy. However, it has never been legally labelled national language. Only in 2007 there has been an attempt, but it failed. The constitution still does not mention Italian as the official language.
2. But, Italian is the official language of love.
In 2014 Italian claimed the title of “language of love”, in a Facebook poll hosted by CNN. According to Professor Patti Adank, who teaches “Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences” at the University College London, there is a reason why Italian is so attractive. He says that Italian is attractive to the ear because of its so-called ‘melody’. In fact, Italian benefits from a very high number of words that end in vowels and unlike other languages does not have words with many consonants. This makes it perfect also for singing.
3. Italian spelling reflects the pronunciation.
This means that you read Italian words exactly as they are written. Almost all words, at least. There are some exceptions! These exceptions are due to how letters combine with each other. There are specific rules for this, but they are not hard to learn. E.g.:
- Casa (house) –> the C is pronounced as in the word “cat”
- Cielo (sky) –> in this case, the C is pronounced as in the word “chair”, because it is followed by I
- Chiesa (church) –> The C is again pronounced like “cat” because between the C and the I there is an H !
- Gatto (cat) –> the G is pronounced as in the word “goal”
- Giorno (day) –> the G is pronounced as in the word “journey”
- Ghianda (acorn) –> the G is again pronounced as in ” goal” becasuse between the G and the I there is an H !
We are happy to provide you with any additional information so, don’t hesitate in getting in touch!