Dec. 08, 2019 | category:NEWSLETTER | tag:


Today let’s talk about Italian regional dialects.

The Italian dialects all have their historical roots in the spoken form of Latin (vulgar Latin), used during the Middle Ages. It seems also that their development has been deeply influenced by language used by the Greek colonialists in ancient times.

Though all of the dialects are classified as Italian, they are quite distinct and can be difficult to recognize as the same language.
Let’s explore more in detail different types of regional Italian:

-Tuscan dialect (Florence, Pisa, and Siena)
Since the Renaissance, thanks to Dante and Boccaccio’s works as well as the political and diplomatic importance of Tuscany during the 14th Century, the Tuscan dialect became the most well known dialect of the Italian language.
With the formal unification of Italy in 1861, the Tuscan dialect became the official language of the Italian nation.

-Venetian dialect (Northeast regions Venezia, Verona and Padua)
When Venice was an independent republic (between the 9th and 18th centuries), the Venetian language enjoyed considerable prestige.

  • Sicilian dialect
    Mainly spoken on the island of Sicily and its satellite islands, this dialect displays the rich and varied influence of several languages, including Greek, Arabic and Norman

For example… the expression「Andiamo! (Let’s go!)」is translated in very different words, according to the geographical area:

Rome → ‘Namo
Lazio region → Annamo
Venice → ‘Ndemo
Bergamo → ‘Nduma
Sicily → Amonin
Milan → Andem
Turin → Anduma
Maremma → Imo
Urbino →Gim
Perugia → Gimo
Naples → Jammo

…and many others.
Of course standard modern Italian is the official language for educational textbooks tv programs, but in regional contexts – such us family reunions or between local people – dialects are commonly used on daily basis.

When go to Italy students should be prepared to come into contact with these regional Italian variations, and learning some words could be interesting and helpful to communicate with local people and make new friends!

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