Italian is a very fascinating language and it becomes even more fascinating if you discover some curiosities about this language. In this article, we want to show you 8 things you don’t know about Italian language: we hope that you will be inspired by these curiosities and that you will be interested in learning Italian with Clidante.
1. Italian does not derive from Latin
The first curiosity to know about Italian is that this language does not derive from classical Latin, but from vulgar Latin. Many people think that Italian derives from classical Latin, but this is a mistake: our language comes from vulgar Latin and it has had many influences from different languages.
2. Illiteracy in Italy
When the Regno d’Italia was founded in 1861, 80% of Italians were illiterate, while today only 2% of the population is illiterate. However, we have to say that 28% of the population has difficulty understanding simple texts: we are talking about functional illiteracy.
3. The oldest document in Italian
The oldest document in Italian was written in 960 and it is the Placito Capuano, a deed written to establish the ownership of a land near the Capua monastery. If you want you can discover more about the history of Italian language.
4. The only Italian word with two Q
There is only one Italian word with two Q and it is soqquadro, that can be translated in English with upset. You can become an Italian expert reading our guide about how to memorize Italian words: don’t forget to use soqquadro in your sentences!
5. Italian dialects
How many Italian dialects are spoken in Italy? In our country there are so many dialects that it is difficult to count them! The most spoken is the Neapolitan dialect (5.8 million people), then we have the Sicilian dialect (4.7 million people), the Venetian dialect (3.8 million people) and the Lombard dialect (3.6 million people).
6. Is learning Italian difficult?
Italian is not a simple language, because it has a lot of grammar rules and irregular verbs. You can start from the simplest Italian things to learn the basis of this language and then you can go on with more difficult language courses.
7. How did Italian become the official language of Italy?
According to Tullio De Mauro – one of the most famous linguists – many factors have contributed to transform Italian into the official language of Italy. Some of these factors are emigration, press, bureaucracy and obviously the school.
8. The neostandard Italian
The neostandard Italian is a variant of standard Italian and admits some rules that would be considered errors in standard Italian, for example the double imperfect for the hypothetical period.