Italian Language Facts

Interesting Italian Language Facts

If you’re thinking about learning Italian it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Italian language facts:

1. Italian is a Romance language derived from Latin

Italian slowly evolved from Latin into many dialects. At the end of the Middle Ages, the Tuscan dialect became the most popular version of Italian, owing to the central location of Florence and its thriving economy. Dante, Petrarca, and Boccaccio, who left a long-lasting mark on the Italian language, all came from Tuscany. Italian then became Italy’s official language when the peninsula was unified in the 19th century.

2. There are around 85 million Italian speakers across the world

65 million Italian speakers are native speakers within the European Union. Italian is primarily spoken in Italy, but is also an official language in San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican City. Thanks to a wide diaspora, Italian is also a minority language in various countries across the world, including in the United States, Australia, and Malta.

3. The longest Italian word contains 26 letters

Italian’s longest word is precipitevolissimevolmente, and stands for “in a way like someone or something that acts very hastily”. Other long Italian words include particolareggiatissimamente (“in an extremely detailed way”) and anticostituzionalissimamente (“in a way that strongly violates the constitution”).

4. Italian has significantly influenced English and other Western languages

Common English words of Italian origin include broccoli, fiasco, propaganda, flu, quarantine, lottery and zucchini.

5. Italian is the universal language of music, especially classic music

There are countless occurrences of Italian loanwords such as a cappella, maestro, orchestra, crescendo and soprano. With many compositors and musicians being Italian when musical notation appeared during the Renaissance, Italian became the standard language for musicians and music lovers.

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Italian Courses

An excellent way to improve your Italian language skills is by taking a group Italian language course with Cactus. We offer Italian languages courses online and face-to-face in over 10 locations across the UK.

Private Tuition

Cactus offers a range of options for Italian private tuition. You can choose one-to-one classes if you prefer online and tailored Italian lessons that suit your schedule and location. For more information please visit our private tuition and corporate language training division.

Italian Immersion Courses

An excellent way to improve your language skills is by taking a Italian immersive language course in the country where the language is spoken. Cactus offers courses in many cities across Italy.

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