Italian language facts
- Modern Italian developed in the 13th ad 14th century out of
Latin and numerous local dialects.
- In that time Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch revolutionized literature.
They all lived in Florence or Tuscany and turned the Florentine
dialect into the standard variety.
- Many terms from art history and music theory are Italian. It
is the perfect language to discover European history.
Some characteristics of Italian language
- Italian is pronounced phonetically!
Every letter corresponds to a distinguishable sound, there are
hardly any differences between pronunciation and spelling. However,
pronunciation can vary considerably from region to region.
- Formal / informal address
Deference and politeness is expressed by the switch between formal
'lei' and informal 'tu'.
- Italian shares an approximate 85% lexical similarity
to Spanish and French.
- Italian has a highly musical quality as almost all words end
in a vowel.
- Inflection, declination and grammatical gender are important
features of Italian grammar
- Vowels can feature diacritic marks: à, è,
ì, ò, and ù.