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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.

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