Italian is a Romance language spoken by around 60 million people in Italy and another 70 million people around the world. Italian is spoken in Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City , parts of Africa, the Balkans, and the island of Malta. Italian is the fourth most frequently spoken foreign language in U.S. homes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2000) and in more than 25 other countries with large Italian communities. As opposed to English and German which people generally learn to improve their work opportunities, learning Italian is more of a cultural affair. Italy has one of the richest cultural and artistic heritages in the world.
Why Learn Italian ?
- Italian is in fact the Romance language closest to Latin. A knowledge of Italian, therefore, will go far in helping one to understand the whys and wherefores of the English language, which has a very large percentage of words of Latin derivation
- Italian is the language having the “best phonetic fit.” It is the easiest foreign language to read, write, and pronounce because there is only one sound per letter of the alphabet (and four consonant blends). For young learners, the easier the language, the better. Italian will not compete with the learning of English, it will enhance the learning of English
- It is much easier for dyslexics to learn to read in languages where there is a one-to-one correspondence between letters and sounds. In Italian, dyslexics have a far easier time than in English or French. Dyslexics are rare in Italy
- Art historians need Italian. According to UNESCO (the cultural and educational agency for the United Nations), over 60 percent of the entire world’s art treasures are found in Italy
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