We know that Italian language is one of the most studied languages in the world, after English, Spanish and German. We saw that there are multiple reasons for that, from the large numbers of communities of those Italians who emigrated abroad during the 20th century, to the worldwide importance of the Italian culture, literature, opera, food, fashion and soccer. All these features make the Italian language one of the most loved languages in the world; in fact it is considered “melodic” and “beautiful” by the students and mostly but those who are fascinated by the Italian culture in its complex.
This desire of discovering Italy, a country made of art cities, nice weather, wonderful landscapes and delicious food, pushes many people every year to take a journey in the “bel paese”, not just for a short vacation, but also with the aim of a total immersion in the Italian reality.
What maybe is impossible to understand about Italy from abroad, becomes crystalline after living for a period in one of its towns or little villages and, even better, after attending a course of Italian language for foreigners.
All that sounds quite strange to the Italians themselves, who sometimes don’t understand why there is so much interest in their culture, traditions but mostly in their language. Why many foreigners should come to Italy to study Italian? Italian people are used to consider foreigner languages as a necessary tool for working fulfillment. Which is the meaning of studying English besides enriching a résumé? Why learning German if you are not meant to go to work in Germany?
Italian language instead is spoken (almost) only in Italy; it is not a language of “business” and in Italy nowadays it is not very easy to find a job, since unemployment is very high, especially among young people.
This is definitely a limit of Italian people, since abroad learning foreign languages is considered differently and the process of learning Italian language is a clear demonstration of this. From where do students of Italian language come from? It is not easy to find on the web information about this. Nevertheless the teachers of Scuola Romit, a school of Italian for foreigners based in Rome, in an article of their blog report data referred to their students from last year, 2014. The results show that most of the students of Italian language come from rich western countries, United States in primis. Secondly, we find Spain, England, Germany and Russia.
If from richest countries every year a lot of students leave enthusiastic about undertaking a study-travel in Italy to learn Italian, maybe there is still hope for our country. Perhaps it is not such a disaster, positive features still surpass the negative ones and Italy is still considered one of the most important countries in the world, from all viewpoints.
Written by Ugo Stella