What language is spoken in Italy? Are you sure it is Italian? Pt. 2

Are you ready for the last languages of Italy? Let’s hope so!

In the previous article we walked through the Northern part of the boot, exploring the dialects of the Alps, Padanian area and then down until the Median. Now, it’s time for the South: what was called the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Here the cultural influences on the languages have been really hard.

We left each other with the Median, which spreads the Bel Paese from East to West around the area of Rome. This language is linguistically quite close to the Latin, but because of regionalism and other influences, it is kind of not understandable for people don’t speak it.

The Meridional is a true variety which mixes root, word and syntax from French and the Northern languages, “shipped” to Italy by Frederick Barbarossa during the Vikings invasions, and from the Greek.

Those dialects have the same origins, but the evolution has made them completely different. It is important to remember the Neapolitan (in the Campania) and the Pugliese (in Apulia). In particular, the last one hosts in its area a language which is the result of the blending between Albanian and Latin languages: the Arbëreshë language.

In fact, due to the geography of the coast, numerous Albanians sailed to Italy and gave life to a new community and variety of linguistics, which today risks being lost forever. And where shall we go to now?

To the islands, on the hot sea!

The Corsican and the Sardinian are spoken on the Sardinian and Corsican (France) Isles. Following the Spanish invasion, the Catalan and the Spanish have definitely influenced those dialects. A fun fact about the Sardinian, due to its lexical characteristics and its diffusion, has been recognized as the official language of Sardinia, at the same level of Italian, reason of pride for all the locals.

Finally, the Sicilian. The Sicilianu is normally spoken by 5 million of people, but it is not taught in school. According to most philologists, this language cannot be considered a dialect of Italian, but as directly derived from Latin, must be considered as equal to Italian. Dante, in fact, took into account the Vulgar-Sicilian, for its complexity and diffusion, as a valid alternative to the institution of a common language in Italy, well, today we know who won the contest…

And now, check out this video from Enrico Brignani, just to give you an idea of how the dialects change from North to South! If you don’t understand, don’t be mad! It’s the same for me!

Just one more thing! Don’t miss the final phase of the Top 100 Language Lovers 2013 competition!! You wonder who will win this time? Follow us and you’ll find out!


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