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Did you know this about Italian?
- Italian is a member of the Indo-European language family, part of the Neo-Latin group of languages of the Italic branch. The basis of today's single literary language is the Tuscan dialect. Italian was for a long time a written language only, and evolved virtually from the Tuscan dialect, which was elevated to the status of a literary language.
- According to some sources, there are hundreds of dialects spoken in Italy. What we simply call Italian is actually hundreds of dialects and dozens of regional languages. These Italian dialects differ widely from each other, in many cases making it difficult to understand. Linguistically, they are rather closely related but distinct languages, since each is a separate continuation of the Latin spoken in ancient Italy and did not evolve from Tuscan Italian. Some varieties are also recognised by UNESCO as separate languages, such as Southern Neapolitan-Calabrian, Sicilian and Corsican.
- The richness of the linguistic dialects is explained by the fact that Italy was for a long time made up of independent entities. The literary language. The Italian literary language is only linguistically speaking a dialect of a rather narrow region of Tuscany - Florentine, which has been elevated to the level of a national language. In fact, today's Italian literary language is not based on the present-day dialect of Florentine, but on the 13th-14th century dialect of Florentine, so that the dialects of Tuscany today are also different from the literary language, if not as different as the other Italian varieties.
- Like many languages using the Latin alphabet, Italian has long consonants (doubled), which are pronounced long, as in Hungarian (unlike English, French and Germanic). As in most Romance languages, stress often plays an important role in distinguishing meaning (not so in French).
- Italian, like other Indo-European languages, distinguishes between genders, masculine (maschile) (masculinum) and feminine (femminile) (femininum). The adjective is gender- and number-identical to the noun.
- The Italian alphabet consists of the following 21 letters; A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, Z.
- Find out more about the history of the Italian language on Wikipedia.