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Learning the Italian Language is a gateway to understanding some of the richest history in our world. Imagine being able to read Dante’s Divine Comedy in the way he truly intended it, or to visit Florence and feel a deeper connection with every piece of art that you see, or for that matter, to go to dinner at an Italian restaurant and know what you’re ordering without having to read the translation!
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The earliest surviving texts identified as the Italian Language are from the region of Benevento dating from 960 A.D. Italian, unlike the other Romance Languages has retained the contrast between short and long consonants which existed in its Latin roots. During the 14th Century, the Tuscan dialect began to predominate because of the central position of Tuscany in Italy and because of the aggressive commerce of its most important city, Florence. Grammarians during the 15th and 16th centuries attempted to confer upon the pronunciation, syntax and vocabulary of 14th century Tuscan the status of a central and classical Italian speech.
In the late 19th century, the language spoken by the Tuscans spread to become the language of Italy. The unification of the country in 1861 had a profound impact on the political, social, economical and cultural ways of life – in particular, there was mandatory schooling which increased the literacy rate and speakers abandoned their regional dialects to speak one national language.
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Sources for the content on this page include: Wikipedia.org “Italian Language”, History.com “Italian Language”, ItalianLanguageGuide.com “History of the Italian Language”, “Italian Language Statistics”, & “Italian Language Facts”, LanguageHelpers.com “Italian Language Facts”, and LearnItalianGuide.com “Italian Language Facts”, “Italian Language Stats” & “Why Learn Italian Language”. Please note that while we pride ourselves and our sources on accuracy of information, statistics and facts may vary slightly by site and recency of data.