On a day-to-day basis, we don’t actively think about where our words or language comes from. Especially languages that we aren’t fluent in. Sure, the majority of us can tell when there is a Latin prefix or suffix, but we don’t usually know the origin of a language as a whole. This can be said for the origin of Italian. It is such a beautiful language that so many try to learn, yet we don’t know how it came to be. Italian has a rich history. And when we get into it, it can be just as fun as learning the actual language.
The Origin of Italian
Italian is now known as a love language. But that wasn’t always the case. The language is mostly derived from “vulgar” Italian, used by the less educated in Rome. It was after the fall of Rome that Italian started to take form. First, it was heard as different dialects throughout different regions. This really solidified the separate identities found throughout Italy. Vocabulary and pronunciation changed from region to region. How did this happen? It happened organically through the various invasions and different foreign governments that occupied Italy. In 1861, when Italy became unified, only 3% of the people spoke standard Italian. Now, the language is spoken by 90% of the population in Italy. It took a long time to get there.
It’s interesting to look back and look at how a language formed. So, when you start reading to your child in a different language, you can teach them about the origin. It will likely get them excited and give them a base of knowledge to start with.