5 Fascinating Facts About the Italian Language

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Languages are fascinating, I think we can agree on that. Italian language, one of the most loved and adored languages worldwide, is more fascinating than usual. Italian rhymes like pleasant music to our ears. It warms our hearts. It makes us fall madly in love and want to listen to it, even if we don’t understand a word. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 interesting facts about the Italian language that you probably didn’t know before. So buckle up and let’s get started!

1. There are only 21 letters in the Italian alphabet

One of the secret talents of Italian people is keeping things  simple and straight to the point (they more than make up for it with their iconic hand gestures of course), and their alphabet is no exception. The Italian alphabet consists of only 21 letters. Compared to the English one, letters j, k, w, x, and y are excluded. It’s no surprise that Italian is the closest match to the dead Latin language (RIP, just kidding). 

2. Italian became an official language in 1861

It was a cold winter day in 1861 when unification of Italy was formalized and subsequently a standard version of Italian language emerged. Prior to 1861, what we know of today’s Italian was relatively unknown and was spoken by less than 5% of the population in the newly unified country. What happened after is history… Grazie Italian unification which gave us this beautiful piece of art that we call Italian language!

3. Over 85 million people worldwide speak Italian

Italy’s population is roughly 60 million people. However, there are many Italian expats or people of Italian descent who live on all corners of the world. Also, since Italian is the world’s most rhythmic and poetic language, it’s no wonder that many language enthusiasts have learned to speak it. Therefore, it’s no surprise that over 85 million people speak Italian around the world.  In the European Union alone, Italian is the first language of over 65 million people (not all from Italy) and the second language of a further 15 million people. Who knows, maybe this number will shoot up after some of you read this article. Reading Interesting facts about the Italian language can have life-changing consequences, you know! 

facts about the italian language

4. Italian is the fifth most-studied language in the US

Leaning a second or third language now days is becoming more and more popular among American students. Surprisingly (or maybe not if you consider all the immigrants of Italian descent), Italian is amongst the most popular. Today, close to 700,000 Americans speak Italian. Majority of them reside in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. This makes Italian the 5th most-studied language in US schools.

5. The longest Italian word has 30 letters

It’s not only German language that has extremely long words. Italian language’s top dog is more than a match for its German competition. Today, “psiconeuroendocrinoimmunologia” is the Italian dictionary’s longest word with 30 letters and 13 syllables. Did you try pronouncing it yet? Yea good luck! So what does it mean? This LONG word is an acronym of PNEI and in short refers to the study of nervous, immune, and endocrine system functions. Pretty magical and monstrous, isn’t it?!

Hope you enjoyed learning those 5 fascinating facts about the Italian language. 

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