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Static Wikipedia: Italiano -Inglese (ridotta) - Francese - Spagnolo - Tedesco - Portoghese
 
Esperanto - Napoletano - Siciliano - Estone - Quality - New - Chinese Standard  - Simple English - Catalan - Gallego - Euskera
Wikipedia for Schools: English - French - Spanish - Portuguese
101 free audiobooks - Stampa Alternativa - The Open DVD - Open Bach Project  - Libretti d'opera - Audiobook PG

Italian language

From Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia written in simple English for easy reading.

Italian is a language spoken by about 70 million people, mostly people from Italy, from which it gets its name. It is the official language in Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, Switzerland and in some cities of Slovenia and Croatia. It is also used in some parts of Monaco, Malta, Albania, Dodecaneso (Greece), Eritrea, Libya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tunisia, Slovenia, Croatia and some other places.

It is mostly derived from Latin, with some words from Greek, Etruscan and elsewhere. It is called an inflected language - that means that the meaning of words can be changed by changing their endings. Italian nouns are either masculine or feminine (these are grammatical terms, normally only indirectly to do with sex).

Most singular masculine nouns end in -o, and most plural masculine nouns end in -i.

Most singular feminine nouns end in -a, and most plural feminine nouns end in -e.

So - gatto = male cat, gatta = female cat, gatti = male cats, gatte = female cats

The ending of verbs are quite complicated, because they depend upon the tense of the verb (past, present, future and so on) and on the person of the verb (I, you , they etc).

Thus - parlo = I speak, parliamo = we speak, parlava = he was speaking, parlarono = they spoke, parlerò = I will speak, parliamo = lets speak!

There are very many of these endings to learn - it is a difficult part of Italian. But pronunciation is simple - there are just a few rules to learn, and hardly any difficult sounds.

Many Italian words have enterred the English language. Pizza, spaghetti and ravioli are just some of the food words that we use. Many technical words in music are Italian, such as forte and allegro. Many musical instrument names are also Italian, such as cello and tuba. From the darker side of Italian life we get Mafia and vendetta. But Bravo for Italian - it's a good language to learn.

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