Languages at Berkeley: Italian
Where can you learn Italian, or learn about Italian, at UC Berkeley?
- Department of Italian Studies - information on Italian courses, the faculty, and current events relating to Italian Studies on campus.
A few expressions in Italian:
|What’s your name?||Come ti chiami?|
|My name is Chiara. What’s yours?||Mi chiamo Chiara. E tu?|
|Nice to meet you.||Piacere!|
|I was born in Rome, but now I live in Berkeley.||Sona nata a Roma ma adesso vivo a Berkeley.|
|One, two, three, four, five||Uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque|
|Go Bears!||Forza Bears!|
Is it difficult to translate any of these expressions into Italian? Why?
Italian, like all other romance languages, has a formal and an informal way to address people, depending on their age, status, and level of familiarity. The exchange on this page is informal (ciao…tu). The wonderful thing about Italian is that it is probably the easiest of the romance languages to pronounce because there are only a few “challenging” clusters of sounds like “chi” or “ghi” or “gli”, but either than these, you read every single letter in a word as it appears in the alphabet. Try to pronounce these words: Torino, Napoli, Venezia, Pisa, Genova, Palermo…
Something else about Italian…
If I weren’t already Italian, I would want to learn it! It is indeed the language of art, music, poetry, film, love, and yes….food. And so much linguistic variety within the standard Italian language! In Italy there are over a hundred regional dialects and accents that can be heard on the streets in every region of the country. Do you want to know about Italian history, geography, literature, folklore, music? Start with the language. It will unveil of the secrets.
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