According to agi.it, Italian is studied by over 2 million students, making it the 4th most-studied language worldwide after English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese in culture institutions. However, while these three languages are also the most widely spoken languages in the world and have an obvious CV boosting appeal, the reasons for learning Italian seem somehow less predictable.
In the EU 97,3% of high school students have Italian in their curriculum and it is part of the school programmes in 18 countries of the USA.
Why Should You Learn Italian?
People are passionate about Italian culture, from history to archaeology, art, literature, opera, food, fashion and design. Knowing the language is essential to dive into the most peculiar aspects of the Italian history, culture and way of life. It is also key for academic research fields such as history of art, archaeology, literature and philosophy.
UNESCO states that 60% of artistic world treasures are in Italy, therefore tourism is another valid reason for studying this beautiful language. Many students claim that Italian is the language of music and love: could Romeo and Juliet have spoken a different language? And when words are not enough, the gestures and facial expressions come to aid.
There is a number of learners coming to Italy to reconnect to their roots, as their ancestors have emigrated abroad and have told the most beautiful stories about amazing landscapes, delicious food, welcoming people and beautiful cities.
Is Italian Really That Difficult to Learn?
The feeling of a language being hard is very subjective and depends a lot on your mother tongue, other foreign languages you may know, and what proficiency you want to achieve.
Italian is a phonetic language, which means that pronunciation is quite straightforward and logical and follows the written form, with very few exceptions. Some sounds might be difficult to imitate for speakers of other languages but with some effort and exposure to Italian texts, learners will enjoy speaking one of the most "musical" languages in the world.
In terms of vocabulary, you'd be surprised to realise how many Italian words you already have, and you can easily recognise and use. The strong similarities to Romance languages, French, Portuguese, and Spanish, make it easier to learn for many foreigners. In addition to this, Italian is closely related to English, due to its Latin origins which means that the two languages share thousands of words with the same form and meaning.
Italian grammar can be difficult to learn at first, with the gender of nouns influencing the parts of speech that agree with the noun: articles, adjectives, and sometimes verbs. However, once you have understood the basic and the logic behind the rules, it becomes easier and fascinating.
Is Italian a Good Language to Learn in 2022?
I would say so: Italian is musical, rhythmic, romantic, and fun. There is also immense scope for learning Italian in 2022 and new exciting opportunities for using the language in your career and in your life: work in international companies throughout the world, in fashion and design, art, history and music, to travel and get an insight of the cradle of culture and Italian literature and art, to make Italian friends. Broadening your horizons will enable you to open your mind to new ways of thinking and connecting with kind-hearted people and beauties.
Where Can I Learn Italian with International House?
You can also learn Italian at a local IH school in your town or city, click here to find an IH school near you