Italiano | Italian
Why Study Italian?
A variety of motives lead people to choose to study Italian language and culture:
As a language that derived from Latin, students in medical/scientific and legal fields can gain valuable insight into the root words and meanings of terms in their respective disciplines; most anatomical/scientific and legal, terms have close relatives in Italian, such as, arteria, vertebra , stomaco, intestino , ibrido , mercurio, tribunale, ipotesi, legale, giudiziario…
Artistic fields have drawn much from Italian culture, so the areas of music, visual arts, poetry, culinary studies, have all been beneficiaries; that gives currency to words like allegro, crescendo, orchestra, basilica, terra cotta, cupola, stanza, ottava, terzina, spaghetti, tortellini, cannoli…,
In some ways, as Chaucer is to English, Dante is to Italian: both writers gave these once marginalized, “vulgar” languages a place of honor within their literary canons and vaulted them into positions of respected status. For Italian, that status was further cemented by literary masterpieces by Petrarch, Boccaccio and others.
Unlike Latin, Italian is a living language with antique and modern traces, spoken today by almost 200,000 people as a first or second language; as such, it is a language of interest to travelers who desire to be more than tourists.
Italy is a popular destination because of its immense variety—rocky, sandy, and cliffside beaches, rolling hillsides, the Alps and Apennines, fertile plains, cities steeped in architectural and artistic history, and a culinary inheritance as regional and wide-ranging as the people who inhabit the Italian peninsula; further, it has been estimated that 40% of the cultural riches of the world reside in Italy.
Many people study Italian because of its melodic, musical sound; because it is a phonetic language, Italian pronunciation is relatively easy.
Italian is the second most studied foreign language in Canada and fourth in the USA and the UK .
Modern Italy was one of the founding nations of the European Union and is a member of the G8, the group of some of the most industrialized nations in the world; thus, Italian is an important language of commerce in fields such as Formula 1 car racing (e.g., Ferrari), fashion and design (e.g., Armani, Gucci, Damiani, Natuzzi,), and food industry (Barilla, Bertolli).
Italian is a language and culture studied for many reasons, including discovering more about one's heritage. After thorough study, students can also decide to teach it, become tourist guides, interpreters, or translators.
>> Find out about our Undergraduate Program
Lorella Paltrinieri – Instructor
Courses in Italian
- LITA 105- First Year Italian I
This is an introductory course for aural comprehension, speaking, reading, writing, culture. Students will explore a variety of topics including greetings, travel, cuisine, music, family, TV and Italian film.
Prerequisite: No previous study in Italian. Must register for lecture and laboratory.
- LITA 107 – First year Italian II
Must have passed LITA 105 or equivalent at an institution abroad or in the US. Must register for lecture and laboratory. This is the continuation and enrichment of LITA105 and includes topics such as fashion, careers, sports, health, ecology, art and theater.
The Italian Club, when available, offers numerous activities each semester such as cooking, viewing slides of Italian cities of art or watching and discussing Italian films.
For more information, contact Lorella Paltrinieri.