The Italian language is born from the evolution of the Latin spoken daily by the people and not from the Latin used by writers and witnessed by classic literary works. Latin was the language spoken by a small population of farmers and shepherds, who around 1200 BC He had settled at the mouth of the river Tiber, where he had founded a city, Rome.
Between the fifth and third centuries BC this people, which was part of the vast stock of the Indo-European peoples, originating in Central and Eastern Europe, subjugated militarily and politically all the peoples on this side of the Alps, and then, in subsequent centuries much of northern Europe and Africa and Mediterranean Asia. The conquered peoples imposed it, together with its own laws, its own language. The time of Augustus (63 BC-14 A.D.) had then already accomplished the first linguistic unification of Italy.
Not all the Italic peoples were talking though the same Latin of Rome: in this its spread, in fact, the Latin spoken resented both at the level of the ruling is in the vocabulary level, the influence of local dialects which was overlapping (whereas Latin written He was kept the same as in the time remaining tied to rigid models).Italian to English Translation Services
As long as the political and administrative authorities of Rome was firm, Latin remained the official language of the whole vast empire founded by the Romans. But when the Roman Empire, between the fourth and fifth century A.D., began to disintegrate under the impact of the barbarian invasions, the Latin language lost its centrality and its unifying power. In fact, around the V-VI century A.D., in some territories, like in Central Europe and England, Latin disappeared, replaced by Germanic languages that would eventually become the present German and English today. However, in other areas, where the Roman colonization had been longer and more intense, such as Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Romania, the ancient local language, they returned more and more to the surface. Thus, in those countries they were formed, the common Latin base, through a long series of transformations that concern phonetics, morphology, syntax and vocabulary, new languages, all derived from the Latin, but each with its own characteristics.
Precisely because these languages are the result of evolution over time of the Latin languages are called "Romance" (ie "the new Latin languages") or "Romance" (ie, "the Roman languages").
Even in Italy, as in all of Europe, were born the various dialects that became known as "vulgar," that is "languages in common use" compared to the Latin script, now known only by very few products. Then, during the fourteenth century, of all the Italian vulgar, distinguished Tuscan vulgar, especially that of Florence. It was certainly not accidental, and the conquest of this "supremacy" was based on specific historical, economic and cultural:
- Vulgar Florentine had not strayed much from the literary Latin;
- Florence was located almost in the center of the peninsula, which favored the spread of his dialect both the North and the South;
- In the fourteenth century, Florence had become one of the largest and wealthiest cities of Italy thanks to the commercial and financial activities;
- Florentines were the writers who, during the fourteenth century, began the great Italian literature: Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca and Giovanni Boccaccio composed their immortal works right in the Florentine vernacular. In the first half of the fifteenth century, humanists reaffirmed the validity of the literary Latin at the expense of the vernacular, considered inferior and unfit to literary expression. Dante himself was harshly criticized for having preferred the vulgar Latin.
In the second half of the fifteenth century, though, the vulgar came to be the language of the literature: the intellectuals realized that the vernacular had the same dignity and the same expressive qualities of Latin. The reaffirmation of the vernacular concurred some great writers and poets, such as Leon Battista Alberti, Lorenzo the Magnificent, Angelo Poliziano, Matteo Maria Boiardo, Pulci Luigi, Leonardo da Vinci. Another factor contributed significantly to the recovery of the vernacular: the invention of the printing press, a work of the German Gutenberg, because it allowed a greater diffusion of the texts written in this language. The Italian Language
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