Just over 5%. That’s the percentage of French people who speak Italian. Considered less useful than English, Spanish or German, the language of our transalpine neighbours seems to suffer from a certain lack of interest. So why learn Italian? Because this language has a lot to offer. Whether it’s to create new professional opportunities for yourself, to travel or to discover the richness of Italian culture, there are many reasons to start learning Italian from tomorrow.
1. A language that is strong in Europe… And elsewhere too!
Did you think that Italian was only spoken in Italy? Not at all! It is also the official language of San Marino and the Vatican. Spoken also in parts of Croatia and Slovenia, Italian is far from being known only on the other side of the Alps.
It is the mother tongue of 13% of the people living in the European Union, i.e. about 65 million speakers, not forgetting the 14 million people who have learned Italian as a second language.
If you like to travel, you should know that Italian is not only the second most spoken language in Canada, but also in Argentina, where a large part of the population has Italian origins. It is also the fourth most taught language in the United States. In Africa, Italian is still spoken (by a minority) in Libya, Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia.
By learning Italian, you enter a large, diverse and worldwide community of speakers.
2. A gateway to culture and gastronomy
The opera, the Sistine Chapel, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Carnival in Venice… and not forgetting the pasta!
Italy is full of artistic, cultural, historical and gastronomic treasures. In fact, it is the country with the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as Pompeii, Venice and its lagoon and the heart of Rome.
Of course, Italy’s wealth does not end there. The intangible heritage of the famous “boot-shaped” country cannot leave anyone unmoved. To speak Italian is to have the opportunity to discover the original version of the Canto a Tenore (Sardinian song), the greatest operas, the works of Fellini…
The icing on the cake is that you can also order a traditional Neapolitan pizza in the language of Dante.
3. An asset on your CV
If you are still wondering why you should learn Italian, you should know that it could be a real asset on your CV. Indeed, economic relations between France and Italy are particularly strong.
Italy used to be France’s 2nd largest economic partner after Germany. With the covid-19 crisis, it is now our 3rd trading partner (with China taking second place in 2020). However, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of the Economy, the amount of trade remains significant: more than 70 billion euros for the year 2020.
France is also the leading investor in Italy. Companies wishing to develop their presence in this country therefore have a real need in terms of recruitment or training of Italian speakers. It should be noted that France remains the largest foreign employer in Italy, particularly in the Piedmont and Lombardy regions.
4. A language considered easy to learn
If you have already read our article “Which languages are the easiest to learn“, then you know that Italian is one of the least complicated languages for a French speaker.
One of the reasons for this is that Italian, like French, is a language of Latin origin. The vocabulary, grammar and even pronunciation are very similar between the two languages.
Furthermore, as the two countries are neighbours, it is quite easy to find teaching resources adapted to your needs and there is no shortage of Italian trainers.
Moreover, by learning Italian with 1to1PROGRESS, you can choose your own native speaker and benefit from a tailor-made learning programme.
[Bonus] Why learn Italian? For the pleasure of speaking with your hands!
No, it’s not just a cliché. In Italian, the gesture is as important as the verb. But why? The reasons are uncertain.
Experts have two theories. Some believe that Italians started using their hands to make themselves understood more easily at a time when each region had its own dialect. Others believe that it was an alternative way of communicating without the successive invaders (Byzantines, Spaniards, French…) being able to understand the content of the exchanges.
Nevertheless, this sign language has endured and is now an integral part of the beautiful Italian language.
To start learning Italian, contact us and start your own tailor-made training programme.