Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by phillyitalianstudent, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. phillyitalianstudent Senior Member

    English, U.S.A.
    I am not sure how to translate these two types of secondary schools. In the American school system, the secondary schools are all "high schools", but in the Italian school system there seems to be distinction between "ginnasio" and "liceo". What is the difference and how do you translate that difference into English?

    Italian statistics (for year 1893-94) make distinctions among all of the "ginnasi", separating them into types: "governativi", "pareggiati", "pubblici non pareggiati", "seminarili" and "privati".


    I understand that the "ginnasi pareggiati" are the ginnasi that are legally recognized by the government, but why distinguish "ginnasi pareggiati" from the "ginnasi governativi"?

    Are "ginnasi governativi" always recognized by the government?

    Are "ginnasi pareggiati" the same as "ginnasio privati" that are legally recognized by the government?

    How can there be a "ginnasio pubblico non pareggiato" (that is, how can there be a state school that is not legally recognized by the government)? How does a "ginnasio pubblico" differ from a "ginnasio governativo"?

    Thank you for any suggestions.
  2. federicoft Senior Member

    I don't know how to translate it into English but I hope this will prove useful.

    Liceo is a secondary school type, the most prestigious one in the Italian education system (once it was the only school track that allowed to pursue college education, that isn't the case anymore though).

    There are various kinds of liceo: liceo classico (with emphasis on humanities and classical studies), liceo scientifico (with emphasis on maths and sciences), liceo linguistico (with emphasis on foreign languages) and others.
    They all last five years between 14 and 18 years of age.

    For traditional reasons, the first two years of 'liceo classico' are not actually called liceo classico, they are called 'ginnasio' instead. Even the grade system is a bit different compared to the other types of liceo (but I doubt these details would be significant for you).

    As regards 'ginnasi pareggiati' (parificati in current Italian), they are privately-run but legally recognized by the government. 'Ginnasi governativi' (they would be called statali in current Italian) are publicly run.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  3. phillyitalianstudent Senior Member

    English, U.S.A.
    Thank you very much. Your information is indeed useful.

    I wonder what the distinction was between "ginnasio" and "liceo" in the late 1800s. Was the distinction at that time the same as it is now? Was "ginnasio" a preparation for "liceo", or was it just another type of four-year secondary school?
  4. loco44 Senior Member

    Most of the schools in Italy are public (statali). The Elementary School (5 years) and the Medium School (3 years) are obligatory. The correspondents private schools must be declared 'parificate' from the Italian State, for being able to release the final diploma. The Advanced schools (5 years) are also for the majority public (statali), but not obligatory, and since few years, by low, they're called Liceo.
    Private school are also expensive or very expensive, but not necessarly better than the public ones: in fact the Italian public schools are optimal.

    The 'Ginnasio' was a 2 year preparation to (and only) the Liceo Classico and so, part of it.
    The 'Liceo Classico' (that also teaches both Classic Greek and Latin languages) still have this name today, and in fact never dropped its 'Ginnasio' part and name.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2009
  5. phillyitalianstudent Senior Member

    English, U.S.A.
    That is helpful.

    So, does this mean, for example, that the school that exists today in Milano, "Liceo Ginnasio Statale Giuseppe Parini" includes a lower two-year "ginnasio" as a preparation for the upper two-year "liceo"?

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2009
  6. Angel.Aura

    Angel.Aura del Mod, solo L'aura

    Roma, Italia
  7. furs

    furs Senior Member

    Since OP indicates that the historical context is the late 19th century, the translation for 'ginnasio' should be adjusted accordingly. Until well into the 20th century, the ginnasio was a middle/junior high school which lasted 5 years, and gave access to the liceo (which only lated 3 years).
    As always when dealing with terms that cannot be automatically translated into an equivalent, I would leave the original term in Italian, adding an explanation in brackets.
  8. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English

    Hi and Happy New Year! I'm reopening this thread with a specific question which doesn't seem to be answered here or in other resources I've looked at. I'm trying to compare two terms that are not at all clear to me. Which of these represents a higher level of education? (context: from Padre Padrone, by Gavino Ledda, he's asking for help from a fellow soldier but he is concealing his true level of education. Am I understanding this correctly? He lies about his true grade level in order to seem more able.
    The terms are:

    la quinta ginnasio
    la terza media

    context: The other soldier "ha fatto la II liceo. Io solo la terza media. Come faccio a studiare con lui?" Decisi di ricorrere all'astuzia......per paura che lui non studiasse più con me, gli dovetti dire una bugia: "Io ho solo la quinta ginnasio. Tu invece.."

    This use of "ginnasio" seems to fit furs post (#7) from a few years ago, in which "ginnasio" is a middle/junior high school. I don't need a specific English translation, really, just a confirmation of my comprehension of the relative status of these two terms. THANKS!
  9. Blackman

    Blackman Senior Member

    Island of Sardinia, Italy
    La quinta ginnasio and la II liceo are the same class. He lies in order to seem less able than he actually is. It's not a true lie...:)

    Edit: my compliments for your reading, Ledda is a famous glottologist nowadays.

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  10. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Oh, really? But then why would he say, "Tu invece" as if there is some kind of contrast or difference?

    (P.S. I've been thinking of you Blackman, as I read this - so many words in sardo!!!)
  11. infinite sadness

    infinite sadness Senior Member

    Terza media = from 13 to 14 years old
    Quarta ginnasiale = from 14 to 15
    Quinta ginnasiale = from 15 to 16
    Prima liceale = from 16 to 17
    Seconda liceo = from 17 to 18
    Terza liceo = from 18 to 19

    Università = from 19 to 23/25
  12. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    OK, I get it. Thank you both. He's just trying to make it seem as if there is just a small difference between them (1 or 2 years) instead of the big gap represented by his true level.
  13. luway

    luway Senior Member

    Quinta ginnasio = 'secondo anno' al liceo classico (per la sua storia, è chiamato 'quinto' anno del ginnasio perché venivano considerati anche i precedenti 3 di scuole medie)
    Seconda liceo = 'quarto anno' del liceo classico

    Quindi, il personaggio del libro mente dicendo che ha frequentato le scuole per due anni in più di quanto non abbia realmente fatto (lui ha studiato fino alla fine delle scuole medie, non si è iscritto al liceo e frequentato i primi due anni --cioè fino alla quinta ginnasio-- come intende dire all'altro)

    Nota: solo chi frequenta il liceo classico fa ancora questa distinzione, non è utilizzata per gli altri licei o istituti superiori.

    edit: scrivevo mentre postavate!
  14. Odysseus54

    Odysseus54 Mod huc mod illuc

    In the hills of Marche
    Italian - Marche

    In Italy there are ( since 1928 ) two types of 'Liceo' :

    Liceo Classico : quarta e quinta ginnasio, prima, seconda, terza liceo

    Liceo Scientifico : prima, seconda, terza, quarta, quinta liceo.

    So, a 'quinta ginnasio' is ninth grade, a 'seconda liceo scientifico' is also a ninth grade, but a 'seconda liceo classico' is a twelfth grade.
  15. luway

    luway Senior Member

    Be', attualmente in Italia ci sono molti più Licei (Artistico e Linguistico, ad esempio, giusto per nominarne due dei meno recenti).
  16. Blackman

    Blackman Senior Member

    Island of Sardinia, Italy
    C'è da precisare come 4° e 5° ginnasio (ginnasiale è per i tecnici ) siano applicabili oggigiorno solo al liceo classico (e neppure in tutti gli indirizzi), mentre per tutti gli altri si tratta di un residuo di passate riforme dell'ordinamento scolastico.
    Nel caso della battuta di Ledda è senza dubbio da intendersi come lo ha spiegato infinite sadness. Lo scrittore conta sul fatto che il 3°media appaia più importante del suo 2°liceo.

    The most difficult to explain, even to Italians, is balentìa. Don't be shy and ask whenever and whatever you want...;)
  17. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    Lo scrittore conta sul fatto che il 3°media appaia più importante del suo 2°liceo. - Blackman, sorry to belabor this, but I don't think this fits this context. Lo scrittore conta sul fatto che la V ginnasio appaia più importante del suo (vero) 3o media. Non è così?
  18. infinite sadness

    infinite sadness Senior Member

    Certamente, ma ai tempi di Gavino Ledda (più o meno anni '60 credo) c'era solo il liceo classico.
  19. infinite sadness

    infinite sadness Senior Member

    Sì, penso che volesse portare il gap da 4 anni a 2 anni.
  20. Blackman

    Blackman Senior Member

    Island of Sardinia, Italy
    I completely misread it, sorry about that, you're right Joan and I was on a wrong path since the beginning. There's nothing obscure in it, it's an actual lie. And thanks for this new word - belabor.

  21. luway

    luway Senior Member

    Anche secondo me è così, Joanne.

    Forse questo schema rende più immediata la comprensione :)
  22. Kimberley333

    Kimberley333 New Member

    The discussion above and the questions posed are entirely relevant to meaning of the term gennasio. I thank the commentators for their efforts to gain clarity. It was very useful to me in fact.

Share This Page