Italian regional languages

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Pietruzzo

Senior Member
Italian
Hi everyone.
I suggest to create in the Italian section a forum for Italian regional languages. First of all they are used by many people in everyday life and they strongly influence standard Italian. Furthermore, many people from all over the world are often asking advice about that, because they've heard a neapolitan song, for example, or because they remember something their ancestors used to say. At the time being requests about this matter are moved to the "Other languages" forum but I think there should be a devoted forum.
 
  • cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hello Pietruzzo,

    As is the custom with the WR forum, we can only create a new subforum when there's actual high demand for a language or a group of languages, and not on requests. For the time being, we only have a very small handfull of threads about Neapolitan (not even a dozen), and the same goes for the other languages. So I suggest that for the time being you, or anyone else interested in regional Italian languages, just follow the tags of the languages in which your interested, and help keep those threads alive (but please don't just open a thread or post something for no earnest reasons), and maybe one day we'll have a new forum for them, like we did for other languages that grew gradually, in thread numbers, till they had their own new forums. :)
     

    QuasiTriestino

    Senior Member
    American English
    I suggest to create in the Italian section a forum for Italian regional languages.
    I would second this suggestion. In the meantime, while we're waiting to get enough posts, is it more appropriate to post our questions to the Italian-English language forum or to the other languages forum? The problem with posting them to the other languages forum is that they will get much less traffic from the Italian-English forum members, those who are most likely to help with the question.
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    is it more appropriate to post our questions to the Italian-English language forum or to the other languages forum?
    In the other languages forum where they belong :)
    Dialect speakers have pointed out countless times that "Italian dialects aren't in fact dialects, but proper languages". Following up on their suggestion, we moved all the previous threads about dialects to the "other languages" forum.
     

    QuasiTriestino

    Senior Member
    American English
    ...we moved all the previous threads about dialects to the "other languages" forum.
    I guess I imagined that a Regional Languages of Italy forum could be nested under the Italian forums much like Other Slavic Languages is nested under Slavic Languages, though I see the difference in nesting. This grand plan does not get around the fact that numbers seem to be an issue however.
     
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    Pietruzzo

    Senior Member
    Italian
    How often?
    I can't give precise figures. My point is a cultural one. Most Italian are basically bilingual, since they speak standard Italian and the local dialect / language. But those are not "other languages" to me; a Neapolitan song or a comedy of Goldoni's (in Venetian) are part of the common Italian heritage and should be discussed in the Italian forums.
     
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    QuasiTriestino

    Senior Member
    American English
    Most Italian are basically bilingual, since they speak standard Italian and the local dialect / language.
    This can be even less binary, since many Italians speak a mixture heavily weighted toward their own particular regional language - it's not terribly common where I live to hear locals using a purely standard Italian and it can create confusion. This is not limited to a handful of different and interesting words. There are instances of identical words having slightly different meanings. (Volentieri comes to mind as an example.)

    My point (albeit opaque) is that, given the linguistic richness of the Italian peninsula, restricting yourself to standard Italian will ultimately limit your ability to interact naturally (or as naturally as possible) with many Italians. WR could offer a good resource for learners of Italian and native speakers alike by creating a space where these questions are grouped together and linked to the Italian forum. As it stands now, placing these questions in the other languages forum isolates them from the people that are most likely to benefit from and contribute to the discussion.

    Again.... all of this helps the numbers question by about 0%, but my sentiments remain the same. :)
     
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    Sardokan1.0

    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    But those are not "other languages" to me; a Neapolitan song or a comedy of Goldoni's (in Venetian) are part of the common Italian heritage and should be discussed in the Italian forums.
    This however doesn't apply to Sardinian language, that is not part of the common Italian heritage, since it's a Romance language evolved in nearly total isolation from the other languages of the Romance family.

    Like Sardinian there are other languages in Italy that don't fit under the umbrella of Italian languages. Friulan, Ladin, Provençal. Sardinian however is that with the highest numbers, with at least 1,3 million people able to speak it.
     

    Sardokan1.0

    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    Yes, but Italian (in the sense of of Italy) languages - which influence and are influenced by modern Italian.
    This may be true for other regions, expecially in the south, where people often tend fo mix Italian and "dialect" because of their similarity. However this phenomenon is not present in Sardinia, where the two languages are kept separated, we don't mix them because they are too different, when we speak Italian we speak only Italian, at maximum we can use some Sardinian words here and there like "ajò" (andiamo), "èja" (si), etc.etc. but there isn't a confusing mix of the two languages, like in some Italian regions. In the same way, when we speak Sardinian, we speak only Sardinian without using Italian words, since the Italian influence in Sardinia is recent and we are geographically isolated from the continent our language is not affected by italianisms like other regional languages, the only italianisms that we can find in Sardinia are neologisms about modern things, like machines, and appliances, while most of Sardinian vocabulary is composed by a Latin vocabulary no more in use in other Romance languages.
     

    Pietruzzo

    Senior Member
    Italian
    That's the point I'm afraid, and an unbiased criterion to be taken into account to decide whether a language pair or a minor language deserve their own forum.
    There should be a unique tag, at least. We have now, say, "Sicilian", "Neapolitan" etc. It would be useful to have also a "super tag" like "Italian regional languages".
     
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    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Making the title of the Italian forum (Italian and regional languages of Italy), then asking people in the rules to put the name of the language or dialect like Sicilian:, Ligurian:, or Romanesco: or nothing if it's just standard Italian takes all of 2 minutes and the problem is solved. No need for tags or anything. It might be easier for moderators than transferring back and forth or writing private messages.

    As a non-Italian, I think if I were interested in Venitian I probably would have the instinct to look in the Italian forum or create a thread in the Italian forum. I would not logically go to the Other Languages section, if I can find it, because I don't see what Venitian has in common with Haitian Creole, Quechua, and Fang, because I relate Venitian to Italy. Plus I would think that if I were looking for someone to answer this thread it would be easier to find them among the people who hang out in the Italian forum, maybe even if Venitian wasn't their native language. An Italian native from Trieste might be able to answer. In the Other Languages forum, no one would think to go there, the people asking the question or those answering them.

    Non natives too come across with words and expressions that they might think are standard Italian, but are actually dialect. They're probably going to ask in the Italian forum anyway. I may not have posted my doubts but I sometimes pick up a word and then I think it's standard until someone tells me they only say that in "Bari", etc. In this case, someone in the know how could say, this is Friulian not Italian and then add the title later.

    Food for thought.
     

    Pietruzzo

    Senior Member
    Italian
    As a non-Italian, I think if I were interested in Venitian I probably would have the instinct to look in the Italian forum or create a thread in the Italian forum. I would not logically go to the Other Languages section,
    The "I-couldn't-agree-more" reaction hasn't been invented yet, unfortunately, but I'm afraid the answer to such objections has already been given in post #4
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    The "I-couldn't-agree-more" reaction hasn't been invented yet, unfortunately, but I'm afraid the answer to such objections has already been given in post #4
    Thanks. I see. I'm not doubting at all they are languages but the geographic link to Italy is stronger. People come to WR to ask questions, read and learn. The point. No traffic is going to OL to scan to see if they can find anything in Lombard to answer.
     

    swindaff

    Senior Member
    Italian - Neapolitan
    I must confess that a couple of days ago I was wondering "why do all doubts and questions about dialects fall under the Italian forum umbrella?" - and now I happen to see this thread.
    I understand that it may be difficult to organise it and I also see why dialects should be discussed in Other Languages; however, I think that a pragmatical criterion should be taken into account: a foreign person is likely to associate any Italian dialect to Italy for geographic reasons, rather than considering its linguistic features. Also, I have never visited the Other Languages section, as I didn't know I may have found some Neapolitan-related questions I may have been able to reply to - my fault, but I doubt I am the only one.

    Maybe creating specific tag for each dialect is not a solution, as I have read threads in which people knew they were asking something about a dialect, but they didn't know which one in particular. Would it be possibile to create a sub-section in Italian forum with Italian dialects (or maybe Dialects in Italy, to be more linguistically accurate) and give the opportunity to us, users, to "flag" threads? What I mean is: Mr X posts something in the section they believe to be appropriate; if other users believe the OP chose the wrong one, we may flag it to move it to the right section and maybe add more specific tags (Neapolitan or whatever) in case the OP has doubts about them.
     

    swindaff

    Senior Member
    Italian - Neapolitan
    :thumbsup:
    Just a side note: are you sure that the expression Italian dialects is appropriate? Linguists usually speak about Languages of Italy or Regional languages instead of "dialects" nowadays.
    Yes, I know what you mean. In this case I believe it would be appropriate to use any expression that can be easily understood and used by non-natives and non-experts though. It may be less accurate, but probably more immediate (just like considering them as a sub-section of Italian, although some "dialects" have nothing to do with Italian, as Sandokan1.0 pointed out, for example).
     
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    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    a foreign person is likely to associate any Italian dialect to Italy for geographic reasons, rather than considering its linguistic features.
    More than likely.
    That's why most of the people still post their first question about Italian dialects in English-Italian or Solo Italiano.
    Mods move them to "Other languages", fix the title and add the correct tags.
    give the opportunity to us, users, to "flag" threads?
    Users can already tag their own threads.
    If you feel a relevant tag is missing, you can report the thread and point that out - mods will add it.
    I believe it would be appropriate to use any expression that can be easily understood and used by non-natives and non-experts though.
    I'm glad to see that someone can get the point :)
     

    Pietruzzo

    Senior Member
    Italian
    If you feel a relevant tag is missing, you can report the thread and point that out - mods will add it.
    Here are some of them. Sorry to repeat myself but, in my view, such threads would deserve two tags: one for the specific area and one for the general category of Italian dialects/languages. No need to say, I'd rather put all this stuff in a "Other languages of Italy" subforum but you can't always get what you want.
    Romanesco dialect: sola
    Abruzzese dialect: le scatapuzze
    Bolognese: socmel va la che tal cioc...!!!
    Romanesco dialect: Commisa’, me deve da stà a sentì
    Abruzzese dialect: Tu si nate sott’a ’na pianeta cattive, ma quesse ti fa ’na bella riuscita
    Dialetto toscano
    Dialetto siciliano: mpare ri unni si?
    "Vorte" "er" dialetto romano Pasolini
    dialetto leccese: uè comba ce sta faci?
    Dialetto ligure: Ancoeu sun aneto au ma
    Dialetto emiliano: Sarìssal mai gnù a Codgòr (Codigoro) par cazàr?
     
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