[Marxism] Why Italians are giving up Italian - "denial of modernity and globalism"

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 22 08:05:15 MST 2017

All of Italy is seeing a renewed interest in dialects, a revival linked to
a national — and greater European — identity crisis. “It’s a matter of
territorial belonging,” says Andrea Maniero, a linguistics expert and
resident of Nardò, where everyone understands the local lingo even if they
don’t speak it. “The ones most lured to learning it are the youth, who are
fascinated by the old speech of their grandparents

According to national statistics, half of all Italians prefer to speak in a
dialect, whether it’s picturesque Napulitano (Neapolitan), Siculo (Sicilian)
*,* Francoprovenzale (an ancient Gallo-Romance language spoken in Alpine
valleys), Fùrlan (Friulan, typical of the Friuli region in northeastern
Italy) or Ladino (an old version of Latin) — just to name a few. In fact,
Italy’s Union of Tourist Boards calculates that the country has some 11,000
dialects. The influence of Napulitano and Siculo is so strong that the
iPhone offers them as language options.

Today, it’s cool to speak a dialect. It makes people feel part of an
exclusive, ancient microcosm “that battles not to lose itself in a world of
8 billion people,” says Paolo Balboni, president of the World Federation of
Language Teacher Associations and a professor at Venice’s Ca’ Foscari
University. It’s the denial of modernity and globalism, he adds. And the
movement to go hyperlocal may be accelerating in Europe, as the big project
of a united continent seems to be crumbling amid rising nationalism,
populism and regionalism.


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