"A man who has not been in Italy,” Samuel Johnson once said, “is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see.” One of the most beautiful countries in the world also boasts on the most beautiful languages.
Whether you’re planning a holiday, a new career, or a whole new change of scenery, learning Italian has never been easier, or more accessible. Here’s why you should give it a go.
A beautiful language
There’s a very good reason Mozart (an Austrian) composed his operas in Italian. Widely considered by many to be the most beautiful spoken language in the world, Italian is Italy’s ultimate export: romantic, lyrical, embedded in history and art, inextricably intertwined with the country’s culture.
You may find yourself quickly falling in love with the wonderfully expressive and expansive vocabulary. It’s also remarkably easy to pick up, compared with English.
Immerse yourself in the culture
Italy’s back-catalogue of artistic exports, from the renaissance onwards, is astonishingly prolific, a body of work stretching back centuries which few other countries can rival.
Understanding Italian opens you up to an enormous world of poetry, operas, literature, theatre, art, film, and more, enabling a deeper and more full-bodied understanding of the artists’ original intentions.
Useful addition to your CV
Any second language is an invaluable and sought-after boost to anyone’s skillset – it demonstrates resourcefulness, character and worldliness to an employer, not to mention an ability to converse with foreign clients in an increasingly globalised economy.
As one of the major global languages spoken by one of the major global powers – and nearly 100million people around the world – having Italian on your CV will push you above your peers in any job market.
Pretend you’re a local
Like most Europeans, Italians love it when visitors make the effort to learn their language. Blend into daily Italian culture by speaking the same language and you will gain respect and admiration. Handily, Italy is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit, so you will not need many excuses for return trips.
Lots of options for study
The most efficient and effective way to learn a language is to be taught by fluent, trained professional teachers, and it’s a great deal easier than you might think to take up a course in Italian.
UIC London offer a full range of Italian courses. You can find out more about UIC London courses by visiting their website.
The options available at UIC London cater for every need and level of experience, and their dedicated staff offer Italian courses, and a range of other languages, at their school in the heart of London.
About.com on common misconceptions.
Italy Chronicles gives some helpful advice.
Wikipedia article listing poets in the Italian language.