La lingua dell’amore – Is Italian the language of love?

Perché ho messo un doppio titolo italiano-inglese, vi starete chiedendo.
Eeh. Nel post di oggi, succede una cosa strana.
C’è un’agenzia di traduzioni che si chiama Tomedes. Sono stata contattata da loro e, com’è come non è, viene fuori un’idea: “ti va se scriviamo un articolo per la Druida?”. “Certo!”, dico io, “molto volentieri. E su cosa lo vorreste fare questo articolo?”. “Beh”, dicono loro, “c’è Louise che dice se ti interessa un pezzo sulla lingua italiana e sull’amore”. Louise è la content manager di Tomedes. 
Ora, chi mi legge da tanto lo sa: se c’è un argomento che la Druida tratta, quando parla di viaggio figurato, è proprio l’amore. Vi pare che io potessi rifiutare l’offerta?
Così, Louise ha scritto questo pezzo per voi, una piccola riflessione sulla lingua italiana abbinata all’amore.
L’articolo è in inglese, spero possiate capirlo tutti. Altrimenti, vi ricordo che sul lato destro della pagina c’è un menu a tendina con l’opzione “traduci”.
L’aspetto che mi ha colpita di più leggendo l’articolo, quando mi è arrivato, è proprio il modo in cui gli stranieri ci vedono: c’è una lunga storia dietro la nostra lingua elaborata. Alle loro orecchie, quando parliamo suoniamo come una melodia. Per la precisione, una delle più romantiche e sexy del mondo. 
Scrive Louise: “Quando si tratta di amore e romanticismo, l’italiano ha una serie impressionante di frasi che non possono che deliziare”.
Dunque, italiani: dichiarate il vostro amore straniero e fatevi sotto! 😉

Is Italian the language of love?

Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, but also the ear – and there are few languages that sound more beautiful than the flow of softly spoken Italian.
It is fitting, then, that all languages classed as ‘Romance’ languages have evolved from the vernacular of ancient Rome. However, while many languages have evolved naturally over time, Italian has undergone something of a unique process. This has led to its reputation as the ‘language of love’ with many linguists around the world, as well as with listeners who don’t even speak Italian themselves.

Shaping the language of love

Giovanni Boldini (1842-1931), “Serenata”

Languages evolve over time in many different ways. In Italy, the country’s greatest writers, musicians and poets helped the process along. Their influence shaped the style and vocabulary of Italian over the centuries, until it evolved into the melodic tongue that we know today.

Often, these creatives focused on the beauty of the way the language sounded as they shaped the language to suit the whims of their muses. Many, such as Adriano Banchieri, crossed and mixed the various disciplines of the arts in their quest for linguistic perfection. Banchieri was not only a composer, but also an organist and a poet. As founder of the Accademia dei Floridi in Bologna, his influence over the Italian language was significant. The same can be said of many of Italy’s most famous musicians and poets throughout history.
Perhaps the greatest linguistic influencer as Dante Alighieri, author of the Divine Comedy. Instead of writing in Latin, as was widely done by the educated elite back in the 13th and 14th centuries, Dante wrote in his native Tuscan dialect. The eloquence of his poetry was so beautiful that he has been seen as a champion of the vernacular ever since.
This unique linguistic development process, with so much attention paid to the beauty of the sound, has given contemporary Italian a particularly lyrical flow, which speaks of love and romance even to those who don’t understand what is being said

This is most often apparent in the reactions of non-Italian speakers to visiting the opera. The combination of musical and linguistic beauty – blended with big storylines that tend to focus on matters of love, death, passion and loss – is enough to reduce many to tears, despite their understanding not a single word of the lyrics to which they are listening.

The actual language of love

When it comes to love and romance, Italian also has an impressive array of phrases, all of which trip lyrically off the tongue. The sheer sound of these expressions cannot help but delight.
Let’s consider the Italian for “I love you, my darling,” which translates to “Ti amo, mio tesoro,” compared with its equivalent in German: “Ich liebe dich, mein Schatz.” Even without understanding the translation, the Italian simply sounds more romantic – it is a language to make the heart melt!
Other beautifully lyrical Italian phrases for those declaring their love include: 
  •         Sei il grande amore della mia vita – you are the love of my life
  •         Voglio soltanto te – I want only you
  •         Non posso vivere senza te – I can’t live without you
  •         Ti penso ogni giorno – I think about you every day
  •         Sei la mia anima gemella – you are my soul mate
  •         Nei tuoi occhi c’è il cielo – heaven is in your eyes

Each possesses a poetic charm with which few other languages can compete.
Modern-day Italian remains a beguiling and captivating tongue, drawing the listener in and evoking a powerful emotive response. Those who don’t understand the words understand something deeper and more beautiful: the language of love that speaks directly to the soul.

Author bio
Louise Taylor is the content manager for translation agency Tomedes

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