Which language is most similar to Italian?

hindupridemn
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Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby hindupridemn » 2013-07-04, 3:01

Spanish, French, or Portuguese? Which one is most similar to Italian?

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Levike
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Levike » 2013-07-04, 10:57

Spanish, I think it would be the most understandable for an Italian both in writing and speaking.

Portuguese is a bit more distant especially the pronunciation.

And French is kilometers away.
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IpseDixit

Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-04, 11:02

Levente.Maier wrote:And French is kilometers away.


Not at all. From a grammatical point of view, French is closer to Italian than Spanish. Also, we have more words in common with French than with Spanish.

The lexical similarity coefficient for Italian and French is 0.89, whereas for Italian and Spanish it is 0.85.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexical_si ... _languages

The only thing that is completely different is pronunciation, whereas Spanish has a reasonably close one to Italian. But under the other aspects, French wins.

I don't want to be pedantic or obnoxious but on what did you base your answer since your profile says you don't speak either Italian or French?

And to complete my answer, Portuguese is an unintelligible alien thing to us Italians.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Levike » 2013-07-04, 13:26

What I said about French was mostly because of pronunciation.

I always viewed French as an extreme of the Romance group.
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby linguoboy » 2013-07-04, 13:46

IpseDixit wrote:Not at all. From a grammatical point of view, French is closer to Italian than Spanish.

Can you support that?
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Itikar » 2013-07-04, 14:23

I am studying Spanish now and I find that in general French vocabulary and syntax seems me a bit closer to Italian ones. :)

Not under every aspect obviously, there are features that both Italian and Spanish share and French does not, as well as there are things Spanish and French have in common while Italian has not them.
So... I am getting more and more curious about Romanian. :lol:

Levente.Maier wrote:What I said about French was mostly because of pronunciation.

I always viewed French as an extreme of the Romance group.

Well, North Italian vernaculars have some features that also French has, especially in pronounciation.
Grammar used to be similar in their ancient version but along the centuries it has been progressively influenced by Southern varieties.
Last edited by Itikar on 2013-07-04, 14:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Levike » 2013-07-04, 14:26

Itikar wrote:So... I am getting more and more curious about Romanian. :lol:

Yeeeeeaaaaaaaah!
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby linguoboy » 2013-07-04, 16:37

Itikar wrote:I am studying Spanish now and I find that in general French vocabulary and syntax seems me a bit closer to Italian ones.

YMMV. I look at examples like:

[flag]es[/flag] El mundo es un libro y quién no viaja lee sólo una página de él.
[flag]it[/flag] Il mondo è un libro e chi non viaggia ne legge solo una pagina.
[flag]fr[/flag] Le monde est un livre et ceux qui ne voyagent pas n’en lisent qu’une seule page.

and I get the impression that, on balance, it's definitely the first two sentences which have the most in common. (Particularly if you read them aloud.)
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

IpseDixit

Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-04, 16:59

linguoboy wrote:[flag]es[/flag] El mundo es un libro y quién no viaja lee sólo una página de él.
[flag]it[/flag] Il mondo è un libro e chi non viaggia ne legge solo una pagina.
[flag]fr[/flag] Le monde est un livre et ceux qui ne voyagent pas n’en lisent qu’une seule page.


Has cherry picking ever proven anything?

Anyway, to me the French version seems closer, especially in the second part, both Italian and French use the partitive particle en/ne whilst Spanish uses a construction (de él) which would be quite clunky in Italian.

Moreover the Italian sentence in quite arbitrarily chosen, for example this version (which is the actual translation of the French one) is even closer:

[flag]it[/flag] Il mondo è un libro e coloro che non viaggiano non ne leggono che una sola pagina.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-07-04, 17:03

Both Italian and French has the partitive pronoun (ne in Italian and en in French), as IpseDixit says.

Spanish uses the verb tener while Italian and French use avere/avoir.

Cherry-picking can shows more similarities between Italian and French

In the following sentences, Italian is most similar to French:

[flag]it[/flag] Ho male alla testa
[flag]fr[/flag] J'ai mal a la tête
[flag]es[/flag]Tengo mal a la cabeza

I can also prove that English is a Romance language instead of a Germanic.
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2013-07-04, 17:21, edited 1 time in total.

IpseDixit

Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-04, 17:08

linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Not at all. From a grammatical point of view, French is closer to Italian than Spanish.

Can you support that?


Yes of course. I studied both languages, and French grammar seemed to me closer. If you want me to pinpoint the similarities, I'm sorry but I don't have time to waste on that.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Marah » 2013-07-04, 17:15

Personally I think Spanish helped me more in terms of grammar: subjunctive, tense agreements, etc

esTengo mal a la cabeza

I don't think it's idiomatic. "Me duele la cabeza" is better.
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Itikar » 2013-07-04, 17:40

Oh, mi duole la capoccia! :P
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IpseDixit

Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-04, 17:43

Actually I think the most common idiom is mi fa male la testa :)

Which is close to netiher Spanish nor French.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby modus.irrealis » 2013-07-04, 18:21

Well, there's "Ma tête me fait mal" ;)

IpseDixit

Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-04, 19:45

Sorry, I previously quoted the wrong post :P

Levente.Maier wrote:What I said about French was mostly because of pronunciation.

I always viewed French as an extreme of the Romance group.


I see. Pronunciation is indeed very different . But it's not the only parameter. And btw Portuguese pronunciation is even further in my opinion...
Last edited by IpseDixit on 2013-07-04, 19:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Levike » 2013-07-04, 19:49

I said the pronunciation is more important
because even if a word in French looks almost the same it will not be intelligible.
Massimiliano B wrote:I can also prove that English is a Romance language instead of a Germanic.

:shock:
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IpseDixit

Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-04, 19:56

Massimiliano B wrote:I can also prove that English is a Romance language instead of a Germanic.


Yeah I guess it is pretty simple, after all English has a plethora of words of Latin origin.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby melski » 2013-07-04, 19:58

We mostly say "j'ai mal à la tête"
................Native: French (fr) French
................Fluent: English (en) English , Italian (it) Italian
.........Intermediate: German (de) German, Brazilian Portuguese (pt-br) Portuguese
.........Conversational: Catalan (ca) Catalan, Spanish (es) Spanish
....................Learning: [flag=Wallisian (East Uvean / faka'uvea)]wls[/flag] Wallisian (topic here)

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby linguoboy » 2013-07-04, 20:50

IpseDixit wrote:
linguoboy wrote:[flag]es[/flag] El mundo es un libro y quién no viaja lee sólo una página de él.
[flag]it[/flag] Il mondo è un libro e chi non viaggia ne legge solo una pagina.
[flag]fr[/flag] Le monde est un livre et ceux qui ne voyagent pas n’en lisent qu’une seule page.

Has cherry picking ever proven anything?

This wasn't "cherry picking". I went to the Translations forum and chose the first example which contained a complex sentence.

IpseDixit wrote:Anyway, to me the French version seems closer, especially in the second part, both Italian and French use the partitive particle en/ne whilst Spanish uses a construction (de él) which would be quite clunky in Italian.

On the other hand, though, French uses the negative circumfix ne...que in the last clause whereas both Spanish and Italian have the positive.

IpseDixit wrote:Moreover the Italian sentence in quite arbitrarily chosen, for example this version (which is the actual translation of the French one) is even closer:

[flag]it[/flag] Il mondo è un libro e coloro che non viaggiano non ne leggono che una sola pagina.

Well, if you're going to do that, you should retranslate the Spanish to match the French as well.

IpseDixit wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Not at all. From a grammatical point of view, French is closer to Italian than Spanish.

Can you support that?

Yes of course. I studied both languages, and French grammar seemed to me closer. If you want me to pinpoint the similarities, I'm sorry but I don't have time to waste on that.

Well, I've studied all three languages as well, and Spanish seems closer than French. Why should anyone place more faith in your assertion than mine?
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