Which language is most similar to Italian?

Koko
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Koko » 2013-12-23, 16:54

IpseDixit wrote:It's feminine in Italian too. La mano.


I didn't say it wasn't feminine in Italian nor French nor Spanish, I just said it was bluntly feminine in French(with my incorrect example) prematurely(as I forgot what hand was in French.) If manus is feminine in Latin(masculine declension), why wouldn't it be in Italian, Spanish, French? Which also make believe it to be masculine.

I am also aware of "infante," it didn't work for the example. But I wasn't aware of bambin in French.

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Massimiliano B
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-23, 20:43

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


English is both Romance and Gothic(the better term to use). Just look at the verb to be/sein: am/bin is/ist… that's as far as I know. To come, however, in the plural form is kommen. Yet, to let sounds very close to laisser en français. Lion may come from leone in Italian or the stem of leō in Latin. There are words from other language families as well. To place English in only the Romance Language family is incorrect, even to just put it in the Gothic family is wrong. The orthographies would have it under Gothic, the borrowing of most words under Romance, and the older forms definitely under Gothic. While not totally avoiding Romance, it is more Gothic.


With that post I meant that by cherry-picking one could "prove" everything - even that English is a Romance language - which is wrong, obviously.

Anyway, I think that the French language is the most similar to Italian. Apart from it, the most similar to Italian is the Corsican language - as Delusion Demon said.
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2013-12-23, 23:06, edited 1 time in total.

Delusion Demon

Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Delusion Demon » 2013-12-23, 22:21

Ι πρεφερ I prefer to stress on the fact that it is not ... correct? intelligent? cool? ... to close the discussion on 3 Over-National languages, and talking about 'a dialect' looks ... as an obvious tip. Looks as walls within this discussion

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-12-23, 23:49

Questa è la lingua più simile all'italiano: la lingua corsa!!

This language is the most similar to Italian: the Corsican language!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn7BQALhi5I

Actually, Corsican is most similar to Tuscan. I can easily recognize expressions that don't belong to the Italian language, but are common in Tuscany.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Delusion Demon » 2013-12-24, 20:58

Nice video indeed - I confirm: it's another language to me!

Now, imagine Catalunia becomes an independent state: so, those who were arguing whether French or ... Castillian ... to be the most similar one to Italian, would now stand up and say:

- of course, Catalan is the one!

There is no nationalism in such a speech, just a pinch of history of languages: and before we forget about from the school years, don't forget about the Occitan group, the other cousin of modern Italian.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby OldBoring » 2013-12-25, 8:06

I'm not so sure that Catalan is much closer to Italian than Spanish is...

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Levike » 2013-12-25, 11:05

Italian forms plurals similarly to Romanian.

fighli = fii
tigri = tigri
elefanti = elefanți

donne = doamne
capre = capre
case = case

uova = ouă

So +1 for Romanian. :whistle:
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Delusion Demon » 2013-12-25, 11:11

hāozigǎnr wrote:I'm not so sure that Catalan is much closer to Italian than Spanish is...

I agree with the idea that if so, it deals necessarily on a technical speech, typically involving syntax and phonetic rules (besides vocabulary): something of this kind can be found here (a very nice site for Linguistics): http://www.proel.org/index.php?pagina=m ... co/romance
(in Spanish)

In the following page from Wikipedia, a general comparison states the affinity with Latin of those languages: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingue_romanze (see it also in the Hungarian version), where the more is the less - but, starting from Latin (not from the Tuscanian!), in facts :
Lingua sarda: 8%
Lingua italiana: 12%
Lingua spagnola: 20%
Lingua romena: 23,5%
Lingua catalana 24%
Lingua occitana (provenzale): 25%
Lingua portoghese: 31%
Lingua francese: 44%

meaning 1) Sardinian, 2) Italian, 3) Spanish (= Castilian) 4) Romene ... etc. For this last one, Romene, see for example the specific thread: viewtopic.php?f=54&t=40237 ... and the 'last-minute' post right above!

This book, From Latin to Spanish is specific on Castilian : http://books.google.it/books?vid=ISBN08 ... &q&f=false

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby OldBoring » 2013-12-25, 12:01

Levente wrote:Italian forms plurals similarly to Romanian.

fighli = fii
tigri = tigri
elefanti = elefanți

donne = doamne
capre = capre
case = case

uova = ouă

So +1 for Romanian. :whistle:

Other similar words (different from the Spanish counterpart):

noi = noi
voi = voi
la revedere = arrivederci
strada = strada
sera = seara
notte = noapte
mangiare = mancare (?) - false friend, but still more similar than comer

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Saim » 2013-12-25, 22:40

IpseDixit wrote:And btw, are the so-called "dialects" really the closest to Italian? I understand basically nothing in Sicilian, Sardinian or Neapolitan for example, whereas I understand like 80% of Spanish, even before I started styding it.


Sardinian can't be compared with Sicilian or Neapolitan, unless you're talking about the Corsican varieties of northern Sardinia which of course are quite similar to those of Corsica and to the vernacular speech of Tuscany.

Maybe you had some exposure to Spanish? Or maybe it's just part of the perception - I notice that people do tend to call widely divergent dialects "hard to understand", but languages that may be even more difficult to understand "easy to understand" just because as a different "language" they're not expected to understand it. I dunno.

hāozigǎnr wrote:I'm not so sure that Catalan is much closer to Italian than Spanish is...

Just off the top of my head:

però
ne (pronoun)
geminate consonants
open vowels

I occasionally read and listen to Italian, and I feel like my knowledge of Catalan helps a lot more than my knowledge of Spanish. Although obviously each new Romance language builds on the last.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Delusion Demon » 2013-12-26, 11:58

Saim wrote: (...) Or maybe it's just part of the perception - I notice that people do tend to call widely divergent dialects "hard to understand", but languages that may be even more difficult to understand "easy to understand" just because as a different "language" they're not expected to understand it.

Nice thought and true - we tend to concentrate onto what we already suppose we cannot understand - I can quote two examples about:

1) I have some relatives in south Italy, speaking a dialect not too far from Neapolitan; so I can understand it since childhood; Now, perhaps you heard about the novel Gomorra by R.Saviano: the related movie is partly in Neapolitan (see Youtube); ... and I cannot understand a pinch: that's because it is not a 'literary Neapolitan' (like that, within the theatre by Eduardo de Filippo, mixing Italian and Neapolitan as it is normally done by common people and in pop songs as well), but the most vulgar level of the modern dialect, full with new idioms, and emotivity.

2) While listening to a news - I supposed in Spanish - I thought: "Good, I didn't know I could understand Spanish so well" ... as a matter of facts it was in Catalan!

So I agree that our ability to understand something depends on our approach rather than to our background, but this is Zen philosophy.

A part from this, the real matter here must be: WHAT makes a worthy Comparison Language? if Spanish-Castilian is good, Occitan is not? Perhaps Catalan is and Neapolitan is 'just' an italian dialect no one has to care about?

I cannot accept the idea of 'Official Language' to be the only good value: we must point out this idea in this specific Topic, only one person talked about this, after 20 posts of French vs Spanish! (PS also Norwegian Bokmål is a neo-Latin language ...)

In my opinion, what makes a way-of-talk become a 'Language' and not a 'lingo', it is perhaps its tradition, its 'independence', its intrinsic richness, its literary production and its independent evolution: by this point of view, Neapolitan is surely a comparison language, as well as Sicilian, and of course Catalan, but I'm not the one to state it:

- I admit, I myself am not very keen on dialects: Spanish is worthy for Americas, and French to understand Africans, this is what my efforts tend to; but in this specific situation, those "dialects" MUST be involved, to make a more serious speech. Excuse me 4 the lenght

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Saim » 2013-12-26, 12:50

I agree completely. In a discussion on the Romance language family it's a bit silly to just focus on the so-called "national" languages. The full picture becomes much clearer when you start to step óutside of Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese and Romanian.

In that case if we take the question as "what Romance varieties are closest to Standard Italian?" - the first answer would have to be the vernacular speech of Tuscany, Corsica and northern Sardinia. However, that could be considered to be part of the same "language" as Italian, and then we'd move onto Sicilian and Neapolitan, then Venetian, then Gallo-Italic and Vlach languages, then Occitan, and so on...

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Marah » 2013-12-26, 13:12

I'm not so sure that Catalan is much closer to Italian than Spanish is..

My Catalan teacher who has also studied a bunch of languages asked me "Don't you find that Catalan and Italian are really similar?". :P
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

IpseDixit

Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-12-26, 13:16

"Don't you find that Catalan and Italian are really similar?"


I don't, honestly :)

Delusion Demon

Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Delusion Demon » 2013-12-28, 11:50

IpseDixit wrote:I don't, honestly

I am d'accordo; Catalan does not resemble so much Italian as it could seem.

I think that this phenomenon is due to the existence (inside each language) of what is called a "Glossary", that is, a set of a specific terminology for a certain topic:

so when we read Wikipedia, as it mainly uses a scientific language, most of the time we will recognize a large amount of Latin-derivated terminology, making some languages more "familiar" to Italian, or why not an "italian dialect". Just think for example, how many musical terms are derived from Italian itself (adagio, pianissimo).

That's why English, and also Norwegian Bokmål (derivated from Danish law-texts [= Bok], using a lot of Latin terms), can appear like "pseudo-Romance languages"; but not Polish, which has its own scientific terminology.

Instead, when we deal on more trivial subjects, there will soon appear a very different and popular terminology (sometimes very archaic), which is the one that, as a matter of facts - makes the difference in an issue of "mutual intelligibilty", starting from Neapolitan.

Then, in my opinion, there's no language you can understand, if you don't study it!

IpseDixit

Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-12-28, 13:45

Well, I had been able to understand Spanish quite decently even before I started study it, and not only when reading wikipedia.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Koko » 2014-01-01, 4:00

Doesn't Standard Italian mostly come from Tuscan? So the closest language to Italian is Tuscan :) hah! The perfect answer: this discussion is closed

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Levike » 2014-01-01, 4:40

Koko wrote:Doesn't Standard Italian mostly come from Tuscan? So the closest language to Italian is Tuscan :) hah! The perfect answer: this discussion is closed

Excusez-moi, but the original question was:

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

So discussion re-opened. :mrgreen:
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Koko
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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Koko » 2014-01-09, 7:43

Smart-alec! *makes a pouty face* Clearly the answer is none of those three there. They all have irregularities that make them no more similar to Italian than the other two. My answer however, trumps all except for Florentine.

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Re: Which language is most similar to Italian?

Postby Marah » 2014-01-09, 8:17

Hum, still, I think most people would agree that French is closer to Italian than Spanish or Portuguese are...
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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