Italian is spoken as a native language by approximately 70 million people. It is an official language in Italy, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City, but is also widely spoken across Malta, Croatia, Slovenia, France (especially Corsica) and elsewhere. Derived from Vulgar Latin, it is still the closest Romance language to Latin, particularly in terms of vocabulary.
Italian was first standardised around the early fourteenth century, through Dante Alighieri’s now world-renowned ‘La Divina Commedia’. Until then, there were numerous competing regional schools of literature, as writers would produce works in their own dialects. There are still many different dialects throughout Italy, with each city having its own variation – these are more accurately known as ‘Regional Italian’. Some are recognised as their own language groups, e.g. Sicilian and Venetian, and are often mutually unintelligible. The ‘Accademia della Crusca’ (official legislative body for the Italian language) was founded in Florence in 1583 and the first Italian dictionary was published in 1612.
RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana) is the Italian equivalent of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) for the UK; the state-owned broadcaster is, with numerous television and radio stations, the biggest television company in Italy. ‘La Repubblica’ is the most widely-read Italian national newspaper.
Italian to English Translation
Business Language Services Ltd. (BLS) specialises in Italian translation (both English to Italian translation and Italian to English translation). We have a broad network of highly experienced, qualified professional Italian translators, who only translate into their mother tongue. What’s more, all our Italian to English translations are proofread by a second, independent linguist. BLS has an extensive database of Italian interpreters, selected according to their expertise, specialist knowledge, friendly attitude and professional reliability. BLS also works with some of the best Italian language tutors, enabling us to offer you tailor-made courses to match your precise needs and suit your ongoing work commitments.