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Question For People Who Speak Italian

Discussion in 'Italian Language' started by Mosquito, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. It is easier for an Italian (like me) to pick up languages from the same latin root - like spanish or french - than it would be for a german or an englishman. The vocabulary helps me a lot because french, italian and spanish share a lot of the same word roots and verbs.
    With german for instance I have a harder time, because I have to learn the vocabulary from scratch most of the times.
  2. It's true!
    I too have learned many words by associating them with their correspondent in French, sometimes even English, it really helps!

    I don't know many Spanish words, so, yeah, Spanish doesn't count in my case :D And even those words that I know, I learned from staying at my grandma's when I was little and watching her telenovelas when I ran out of things to do around the house... But Spanish didn't stick to me, it was a long time ago.
  3. It's probably easier for French and Italian speakers to read each others' languages rather than try to understand the spoken forms without any formal knowledge. While they have diverged greatly from Latin over the last several centuries, the written forms are close enough that an Italian should be able to guess the gist of a French newspaper article and vice versa.
  4. You forgot to mention Portuguese!

    If you know just standard Italian (no dialects) then written Portuguese is the easiest to understand - let's say that it is possible to understand circa 40% of it.
    Then there is written Spanish 35% and spoken Spanish at 30% alongside with written French 30%... spoken French and Portuguese are around 20-25%, depends on the accent of the speaker.
  5. I can understand a little bit of French but not completely. One of the main reason for me to understand French is I have taken French classes as a kid. I do find some similarities in the two languages but not to a great extent.
  6. I grew up in a bilingual household, but never studied Italian (until recently) so my knowledge was quite basic. However, I picked up Spanish incredibly quickly (I was having esoteric conversations with locals after ten days in Peru) because things just 'made sense' to me. The same is slightly less true with French, because of the great differences in pronunciation--but I can get by with understanding things in a French speaking place, but I can't speak it at all.
    Interestingly, one of the easiest languages for me to understand without any effort was Catalan! It is like Spanish with French influences and for me this made it closer to Italian :)
  7. When I studied Italian it was hard at first because I had learnt French first in school and the words are spelt the same but pronounced differently, so it helps in understanding, but not pronunciation. I also had a Spanish flat mate and sometimes I could barely understand her, but the words are similar and I was able to grasp what she was talking about! Having a background of Spanish I have been told helps.

    I would say reading Italian maybe easier than listening and speaking with different dialects and accents. I studied in Tuscany and when I ventured South, I struggled to understand the Italian spoken.

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