With an estimated 60 to 63 million native speakers, Italian ranks only 19th among the world’s most spoken languages. This may be true, but it hardly matters when one is talking about what it means to speak Italian. Other idioms may be better suited to business, technology, science, or money, but no language expresses human feelings and emotions more powerfully than Italian.
Writer Dianne Hales says, “Italian, which has enriched the realms of art, literature, music, philosophy, cinema, fashion, and cuisine, embodies civilization itself. It is the language of culture and humanity — and therefore everyone’s mother tongue.”
Italian has been developed by poets and philosophers, and wondrously seems to have the ability to transform anything – from marble to melody, from the humble pasta noodle to life itself – into a joyful art. Other tongues speak, but Italian sings. It’s a lyrical language that perhaps comes closer than any other language to expressing the emotions and music inherent in being human.