• A knowledge of Italian is important for people
in business, the arts, technology and many professions. It also is useful
for high school and college students planning careers in art history,
music, linguistics, education and international relations.
• Students preparing for the SATs who have studied Italian tend
to score higher on vocabulary and grammar. The reason is simple: Italian
developed from Latin and an estimated 60 percent of English vocabulary
comes directly from Latin.
• Italian is in fact the Romance language closest to Latin. A
knowledge of Italian, therefore, will go far in helping one to understand
the whys and wherefores of the English language, which has a very large
percentage of words of Latin derivation.
• Italian is also the language closest to English (Cambridge Encyclopedia
of Language, 1987). Italian will therefore serve to enrich our students’
knowledge of English vocabulary since it contains many cognates and
roots that resonate with familiarity.
• Italian is the language having the “best phonetic fit.”
It is the easiest foreign language to read, write, and pronounce because
there is only one sound per letter of the alphabet (and four consonant
blends). For young learners, the easier the language, the better. Italian
will not compete with the learning of English, it will enhance the learning
• It is much easier for dyslexics to learn to read in languages
where there is a one-to-one correspondence between letters and sounds.
In Italian, dyslexics have a far easier time than in English or French.
Dyslexics are rare in Italy.
• Italian is the fourth most frequently spoken foreign language
in U.S. homes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2000). Italian also
is spoken in Switzerland, parts of Africa, the Balkans, and the island
• Italy is one of the top seven economies in the world and is
a member of the G7 Group of the wealthiest democracies of the world.
• An estimated 7,500 American companies do business with Italy
and more than 1,000 U.S. firms have offices in Italy including IBM,
General Electric, Motorola, City Bank and Price Waterhouse.
• Italy is a world leader in tool manufacturing, with advanced
technologies in robotics, electromagnetic machinery, shipbuilding, space
engineering, construction machinery and transportation equipment.
• Italy’s economy is changing: state-owned companies are
becoming privatized, opening up the Italian market to American companies
and professionals in aerospace, transportation, insurance, finance,
shipping, telecommunications and other commerce.
• With the Italian market opening, American companies alike AT&T
and IBM will be establishing ties with Italian companies in the areas
of Cable TV, international cellular telephone systems, the Internet
and more, and will need employees who speak Italian and English.
• American companies expanding in Italy have a great demand for
software designers, systems engineers, technical support, marketers
and managers who speak Italian and English.
• Italy is a world leader in the culinary arts, interior design,
fashion, graphic design, furniture design, etc. Those planning careers
in such fields greatly benefit from knowing Italian.
• Italy has long been a magnet for the tourism industry. In 2004
Italy headed the list of foreign destinations for vacation travel in
Europe. Travel and tourism products in Italy increased by 339% in Italy
in 2004 compared to 2003 when it grew 113%. This compared with the European
average of 60%.
• Italy is one of the most popular countries in the world to migrate
to. In the decade 1989-1999, Italy's foreign population more than trebled
from 490,000 to 1,500,000.
• Young Americans who want to be physicians, dentists and veterinarians,
but who cannot afford tuition a American schools can study at Italian
universities for a fraction of the cost. Their degrees are valid in
• Art historians need Italian. According to UNESCO (the cultural
and educational agency for the United Nations), over 60 percent of the
entire world’s art treasures are found in Italy.
“Why Study Italian” Internet Links:
Made In Italy Business Portal:
Italian International Business Opportunities: