Italian Language and Literature

Italy’s Many Voices: 50 Shades of Latin, by Italian Portland

This month prof. Angela Zagarella (Portland State University) will be presenting a brief overview of the history of Italian language and the complex linguistic landscape of regional languages, aka ‘dialects’. Angela’s vast knowledge and love of the Italian language will shine in her presentation. The event is organized by Italian Portland.

When someone studies the Italian language, travels to Italy and hears Italians talking in the markets, bars or among friends, they often don’t understand much, and feel frustrated as Italian speak differently. The reason is that in Italy, each region, each city, and often each small town, has a particular dialect. Not only foreigners but Italians also have the same problem. If some Venetians go to Sicily they will have a hard time understanding what people say. This happens because when Italy was unified in 1861, there was just a group of different states, and each one had their own language or dialect. Italian as we know it today wasn’t spoken by everyone in Italy until the 20th century. Nowadays it is spoken by around 60 million people. What happened?

When: October 6th at 7:00 pm via Zoom!

Register and find out, it’s free!

Angela Zagarella grew up in Siracusa. She has always loved languages and other cultures, a passion she cultivated by working in tourism in Italy and the United States. Her real calling is to teach her language and culture. She is currently the Italian Program Coordinator at Portland State University where she teaches language, literature, and cinema classes. Her areas of interest are language teaching pedagogy, linguistics, Italian cinema, Italian culture, contemporary Italian literature, and Mediterranean Studies. She is also interested in the experience of migration, issues of national identity which she explores in Italian and Italophone literature. In Angela’s spare time, she loves cooking, watches foreign movies, swims, goes for walks, and enjoys the beauty of nature.

Italian Portland is a nonprofit organization in Portland, Oregon dedicated to celebrating, promoting, and preserving Italian culture through education, events, news, and service.

The month of October is a month of celebration of the Italian language in the world.