Thankyou Romans

The Roman alphabet, first developed by the Etruscans and further refined by the Romans, is the foundation of many modern-day languages.

letters
Roman Script found on a wall in Spello, Umbria.

It is interesting to note that the modern Italian Alphabet consists of 21 letters, with J, K, W, X and Y not present. These ‘missing’ sounds are easily formed by joining letters together, for example, a ‘j’ sound is formed by adding the vowel ‘i’ or ‘e’ after a ‘g’, as in Buongiorno. A ‘k’ is formed by adding an ‘i’ or ‘e’ after a ‘ch’, as in the girl’s name Chiara. More can be found here.

If you don’t live in Italy and want to learn the language, a good starting point is the alphabetΒ and the way it is pronounced.Β The Italian word, analfabeta means illiterate. Naturally.

 

39 thoughts on “Thankyou Romans”

  1. It’s eerie to see most of our letters of the alphabet we use today are the same as thousands of years ago – the Etruscans. Never heard of them but then again I haven’t studied history much – and they were before the Romans!!

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  2. My name has 3 Ks…Kolkka. It is almost always misspelled here in Australia, but never in Italy where they don’t even have a K. I am slowly learning Italian. It would help if I actually studied, but it is not something I am fond of.

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    1. Ah Debra, you could pick it up by just being there I imagine, as you spend so much time there. I love studying Italian and have never stopped. I am happy to read it every day.

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    1. It is the magic ‘i’ that turns that ‘cc ‘ in cappuccino into a ch sound. An ‘i’ and and ‘e’ after a c ( or cc in this case) makes the sound ch. Without that ‘i’, the ‘cc still sounds like a hard K. Thanks Kay for adding to the story.

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  3. I could never understand why c and k existed, as I thought they sounded the same. This reminds me of the Monty Python sketch where someone could not say c and said b in replacement. So ‘Kings College Cambridge’ became ‘Kings Bollege Bambridge’. Some pointed out to him why don’t you just substitute a k for the c and you’ll then be able say the words correctly. He answered “that makes sense! I’m a silly bunt”

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  4. I’ll be heading back to San Marino this spring to visit family. Thanks for the reminder that I had better brush up on my somewhat pathetic conversational Italian skill. (Never has the word “skill” been used so badly.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am envious: I would love to return but now I think it’s another year away. The language will come back when you are immersed. In the meantime, we are so lucky now to have the internet and to listen to Italian at what ever level ( and speed) you enjoy.

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  5. Hi Francesca. I’ve just signed up for the intermediate Italian course through EdX. I’ll let you know how it goes! Italian is a beautiful language. It’s so lyrical. It brings me closer to my Italian heritage too. But I’m still far from fluent. 😦

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        1. Most tenses all have a pattern.The irregular ones, present and the various past versions, do require some rote learning. When I taught high school Italian, I advised them to plaster their walls, desks, toilet walls and so on with the irregular verbs until they knew them well. This works well if you are a visual learner.

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