Introduction / Introduzione
Why learn Italian? - Perché imparare l'italiano?
Italian is the official language of Italy, San Marino, the Ticino and Grigioni cantons of Switzerland. It is the second official language in Vatican City, after Latin, and in some areas of Istria in Slovenia, Croatia and Libya with an Italian minority. It is the first language of 65 million people and the second language of an additional 14 million around the world. Italian is important to the field of music, as many operas are written in it, and it is the origin of some musical expressions.
Italian is taught in many schools around the world. In parts of Canada, Italian is, after French, the second most taught language. In the United States and the United Kingdom, Italian ranks fourth. Throughout the world, Italian is the fifth most taught non-native language, after English, French, Spanish and German. It is also highly mutually intelligible with Spanish and Portuguese (and to a lesser extent French), and can give a broader understanding of Romance languages.