The Other Language of Love

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” The previous quote, stated by Giuseppe Verdi, a renowned opera composer, exemplifies how much of an international treasure the country of Italy is. From the long canals of Venice to the white sand beaches of Sicily to the ancient architecture of Rome, the splendors of Italy are abundant all over the boot-shaped country. Gifting us with luxurious sports cars and delectable cuisine, Italy proves itself to be a hotspot of cultural activity. A trip to Italy is no doubt something that should be on everyone’s bucket list. What better way to be prepared to take on the food capital of the world than to learn how to speak their language?North Allegheny should adopt Italian as a world language because of the large population of Italian-Americans in Pittsburgh, the abundance of Italian references in pop culture, and the value of knowing Italian in several career fields.

The Italian American population in Pittsburgh is among one of the largest in the country. When they immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s and the early 1900s, many Italians settled in major cities along or near the coast. The immigrants went where they could find work, and generally did not want to travel far inland for it. One of the major cities Italian immigrants decided to settle down and build a life is Pittsburgh. As of a U.S.

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census in 2000, the state of Pennsylvania has the fourth largest Italian American population in the country, just above one point four million, about eleven point eight percent of Pennsylvania’s population (States).Of Allegheny County’s population, about fifteen point two percent are Italian Americans (U.S.). Pittsburgh has such a vast Italian American population that there are even certain districts in which many of these Italians reside. One such area is the neighborhood of Bloomfield.

It boasts several authentic Italian groceries and restaurants (University). There are restaurants serving Italian cuisine on every street corner. Primanti Brothers, arguably one of Pittsburgh’s most famous spots to eat, was built up by Joe Primanti, an Italian living in Pittsburgh. (Bros) It is no mystery that cultural life in Pittsburgh has been greatly influenced by Italian culture. That culture should be embraced and celebrated, not neglected. Not only has Italian culture influenced life in Pittsburgh, but it has across the country and throughout the world.

Italian references are abundant in pop culture. The influence of Italian culture can be seen in many forms of art, such as paintings, movies, books, cuisine, fashion, music, and technology. Italy is renowned for contributing great works of art in many of the above categories. The Italian Mafia has been a huge influence in many of the movies and TV shows seen today. Movies like Scarface and The Godfather are considered to be some of the best movies ever to be made, as well as The Sopranos being a highly rated TV show.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, recently reported that over sixty percent of the world’s treasures reside in or originate from Italy (Top). One of such treasures includes The Mona Lisa, the most famous painting in the world. Opera singing is another art form Italy has gifted us with. Cuisine in the U.S.

has also been greatly influenced by Italy. From pasta to pizza, from espresso to wine, some of the best food that we eat originated from Italy. To better understand the where our culture comes from, a knowledge of the Italian language and history is vital. Not only would a knowledge of the Italian language better one’s understanding of pop culture, it would be immensely beneficial in several career fields. Knowing Italian is a valuable skill in several career fields.

It is no mystery that being fluent in another language helps out in one’s career field enormously, no matter the job. Italian,however, has proven to be one of the most useful languages to know. Italy is an international hub of business and economics, despite the recent downfall in its economic state. About seven thousand, five hundred American businesses have relations with Italy, and one thousand firms have offices in Italy, such as IBM, General Electric, Motorola, Citibank, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (UVA).

It is no question that Milan, Italy can be considered the fashion capital of the world. If one desires to have any job in the fashion industry, Milan is the place to look. Italy’s location also makes it a prime land of import and export. Over half of its border lies on the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. All of these factors contribute to the business and economic value of Italy.

To keep good relations with this critical ally, it would be profitable to learn their language. One argument that can be made against adding Italian as a world language could be that it would not be cost effective. Budget cuts have already been made in many school districts across the country, with foreign language programs at the top of that list. President Obama and Arne Duncan, U.S.

Secretary of Education, have both made great points as to why bilingualism is very important. However, during federal budget talks in 2011, a forty percent budget cut was implemented in higher education programs focused on foreign languages and international education. Some argue that other school subjects have a higher importance that foreign languages. But it is of utmost importance for the U.S. to not lose sight of the roles foreign nations play in its success.

If the country becomes too self involved to pay any attention to foreign nations, it could lead to its demise. The Italian language is one of great importance and would be beneficial to learn. The large population of people with Italian heritage in Pittsburgh is vast, and a knowledge in Italian could help to better understand the ancestors and the history of the Steel City. Italian culture is reflected through most, if not all aspects of pop culture. Many fields of business and career look for an Italian fluency, for Italy is a global hotspot of business.

Learning Italian would not only help to sow a better knowledge of our own history, but the knowledge of a greater society. So you are called to go to your administrators and propose the idea of adopting a new culture. Arrivederci!