To no surprise, Italian is the fourth most studied language in the world after English, French, Spanish and German. The beautiful romance language is spoken in many countries as a second language and is the most widely spoken non-official language in Europe. This is due not only to the regard for a language that is the core of many renowned literary masterpieces, but is also due to the popularity of Italy itself as most popular tourist attraction in Europe.
A study that involved universities throughout the world has shown that Italian is more popular than languages spoken in countries that are currently under the spotlight as economic powers such as China and Russia. What makes the study of the official language of a small boot-shaped country so popular? Its association with the Italian culture and lifestyle is one of its main appeals.
People often learn Italian to visit Italy, engage in conversation and embrace the lifestyle. Often the language is associated with the love for Italian food and fashion. Italian is learnt in the hope to visit the country itself and being able to buy effortlessly a bottle of excellent wine or purchase some trendy fashion.
Many of the world’s cultural heritage sites are in Italy, according to UNESCO, the cultural and educational agency for the United Nations. This contributes to the popularity of the country and promotes all that is Italian, including the language.
New data presented on October 21-22 at an international conference in Florence, the States-General of the Italian Language in the World, raised public awareness on the strength and potential of the Italian language. What the symposium pointed out is that Italian has developed into an international language. Discussions were held on how to best promote the Italian language and culture abroad. The new goal for the Italian government is to increase its popularity and study beyond the millions of people that already speak it.
Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia have already seen an increase in the number of locals studying Italian and currently learning the language by enrolling in traditional or online courses. Italian language opportunities in Dubai are widely available through private tutors but also through internationally accredited institutes using Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) standards set by Council of Europe. Programs are offered online or in class for individuals and groups, but fun options like learning Italian by cooking are often available.
With several jobs available in Dubai for Italian-speaking candidates, learning Italian might offer interesting opportunities to work in the Emirate.