Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Is Latin similar to Italian?

I've taken Latin for 8 years, and I really want to learn Italian. Is it similar to Latin? Could I navigate my way through Italy with my knowledge of Latin, or will it pretty much be useless? Thanks!

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Italian and Latin are very different, even if Italian derives from Latin; take a look at some German (since English is a Germanic language) and try out what you can actually understand: well, there are more differences between Italian and Latin than between English and German.

    An Italian living in Italy who never actually studied Latin could barely understand some words, and with difficult.

    So, I'm sorry Latin is really useless by itself in Italy.

    Knowledge of Latin could be useful in learning Italian and other Latin languages, though.

    Source(s): I'm Italian, living in Italy
  • miss_
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    moon's light, how can you say you can't understand a word of Latin? C'mon, when you read someone like Caesar or Polibio (not to speak about Virgil) you can understand everything. Maybe translating is a little more hard, but you can absolutely get the sense of it. How long have you been studying Latin?

    To answer your question, yes, Latin and Italian are very similar. Endings and many tenses are the same. Also, if you know Latin pretty well, learning Italian will be automatic. About navigating through Itay with your knowledge of Latin, well... yes it will be useless. First of all I do not know how many Italians know Latin. Secondly, even if we studied/study it, we are not accostumed to speak or hear it. We just write, read and translate, add to this your American accent and no Italian will understand anything. It is clear, I am not criticizing American accent, just saying American/British/Aussie accent in Latin language would make it more difficult. Buy a small book where there are some of the most common Italian phrases and... go here, you will have a lot of fun.

    Source(s): I am Italian
  • 1 decade ago

    It's one of the Latin languages, Italian, just like Spanish or French have some Latin roots, so I wouldn't say it's similar, some things will be close to it and the fact that you've learned Latin for 8 years would definitely help you to learn or understand italian.

    But I don't think your latin will be enough for you to navigate your way through Italy.

    Maybe you could get one of these small books with the basic sentences you need in Italian when you travel.

  • 1 decade ago

    You'd be able to understand some things (mainly reading) in Italian with a good knowledge of Latin, but obviously you'd wouldn't be able to speak to people.

    Italian is very closely linked to Latin if you look closely at the linguistic science side of things. Therefore, you should be able to pick up Italian relatively quickly without too much bother. Othe modern romance languages such as French and Spanish will also help a great deal.

    Source(s): I'm Italian and a secondary school language teacher and I have a PhD in Linguistic Anthropology.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Well I've heard some Italian and Latin.. Italian has words from Spanish that I've heard in there. Latin is quite different to me I don't really see too much of a connection between them but there are similar phrases.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Latin is pretty similar to Italian, yes. It's not a substitute, though. If you know Latin, then you'll understand Italian much better and be able to learn it quicker, but you can't speak Italian if you know Latin.

  • Moon
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It's similar of course, but i think that your knowledge in latin will be useless to speak italian.

    I'm italian and i studied (really i'm still studing) Latin at school and, although i'm italian native speaker, i don't understand a word about Latin. The sound of the words is familiar, just this. Your knowledge in latin will be useful to LEARN italian, but you can't speak italian just knowing Latin.

    but don't worry. You can learn it.

    Feel free to sent me an email:)

    Source(s): Italian native speaker.
  • 1 decade ago

    I'm italian and i'm studying Latin..

    sincerely it will be useless..

    Latin and italian are very different!

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    In the same way that English is to German. In other words, not overly useful when it comes to being able to use one to understand the other, but helpful when it comes to the basic structures that underpin each of them.

  • 1 decade ago

    They're completely different. Like Spaghetti and Dolphins. Just not the same. In any way shape or form.

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