UnNews:Italy adopts new official state language
5 March 2009
ROME, ITALY -- Italy, a nation with many official languages, has adopted a new, official state language - Italian, the language in which Dante wrote The Inferno in the 14th Century. In a controversial move, the constitution voted overwhelmingly in favour, declaring that: "The Italian language is the official language of the Republic." However, 75 members of Parliament opposed the motion, with left-wing politicians claiming it was an example of cultural imperialism.
Oddly, Italy has had a law for many years ruling that only Italian can be spoken in the Italian parliament, as deputy Federico Broccoli discovered when he gave a speech declaring that his language was not Italian but Venetian, in Venetian. He only got a short way into his speech when his microphone was switched off in accordance with the ruling. Another member stated that any mention of the language was intentionally avoided by the post-war government in order to prevent the "Italianisation of Italy by force."
Supporters claimed it was about time that Italian was recognised as one of the nation's defining characteristics. The move does not, however, alter the legal status of other, already-official Italian languages, such as French (spoken in Val d'Aosta) and German (spoken in Alto Adige).
- Yes, I was puzzled by the date too. But that's what it says.