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Venetian Tongues

Most people know that there are different dialects spoken in Italy but it's not so widely known that Venetian is a separate and living language spoken by some two million people. Venetian actually has more in common with French and Spanish than Italian; it is easier for a Spanish speaker to understand Venetian than Italian.

Although many great Italian works of literature, such as the satirical plays of Carlo Gozzi, were written in Venetian, it was eventually Tuscan or Florentine Italian that came to be the national language. Throughout the 1800's Venice rapidly declined and many in the Veneta region of Italy emigrated to settle in Latin America. Even today a Venetian dialect is spoken is some parts of Mexico and Brazil.

It seems strange now that Venice was once so powerful and Venetian so widely understood that Venetian words actually made their way into English. Ghetto and Arsenal to name but two of those still used today.

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