Daily Archives: October 15, 2009

Dante’s Inferno basis of Italian

I am reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s  Eat, Pray, Love. No one is paying me and I did not get the book free. Julia Roberts will be playing Elizabeth in the movie by the same name.  Since I plan to write a review of the book for blogcritics.org I won’t do that here, besides I have not read the whole book yet.

But I want to say one thing that I like it because it is about language in general and Italian in particular one of the Romance languages. She writes that when the official Italian was to be created the officials were not sure where to turn. They turned the pages of Dante’s Inferno and found what they were looking for. You know the saying you know it when you see it? or hear it? Voila. Yes, Italian is based on Latin, the dead language, because it is no longer spoken, and took the rest of their cues for a spoken and sung language from Dante’s beautiful verses.

I didn’t know that. I do know that Dan Brown was Dante in another life.