The New Italian Language

Last week while browsing La Repubblica I came across an article detailing new Italian words being put into the 2014 edition of Lo Zingarelli, an Italian dictionary. There has been a proposal of 1,500 new words, some of which come from Italian dialects and American slang. Some of these new words include:

“Hashtag”- This word comes from American slang, and it is primarily used within social media outlets like Twitter. Users place a “#” in front of words or phrases that describe their social media post. This allows other users to search a database that stores other postings that have used the same words or phrases.

“Adultescente”- This word refers to young people in their thirties whose lifestyle (study, work, home) and mentality are considered similar to those of a teenager. This word combines the words “adulto” (adult) and “adolescente” (adolescent).

“Videointervista”- This words means “video-interview”. It is a word that has been common in the Italian language for a while, but only now is it being introduced into Lo Zingarelli.

Changes in the Italian language are very fast. Massimo Arcangeli, a linguist, has noted that it is important to keep new words under observation for a long time so that the frequency of a word’s use and importance in Italian society can be determined.

There are, of course, some words that have been left out of the 2014 edition of Lo Zingarelli. Two of these omissions include:

 “Iperattivi”- This word means “hyperactive.”

“Bling Bling”- This word comes from American slang. It refers to a style of dress that is flashy and ostentatious.

Certainly these new words, coming from different cultural backgrounds, highlight the evolving nature of the Italian language in our modern society.


Sentieri Blog Contributor 
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