Why Study Italian?

The study of any second language helps us think in more nuanced ways and understand the world as well as ourselves through cultural patterns that are not our own.  In general, knowing Italian facilitates inter-cultural communication in that it opens the door to other Latin-based languages and introduces us to the culture and perspectives of those who have inhabited that peninsula over the millennia.  Students begin to understand this relationship between language and culture as they study Italian.   Here is what some of them have to say about their personal experiences and about some of their future goals. 


“I am a Fine Arts major with an emphasis on art history.  This means that studying Italian definitely helps me out a lot.  I am taking Italian Renaissance Art this semester, and my knowledge of Italian has helped me better understand the material we are covering in class.  I now understand the Italian titles of art works as well as Italian technical words such as the ones used to describe the painting of a fresco.  Also, I am studying Italian because I would love to go abroad on the Italy program St. Lawrence offers. Taking Italian before I go to Italy will make me feel a lot more comfortable living in a country I have never visited before.  Lastly, I am taking Italian because I think that it is really fun and interesting.  It is a great class!  I not only love learning the language, but also the culture behind the language.” - Caitlin Amborski (‘12)

Family heritage and future possibilities

“I am studying Italian because I want to travel abroad to Italy, be able to speak comfortably in the native language, and get to know the culture. I also want to be able to speak with my father and my grandparents when they speak Italian together. Italian culture (food, wine, language, and mannerisms) are an important part of my life when I am home, so I would also like to incorporate it in my life at school.  I think it is important to be at least bilingual for possible future jobs as well as for leading an enriched personal life.” - Michaela D'Acchille (‘11)

“I am studying Italian because I lived in Italy for two years. I had a really good time over there;  I made quite a few friends and visited a lot of places. Learning Italian helps me stay in touch with the culture and the country. In addition I would like to go back to Italy at some point in time. Knowing another language is always useful because in the future you might find yourself in a job that requires it.  For instance, I hope to get involved in International relation/economics and maybe even work for the Serbian government.  This means that knowing another language could definitely help me in my career. And finally, I don’t know how to explain this, but speaking Italian simply makes me feel good.” - Filip Petricevic (‘11)