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Hello everybody!
I know there has been quite a great deal of off-topics recently, yet I thought you might enjoy this one.
I've been to a show performed by a Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Verona. It was mainly about emigration from the Italian region where I live (i.e., Veneto) to other states in the world. He eventually got to the nineteenth century, when thousands of people left Veneto to move to the USA or to Argentina. Anyway, he'd read some letters sent home by a young guy from Vicenza (in Veneto) who'd been fighting with the Northern party during the American wars between North and South. There he'd met other 20 people from Veneto, all 'employed' as soldiers there and fighting for a wage.
Also, the professor read a wonderful translation of E.E. Cummings's 'My Sweet Old Etcetera', undertaken by Luigi Meneghello, who's a novelist writing both in Italian and Venetian dialect. As you may have heard, the Italian language became a unifying tongue in Italy only after the 1950s, when the television contributed to spreading a standard common language within the whole state. Before those years, each region had its own specific dialect (but there are tens of varieties for each dialect). We still speak as much dialect as we speak standard Italian (Veneto is one of those regions where dialect is widely used). Anyway, Meneghello translated Cummings's poem into Venetian dialect and it sounded just like an old poem written by some WWI Italian soldier from Veneto fighting in the Alps... I couldn't believe my ears... The result was fantastic.
Best wishes to you all,
Sara