“Language must be regarded as a civic value, to preserve and monitor as a monument”. These are the words, and thought, by Massimo Arcangeli from Dante Alighieri Society who has been studying and preserving Italian language. The work of preservation of language in so many ways, including campaigns and initiatives in his defense as “Words of the Heart” designed to avert the thesis of foreign scholars who predict the end of the Italian language as it is not used in commercial and business.
Our “beautiful style” would be doomed, along with other languages different from English, Chinese or Arabic (which are emerging as increasingly international nature of idioms for their close connection to the business world) to disappear within a few decades. “The initiative is designed to prevent the extinction of our language“, says Archangeli, “we selected 3000 common use words calling them heart words, such as love, friendship, affection, sympathy, uniting them in poetic use of words such as desire, everyone chooses his words accompanied by verses and explaining why”.
The words are 3000 only at the beginning: as they decrease new ones will be made available as well as to renew the initiative. The first goal is set for September 14th, 2014, Dante’s birthday, to prevent the prophecy from here to 100/200 years. For now, the choice is linked to the poetry, from October we start with literature and Arcangeli also notes that “today the only poets considered are singers, so music and poetry should communicate as much as possible, so that poetry and poetics reach even young people”.
The difficulty of new generations in connecting objects, people, things in the real world on their actual names and words of competence is due to several causes, including technological, and then only by creating interest and clever use of those same technologies (such as initiative “Decameron in 100 tweets” launched this summer by the same Dante, ed) we can hope to reconnect young people to the mother tongue helping to prevent its disappearance.
Arcangeli believes and is focusing on the younger generation and their love for their own language, because if it is true that the target languages, such as English, have an advantage in survival, it is also true that “within national states you continue to speak native language and if you do something, even small, Italian – like any other language – can be revitalized, above all, a language does not die if you decide to use it.“