Neapolitan “dialect” - Italy’s second national language according to UNESCO

Napule se move ma nun more

2015/02/27
Neapolitan “dialect” - Italy’s second national language according to UNESCO
Street life Naples - credits Bruno Panieri
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UNESCO recently declared that the Neapolitan dialect should be considered a language on its own. Spoken across Italy, Neapolitan is most dominant in basso Lazio, Abruzzo and Molise, Puglia and Calabria. Its origins go as far back as the time of Pompei. It then thrived under Federico II up until the reign of the Aragonesi. Under the Spanish domination, it used to be the State’s official administrative language. Neapolitan experienced many changes and influences throughout its evolution, but it always remained close to its original roots. That’s up until the Savoia’s reign.

With the arrival of Garibaldi and the end of the Regno delle due Sicilie, Neapolitan was officially substituted with Italian, even though French used to be the administrative language of Piemonte in the early 1800s. Parliament had even suggested officially abolishing the Neapolitan dialect, which was considered to be prevalently spoken by second-class citizens.

Throughout time, the Neapolitan language has experienced many variations, which purists would define as “vulgar influences,” yet it inspired many great poets and writers. According to historians and linguists, the Neapolitan dialect can easily be considered Italy’s second official language, thanks in part to popular songs that have contributed to spreading its influence across the world. No other dialect is as popular and yet, UNESCO has declared Neapolitan as a language to be preserved and protected.

According to the international body, it is an easy shortcut to classify Neapolitan as a dialect. This declaration gives pride to all of those that express themselves using this colourful language, not only in Italy, but all around the world.

 

Street life Naples - credits Bruno Panieri 

NAPUL'È (Pino Daniele)                      

Napule è mille culure, Napule è mille paure

Napule è a voce de' creature che saglie chianu chianu

E tu sai ca nun si sule

 

Napule è nu sole amaro Napule è addore e mare

Napule è na carta sporca e nisciuno se ne importa

E ognuno aspetta a 'ciorta

 

Napule è na' camminata, inte e viche miezo all' ato

Napule è tutto nu' suonno e a sape tutto 'o munno

Ma nun sann' a verità

 

Napule è mille culure, Napule è mille paure

Napule è nu sole amaro, Napule è addore è Mare

Napule è na carta sporca e nisciuno se ne importa

Napule è na' camminata inte viche miezo all'ato

 

Napule è tutto nu suonno e a sape tutto o' munnoù

Napule è mille culure, Napule è mille paure

Napule è nu sole amaro, Napule è addore è Mare...

 

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