The #IoParloItaliano video campaign produced by the Italian Embassy in Tirana for the Week of Italian Language in the World (15-21 October) is a gallery of faces, voices and different stories, all connected by the great impact that Italian has had on their lives. It comprises 14 video clips in which the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, the president of the Union of the Chambers of Commerce, Ines Mucostepa, soprano Inva Mula, footballer Lorik Cana, and dancer Kledi Kadiu, tell of their personal relationship with the Italian language.
The initiative was illustrated at a press conference by the Italian Ambassador, Alberto Cutillo, along with other projects to promote the language. The Ambassador said: “ISTAT confirms the extraordinary role of Italian in Albania: it is a world record if you consider the knowledge of the Italian language among the total population. We are proud of this result but we are also putting our utmost efforts in maintaining it. Most of all, we invest in the training of teachers and students.”
Among youth, Italian is the second-most spoken language after English but in the over-35 generation it is even more widely spoken. In the past, Italian was mostly learned through television, which was the only means through which it was possible to receive information from the external world, explained linguist Xhevat Lloshi.
Now, thanks to the many Italian companies that operate in the Country, Italian offers concrete employment opportunities and this is why it is studied at school. However, the most recurring words in the brief interviews refer to its melodiousness, its nuances, and it being a bridge with Italy’s history, beauty, art and culture.
The Embassy in Tirana has enhanced the projects dedicated to students of the Italian language: from the youngest, also thanks to a collaboration with a puppet theatre, through to university students. For the latter, the programme has scheduled a meeting with professors from Italy in November as well as an exhibition of graphic design. Several of the initiatives are addressed to teachers, offering lessons on Italian literature classics. Lastly, the exhibition “Visions of Borders. Albanian artists in Italian academies in the first half of the 20th century” will give a take on the two Countries’ mutual influence.