This year, the 18th edition of the Week of the Italian Language in the World, which will run from 15 to 21 October, is dedicated to the theme: “Italian and the Internet, Networks for Italian”. Co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Accademia della Crusca, and the Dante Alighieri Society with the support of the Helvetic Confederation, over the years the Week has become the most important annual event dedicated to promoting the Italian language abroad through hundreds of initiatives spread all over the world. Last year, the Week scheduled more than 1,300 events in over 80 Countries. Every edition is dedicated to a different theme, which serves as the leitmotif of a vast programme of lectures, exhibitions and meetings with the major representatives of the Italian world of culture, organised by the diplomatic and consular network and the Italian Cultural Institutes.
The theme chosen this year is twofold. On the one hand it analyses the role of the Internet and of social media in the physiological transformations that our language undergoes and as the instrument for its wider dissemination. On the other hand, it offers an overview of and promotes the “physical networks” that work to disseminate the Italian language in the world on a daily basis: the network of Italian schools in the world, the Italian Cultural Institutes, the universities, the Committees of the Dante Alighieri Society and the associations of Italians abroad. And then, there is also the new network of those who are not Italian of birth but have turned Italian into their working language and use it to write or teach, thus bearing witness to our Country or culture through their work.
There is a wide variety of initiatives that Embassies, Consulates and Italian Cultural Institutes will offer to all those who love our language and that can be found, as customary, on the Portal of the Italian Language (www.linguaitaliana.esteri.it). This year too, the events programmed, of different types and in a variety of sectors, are more than one thousand. For example, in Switzerland, the Country that every year contributes most to the success of the Week, Prof. Massimo Palermo will deliver a lecture in Geneva entitled “Italian 2.0: how the Internet is changing our way of reading and writing texts”, while Basel will host a lecture on linguistics delivered by Prof. Angela Ferrari entitled “The Punctuation Revolution on the Net”. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Eugenio Montale School will present a project on the importance of words in the digital era entitled “From Latin to Italian on the Internet”. In Japan, a conference entitled "#Italian, but what is the language of the Internet?" will be held from 18 to 21 October, scheduled in parallel with the Teaching Refresher Day entitled “Teaching Italian 2.0: new technologies and online resources”.
The Week will also constitute an opportunity to hold meetings and conferences on the theme of language with experts coming from different worlds ranging from that of journalism, economics, and politics, as in the case of the 2-day Round Table organised on 19 and 20 October by the Italian Cultural Institute and Embassy in Berlin. Or the event to take stock of the dissemination of the Italian language and the strategies to consolidate it that will take place in Moscow.
At the close of the Week, the third edition of the “Joint Action on the Italian Language in the World” will be held in Rome on 22 October. The event, which was launched in 2014 and is scheduled once every two years, aims to further explore the theme of the Week, with a double focus on the presence of our language on the Internet and on its dissemination through “physical networks”. The meeting will take stock of the state of progress of the programmes launched to support the teaching of Italian and of the strategies to further strengthen them. The Joint Action event will open with remarks by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi and by the Minister of Education, University and Research, Marco Bussetti. Participants will include, among others, the Presidents of the Dante Alighieri Society, Andrea Riccardi, and of the Accademia della Crusca, Claudio Marazzini, the President of RAI, Marcello Foa, in addition to scholars including Stefano Bartezzaghi, Fabio Rossi, Paolo Costa, Piero Bassetti, Diego Ciulli from Google Italia, Laura Bononcini from Facebook, writer Lila Azam Zanganeh and Chinese linguist Federico Wen. The closing remarks will be made by Undersecretary Guglielmo Picchi.