Italian, like French, Spanish, and Portuguese, is one of the Romance languages. This language group developed from the colloquial Latin that was spoken in the later years of the Roman Empire. According to estimates, there are between 70 and 80 million Italian speakers worldwide at present, the majority of whom live in Italy. Italian is one of the official languages of Switzerland, where it is the mother tongue of 500,000 people in the canton of Ticino. It is also the main language spoken in the two small countries surrounded by Italian territory, San Marino and Vatican City. Substantial Italian-speaking communities are found in Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. It is estimated that 1,500,000 people living in the United States are fluent in Italian, though not all of them use the standard version of the language. Modern standard Italian has evolved over the centuries from a distinguished literary legacy that dates to Dante in the 14th century. It is one of the top four most frequently studied foreign languages in the United States, steadily rising in popularity in recent years.
Is Italian Right For You?
A minor in Italian might be right for you if you:
- Are interested in Italy’s outstanding literary, artistic, musical and culinary traditions
- Are interested in contemporary Italian fashion and design
- Plan on working or traveling to Italy or to Italian-speaking Switzerland
- Would like to explore your Italian heritage
- Wish to pursue advanced studies in Italy
- Are interested in competing for a Fulbright grant to Italy
Italian minors will know:
- The principal elements of Italian syntax and morphology
- Representative works of Italian literature, cinema, and other forms of cultural production
- Theoretical concepts essential for the analysis of these texts.
Italian minors will be able to:
- Communicate effectively in written and oral forms in Italian
- Understand spoken Italian
- Read modern Italian literature
- Apply acquired critical skills to textual analysis and scholarly research.
Italian minors will be encouraged to value:
- The distinctive contributions of Italian culture to world civilization
- The interconnectedness of all cultures in the global era
- The complex ways in which issues of social justice find expression in cultural production.
The Italian minor consists of 20 semester hours taken beyond ITAL 2102:
- ITAL 2103 Italian 3 4 semester hours
- ITAL 2104 Italian 4 4 semester hours
- Three (3) upper division ITAL 3000-4000 level course 12 semester hours
Students who have not previously studied Italian and who wish to declare a minor in Italian are advised to begin their study of the language in their freshman year.
The ITAL 2101, ITAL 2102, ITAL 2103 and ITAL 2104 series is recommended for those who seek a basic speaking, writing, and reading knowledge of the language. This series requires one hour of independent study each week.
Any student who has knowledge of or has had prior instruction in Italian in high school, community heritage language school, or at a college or university other than LMU must take the online LMU Italian Placement Exam.
Students who need more semester hours to complete the minor because of their language placement must take additional courses in the language. In the event that there are no courses in the language, students may take MDLG 3400, MDLG 4400, or FNLT 4200 (provided it is related to language concentration). If additional classes are not available in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department, students may fulfill those credits with courses in the appropriate cultural studies areas (e.g., HMNT) with pre-approval from the Italian coordinator and the Department Chair.
For more information, see the LMU Bulletin.
Fall 2019 Course Descriptions
Click here to see all Fall 2019 Italian Course Descriptions.
Spring 2020 Course Descriptions
Click here to see all Spring 2020 Italian Course Descriptions.
See all Italian courses offered in the LMU Bulletin.