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Question
Dear Maria !

I kindly ask you to help me with the translation of the following phrase - "ora puoi passare direttamente alla lingua antica di Dante!" - I think that it means - "Now we can talk directly in ancient language of Dante"(which is supposed to be Italian) - would U be so kind to correct me if I'm not right ! ))

I've just started to learn Italian and I would be so happy if U could recommend me what is better to start with....maybe some certain books or just something that would be useful.

Thank you in advance!

Yours sincerely,

Katerina

Answer
Hello,

"Now you can read certainly Dante’s old language” is  the correct translation of “Ora puoi passare direttamente alla lingua antica di Dante!".
This Italian sentence in fact does not mean that you can speak Dante’s old Italian language, which no Italian speaks today, of course, as Dante’s language is  the old Italian spoken in the late 13th and early 14th century, since Dante Alighieri  who was just born 1265 in Firenze, Italy, and died 1321 in Ravenna, Italy, is  the major Italian poet of the Middle Ages, author of  The Divine Comedy - an allegory of universal human destiny in the form of a pilgrim's journey through Hell, Purgatory, and  Paradise -  which is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the old Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.

So, as we Italians speak today a language which is quite different from that spoken by Dante or Petrarca and Boccaccio, the other great authors of the 14th century, it is clear that the sentence “Ora puoi passare direttamente alla lingua antica di Dante!" means that someone has learned Italian so well that he can read and then understand even the old Italian used by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy.

In short, your translation "Now we can talk directly in ancient language of Dante" is wrong, just for the reasons I've said above.

Please note that:
-Ora =now
-puoi (2nd.person singular, present indicative of “potere”)= you can
-passare = read  (and understand)
-direttamente = certainly
-alla antica= old
-lingua= language
-di Dante= Dante’s


As for what I can recommend to start learning Italian, here are my suggestions:

http://italian.about.com/od/grammar/Grammar.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/italian/guide/alphabet.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/italian/guide/facts.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/italian/guide/
http://italian.about.com/z/js/o.htm?k=learning%20italian&d=Learning%20Italian&r=
http://italian.about.com/od/audio/tp/listen-to-spoken-italian.htm
http://www.june29.com/Italian/
http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~ngargano/corsi/100/100index.html
http://italian.yabla.com/?gclid=CODSj4fw1LYCFcG_3goduEAA3g

Also, I could suggest the following books and dictionaries you can find at Amazon:

-"Teach Yourself Italian Complete Course Package" (Book + 2CDs)  by Lydia Vellaccio &  Maurice Elston
-"Teach Yourself Italian Grammar" by Anna Proudfoot
-“Pocket Oxford Italian Dictionary” by Pat Bulhosen, Francesca Logi, and Loredana Riu
-"Webster's New World Italian Dictionary": Italian/English, English/Italian by Catherine E. Love

Hope this can be helpful to you.
Best regards,
Maria

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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