The official language of Italy may be Italian, but in truth, the linguistic situation of Italy is a lot more complicated than that. As the birthplace of Ancient Rome, Italy is home to dozens of unique Romance languages that developed when the indigenous populations of the Italian peninsula learned Latin, and the language we know as Italian today is simply the one that was chosen to be the consolidated modern-day country’s official language. Other Italian languages are typically classified as dialects, but since they aren’t derived from Italian, it’s more accurate to call them languages. One such language—a major one—is Neapolitan.
The internationally beloved birthplace of pizza, Naples, gives us the Neapolitan language, which boasts an impressive 5.7 million speakers across parts of southern and central Italy. Italians in the region also speak Standard Italian, which is used in schools and media, but at home or with local friends, Neapolitan, the native language of the land, reigns supreme. Currently, Neapolitan does not enjoy official status, though efforts to designate it as a recognized minority language are underway, and the Region of Campania passed a law in 2008 to protect the language.
Despite its millions of speakers, Neapolitan’s unofficial status results in a scarcity of professional translation services. Here at TranslationServices.com, we’re proud to translate to and from Neapolitan—ask for a free quote if you’re interested!
Learning more about Neapolitan, an important Italian minority language
As the name implies, Neapolitan is the language of Naples, Italy’s third-largest city and a cultural powerhouse. But the language isn’t limited to Naples: it’s also native to Campania as a whole, as well as the regions of Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Lazio, Marche, and Molise. With the exception of southern Calabria and southern Apulia, Neapolitan dominates much of mainland Southern Italy. The broad geographical distribution gives rise to a number of dialects within Neapolitan, and a wave of emigration from Southern Italy in the 19th and 20th centuries has established Neapolitan-speaking communities in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela.
In terms of grammar, Neapolitan is highly similar to Italian and the other languages on the Italian peninsula that arose from Latin. It distinguishes nouns by grammatical gender, with separate articles for masculine, feminine, and plural nouns, and the definite articles have lost the initial “L” characteristic of Romance definite articles, shortening instead to vowels only. Auxiliary verbs are another area where Neapolitan clearly differs from Standard Italian—whereas Standard Italian uses both avere (“to have”) and èssere (“to be”) depending on the verb, Neapolitan uses only avere.
Professional translation services for Neapolitan
It’s not easy to track down professional Neapolitan translation services, but we at TranslationServices.com make them more accessible than ever. That’s thanks to our endless dedication to bring you high-quality translation services for underserved languages and the hard work of our native-speaking Neapolitan translators, who stand ready to help you translate any kind of document to or from Neapolitan.
Neapolitan translation services can benefit businesspeople, educators, creatives, and individuals, whether it’s to or from the language. We can help your organization translate promotional materials into Neapolitan to leave a deeper impression on your Southern Italian patrons, and we can help educators translate teaching materials into Neapolitan to give local kids a native-language education. We can translate historical documents or Neapolitan literature into English to help even more people around the world understand and fall in love with Southern Italian culture. We can help creatives make their books, poems, websites, apps, and games available in Neapolitan, opening up a new audience while helping to preserve a culturally precious Italic language.
Whatever your Neapolitan translation needs are, let us help! Tell us about your vision in a message today.