Italian Language Data Points (and fun facts)

Italian is a Romance language. It is spoken as a first language by approximately 65 million people. It is the official language of Italy and one of the official languages of Switzerland, Malta, the Vatican State, San Marino, Croatia, and Slovenia. The official name of the country is the Italian Republic, and it is the 5th most visited country in the world.

Here is a collection of Italian language data points and fun facts to help you on your global journey:

  • European Union. Italy was one of the founders of the EU and is a member of the Group of Seven (G7).
  • Online and social. World Internet Statistics estimates that 87% of Italy’s population is online and 30 million Facebook subscribers are Italian.
  • E-commerce opportunities. Global businesses need Italian plus 13 other languages to reach 90% of the world’s online population, including: Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. (Source: Common Sense Advisory)
  • Business etiquette. Italians are very relationship-oriented. They usually prefer to establish direct relationships, before talking about business. English is a common business language; however, before meeting, it is recommended to inquire if an interpreter is required. Negotiations usually take time and patience. Do not rush as this can leave a bad impression.
  • Sounds and meanings. Italian uses the vowels, a, e, i, o, u. Every vowel is distinctly enunciated and the sing-song intonation makes sounds easier to identify. Italian is the closest to Latin in terms of vocabulary.

Clinical Trials and Regulatory Authority

  • Regulatory authority. The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) is the national authority responsible for drug regulation in Italy. It is a public body operating under the direction of the Ministry of Health.
  • Clinical trials. There are currently 2,017 clinical trials underway in Italy. (Source: CenterWatch). The submission of the clinical trial application data and supporting documents must be done through the OsSC Database. According to the AIFA, the sponsor must submit data and documents mainly in Italian except for free text core data set, where English is required.

A few fun facts about Italian and Italy:

  • What do Italians mean when they talk with their hands? Many things. Read this NYT article to learn a few classic gestures.
  • Musical language. Scala, andante, allegro, presto, vivace, crescendo, forte, soprano, alto, and tempo are all musical terms rooted in Italian.
  • Protected places. Italy is the home to 53 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than in any other country in the world.
  • San Marino and the Vatican City. The Republic of San Marino and the Vatican City are both within Italy´s borders, however, they are both independent states. Moreover, the Vatican City, in Rome, is the smallest country in the world.
  • Food and wine. Italy is the world´s largest exporter of wine. In addition to wine, Italians are avid espresso drinkers, consuming 14 billion cups each year. Italians introduced the world to ice-cream, coffee and a wide variety of cheeses.
  • Symbolic meaning. The Italian flag is vertically divided into three equal sections of green, white and red. These colors represent prosperity, peace, and sacrifice.
  • Let’s play. A human chess game occurred in 1454 where the winner would win the hand of a beautiful girl. To commemorate the event, each September in even-numbered years, the town’s main piazza becomes a life-sized chess board.
  • Giving back. The enormous amount of coins thrown in the Trevi Fountain are collected daily and given to charity.

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