From 15 to 21 October, the XVIII edition of the Week of Italian Language in the world is celebrated around the world, dedicated to ‘Italian and the net, networks for the Italian Language’.
Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation together with the Accademia della Crusca, the Società Dante Alighieri and with the support of the Swiss Confederation, the Week has become over the years the most important event dedicated to the promotion of the Italian language abroad, with hundreds of initiatives all over the world. Last year, the Week saw over 1,300 events in more than 80 countries. Each edition is dedicated to a different topic, which serves as a common thread for a vast programme of conferences, exhibitions and meetings with the leading figures in Italian culture organized by the diplomatic and consular network and by the Italian Cultural Institutes.
This edition has a dual theme. On the one hand, it examines the net, i.e. the role of the internet and social media in the physiological transformations that our language undergoes and as a tool for its further dissemination. On the other hand, it reviews and promotes the physical networks that work daily towards the diffusion of Italian in the world; the network of Italian schools in the world; the Italian Cultural Institutes, universities, the Società Dante Alighieri and the associations of our fellow Italians abroad. And also the new network of those who, not Italian by birth, have adopted Italian as their working language, using it to write or teach and thus become witnesses, through their work, of our country and culture.
This year again, there are over one thousand events foreseen of different types and environments. For example, in Switzerland, a country that every year makes a significant contribution to the success of the Week, Prof. Massimo Palermo is holding a conference in Geneva on ‘Italian 2.0: how the web is changing the way we read and write texts’, while in Basel, Prof. Angela Ferrari is leading another conference on ‘The revolution of punctuation on the web’. In Brazil, in Sao Paulo, the Eugenio Montale School is presenting a project on the importance of words in the digital age, entitled ‘From Latin to Italian on the Web’. In Japan, from 18 to 21 October, there is a conference on ‘#Italian, but what is the language of the web?’ accompanied by the teacher refresher course ‘Teaching Italian 2.0: new technologies and online resources’.
The Week is also an opportunity for meetings and conferences on the subject of language between experts from different worlds: from journalism to economy and politics, as in the case of the two-day Round Table organized on 19 and 20 October by the Institute and the Embassy of Berlin. It is also an occasion in which to take stock of the dissemination of the Italian language in a country and of the strategies for consolidation, as planned in Moscow.
The day after the end of the Week, on 22 October, the third edition of the ‘Convening for the Italian Language in the World’ will be held in Rome. The biennial event launched in 2014 aims to develop the theme of the Week, with a dual focus on the presence of our language on the web and its dissemination through “physical networks”. An opportunity to take stock of the progress of Italian teaching support programmes and additional reinforcement strategies.