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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Title: Can Language Politics Ensure Languages Survival? Evidence from Italy
Author(s): Carmela Perta
Journal Title: Language and Linguistics Compass
Volume: 2
Issue: 6
Page Range: 1216 - 1224
Publication Date: Nov-2008
Abstract: In light of the minority language revitalization trend, which has spread throughout Europe, encouraged by International and European legislation, at the end of the last century, an Italian law was approved to give a national framework to minority language preservation and renaissance. The status and prestige of minority languages thus appeared to be strengthened, though several theoretical and practical problems continue to impede national implementation of the law. Some of these problems – the different language minorities present in Italy, the linguistic variety that should be used in public settings and the nature of the language that is the object of the national language policy – are examined in this article. The purpose of this article is to consider the pros and cons of Italian language policies and politics through case studies representative of Italian sociolinguistic diversity, thus highlighting the roadblocks to protecting minority languages.

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