Department Affiliation: Language and Culture
Why Study Italian?
Italy is one of the top five economies in the world, and many employers are seeking candidates who speak both Italian and English. An estimated 7,500 American companies do business with Italy and more than 1,000 U.S. firms have offices in Italy, including IBM, General Electric, Motorola, Citibank, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Many Italian firms have offices in the U.S., especially in the Detroit metropolitan area. Therefore, knowing Italian is greatly beneficial in several career fields. Italy is a world leader in the culinary arts, interior design, fashion, graphic design, furniture design, machine tool manufacturing, robotics, electromechanical machinery, shipbuilding, space engineering, construction machinery, and transportation equipment.
There are also cultural reasons. According to UNESCO, over 60% of the world's art treasures are found in Italy. Some of the most famous Western artists, from Giotto to Michelangelo, were Italian. Knowledge of Italian is vital to understand the contexts of this art. Furthermore, music, cinema, fashion and design, architecture, medicine, education and cooking and sports can all be enhanced by the study of Italian
Italian majors pursue careers in a variety of fields, including education, business, computer programming and web design, law, public relations, journalism, telecommunications, arts administration, publishing, library science, politics, or public and environmental affairs, to name but a few. Some students also use their language skills in order to enter government employment or the military. In all cases, students report back to us that their training in Italian significantly enhanced their professional and academic opportunities. Italian is spoken by 55 million people in Italy and 62 million people throughout the world. Italy has the 7th largest economy in the world and is a major political force in Europe.
Studying Italian will help you is several areas:
Communication Skills: In many careers and free-time activities, you will find it beneficial to communicate with people who are native Italian speakers. In any realm of business, it always pays to know the client's language. Italian instruction also encourages you to think about important details of language usage which may not have occurred to you before, thereby improving your writing and speaking skills in English as well.
Travel:To travel to Italy and experience the essence of Italian culture, knowledge of the Italian language is essential. They only skim the surface and show you what someone else thinks you should see. To truly get to know Italy it takes more time and, above all, Italian language skills.
Jobs in Business: As more and more businesses are "going global" by opening offices throughout the world, knowledge of Italian is an increasingly important asset when applying for jobs.
Jobs in Government: In the fields of diplomacy and trade, the federal government is always seeking qualified applicants with Italian language skills. If you see international conferences and negotiations in your future, you'd better learn one or more languages now.
Research: No matter the area of specialization, knowledge of Italian is not only helpful, but often necessary for academic, business, or social research. Translations are not always correct or even available.
Art and Culture: No matter how good the translation, inevitably some meaning is lost in the process. Therefore, to fully appreciate the richness of Italian literature, theater, opera, and films, knowledge of the language is essential.
Self-Fulfillment: Learning Italian is a big accomplishment which brings with it great satisfaction and added confidence. In addition, immersion in a foreign culture can open whole new avenues of self-exploration and personal growth.
Intellectual Stimulation: Learning Italian enhances your skills in analyzing, discussing, and categorizing information and ideas.