Adopt a word!

I believe we have all heard a few times that languages are loosing words, because people do not employ them any more in conversations. This apply to several languages. To fight this, the organisation Dante Alighieri has launched the project ‘Adotta una parola’ (adopt a word).

Wanna join? It’s very easy. You only have to choose a word – or more if you want to! – either as ‘custode’ (guardian) or as ‘sostenitore’ (supporter). You must say what actions you plan to take to spread the word about your little one and you can down load a certificate. How wonderful is that?!?

I have adopted ‘abitanza’ and on my to do’s I had writing a blog post about this word. So here I am.

‘Abitanza’ can already be found as an old-fashioned word in the Dizionario della lingua italiana (Dictionary of the Italian Language) written by Niccolò Tommaseo and Bernardo Bellini in the second half of the 19th century. It means both ‘the fact of living somewhere’ and ‘a place to live in’. Nowadays ‘abitanza’ has come to express all the interactions and actions regarding a group of people living in a certain area, because they develop caring programmes for the inhabitants as well as for the environment. There is a very nice explanation here (in Italian).

Although I did not know this word before the adoption, I have seen that it has also been used in university classes of Geography/Sociology, as it defines a very specific concept, which is close to citizenship, but links more with one’s own territory.

And you, have you ever adopted a word? Or do you know any initiatives for doing so?


About Chiara Vecchi

A blogging translator working from English and German into Italian. You are more than welcome to visit my blog!
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