Wikipedia:Reading Piedmontese English version

For a list of books in Piedmontese (far from being complete), see here.

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Same page in Piedmontese

Better late than never!Modifiché

These notes are directed to the millions of native speakers of Piedmontese who have never received instruction in their native language. Recent studies (in Italian) estimate that about 98% of native speakers of Piedmontese are illiterate in their own mother tongue.

As in any language, illiteracy does exist, especially in the lower classes. However, illiteracy in reading and writing Piedmontese is common among people of every class and every level of income and education. One of the main goals of this work is to spread the capacity to read and write, and to accustom the Piedmontese people to multilingualism. This is the threshold of the next linguistic revolution, since English has already been imposed as the language of technology and a fundamental qualification for the workplace.

Although at least some mental laziness has been cited to justify Piedmontese illiteracy, classifying it as a "dialect," or dismissing it as "ethnic" in order to subjugate it under the monopoly of official languages (along with discouraging the languages of immigrants), it is important today to get accustomed to using more languages simultaneously. Otherwise, official languages themselves may soon suffer the same discrimination and disqualification that in the past have weakened local languages.

In fact, attacking these dialects actually threatens the future of the state languages themselves. The first symptoms are already quite evident, just considering the quantity of words imported from English, which are sometimes unnecessary (exactly how does a 'manager' differ from a 'dirigente'?). Italian is constantly losing its own value and has begun to receive a certain contempt, as unmerited as what local languages once had, and just as destructive. It is irreversibly sliding toward the status of a professionally useless language (there is no technical field or service that has a language other than English) and is excluded from courses that lead to higher incomes (the "Master" Courses at the Polytechnic of Torino, as suggested by their name, are now taught entirely in English).

This is because of the processes dictated by the power of English, which has already assumed the role of the international language, processes that cannot be stopped by legislative fiat. At the current rate, we have no more than two generations to save Italian and the local languages. The speed of diffusion of English is dizzyingly augmented by the Internet and technology, and the process of annihilating local and national languages, if not checked, will take only a few decades. The only possible salvation is training the Italian people to use more than one language, giving each of them dignity and respect.

In fact, the respect that today's children show toward weakened languages will be transferred to an Italian irreversibly weakened in just a few decades. If this respect is provided in the education of children, English will continue to become more common, but not as the language of humankind, rather as simply one language like the others, just more practical for some things. And the only way to do it well and quickly is to use the local languages, which are readily available to use, and by no means extinct.

Fortunately, there is an easily implemented way, even using the forces of volunteer groups. Learning to read your own language is easy! Every word you learn to read and write in Piedmontese (or Pugliese, Napoletano, Lombardic, Venetic, Sicilian, Emiliano or an immigrant language) adds a brick in the wall of defense of Italian against linguistic homogeneity.

These are not political or ethnic questions, but historical experience, pure and simple. A language that cannot accept coexistence cannot seek confrontation, because confrontation with English means certain death. Better to learn to coexist with everyone and stay alive, right?

So, back to the goal of this operation. Let's work! The best way to learn to read, however, is to read!

The Piedmontese alphabetModifiché

Like any other language, Piedmontese has its characteristic sounds and alphabet, which is composed of signs that transcribe those sounds. On this page, you will find a only a few fundamental points on the correct pronunciation of the language. As of now, the Piedmontese Wikipedia does not provide in-line grammar help. However, there is at least this site (in Piedmontese) which handles the subject. To avoid the infinity of spelling varieties, here we use phonetic systems of representation and pronunciation examples from other languages.

Letter Phonetic Code
according to
Merriam-Webster
Notes

A

&, [o&]

The letter A. When unaccented, indicates a schwa sound like in English "about". When accented, indicates approximately an 'aw' sound followed by schwa, like in English "paw", depending on the geographic location of the native speaker. When it is necessary to use an accent, it is written À.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

ajassin

&y&s'i[ng]

callus

muraja

m[ue]r'[o&]y&

wall

E

e, æ

The letter E. Indicates a closed 'e' sound, like the 'a' of 'baker', without the characteristic English y-glide at the end. When written with an accent, it is É. For another corresponding sound, see È.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

esempi

ez'æmpi

example

andré

&ndr'e

back, backwards

È

æ

This is a different sound from the regular E. Indicates an open 'e' sound, between the English 'a' of 'bat' and 'e' of 'bet'. The accent is sometimes omitted. This sound generally occurs in closed syllables (syllables ending with a consonant).

Example Phonetic Code Translation

guèra

gu'ær&

war

erba

'ærb&

grass, herb

Ë

&

The letter Ë, also known as the third Piedmontese vowel. Has a short schwa sound like the 'o' in 'contain' or the 'e' in French 'revoir'. It has the peculiarity of doubling a following consonant if it is single and surrounded by vowels. This is the only way consonants are doubled in Piedmontese.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

sënner

s'&nner

ash

ëd pianta

&d pi'[o&]nt&

entirely, completely

O

u

The letter O, like the 'oo' sound of 'boot'. When accented, it is written Ó.
Example Phonetic Code Translation

oloch

ul'uc

owl

bisó

biz'u

jewel

Ò

o

The letter Ò. Pronounced like a close 'o' in Italian or Spanish, with a longer duration. It always carries the stress, so can appear only once in a word.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

piòla

pi'ol&

axe, tavern

fiòca

fi'oc&

snow

U

[ue], u

The letter U. When it appears stressed and alone, it represents the "Piedmontese U" sound, which is like the French U or German Ü. When accented, this letter is written Ù. When it follows the letter Q, or appears in diphthongs, or triphthongs or in an unstressed position, it is pronounced like 'ou' in 'boutique'.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

uss

'[ue]s

door

quart

cu'[o&]rt

room

giàun

[gh]'&un

yellow

EU

[oe]

The EU digraph. Represents the 'eu' sound of French 'feu' or the German Ö. It is always stressed, and therefore can appear only once in a word and cannot coexist with Ò. Exceptions to this rule are:

  • Europa
  • euro (European monetary unit)
  • europengh (European)

These words all have the same root and are pronounced with a distinct 'e-u' diphthong sound as in Spanish or Italian.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

feu

f[oe]

fire

bleu

bl[oe]

blue







Note: other vowel digraphs in Piedmontese (like ua, ue, au, iu) are pronounced as diphthongs, with both vowels sounding separately.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

àutr

'&utr

other

influensa

infl[ue]'ensa

flu, influence

càud

c'aud

hot

CC
GG

[ch]
j

The digraphs CC and GG. Used only at the end of a word, indicating a soft C or G sound ('ch' as in 'porch', and the J sound of 'ge' in 'large'.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

contacc

cunt'[o&][ch]

damn!

magg

m[o&]j

May

J

y

The letter J. Represents the semivowel Y sound like the 'y' in 'player'. Sometimes it is pronounced like 'ly' as in the 'll' of 'collier'.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

famija

f&m'iy&

family

mej

mey

better

N

n, [ng]

The letter N. In most positions, sounds like 'n' of 'no'. When word-final, or preceding the sounds K or G, like the 'ng' sound of 'n' in English 'canker'.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

nita

n'it&

mud

canton

c&nt'y[ng]

corner

N-

[ng]

The letter N-. Although it is made up of two graphic symbols, it is considered a single letter. It only occurs between vowels and represents the 'ng' sound of 'singer'. The vowel preceding N- always takes the stress. One possible exception is the name Bon-apart, which is a compound word.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

bon-a

b'u[ng]&

good

flin-a

fl'i[ng]&

anger, irritation

S

s, z

The letter S. Indicates an unvoiced 's' sound except when between two vowels or at the end of a word, when it indicates the voiced 's' sound.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

sol

sul

sun

esassion

ez&si'un

collection

SS

s

The letter SS. Indicates the unvoiced 's' sound between two vowels or at the end of the word. It is never pronounced with a double length.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

strass

str&s

cloth

solussion

sul'[ue]siun

solution

Z

z

The letter Z. Represents the 'z' sound at the beginning of a word, following a consonant or preceding a consonant.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

dzora

dz'ur&

up, upwards

zacard

z&c'[o&]rd

Jaquard loom

V

v, u, w

The letter V. This is the most complex letter of the Piedmontese alphabet. It has the following sounds:

  • 'v', except as follows
  • 'u', when word-final, following an accented vowel, or before T, D or N
  • very short or silent 'u', between two vowels, one of which is U or O (sometimes omitted from spelling)
  • 'w', following a vowel and before R
Example Phonetic Code Translation

vèira

v'æir&

true

grev

gr'eu

heavy, difficult

spluva, splua

spl'[ue]&

spark

dovrsé

duwrz'e

to use

S-CI
S-CE
S-G

s[ch]i
s[ch]e
s[gh]

The groups S-CI and S-CE. Written this way to emphasize that the letters S and C do not combine into a single sound, as in the English word 'scene', but indicate the separate sounds of unvoiced 's' and soft 'ch'.
The group S-G indicates unvoiced 's' and soft 'j', like the 'sj' in English 'misjudge'.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

s-ciairé

s[ch]&ir'e

to see, to understand

s-cet

s[ch]æt

plain, clear

s-giaj

s[gh]&y

horror, repulsive

CH

c

The digraph CH. Represents the hard 'k' sound.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

che

ce

which, that

cheur

c[oe]r

heart

chilòmetro

cil'ometru

kilometer

CE

[ch]e

The digraph CE. Pronounced like English 'ch' followed by 'e'.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

ceresa

[ch]er'ez&

cherry

central

[ch]entr'&l

central

CI

[ch]i

The digraph CI. Pronounced like English 'ch' followed by 'i'.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

ciamé

[ch]&m'e

to call

cit

[ch]it

small

GN

[nh]

The digraph GN. Represents the sound of 'ny' in English 'canyon'.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

spagneul

spa[nh]'[oe]l

Spanish

gnente

[nh]'ente

nothing

GE, GI

[gh]e, [gh]i

The digraphs GE and GI. Represent the hard 'g' sound of English 'good' followed by 'e' or 'i'.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

gena

[gh]'ena

shame

Giornal

[gh]urn'al

newspaper

QU

cu

The digraph QU. Represents the sound 'kw', as in the 'qu' of English 'queen'.

Example Phonetic Code Translation

quàder

cu'ader

box

quindes

cu'indez

fifteen

Sample textModifiché

Try, then discover that ... you've learned to read!

Vardé se adess i seve bon a lese sossì. Se i l'eve faila, a veul dì che dj’analfabeta i seve già pì nen, e la diferensa tra CÒL dla camisa , COL che a së s-ciàira e CUL dla bota adess i la seve ëdcò për ëscrit (che ant la vita i la conossìe motobin anans che iv lesèisse sossì).

(Now see if you can read this. If you have done it, this means you are no longer illiterate. ...)

Congratulations and good luck!

AccentModifiché

And now that we no longer have a problem reading Piedmontese, we can move ahead to learn a few fine details of our written language while speaking our language.

Let's start with accent. A more complete and clear explanation can be found in "Piedmontese Grammar" by Camillo Brero and "Pocket Piedmontese," edited by Francesco Rubat Borel, Mauro Tosco and Vera Bertolino, and in various other reference texts.

As a rule, a word written without any marked accent has a tonic accent:

  • If it ends with a consonant, on the last syllable (example: Piemont)
  • If it ends with a vowel, on the second-to-lat syllable (example: camisa)

Accent is not normally marked on single-syllable words, except to differentiate homophones (example, ).

In all other cases, the accent is normally written.
The most delicate exception is in relation to diphthongs:

  • The accent must be written when there is a descending diphthong on the tonic syllable: fàit, pàuta, turinèis, sùita
  • The accent must be written in words that end in "ia" or "ua" (and derivatives) when pronounced as two separate vowels and the tonic accent falls on the "i" or the "u": lëssìa, chërsùa
  • When this final vowel sequence is a diphthong and the accent falls on the preceding syllable, the accent is not marked: cassia, pëssia, Pasqua

Except for words ending in "ia" or "ua", you can use the following rule:

  • When the word ends in a consonant, the accent is written unless it falls on the last vowel.
  • When the word ends in a vowel, the accent is written unless it falls on the next-to-last syllable.

ArticlesModifiché

In Piedmontese, the articles are as follows:

Definite ArticleModifiché

  • Masculine singular: ël can, l' amis, student;
  • Masculine plural: ij can, j' amis, student.
  • Feminine singular: la crava, l' avija;
  • Feminine plural: le crave, j' avije.

There is a euphonic form of the feminine plural definite article. According to the article titled "Precision e finësse ëd nòstra lenga" ("Precision and Finesse in Our Language"), published in the journal Piemontèis ancheuj (Piedmontese Today): Another finesse of our language is that of usage (in certain positions in the sentence), the feminine plural article "je" (an "e" that is more open than semi-mute) instead of "le" before words beginning with impure "s" and a double consonant (as occurs in the masculine).

So it can be written: ant je stagere, an sje spale instead of ant le stagere, an sle spale, but as a subject, it should always be written: le stagere, le spale and so on.

It should be noted that the form "je" is not used when it would lead to dissonance.

A l'ha voltaje le spale can be spoken and written, but not a l'ha voltaje je spale; bauleje a le stèile can be spoken and written, but not bauleje a je stèile [...]

Indefinite ArticleModifiché

  • Masculine singular: un can (pronunciation: ën can), n' amis, student.
  • Feminine singular: na crava, n' avija.

In the plural, the indefinite article is replaced by the partitive:* ëd can, d' amis, student, ëd crave, d' avije. The partitive can be compared to the definite article:

  • dij can, dj' amis, djë student, dle crave, dj' avije.

PrepositionModifiché

The main Piedmontese prepositions are as follows: a, an, con, da, ëd, për, su, tra.

When the article follows a preposition, sometimes the two remain separate syntactic objects: i vad da la sartòira. In other cases, they join into a special form:

  • a + ël = al
  • a + ij = ai
  • da + ël = dal
  • da + l' = d'l', but more often has the form: da l'
  • da + = d'lë, but more often has the form: da lë
  • da + la = d'la, but more often has the form: da la
  • da + ij = dai
  • da + = d'jë, but more often has the form: da jë
  • da + le = d'le, but more often has the form: da le
  • ëd + ël = dël
  • ëd + l' = dl' (or it can have the form: ëd l')
  • ëd + = dlë (or it can have the form: ëd lë)
  • ëd + la = dla (or it can have the form: ëd la)
  • ëd + ij = dij
  • ëd + = djë (or it can have the form: ëd jë)
  • ëd + le = dle (or it can have the form: ëd le)
  • su + ël = sël
  • su + l' = sl'
  • su + = slë
  • su + la = sla
  • su + ij = sij
  • su + = sjë
  • su + le = sle

However, the combination prepositions formed with "su" almost always follow the preposition "an": an sël pra; an sla tàula; an sl'euv; an sij fium.

The preposition "an", when articulated, becomes "ant": an përzon, but ant la përzon.

The preposition "ëd" is used to form the partitive; the verb "esse" with a partitive subject is used in the singular: a-i é ëd përson-e.