Course Code ITAL
Levels Offered 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th year Full course list *
Minor Available Yes (Dept. approval req’d) **
More details
Placement Test Required for students with previous knowledge More details
* Not all courses are offered every term, please check Carleton Central and/or the Public Class Schedule for course availability.
** Students interested in an Italian minor must get permission prior to adding it. Contact Ulrike Tallowitz for more information.

Why study Italian?

“Rome was mud and smoky skies; the rank smell of the Tiber and the exotically spiced cooking fires of a hundred different nationalities. Rome was white marble and gilding and heady perfumes; the blare of trumpets and the shrieking of market-women and the eternal, sub-aural hum of more people, speaking more languages than Gaius had ever imagined existed, crammed together on seven hills whose contours had long ago disappeared beneath this encrustation if humanity. Rome was the pulsing heart of the world.”
– Marion Zimmer Bradley. The Forest House. Viking Press, 1994.

Throughout history, Italy has been at the heart of the action: epicentre of the Roman Empire, intellectual hub of the Renaissance, and destination for trade goods from the Silk Road.

The country’s name too has become synonymous with great food, great wine, and appreciation of the finer things in life. Even the language has been praised for its melodic qualities and Italian is the voice – at times soothing, at times raging, at times melancholy – of countless operas.

Here at Carleton, our Italian language classes acknowledge the role of Italy and its people in history, but also focus on the Italy of today; connecting students with the Italy of the 21st century and all its challenges and opportunities

Taught by passionate and diverse instructors, classes provide comprehensive coverage of the language targeting frequently used vocabulary, necessary grammatical structures and pronunciation challenges.

Classroom activities vary by instructor but generally involve an engaging blend of focused individual work, interactive activities, and exposure to a range of authentic language materials. 

Fun facts about Italian

  • Of all the “Romance languages”, Italian is the one whose vocabulary is closest to the original Latin.
  • Italy is home to more than 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Watch this great video from Expo 2015 “Italy the Extraordinary Commonplace”
  • Canadian-born singer Michael Bublé became a naturalized Italian citizen in 2005
  • Some people refer to Italy as “Lo Stivale” (“The Boot”) because of its distinctive shape
  • Italian astronaut, Samanta Cristoforetti, spent 6-7 months in the International Space Station in 2014-15 where, in addition to conducting life science research, the polyglot astronaut brewed espresso with a new zero gravity espresso machine. Cristoforetti is fluent in Italian, English, German, French and Russian.
  • Outside Italy, Italian is the first language spoken in San Marino, Vatican City, some regions of Switzerland, and in Istria (Slovenia)
  • As part of the country’s colonial legacy, Italian is also spoken by people of a certain age in Somalia, Eritrea, and Libya
  • Italian is the 3rd most frequently spoken immigrant home language in Montreal and 9th most frequently spoken in Toronto (Statistics Canada, 2011)

Registration Information

Space in language courses is limited.  Register as early as possible.  If the course is full when you attempt to register, please submit a Course Registration Override Request or, if applicable, add your name to a waitlist on Carleton Central.  Click here to learn more about how waitlisting works.

Course Previews

If you want to learn more about the requirements of each course, look over the course previews in the list below.

IMPORTANT: These previews will give you an idea of the types of assignments, readings, and instructor expectations you may encounter in the course. However, please be aware that these documents are NOT OFFICIAL COURSE OUTLINES. The actual courses you take may differ considerably from the descriptions provided in the previews.