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October 2, 2019

Cari amici,

They said it couldn’t be done: There was no way to translate La Bella Lingua into Italian. Too many idioms and colloquial expressions. Too much slang. Untranslatable words in both languages.

However, the distinguished Italian publisher Treccani has done the seemingly impossible and produced an Italian translation: La Bella Lingua: La mia storia d’amore con l’italiano. Copies are available at, IBS internet bookshop, and some independent bookstores in the United States, including my favorite Italian local and online bookstore, San Francisco’s Libreria Pino.

Here is a translation of the Treccani catalog description for its Italian edition of La Bella Lingua:

“When I arrived in Italy for the first time, in 1983, I could say only one sentence: I don’t speak Italian.” Thus begins, almost like a cliché, the love story of Dianne Hales with our country. Since then the American journalist has studied the language in every possible way, but above all she has lived in places, come to know people and explored art, music, literature, cinema, dialects and lifestyles. Offering new insights to curious travelers, La Bella Lingua presents a point of view that is not obvious and never banal, even to those who were born and raised in Italy.

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