Richard Decker, who left St. Olave’s in 2017, is now spending his year abroad in Italy, as part of his degree in French and Italian “ab initio” at St John’s College, Cambridge. He is choir director at the Anglican Church in Florence and enjoys living in its historic centre.
Richard offered to come back to us on Wednesday 22nd January in order to deliver a talk on the Italian unification and its impact on the Italian language entitled: “Italia: Un paese/una lingua” (Italy: one country, one language).
After explaining the vast differences between Northern and Southern provinces of Italy, not to mention the tensions between its 20 regions, Richard made it clear that the unification of Italy may have overcome geographical barriers but not linguistic ones.
From a linguistic point of view, he questioned whether the concept of one standard Italian language was feasible due to the phonological discrepancies within its borders.
Richard succeeded in providing food for thought for students and teachers alike in this cohesive mix of historical, political and linguistic references.
It was a great pleasure to welcome Richard back and we wish him every success in completing his degree.