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The Acts of the Apostles – in Romagnolo!

For anyone who’s interested in Rimini and local traditions, and speaks/reads Italian, there’s no better place to head to online than, the site of local blogger, journalist, and publicist Maria Cristina Muccioli (alias Cristella).

Her blog is full of great snippets of dialect, stories and traditions that help to remind you how unique a place Rimini / Romagna is.  People like Cristella are helping to keep history, tradition and local culture alive by peppering their speech with Romagnolo – a dialect that emerged from Latin, at the same time as the Tuscan, but which, thanks to a very different geography and history, developed its own rhythmns, sounds and idioms.

It’s far too soon to tell what the fate of regional dialects like Romagnolo will be – they’ve survived the unification of Italy and supression during the fascist period, but there is the danger that they’ll follow the way of  languages like Irish Gaelic, spoken by enthusiasts but ignored by many supplanted by a national lingua franca, in this case Italian.

There’s  a link from Cristella’s blog to an interview with Riminese writer Amos Piccini, who has published various key texts translated into Romagnolo – both to preserve the writing in text, and to keep it alive.  His latest text is a translation of the Atti degli Apostoli or Acts of the Apostles into Romagnolo – Fat e mirècul dj Apòstul. In the title alone you can see that there are similarities and vast differences between Italian and Romagnolo.

Piccini makes the great point that in his translation he didn’t  go overboard, translating absolutely everything, as in places it would have been forced – but that at times words and phrases in Italian don’t have the same power as those in dialect.

It’s this strong attachment to history and culture that makes stepping back from the beachfront in Rimini so worthwhile.

Here’s the interview, for those of you who speak Italian:

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