We the Italians March 21, 2016 - 77 - Page 40

st # 77 MARCH 21 , 2016 read more about #Italian Language ITALIAN LANGUAGE: The origin of Thanks, You are welcome, Grazie and Prego By Giosuè Prezioso According to the Californian neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, the amount of words pronounced on a daily basis by women and men is very diverse: the former, in fact, can use until 20 thousand terms, the latter only 7 thousands, basically a third. Among these words, there are some other that, more frequently, appear with a certain regularity. Interestingly, in English and Italian “Grazie” e “Prego” (“Thanks” and “Your Welcome”) occur very often, as words expressing gratitude and gratefulness. According to “Word Frequency Data”, the word “Thank” (as a verb) ranks 498 out of the 5000 most used in English. With less precision, the word “wel- 40 | WE THE ITALIANS www.wetheitalians.com come” (from “You are welcome”) ranks 1555, which means a lot, in a language made up of 1, 022, 000 words (according to a study by Google and Harvard University). In a list created by “About Education”, instead, the Italian “grazie” ranks 76 out of 100 words, a datum that cannot be found with “Prego” and the affine “a te”(“to you”). However, the meaning of “Grazie” and “Prego”, “Thanks (you)” and “You are Welcome” differs in the two languages. Coming from the ancient