“Italiese”, often dubbed a “language of survival” by historians, is the name given to the new dialect and language adopted by Italian immigrants in English speaking countries. The culture of “Italiese” is one of the fusion of both Italian and English languages.
Over the last 50 years, hundreds of thousands of Italians arrived in Canada with hopes of creating a new life and a future for their children. As the new immigrants, mostly from Italian rural areas, settled in, raised their children and found work, they quickly adapted a new lexicon or dialect made up of the ‘italianization’ of English words in order to communicate with the English language community. Often dubbed a ‘language of survival’, Italiese can be found in every English speaking country with a strong Italian immigrant presence. It was through this new language that Italian immigrants came to understand their new reality.