Known by everyone, spoken by few and hardly comprehensible
The dialect of the city of Bari, with its energy and complexity, seems incomprehensible to all the foreigners who listen to it. With its mix of Arabic, Spanish, French, Latin and Greek influences, the use of this picturesque language makes unique and unavoidable the identification and the strong bond to this geographic area but it requires the knowledge of some easy rules in order to understand it and most of all to speak it.
Let’s start from the begin…
The dialect of the city of Bari it is spoken basically in the city and in the province. The name of the city it is pronounced with vocal opened and descending. The doubling of the consonants is a must, as well as the last vocal or part of a word is always mute.
The vocals, instead, are pronounced as in a descendent curve and they rise again through the following consonant. In the specific case of the word Bari, the letter “b” becomes automatically doubled, the “a” falls as if it was on a rollercoaster going again up in order to give space to the “r” and , as confirms the general rule, the last vocal is silent. Therefore, the final result will be Bbàr.
The peculiarity and folklore of this dialect is that it changes according to the distance from the epicentre of the city, assuming subtle or significant shades and characteristics. Going through the Apulian hinterland, for example, at 20km far from the old city, in the small village of Sannicandro, the typical expression of the dialect “ce ué” literally translated as “what do you want” and used in slang with the intention of making the question: “how can I help you”, it completely transforms the diphthong “ué” becoming “ce dàie”.
As you can see, few kilometres can change intonation, words or even expressions and way of saying. A clear example of this dialectal variation is the small town of Bitonto, where a common reinforcing expression used for underlining the wiling of not repeating again the same concept – expressed in the original dialect as “com t ua disc” (literally translated as “how do I have to tell you”) – changes completely since the vocal “o” is pronounced as “au”, the vocal “a” becomes a diphthong “eu” with the final result of: “Caúme te u àgghie a ddóice?”.
The shades and phonetic variations of this wonderful language are endless as well as are copious the small cities in the province of Bari that with their history, culture and tradition donate unique and extraordinary experiences. The moments that characterise this uniqueness are the celebrations in honour of the Saints Patrons where the entire town is engaged on this day. Master of all the Saint Patrons’ celebrations is the small town of Adelfia, far 13 km from Bari and located just at the end of the first slopes of the central Murge plateau.
In this area, born from the merger of two ancient historic city centres, it is possible to attend the fireworks show in the month of November in honour of the Saint Trifone; the Madonna della Stella celebration during Easter; the celebration of the Saint Patron Vittoriano during the last Sunday of the month of July; or just simply enjoy a lovely night in one of the many locals that there are in this town. Situated in a historic location modernised in a contemporary style, the Namasté coffee&lounge bar is definitely an original pub where to spend a pleasant night. This casual and lively location will surprise you for its warmth whether you want to stop for a coffee in the morning or for a beer in the evening while listening to live music.
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