De vulgari eloquentia (I, xiv, 1-8)

(1) Transeuntes nunc humeros Apennini frondiferos, levam Ytaliam contatim venemur ceu solemus, orientaliter ineuntes. (1) Let us now traverse the leafy shoulders of the Apennines, and continue our hunt, in the accustomed manner, on the left-hand side of Italy, beginning from the east.
(2) Romandiolam igitur ingredientes, dicimus nos duo in Latio invenisse vulgaria, quibusdam convenientibus contrariis alternata. Quorum unum in tantum muliebre videtur propter vocabulorum et prolationis mollitiem, quod virum, etiam si viriliter sonet, feminam tamen facit esse credendum. (2) Our first encounter, therefore, is with the language of Romagna, of which I say that in this part of Italy are found two vernaculars which stand in direct opposition to each other because of certain contradictory features. One of them is so womanish, because of the softness of its vocabulary and pronunciation, that a man who speaks it, even if in a suitably virile manner, still ends up being mistaken for a woman.
(3) Hoc Romandiolos omnes habet, et presertim Forlivienses, quorum civitas, licet novissima sit, meditullium tamen esse videtur totius provincie. Hii deuscì affirmando locuntur, et Oclo meo et Corada mea proferunt blandientes. Horum aliquos a proprio poetando divertisse audivimus, Tomam videlicet et Ugolinum Bucciolam, faventinos. (3) This is spoken by everybody in Romagna, especially the people of Forlì, whose city, despite being near the edge of the region, none the less seems to be the focal point of the whole province: they say 'deuscì' [God, yes!] when they wish to say 'yes'; and to seduce someone they say 'oclo meo' [My eye] and 'corada mea' [My heart]. I have heard that some of them depart from their native speech in their poetry; these include Tommaso, and Ugolino Bucciòla, both of Faenza.
(4) Est et aliud, sicut dictum est, adeo vocabulis accentibusque irsutum et yspidum, quod, propter sui rudem asperitatem, mulierem loquentem non solum disterminat, sed esse virum dubitare cogit. (4) There is also another vernacular, as I said, so hirsute and shaggy in its vocabulary and accent that, because of its brutal harshness, it not only destroys the femininity of any woman who speaks it, but, reader, would make you think her a man.
(5) Hoc omnes qui magara dicunt, Brixienses videlicet, Veronenses et Vigentinos habet, nec non Paduanos, turpiter sincopantes omnia in -tus participia et denominativa in -tas, ut mercò et bonté. Cum quibus et Trivisianos adducimus, qui, more Brixianorum et finitimorum suorum, u consonantem per f apocopando proferunt, puta nof pro novem, vif pro vivo: quod quidem barbarissimum reprobamus. (5) This is the speech of all those who say 'magarà' [If only], such as the citizens of Brescia, Verona and Vicenza; and the Paduans also speak like this, when they cruelly cut short all the participles ending in tus and the nouns in tas, saying 'mercò' [Traded] and 'bontè' [Goodness]. Along with these I will mention the people of Treviso, who, like those of Brescia and their neighbours, abbreviate their words by pronouncing consonantal u as f, saying 'nof' for 'nove' [nine] and 'vif' for 'vivo' [Alive]. This I denounce as the height of barbarism.
(6) Veneti quoque nec sese investigati vulgaris honore dignantur; et si quis eorum, errore confusus, vanitaret in hoc, recordetur si unquam dixit: Per le plaghe de Dio, tu non venras. (6) Nor can the Venetians be considered worthy of the honour due to the vernacular for which we are searching; and if any of them, transfixed by error, be tempted to take pride in his speech, let him remember if he ever said: Per le plaghe di Dio to no verras. [By God's wounds, you won't come]
(7) Inter quos omnes unum audivimus nitentem divertire a materno et ad curiale vulgare intendere, videlicet Ildebrandinum Paduanum. (7) Among all these peoples I have heard only one individual who tried to break free of his mother-tongue and aspire to a vernacular worthy of the court, and that was Aldobrandino Padovano.
(8) Quare, omnibus presentis capituli ad iudicium comparentibus, arbitramur, nec romandiolum, nec suum oppositum, ut dictum est, nec venetianum, esse illud quod querimus vulgare illustre. (8) So on all the vernaculars that have presented themselves before the tribunal of the present chapter I pronounce the following verdict: that neither the language of Romagna, nor its opposite described above, nor Venetian is that illustrious vernacular which we are seeking.