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Encyclopedia > Languages of Italy
Languages of Italy[1]
Official languages Italian
Regional languages French, German, Corsican, Sicilian, Eastern Lombard, Emiliano-Romagnolo, Insubric Lombard, Ligurian, Maltese, Piedmontese, Venetian, Neapolitan, Arbëresh, Sinti
Minority languages Sardinian, Friulian (Rhaeto-Romance), Occitan, Romany, Albanian, Franco-Provençal, Slovenian, Ladin, Griko, Alguerese (Catalan), Molise Slavic dialect (Croatian)
Main foreign languages English (29%)
French (14%)
German (5%)
Intuitive map of languages and dialets of Italy
Intuitive map of languages and dialets of Italy

Italy currently has one national language: Standard Italian. Alongside Italian and its inevitable regional varieties are innumerable local Romance languages, many of which pre-date the establishment of Italian. Many of these languages are different enough from Standard Italian to be considered separate languages by most linguists and many speakers. Quite naturally, they are generally not standardized. Thus a distinction can be made between "dialects -- better termed varieties -- of (Standard) Italian" and "dialects and languages of Italy", the latter essentially a geopolitical term, rather than linguistic. Corsican (Corsu or Lingua Corsa) is a Romance language spoken on the island of Corsica (France), alongside French, which is the official language. ... Sicilian (, Italian: ) is a Romance language. ... Eastern Lombard (sometimes also called Orobic) is a group of dialects spoken in the eastern side of Lombardy, mainly in the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia and Mantua and in the area around Crema. ... The Emiliano-Romagnolo language is spoken by about 2 million people in the Emilia-Romagna region of northwestern Italy. ... Western Lombard is a Lombard language spoken in Italy, in Lombard provinces of Milan, Monza, Varese, Como, Lecco, Sondrio, little part of Cremona (Crema and neighbors), Lodi and Pavia, and Piedmont provinces of Novara, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and little part of Vercelli (Valsesia), and Switzerland (Canton Ticino and part of... Ligurian is a Romance language, consisting of a group of Gallo-Italic dialects currently spoken in Liguria, northern Italy, and parts of the Mediterranean coastal zone of France, and Monaco. ... Piedmontese (also known as Piemontèis, and Piemontese in Italian) is a language spoken by over 2 million people in Piedmont, northwest Italy. ... A sign in Venetian reading Here we also speak Venetian Venetian or Venetan is a Romance language spoken by over five million people,[1] mostly in the Veneto region of Italy. ... Neapolitan may refer to: Neapolitan, a resident of Naples, Italy Neapolitan language, a language of Naples and environs in southern Italy Neapolitan ice cream, a mixture of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream side-by-side in the same container Neapolitan chord, in music, is the first inversion of a... Arbëresh (or Arbërishte or Arbërisht) is the dialect of the Albanian language spoken by the Arbëreshë and Arvanites the Albanian-speaking minorities in Italy and Greece. ... Sinti or Sinte (Singular masc. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Romansh (also spelled Rumantsch, Romansch or Romanche) is any of the various Rhaetian languages spoken in Switzerland. ... Occitan (IPA AmE: ), known also as Lenga dòc or Langue doc (native name: occitan [1], lenga dòc [2]; native nickname: la lenga nòstra [3] i. ... Romany (or Romani) is the language of the Roma and Sinti, peoples often referred to in English as Gypsies. The Indo-Aryan Romany language should not be confused with either Romanian (spoken by Romanians), or Romansh (spoken in parts of southeastern Switzerland), both of which are Romance languages. ... Franco-Provençal (Francoprovençal) or Arpitan (in vernacular: patouès) (in Italian: francoprovenzale, provenzale alpina, arpitano, patois; French: francoprovençal, arpitan, patois) is a Romance language with several dialects in a linguistic sub-group separate from Langue dOïl and Langue dOc. ... Slovenian or Slovene (slovenski jezik or slovenščina) is an Indo-European language that belongs to the family of South Slavic languages. ... Ladin (Ladino in Italian, Ladin in Ladin, Ladinisch in German) is a Rhaetian language spoken in the Dolomite mountains in Italy, between the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto. ... Griko, sometimes spelled Grico, is a Modern Greek dialect which is spoken by people in the Magna Graecia region in southern Italy and Sicily, and it is otherwise known as the Grecanic language. ... Alguerese or Algherese is the variant of the Catalan language spoken in the city of Alghero, in the northwest of Sardinia. ... Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia, and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of Sardinia. ... Molise Slavic dialect is a descendant dialect of the Slavic language spoken on the Dalmatian coast in the fifteenth century and now spoken in three villages in Campobasso province in Molise Region in Italy. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Image File history File links Languages_spoken_in_Italy. ... Image File history File links Languages_spoken_in_Italy. ... Italian ( , or lingua italiana) is a Romance language spoken by about 63 million people,[4] primarily in Italy. ... A standard language (also standard dialect or standardized dialect) is a particular variety of a language that has been given either legal or quasi-legal status. ...


There are generally three groups of Italian languages: Gallo-Italian (or Northern Italian); Italo-Dalmatian (which includes Standard Italian); and Southern Romance. Sicilian belongs to the extreme southern portion of the Italo-Dalmatian group, but is sometimes classified as Southern Romance with Sardinian. The linguistic frontier between Northern Italian and Italian proper is sometimes called the La Spezia-Rimini line. Other languages spoken in Italy are not closely related to Standard Italian at all. Sicilian (, Italian: ) is a Romance language. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... In the linguistics of the Romance languages, the La Spezia-Rimini Line is a line that refers to a number of important isoglosses that distinguish the eastern Romance languages from the western Romance languages. ...


Since Italian unification, and especially since the Second World War, the Italian language has become the primary language of most Italians and it has undergone a process of homogenisation. Education and mass media, especially television, have rendered the Italian language accessible to all Italian people. Some argue that the same phenomenon has brought about a simplification and banalisation of the language. Italian Unification (Italian: il Risorgimento, or The Resurgence) was the political and social movement that unified different states of the Italian peninsula into the single nation of Italy. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... Languages Italian, Sicilian, Neapolitan, Corsican, Sardinian, Emiliano-Romagnolo, Ligurian, Lombard, Piedmontese, Venetian, Ladin, Friulian Religions predominantly Roman Catholic      The Italians are a Southern European ethnic group found primarily in Italy and in a wide-ranging diaspora throughout Western Europe, the Americas and Australia. ...


Besides the national language, German has official status in the Province of Bolzano-Bozen, and French in the Region of the Aosta Valley. The Province of Bolzano-Bozen[1][2][3] (Italian: ; German: ; Ladin: Provinzia autonoma de Bulsan), also referred to in English as Alto Adige (from the Italian name) or South Tyrol (from the German name Südtirol) is an autonomous province of Italy. ... The Aosta Valley (Italian: Valle dAosta, French: Vallée dAoste, Arpitan: Val dOuta) is a mountainous Region in north-western Italy. ...

Contents

Languages spoken in Italy

Dialects of Italy by groups
Dialects of Italy by groups[2][3][4][5]

Image File history File links Size of this preview: 514 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (814 × 950 pixel, file size: 297 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Map of italian dialect. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 514 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (814 × 950 pixel, file size: 297 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Map of italian dialect. ...

Romance languages

Gallo-Italian

  • Emiliano-Romagnolo
    • Emiliano
    • Romagnolo
  • Ligurian
    • Tabarchino
  • Lombard
    • Western Lombard (sometimes also called Insubric or Cisabduano: Lombardo prealpino occidentale, basso Lombardo occidentale, Macromilanese)
    • Eastern Lombard (sometimes also called Orobic or Transabduano: Lombardo prealpino orientale, basso Lombardo orientale)
    • Intermediate Western-Eastern dialects (Lombardo alpino)
  • Piedmontese
  • Venetian

The Emiliano-Romagnolo language is spoken by about 2 million people in the Emilia-Romagna region of northwestern Italy. ... Ligurian is a Romance language, consisting of a group of Gallo-Italic dialects currently spoken in Liguria, northern Italy, and parts of the Mediterranean coastal zone of France, and Monaco. ... The term Lombard refers to a group of related varieties spoken mainly in Northern Italy (most of Lombardy and some areas of neighbouring regions) and Southern Switzerland (Ticino and Graubünden). ... Western Lombard is a Lombard language spoken in Italy, in Lombard provinces of Milan, Monza, Varese, Como, Lecco, Sondrio, little part of Cremona (Crema and neighbors), Lodi and Pavia, and Piedmont provinces of Novara, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and little part of Vercelli (Valsesia), and Switzerland (Canton Ticino and part of... Eastern Lombard (sometimes also called Orobic) is a group of dialects spoken in the eastern side of Lombardy, mainly in the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia and Mantua and in the area around Crema. ... Piedmontese (also known as Piemontèis, and Piemontese in Italian) is a language spoken by over 2 million people in Piedmont, northwest Italy. ... A sign in Venetian reading Here we also speak Venetian Venetian or Venetan is a Romance language spoken by over five million people,[1] mostly in the Veneto region of Italy. ...

Gallo-Rhaetian

Standard French (in French: le français standard, le français neutre or even le français international) is an unofficial term for a standard variety of the French language. ... Franco-Provençal is a Romance language consisting of dialects that can be found in Italy (Valle dAosta, Piemonte, Calabria, Apulia), in Switzerland (cantons Fribourg, Valais, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Geneva, non-German speaking parts of Bern, but not Jura, where the dialects spoken are French) and in France (Dauphinois...

Ibero-Romance

Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia, and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of Sardinia. ... Alguerese or Algherese is the variant of the Catalan language spoken in the city of Alghero, in the northwest of Sardinia. ... Occitan (IPA AmE: ), known also as Lenga dòc or Langue doc (native name: occitan [1], lenga dòc [2]; native nickname: la lenga nòstra [3] i. ... Provençal (Provençau in Provençal language) is one of several dialects spoken by a minority of people in southern France and other areas of France and Italy. ...

Italo-Dalmatian

Italiano centrale is a group of dialects of Italian spoken in Lazio and areas East of Lazio in Italy. ... The Tuscan dialect is a dialect spoken in Tuscany, Italy. ... Italian ( , or lingua italiana) is a Romance language spoken by about 63 million people,[4] primarily in Italy. ... Romanesco is a group of Romance dialects spoken in Rome and most of the surrounding regions of Lazio, Umbria, central Marche and extreme southern Tuscany in central Italy. ... Neapolitan (autonym: napulitano; Italian: ) is a Romance language spoken in the city and region of Naples, Campania (Neapolitan: Nàpule, Italian: Napoli); close dialects are spoken throughout most of southern Italy, including the Gaeta and Sora districts of southern Lazio, parts of Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, northern Calabria, and northern and... Neapolitan (autonym: napulitano; Italian: ) is a Romance language spoken in the city and region of Naples, Campania (Neapolitan: Nàpule, Italian: Napoli); close dialects are spoken throughout most of southern Italy, including the Gaeta and Sora districts of southern Lazio, parts of Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, northern Calabria, and northern and... For other uses, see Campania (disambiguation). ... This article is bad because of the Italian region. ... Apulia is a region of Italy (called Puglia in Italian), bordering on Molise to the north-west, Campania to the south-west, Basilicata to the south, the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the south-east. ... Calabrian is the Romance language of the region of Calabria in Southern Italy. ... Sicilian (, Italian: ) is a Romance language. ... Sicilian (, Italian: ) is a Romance language. ... Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... The Salentino dialect is the traditional vernacular of the southern Italian province of Lecce, known more commonly as the Salento; the extreme southern part of the region of Puglia or the heel of the Italian peninsular. ... Apulia is a region of Italy (called Puglia in Italian), bordering on Molise to the north-west, Campania to the south-west, Basilicata to the south, the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the south-east. ... Calabrian language is the name given to a number of Dialects spoken in parts of the Calabria region in Italy. ...

Judeo-Italian

  • Italkian (Jewish language form; term coined in the mid-20th C. Spoken by a small minority of Jews in Italy.)

Italkian is a Jewish-Italian dialect that combines Hebrew and Italian, it has been spoken mainly between the 10th and the 17th centuries in Rome and in central and northern Italy (notably in Livorno). ...

Rhaeto-Romance

This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Ladin (Ladino in Italian, Ladin in Ladin, Ladinisch in German) is a Rhaetian language spoken in the Dolomite mountains in Italy, between the regions of Trentino-South Tyrol and Veneto. ...

Southern Romance

Corsican (Corsu or Lingua Corsa) is a Romance language spoken on the island of Corsica (France), alongside French, which is the official language. ... Gallurese (gadduresu) is a diasystem of the Sardinian language, spoken in the Gallura (Gaddura), north-eastern part of Sardinia including the town of Tempio Pausania (Tempiu). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Sardo Campidanese is a diasystem of the Sardinian language primarily spoken in the Province of Cagliari. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Sassarese is a diasystem of the Sardinian language, spoken in Sassaris area (north-western part of Sardinia) in Italy. ...

Albanian languages

  • Arbëresh

Arbëresh (or Arbërishte or Arbërisht) is the dialect of the Albanian language spoken by the Arbëreshë and Arvanites the Albanian-speaking minorities in Italy and Greece. ...

Germanic languages

German (called Deutsch in German; in German the term germanisch is equivalent to English Germanic), is a member of the western group of Germanic languages and is one of the worlds major languages. ... Austro-Bavarian or Bavarian is a major group of Upper German varieties. ... Cimbrian refers to any of several local Upper German dialects spoken in northeastern Italy. ... Distribution of Highest Alemannic dialects The Walser language, in German Walserdeutsch, is a group of Highest Alemannic dialects spoken in Walser settlements in parts of Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, and Austria. ...

Greek languages

Griko, sometimes spelled Grico, is a Modern Greek dialect which is spoken by people in the Magna Graecia region in southern Italy and Sicily, and it is otherwise known as the Grecanic language. ...

Indo-Aryan languages

Romany (or Romani) is the language of the Roma and Sinti, peoples often referred to in English as Gypsies. The Indo-Aryan Romany language should not be confused with either Romanian (spoken by Romanians), or Romansh (spoken in parts of southeastern Switzerland), both of which are Romance languages. ... Sinti or Sinte (Singular masc. ...

Slavic languages

Molise Slavic dialect is a descendant dialect of the Slavic language spoken on the Dalmatian coast in the fifteenth century and now spoken in three villages in Campobasso province in Molise Region in Italy. ... Slovenian or Slovene (slovenski jezik or slovenščina) is an Indo-European language that belongs to the family of South Slavic languages. ...

See also

The Italian people generally indicates as Italian dialects all vernacular idioms spoken in Italy other than Italian and other recognized languages. ... Demography of Italy. ... // The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) is a European treaty (CETS 148) adopted in 1992 under the auspices of the Council of Europe to protect and promote historical regional and minority languages in Europe. ... A regional language is a language spoken in a part of a country, be it may be a small area, a federal state or province, or a wider area. ...

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Ali, Linguistic atlas of Italy
  3. ^ Linguistic cartography of Italy by Padova University
  4. ^ Italiand dialects by Pellegrini
  5. ^ AIS, Sprach-und Sachatlas Italiens und der Südschweiz, Zofingen 1928-1940

External links

The list of unrecognized countries enumerates those geo-political entities which lack general diplomatic recognition, but wish to be recognized as sovereign states. ...  Southwest Asia in most contexts. ... The borders of the continents are the limits of the several continents of the Earth, as defined by various geographical, cultural, and political criteria. ...  The North American plate, shown in brown The North American Plate is a tectonic plate covering most of North America, extending eastward to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and westward to the Cherskiy Range in East Siberia. ...  The African plate, shown in pinkish-orange The African Plate is a tectonic plate covering the continent of Africa and extending westward to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. ...

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Today, Italy is a highly developed country with the 8th highest GDP in 2006, a member of the G8 and a founding member of what is now the European Union, having signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957.
The 1948 Constitution of Italy established a bicameral parliament (Parlamento), consisting of a Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati) and a Senate (Senato della Repubblica), a separate judiciary, and an executive branch composed of a Council of Ministers (cabinet) (Consiglio dei ministri), headed by the prime minister (Presidente del consiglio dei ministri).
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