Italian Language Variations

If you visit Italy and don’t speak Italian, it will appear as if everyone speaks Italian but you. That is not necessarily true. There are several languages spoken in Italy other than Italian along with several dialects of Italian.

Most regions have their own dialect, accent and even their own language. The languages spoken in Italy have evolved over the centuries. The different dialects are all noticeably different from the standard Italy.

Italian is known as an Indo-European language and currently there are over 55 million speakers of Italian in Italy. Some of the individuals are bilingual in Italian and some of the regional dialects. There are an additional 6.5 million people who speak Italian in other countries.

Besides Italy, Italian is spoken in several countries, which include Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Paraguay, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, and Vatican State.

There are several regional dialects spoken in Italy. The major dialects of Italian include toscano, abruzzese, pugliese, umbro, laziale, marchigiano centrale, cicolano-reatino-aquilano, and molisano.

Because of the different regions of Italy, there are also different languages spoken in Italy other than the standard Italian. Those languages include emiliano-romagnolo, friulano, ligure, Lombardo, napoletano, plemontese, sardarese, sardu, siciliano and Veneto. Some of these languages are known by different names, which are not listed here.

Obviously, Italians don’t all speak the same exact language. This may make conversing with Italians a bit more difficult, but learning to understand the differences can be interesting and worthwhile.

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