The Info List - Italian Language

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ITALIAN (_ italiano_ (help ·info ) or _lingua italiana_ ) is a Romance language . By most measures, Italian, together with Sardinian, is the closest to Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy , Switzerland , San Marino , Vatican City and western Istria (in Slovenia and Croatia ). It used to have official status in Albania , Malta and Monaco , where it is still widely spoken, as well as in former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa regions where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia . It has official minority status in Bosnia and Herzegovina , Croatia , Slovenia and Romania . Many speakers are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages . Italian is a major European language, being one of the official languages of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and one of the working languages of the Council of Europe . It is the third most widely spoken first language in the European Union with 65 million native speakers (13% of the EU population) and it is spoken as a second language by 14 million EU citizens (3%). Including Italian speakers in non-EU European countries (such as Switzerland and Albania) and on other continents, the total number of speakers is around 85 million.

Italian is the main working language of the Holy See , serving as the lingua franca (common language) in the Roman Catholic hierarchy as well as the official language of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta . Italian is known as the _language of music_ because of its use in musical terminology and opera . Its influence is also widespread in the arts and in the luxury goods market. Italian has been reported as the fourth or fifth most frequently taught foreign language in the world.

Italian was adopted by the state after the Unification of Italy , having previously been a literary language based on Tuscan as spoken mostly by the upper class of Florentine society. Its development was also influenced by other Italian languages and to some minor extent, by the Germanic languages of the post-Roman invaders . The incorporation into Italian of learned, or "bookish" words from its own ancestor language, Latin , is arguably another form of lexical borrowing through the influence of written language and the liturgical language of the Church. Throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern period, most literate Italian speakers were also literate in Latin; and thus they easily adopted Latin words into their writing—and eventually speech—in Italian. Its vowels are the second-closest to Latin after Sardinian . Unlike most other Romance languages, Italian retains Latin's contrast between short and long consonants . As in most Romance languages , stress is distinctive.


* 1 History

* 1.1 Origins * 1.2 Renaissance * 1.3 Modern era * 1.4 Contemporary times

* 2 Classification * 3 Technology

* 4 Geographic distribution

* 4.1 Europe * 4.2 Africa * 4.3 Immigrant communities * 4.4 Number of Speakers by Country * 4.5 Education * 4.6 Influence and derived languages * 4.7 Lingua franca

* 5 Dialects

* 6 Phonology

* 6.1 Assimilation

* 7 Writing system * 8 Grammar

* 9 Examples

* 9.1 Conversation * 9.2 Question Words * 9.3 Time * 9.4 Numbers * 9.5 Days of the week * 9.6 Months of the year * 9.7 Sample texts

* 10 See also * 11 Notes * 12 References * 13 Bibliography * 14 External links


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During the Middle Ages , the established written language in Europe was Latin. With the overwhelming majority of people illiterate however, only a tiny handful were well versed in the language. In Italy, as in all other countries, the majority would instead speak the vernacular (native tongue) of their region. These dialects (as they are commonly referred to as) were derived from Vulgar Latin over the course of centuries, evolving naturally unaffected by formal standards and teachings. However, it should be noted that these Languages of Italy are not truly "dialects" of Standard Italian, evolving independently (and alongside) of the predecessor of Standard Italian. They are often mutually unintelligible, and are better classified as distinct languages.

The standard Italian language has a poetic and literary origin in the writings of Tuscan writers of the 12th century, and, even though the grammar and core lexicon are basically unchanged from those used in Florence in the 13th century, the modern standard of the language was largely shaped by relatively recent events. However, Italian as a language spoken in Italy and some surrounding regions has a longer history. In fact, the earliest surviving texts that can definitely be called Italian (or more accurately, vernacular, as distinct from its predecessor Vulgar Latin ) are legal formulae known as the Placiti Cassinesi from the Province of Benevento that date from 960–963, although the Veronese Riddle contains a late form of Vulgar Latin that can be seen as a very early Italian dialect. What would come to be thought of as Italian was first formalized in the early 14th century through the works of Tuscan writer Dante Alighieri , written in his native Florentine . Dante's epic poems, known collectively as the _Commedia ,_ to which another Tuscan poet Giovanni Boccaccio later affixed the title _Divina_, were read throughout Italy and his written dialect became the "canonical standard" that all educated Italians could understand. Dante is still credited with standardizing the Italian language. In addition to the widespread exposure gained through literature, the Florentine language also gained prestige due to the political and cultural significance of Florence at the time and the fact that it was linguistically an intermediate between northern and southern dialects. Thus the dialect of Florence became the basis for what would become the official language of Italy.

Italian often was an official language of the various Italian states predating unification, slowly replacing Latin, even when ruled by foreign powers (such as the Spanish in the Kingdom of Naples , or the Austrians in the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia ), even though the masses spoke primarily vernacular languages and dialects. Italian was also one of the many recognised languages in the Austro-Hungarian Empire .

Italy has always had a distinctive dialect for each city because the cities, until recently, were thought of as city-states . Those dialects now have considerable variety . As Tuscan-derived Italian came to be used throughout Italy, features of local speech were naturally adopted, producing various versions of Regional Italian. The most characteristic differences, for instance, between Roman Italian and Milanese Italian are the gemination of initial consonants and the pronunciation of stressed "e", and of "s" in some cases: e.g. _va bene_ "all right": is pronounced by a Roman (and by any standard-speaker), by a Milanese (and by any speaker whose native dialect lies to the north of the La Spezia–Rimini Line ); _a casa_ "at home" is for Roman and standard, for Milanese and generally northern.

In contrast to the Gallo- Italic languages of northern Italy , the Italo-Dalmatian Neapolitan language and its dialects were largely unaffected by the Franco-Occitan influences introduced to Italy mainly by bards from France during the Middle Ages , but after the Norman conquest of southern Italy , Sicily became the first Italian land to adopt Occitan lyric moods (and words) in poetry. Even in the case of Northern Italian languages, however, scholars are careful not to overstate the effects of outsiders on the natural indigenous developments of the languages.

The economic might and relatively advanced development of Tuscany at the time (Late Middle Ages ) gave its language weight, though the Venetian language remained widespread in medieval Italian commercial life, and Ligurian (or Genoese) remained in use in maritime trade alongside the Mediterranean. The increasing political and cultural relevance of Florence during the periods of the rise of the _Banco Medici _, Humanism , and the Renaissance made its dialect, or rather a refined version of it, a standard in the arts.


The Renaissance era was known as the time of "rebirth." The long-exsisting beliefs from the Roman Catholic Church were being understood from new perspectives; humanists, individuals who placed emphasis on the human body and its full potential, began to shift focus from the church to themselves. Humanists were forming new beliefs in various forms: social, political, and intellectual. The ideals of the Renaissance were shown throughout the Protestant Reformation , which took place simultaneously to the Renaissance. The Protestant Reformation began with Martin Luther disagreeing with the selling of indulgences from Johann Tetzel and his eventual break-off from the Roman Catholic Church in the Diet of Worms . After Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church, he founded a sect of Catholicism , called Lutheranism . Luther believed in faith alone and scripture alone, so he decided to translate the Bible into many other languages which would allow for people from all over Europe to read the Bible. Previously, the Bible was only written in Latin , but after the Bible was translated, it could be understood in many other languages, including Italian. The Italian language was able to spread even more with the help of Luther and the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg . The printing press facilitated the spread of Italian because it was able to rapidly produce texts, such as the Bible, and cut the costs of books which allowed for more people to have access to the translated Bible and new pieces of literature. The Roman Catholic Church was losing its control over the population, as it was not open to change, and there was an increasing number of reformers with differing beliefs. _ Dante Alighieri (top_) and Petrarch (_bottom_) were influential in establishing their Tuscan dialect as the most prominent literary language in all of Italy in the Late Middle Ages .

Italian became the language used in the courts of every state in the peninsula . The rediscovery of Dante's _ De vulgari eloquentia _ and a renewed interest in linguistics in the 16th century, sparked a debate that raged throughout Italy concerning the criteria that should govern the establishment of a modern Italian literary and spoken language. Scholars divided into three factions:

* _ Pietro Bembo was an influential figure in the development of the Italian language from the Tuscan dialect, as a literary medium, codifying the language for standard modern usage. The purists , headed by Venetian Pietro Bembo (who, in his Gli Asolani _, claimed the language might be based only on the great literary classics, such as Petrarch and some part of Boccaccio). The purists thought the Divine Comedy was not dignified enough because it used elements from non-lyric registers of the language. * Niccolò Machiavelli and other Florentines preferred the version spoken by ordinary people in their own times. * The courtiers , like Baldassare Castiglione and Gian Giorgio Trissino , insisted that each local vernacular contribute to the new standard.

A fourth faction claimed the best Italian was the one that the papal court adopted, which was a mix of Florentine and the dialect of Rome. Eventually, Bembo's ideas prevailed, and the foundation of the Accademia della Crusca in Florence (1582–1583), the official legislative body of the Italian language led to publication of Agnolo Monosini 's Latin tome _Floris italicae linguae libri novem _ in 1604 followed by the first Italian dictionary in 1612.


An important event that helped the diffusion of Italian was the conquest and occupation of Italy by Napoleon in the early 19th century (who was himself of Italian-Corsican descent). This conquest propelled the unification of Italy some decades after and pushed the Italian language into a lingua franca used not only among clerks, nobility, and functionaries in the Italian courts, but also by the bourgeoisie .


Italian literature's first modern novel, _I Promessi Sposi_ (_The Betrothed_), by Alessandro Manzoni , further defined the standard by "rinsing" his Milanese "in the waters of the Arno " ( Florence 's river), as he states in the Preface to his 1840 edition.

After unification, a huge number of civil servants and soldiers recruited from all over the country introduced many more words and idioms from their home languages ("ciao " is derived from Venetian word "s-ciao" (_slave_), "panettone " comes from Lombard word "panetton" etc.). Only 2.5% of Italy's population could speak the Italian standardized language properly when the nation was unified in 1861.


Italian is a Romance language , and is therefore a descendant of Vulgar Latin (the spoken form of non-classical Latin). Standard Italian is based on Tuscan , especially its Florentine dialect , and is therefore an Italo- Dalmatian language , to which Sicilian and the extinct Dalmatian also belong, among a few others.

Unlike most other Romance languages, Italian retains Latin's contrast between short and long consonants . As in most Romance languages , stress is distinctive. In particular, among the Romance languages, Italian is the closest to Latin in terms of vocabulary . Lexical similarity is 89% with French , 88% with Catalan , 85% with Sardinian , 82% with Spanish and Portuguese , 78% with Rhaeto-Romance , and 77% with Romanian .

One study analyzing the degree of differentiation of Romance languages in comparison to Latin (comparing phonology , inflection , discourse , syntax , vocabulary , and intonation ) estimated that among the languages analyzed the distance between Italian and Latin is only higher than that between Sardinian and Latin.


Gutenberg Printing Press

The Italian language spread with the increasing advancements in technology. From the late 1400s, which marked the invention of the printing press , the Italian language was able to grow rapidly. During 1450 to 1500, Italian cities adopted the most number of printing presses in all of Europe, reaching a total of 56. The large number of printing presses indicate that Italy was able to produce more pieces of literature at a lower cost, and because the dominant language in Italy was Italian, the Italian language spread.

The continual advancements in technology plays a crucial role in the diffusion of languages. Due to the fact that the Internet is widely accessible to many people across the world, educational institutions have implemented the use of technology devices. Technology allows for globalization to occur; people are able to communicate with each other from all parts of the globe and spread their languages and ideas. Speakers of a variety of languages from all over the world use technological devices, such as computers and smartphones, are able to write to each other and share their cultures.

The use of technology also has a major impact on the teachings of languages. Educational institutions have incorporated technology to facilitate students' learning in foreign languages. Prior to the breakthrough of technology, teachers would primarily use chalkboards and students had to learn the vocabulary and grammar through old-fashioned textbooks. Now, the implementation of technological devices allows for teachers to create presentations and incorporate helpful videos to teach the information and students have access to a plethora of information and the ability to analyze their own speech when they are learning a new language. For example, students in the United States can become pen-pals with students who speak Italian, and they can communicate with each other via online through emails or Skype. In addition, students have the chance to communicate directly with their teacher at any time of the day if they need help with a specific topic. On the other hand, technology can have a negative influence in the learning environment. Instead of students using the Internet on technological devices as a learning tool, they can use the Internet to do things that are not strictly related to the task at hand. In addition, if the students and/or teacher do not know how to use the piece of technology, the time it takes to learn how to use the piece of technology could have been utilized in other areas pertaining to the actual study of the language.

In the 21st century, the Italian language is growing with the help of technology. There are many ways for one to learn how to speak, read, and write languages with the help of technology. For example, the free website and application Duolingo gives users the opportunity to learn a variety of languages from their technological devices. Currently, Duolingo has 22.3 million English speakers learning the Italian language. Technology allows for the continual spread of the Italian language, as people are able to learn new languages at their own pace and at any given time.

On the other hand, although technology allows for the Italian language to spread globally, there has been a decrease in the number of Italian speakers in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Italian speakers in 1980 was 1,614,344. In 1990, the number of Italian speakers in the United States dropped to 1,308,648. In 2000, the number of speakers decreased to 1,008,370, and finally, in 2010, the number of Italian speakers plummeted to 725,223. The percent change from 1980-2010 was a negative 55.2.


Use of the Italian language in Europe Use of the Italian language in Europe and former use in Africa


Italian is an official language of Italy and San Marino and is spoken fluently by the majority of the countries' populations. Italian is official, together with French, German and Romansch in Switzerland , with most of the 0.5 million speakers concentrated in the south of the country, in the cantons of Ticino and southern Graubünden (predominately in Italian Grigioni ). Italian is the third most spoken language in Switzerland (after German and French), and its use has modestly declined since the 1970s. Italian is also used in administration and official documents in Vatican City .

Italian is widely spoken in Malta , where nearly two-thirds of the population can speak it fluently. Italian served as Malta's official language until 1934, while it is also recognized as an official language in Istria County, Croatia , and Slovenian Istria , where there are significant and historic Italian populations.

It is used as the official language of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta , a Roman Catholic chivalric order which, while not a nation per se, is still recognized as a sovereign subject of international law.

In Albania , it is one of the most spoken languages. This is due to the strong historical ties between Italy and Albania but also the Albanian communities in Italy, and the 19,000 Italians living in Albania. It is reported as high as 70% of the Albanian adult population has some form of knowledge of Italian. Furthermore, the Albanian government has pushed to make Italian a compulsory second language in schools. Today, Italian is the third most spoken language in the country after Albanian and Greek .

Italian is also spoken by a minority in Monaco and France (especially in the southeast region of the country).


Due to heavy Italian influence during the Italian colonial period , Italian is still understood by some in former colonies. Although it was the primary language in Libya since colonial rule , Italian greatly declined under the rule of Muammar Gaddafi , who expelled the Italian Libyan population and made Arabic the sole official language of the country. Nevertheless, Italian continues to be used in economic sectors in Libya. In Eritrea, Italian is at times used in commerce and the capital city Asmara still has one Italian-language school. Italian was also introduced to Somalia through colonialism and was the sole official language of administration and education during the colonial period but fell out of use after government, educational and economic infrastructure were destroyed in the Somali Civil War . Italian is still understood by some elderly and other people. The official languages of the Somali Republic are Somali (Maay and Maxaatiri) and Arabic. The working languages during the Transitional Federal Government were Italian and English._ _


Although over 17 million Americans are of Italian descent , only a little over one million people in the United States speak Italian at home. Nevertheless, an Italian language media market does exist in the country.

In Canada , Italian is the second most spoken non-official language when varieties of Chinese are not grouped together, with over 660,000 speakers (or about 2.1% of the population) according to the 2006 Census.

In Australia , Italian is the second most spoken foreign language after Chinese, with 1.4% of the population speaking it as their home language.

Italian immigrants to South America have also brought a presence of the language to that continent. Italian is the second most spoken language in Argentina after the official language of Spanish, with over 1 million (mainly of the older generation) speaking it at home, and Italian has also influenced the dialect of Spanish spoken in Argentina and Uruguay , mostly in phonology, as well as the Portuguese prosody of the Brazilian state of São Paulo which itself has 15 million Italian descendants. This form of Spanish is known as Rioplatense Spanish . Italian bilingual speakers can be found in the Southeast of Brazil as well as in the South. In Venezuela , Italian is the second most spoken language after Spanish, with around 200,000 speakers. Smaller Italian-speaking minorities on the continent are also found in Paraguay and Ecuador .

In Costa Rica , Central America , Italian is one of the most important immigration communities languages, after English . It is spoken in the southern area of the country in cities like San Vito and other communities of Coto Brus, near the south borderline with Panama .



Italy 57,700,000

Romania 1,502,950

France 829,000

Switzerland 666,000

Croatia 618,600

Australia 300,000

Brazil 50,000

San Marino 25,000

Somalia 4,000

Monaco 5,600

Slovenia 3,760

Vatican City 330


Knowledge of Italian according to EU statistics

Italian is widely taught in many schools around the world, but rarely as the first foreign language. Italian is the fourth most frequently taught foreign language in the world.

According to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs , every year there are more than 200,000 foreign students who study the Italian language; they are distributed among the 90 Institutes of Italian Culture that are located around the world, or in the 179 Italian schools located abroad, or in the 111 Italian lecturer sections belonging to foreign schools where Italian is taught as a language of culture.

In the United States, Italian is the fourth most taught foreign language after Spanish, French, and German, in that order (or the fifth if American Sign Language is considered). In central-east Europe Italian is first in Montenegro, second in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, and Ukraine after English, and third in Hungary, Romania and Russia after English and German. But throughout the world, Italian is the fifth most taught foreign language, after English, French, German, and Spanish.

In the European Union statistics, Italian is spoken as a native language by 13% of the EU population, or 65 million people, mainly in Italy. In the EU, it is spoken as a second language by 3% of the EU population, or 14 million people. Among EU states, the percentage of people able to speak Italian well enough to have a conversation is 66% in Malta , 15% in Slovenia , 14% in Croatia , 8% in Austria , 5% in France and Luxembourg , and 4% in the former West Germany , Greece , Cyprus , and Romania . Italian is also one of the national languages of Switzerland, which is not a part of the European Union. The Italian language is well-known and studied in Albania , another non-EU member, due to its historical ties and geographical proximity to Italy and to the diffusion of Italian television in the country.


See also: Italian diaspora

From the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, thousands of Italians settled in Argentina, Uruguay, southern Brazil, and Venezuela, where they formed a physical and cultural presence.

In some cases, colonies were established where variants of regional languages of Italy were used, and some continue to use this regional language. Examples are Rio Grande do Sul , Brazil , where Talian is used, and the town of Chipilo near Puebla, Mexico ; each continues to use a derived form of Venetian dating back to the nineteenth century. Another example is Cocoliche , an Italian–Spanish pidgin once spoken in Argentina and especially in Buenos Aires , and Lunfardo .

Rioplatense Spanish , and particularly the speech of the city of Buenos Aires, has intonation patterns that resemble those of Italian languagesa because Argentina has had a continuous large influx of Italian settlers since the second half of the nineteenth century: initially primarily from northern Italy; then, since the beginning of the twentieth century, mostly from southern Italy.


See also: Mediterranean Lingua Franca

Starting in late medieval times in much of Europe and the Mediterranean, Latin was replaced as the primary commercial language by Italian language variants (especially Tuscan and Venetian). These variants were consolidated during the Renaissance with the strength of Italy and the rise of humanism and the arts .

During that period, Italy held artistic sway over the rest of Europe. It was the norm for all educated gentlemen to make the Grand Tour , visiting Italy to see its great historical monuments and works of art. It thus became expected to learn at least some Italian. In England, while the classical languages Latin and Greek were the first to be learned, Italian became the second most common modern language after French, a position it held until the late eighteenth century, when it tended to be replaced by German. John Milton , for instance, wrote some of his early poetry in Italian.

Within the Catholic church , Italian is known by a large part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and is used in substitution for Latin in some official documents.

Italian loanwords continue to be used in most languages in matters of art and music (especially opera ), in the design and fashion industries, in some sports like football and especially, in culinary terms.


Main article: Regional Italian See also: Languages of Italy Geographical distribution of major Italian dialects

Throughout Italy, regional variations of Standard Italian, called Regional Italian , are spoken. In Italy, almost all Romance languages spoken as the vernacular —other than standard Italian and distantly-related, non- Romance languages spoken in border regions or among immigrant communities—are often imprecisely called "Italian dialects ", even though they are quite different, with some belonging to different branches of the Romance language family . The only exceptions to this are Sardinian , Ladin and Friulian , which are officially recognized as distinct regional languages by the law. On the other hand, Corsican (a language spoken in France on the island of Corsica ) is closely related to Tuscan , from which Standard Italian derives and evolved.

The differences in the evolution of Latin in the different regions of Italy can be attributed to the presence of three other types of languages: substratums, superstratums, and adstratums . The most prevalent were substratums (the language of the original inhabitants), as the Italian dialects were most likely simply Latin as spoken by native cultural groups. Superstratums and adstratums were both less important. Foreign conquerors of Italy that dominated different regions at different times left behind little to no influence on the dialects. Foregin cultures with which Italy engaged in peaceful relations with, such as trade, had no significant influence either.

Regional differences can be recognized by various factors: the openness of vowels, the length of the consonants, and influence of the local language (for example, in informal situations the contraction _annà_ replaces _andare_ in the area of Rome for the infinitive "to go"; and _nare_ is what Venetians say for the infinitive "to go").

It is hard to say when exactly the Italian dialects came into existence as a language distinct from Vulgar Latin, from which it was derived. Although there is much debate regarding this topic, it is generally agreed upon that an Italian dialect (the vernacular) came into existence when its speakers realized that it and Latin were two entirely different languages, rather than simply different dialects of the same language (one spoken and one written). For the Italian Romance languages, evidence of their existence exists in texts from the ninth and tenth century, which can be found with vernacular characteristics and mentions of the use of the vernacular in Italy. Literary manifestations of the vernacular would surface around the 13th century in the form of various religious texts and poetry.

Throughout the 19th and 20th century, the use of Standard Italian became increasingly widespread, and was mirrored by a decline in the use of the dialects. An increase in literacy was one of the main driving factor behind this (one can assume that only literates were capable of learning Standard Italian, whereas those who were illiterate were only capable of using their native dialect). The percentage of literates rose from 25% in 1861 to 60% in 1911, and then on to 78.1% in 1951. Tullio De Mauro , an Italian linguist, has asserted that in 1861 only 2.5% of the population of Italy could speak Standard Italian. He reports that in 1951 the percentage of the population that could speak Standard Italian had rose to 87%. It should be noted that the capability to speak Italian did not necessarily equate to its everyday usage, and most people (63.5%) still usually used their native dialects. In addition, other factors such as mass emigration, industrialization and urbanization, and internal migrations after World War II contributed to the proliferation of Standard Italian. The Italians who emigrated during the Italian Disaspora beginning in 1861 were often of the uneducated lower class, and thus the emigration had the effect of increasing the percentage of literates, who often knew and understood the importance of Standard Italian, back home in Italy. A large percentage of those who had emigrated also eventually returned to Italy, and often more educated than when they had left.

The Italian dialects have declined approaching the modern era, as Italy unified under Standard Italian and continues to do so aided by mass media, from newspapers to radios to television. However, it is still estimated that around half of the population of Italy does not learn Standard Italian as a first language, and only come into contact with it during schooling.


Main article: Italian phonology

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS IPA PHONETIC SYMBOLS. Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA .

Consonant phonemes

BILABIAL Labio- dental Dental / Alveolar Post- alveolar PALATAL VELAR





STOP p b

t d

k ɡ


t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ


f v s z ʃː










* Between two vowels, or between a vowel and an approximant or liquid (/l r/ or /w j/), consonants can be either single or geminated . Geminated consonants shorten the preceding vowel (or block phonetic lengthening) and the first geminated element is unreleased . For example, /fato/ ~ /fatto/ (first one means "fate, destiny" and the second means "fact", see "fato" and "fatto"). However, /ɲ/, /ʃ/, /ʎ/, are always geminated word-internally. Similarly, nasals, liquids, and sibilants are pronounced slightly longer before medial consonant clusters. * /z/ is the only consonant that cannot be geminated. * /t d t͡s d͡z s z/ are denti-alveolar, while /l n/ are alveolar.

* The trill /r/ is sometimes reduced to a single vibration when not geminated, but it is not a flap *. * Nasals assimilate to the point of articulation of whatever consonant they precede. For example, /nɡ/ is realized as . * The distinction between /s/ and /z/ is neutralized before consonants and at the beginning of words: the former is used before voiceless consonants and before vowels at the beginning of words; the latter is used before voiced consonants (meaning is an allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants). The two are only contrasted between two vowels within a word. According to Canepari, though, the _traditional_ standard has been replaced by a modern _neutral pronunciation_ which always prefers /z/ when intervocalic, except when the intervocalic _s_ is the initial sound of a word or a morpheme, if the compound is still felt as such: for example, _presento_ /preˈsɛnto/ ('I foresee', with _pre_ meaning 'before' and _sento_ meaning 'I see') vs. _presento_ /preˈzɛnto/ ('I present'). There are many words in which dictionaries now indicate that both pronunciations with /z/ and with /s/ are acceptable. The two phonemes have merged in many regional varieties of Italian, either into /z/ (Northern-Central) or /s/ (Southern-Central). Geminate /ss/ can be pronounced as single .

Italian has a seven-vowel system, consisting of /a, ɛ, e, i, ɔ, o, u/, as well as 23 consonants. Compared with most other Romance languages, Italian phonology is conservative, preserving many words nearly unchanged from Vulgar Latin . Some examples:

* Italian _quattordici_ "fourteen" < Latin quattuordecim (cf. Romanian _paisprezece/paișpe_, Spanish _catorce_, French _quatorze_ /kaˈtɔʁz/, Catalan and Portuguese _catorze_) * Italian _settimana_ "week" < Latin septimāna (cf. Romanian _săptămână_, Spanish and Portuguese _semana_, French _semaine_ /s(ǝ)ˈmɛn/, Catalan _setmana_) * Italian _medesimo_ "same" < Vulgar Latin *medi(p)simum (cf. Spanish _mismo_, Portuguese _mesmo_, French _même_ /mɛm/, Catalan _mateix_; note that Italian usually uses the shorter _stesso_) * Italian _guadagnare_ "to win, earn, gain" < Vulgar Latin *guadanyāre < Germanic /waidanjan/ (cf. Spanish _ganar_, Portuguese _ganhar_, French _gagner_ /ɡaˈɲe/, Catalan _guanyar_)

The conservativeness of Italian phonology is partly explained by its origin. Italian stems from a literary language that is derived from the 13th-century speech of the city of Florence in the region of Tuscany , and has changed little in the last 700 years or so. Furthermore, the Tuscan dialect is the most conservative of all Italian dialects , radically different from the Gallo-Italian languages less than 100 miles to the north (across the La Spezia–Rimini Line ).

The following are some of the conservative phonological features of Italian, as compared with the common Western Romance languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese , Galician , Catalan ). Some of these features are also present in Romanian .

* Little or no lenition of consonants between vowels, e.g. vīta > _vita_ "life" (cf. Romanian _viață_, Spanish _vida_ , French _vie_), pedem > _piede_ "foot" (cf. Spanish _pie_, French _pied_ /pje/). * Preservation of doubled consonants, e.g. annum > _anno_ "year" (cf. Spanish _año_ /aɲo/, French _an_ /ɑ̃/, Portuguese _ano_ /ˈã.nu/). * Preservation of all Proto-Romance final vowels, e.g. pacem > _pace_ "peace" (cf. Romania _pace_, Spanish _paz_, French _paix_ /pɛ/), octō > _otto_ "eight" (cf. Romanian _opt_ Spanish _ocho_, French _huit_ /ɥi(t)/), fēcī > _feci_ "I did" (cf. Spanish _hice_, French _fis_ /fi/). * Preservation of most intertonic vowels (those between the stressed syllable and either the beginning or ending syllable). This accounts for some of the most noticeable differences, as in the forms _quattordici_ and _settimana_ given above. * Slower consonant development, e.g. folia > Italo-Western /fɔʎʎa/ > _foglia_ /ˈfɔʎʎa/ "leaf" (cf. Romanian _foaie_ /ˈfo̯aje/, Spanish _hoja_ /ˈoxa/, French _feuille_ /ˈfœj/; but note Portuguese _folha_ /ˈfoʎɐ/).

Compared with most other Romance languages, Italian has a large number of inconsistent outcomes, where the same underlying sound produces different results in different words, e.g. laxāre > _lasciare_ and _lassare_, captiāre > _cacciare_ and _cazzare_, (ex)dēroteolāre > _sdrucciolare_, _druzzolare_ and _ruzzolare_, rēgīna > _regina_ and _reina_, -c- > /k/ and /ɡ/, -t- > /t/ and /d/. Although in all these examples the second form has fallen out of usage, the dimorphism is thought to reflect the several-hundred-year period during which Italian developed as a literary language divorced from any native-speaking population, with an origin in 12th/13th-century Tuscan but with many words borrowed from languages farther to the north, with different sound outcomes. (The La Spezia–Rimini Line , the most important isogloss in the entire Romance-language area, passes only about 20 miles to the north of Florence.)

Some other features that distinguish Italian from the Western Romance languages:

* Latin ce-,ci- becomes /tʃe, tʃi/ rather than /(t)se, (t)si/. * Latin -ct- becomes /tt/ rather than /jt/ or /tʃ/: octō > _otto_ "eight" (cf. Spanish _ocho_, French _huit,_ Portuguese _oito_). * Vulgar Latin -cl- becomes _cchi_ /kkj/ rather than /ʎ/: oclum > _occhio_ "eye" (cf. Portuguese _olho_ /oʎu/, French _oeil_ /œj/ < /œʎ/); but Romanian _ochi_ /okʲ/. * Final /s/ is not preserved, and vowel changes rather than /s/ are used to mark the plural: _amico, amici_ "male friend(s)", _amica, amiche_ "female friend(s)" (cf. Romanian _amic, amici_,_amică, amice_, Spanish _amigo(s)_ "male friend(s)", _amiga(s)_ "female friends"); trēs, sex → _tre, sei_ "three, six" (cf. Romanian _trei, șase_, Spanish _tres, seis_).

Standard Italian also differs in some respects from most nearby Italian languages:

* Perhaps most noticeable is the total lack of metaphony , though metaphony is a feature characterizing nearly every other Italian language . * No simplification of original /nd/, /mb/ (which often became /nn/, /mm/ elsewhere).


Italian phonotactics do not usually permit verbs and polysyllabic nouns to end with consonants, excepting poetry and song, so foreign words may receive extra terminal vowel sounds .


Main article: Italian alphabet

The Italian alphabet is typically considered to consist of 21 letters. The letters j, k, w, x, y are traditionally excluded, though they appear in loanwords such as _jeans_, _whisky_, _taxi_, _xenofobo_, _xilofono_. The letter ⟨x⟩ has become common in standard Italian with the prefix _extra-_, although _(e)stra-_ is traditionally used; it is also common to use of the Latin particle _ex(-)_ to mean "former(ly)" as in: _la mia ex_ ("my ex-girlfriend"), "Ex-Jugoslavia" ("Former Yugoslavia"). The letter ⟨j⟩ appears in the first name _Jacopo_ and in some Italian place-names, such as Bajardo , Bojano , Joppolo , Jerzu , Jesolo , Jesi , Ajaccio , among others, and in _Mar Jonio_, an alternative spelling of _Mar Ionio_ (the Ionian Sea ). The letter ⟨j⟩ may appear in dialectal words, but its use is discouraged in contemporary standard Italian. Letters used in Foreign words can be replaced with phonetically equivalent native Italian letters and digraphs : ⟨gi⟩, ⟨ge⟩, or ⟨i⟩ for ⟨j⟩; ⟨c⟩ or ⟨ch⟩ for ⟨k⟩ (including in the standard prefix _kilo-_); ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩ or ⟨v⟩ for ⟨w⟩; ⟨s⟩, ⟨ss⟩, ⟨z⟩, ⟨zz⟩ or ⟨cs⟩ for ⟨x⟩; and ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩ for ⟨y⟩.

* The acute accent is used over word-final ⟨e⟩ to indicate a stressed front close-mid vowel , as in _perché_ "why, because". In dictionaries, it is also used over ⟨o⟩ to indicate a stressed back close-mid vowel (_azióne_). The grave accent is used over word-final ⟨e⟩ to indicate a front open-mid vowel , as in _tè_ "tea". The grave accent is used over any vowel to indicate word-final stress, as in _gioventù_ "youth". Unlike ⟨é⟩, a stressed final ⟨o⟩ is always a back open-mid vowel (_andrò_), making ⟨ó⟩ unnecessary outside of dictionaries. Most of the time, the penultimate syllable is stressed. But if the stressed vowel is the final letter of the word, the accent is mandatory, otherwise it is virtually always omitted. Exceptions are typically either in dictionaries, where all or most stressed vowels are commonly marked. Accents can optionally be used disambiguate words that differ only by stress, as for _prìncipi_ "princes" and _princìpi_ "principles", or _àncora_ "anchor" and _ancóra_ "still_/_yet". For monosyllabic words, the rule is different: when two identical monosyllabic words with different meanings exist, one is accented and the other is not (example: _è_ "is", _e_ "and"). * The letter ⟨h⟩ distinguishes _ho_, _hai_, _ha_, _hanno_ (present indicative of _avere_ "to have") from _o_ ("or"), _ai_ ("to the"), _a_ ("to"), _anno_ ("year"). In the spoken language, the letter is always silent. The ⟨h⟩ in _ho_ additionally marks the contrasting open pronunciation of the ⟨o⟩. The letter ⟨h⟩ is also used in combinations with other letters. No phoneme exists in Italian. In nativized foreign words, the ⟨h⟩ is silent. For example, _hotel_ and _hovercraft_ are pronounced /oˈtɛl/ and /ˈɔverkraft/ respectively. (Where ⟨h⟩ existed in Latin, it either disappeared or, in a few cases before a back vowel, changed to : _traggo_ "I pull" ← Lat. trahō.) * The letters ⟨s⟩ and ⟨z⟩ can symbolize voiced or voiceless consonants. ⟨z⟩ symbolizes /dz/ or /ts/ depending on context, with few minimal pairs. For example: _zanzara_ /dzanˈdzaːra/ "mosquito" and _nazione_ /natˈtsjoːne/ "nation". ⟨s⟩ symbolizes /s/ word-initially before a vowel, when clustered with a voiceless consonant (⟨p, f, c, ch⟩), and when doubled; it symbolizes /z/ when between vowels and when clustered with voiced consonants. Intervocalic ⟨s⟩ varies regionally between /s/ and /z/, with /z/ being more dominant in northern Italy and /s/ in the south. * The letters ⟨c⟩ and ⟨g⟩ vary in pronunciation between plosives and affricates depending on following vowels. The letter ⟨c⟩ symbolizes /k/ when word-final and before the back vowels ⟨a, o, u⟩. It symbolizes /tʃ / as in _chair_ before the front vowels ⟨e, i⟩. The letter ⟨g⟩ symbolizes /ɡ/ when word-final and before the back vowels ⟨a, o, u⟩. It symbolizes /dʒ / as in _gem_ before the front vowels ⟨e, i⟩. Other Romance languages and, to an extent, English have similar variations for ⟨c, g⟩. Compare hard and soft C , hard and soft G . (See also palatalization .) * The digraphs ⟨ch⟩ and ⟨gh⟩ indicate or preserve hardness (/k/ and /ɡ/) before ⟨i, e⟩. The digraphs ⟨ci⟩ and ⟨gi⟩ indicate or preserve softness (/tʃ/ and /dʒ/) before ⟨a, o, u⟩. For example:


PLOSIVE C caramella /karaˈmɛlla/ _candy _ CH china /ˈkiːna/ _ India ink _

G gallo /ˈɡallo/ _rooster _ GH ghiro /ˈɡiːro/ _edible dormouse _

AFFRICATE CI ciambella /tʃambɛlla/ _donut _ C Cina /ˈtʃiːna/ _China_

GI giallo /ˈdʒallo/ _yellow _ G giro /ˈdʒiːro/ _round, tour_

Note: ⟨h⟩ is silent in the digraphs _⟨ch⟩ _, _⟨gh⟩ _; and ⟨i⟩ is silent in the digraphs ⟨ci⟩ and ⟨gi⟩ before ⟨a, o, u⟩ unless the ⟨i⟩ is stressed. For example, it is silent in _ciao _ /ˈtʃaː.o/ and cielo /ˈtʃɛː.lo/, but it is pronounced in _farmacia_ /ˌfar.maˈtʃiː.a/ and _farmacie_ /ˌfar.maˈtʃiː.e/.

Italian has geminate, or double, consonants, which are distinguished by length and intensity. Length is distinctive for all consonants except for /ʃ/, /dz/, /ʎ/, /ɲ/, which are always geminate, and /z/, which is always single. Geminate plosives and affricates are realized as lengthened closures. Geminate fricatives, nasals, and /l/ are realized as lengthened continuants . There is only one vibrant phoneme /r/ but the actual pronunciation depends on context and regional accent. Generally one can find a flap consonant in unstressed position whereas is more common in stressed syllables, but there may be exceptions. Especially people from the Northern part of Italy ( Parma , Aosta Valley , South Tyrol ) may pronounce /r/ as , , or .

Of special interest to the linguistic study of Italian is the _gorgia toscana _, or "Tuscan Throat", the weakening or lenition of certain intervocalic consonants in the Tuscan language .

The voiced postalveolar fricative /ʒ/ is only present in loanwords: for example, _garage_ .


Main article: Italian grammar See also: Italian verbs

Italian grammar is typical of the grammar of Romance languages in general. Cases exist for personal pronouns (nominative , oblique , accusative , dative ), but not for nouns.

There are two genders (masculine and feminine). Masculine nouns end in -o, which changes to -i in the plural, and feminine nouns ends in -a, which changes to -e in the plural. With few exceptions, masculine nouns refer to male people or animals, and feminine nouns refer to female people or animals. A last class of nouns end in -e in the singular and -i in the plural, and are arbitrarily assigned masculine or feminine. These nouns often denote inanimate objects. This is fixed by the grammar of Italian, and a dictionary would need to be consulted to figure out the gender. There is a number of nouns that change their gender from the singular to plural, having a masculine singular and a feminine plural, and thus are sometimes considered neuter (those are derived from neuter Latin nouns). An instance of neuter gender also exists in pronouns of the third person singular.

Examples :


Son Masculine Figlio Figli

House Feminine Casa Case

Love Masculine Amore Amori

Art Feminine Arte Art

Nouns, adjectives, and articles inflect for gender and number (singular and plural).

Like in English, common nouns are capitalized when occurring at the beginning of a sentence. Unlike English, nouns referring to languages (e.g. Italian), speakers of languages, or inhabitants of an area (e.g. Italians).

There are three types of adjectives : descriptive, invariable and form-changing. Descriptive adjectives are the most common, and their endings change to match the number and gender of the noun they modify. Invariable adjectives are adjectives whose endings do not change. The form changing adjectives "buono (good), bello (beautiful), grande (big), and santo (saint)" change in form when placed before different types of nouns. Italian has three degrees for comparison of adjectives: positive, comparative, and superlative.

The order of words in the phrase is relatively free compared to most European languages. The position of the verb in the phrase is highly mobile. Word order often has a lesser grammatical function in Italian than in English . Adjectives are sometimes placed before their noun and sometimes after. Subject nouns generally come before the verb. Italian is a null-subject language , so that nominative pronouns are usually absent, with subject indicated by verbal inflections (e.g. _amo_ 'I love', _ama_ 's/he loves', _amano_ 'they love'). Noun objects normally come after the verb, as do pronoun objects after imperative verbs, infinitives and gerunds, but otherwise pronoun objects come before the verb.

There are both indefinite and definite articles in Italian. There are four indefinite articles, which vary based on the gender and first letter of the noun they modify. _Uno_ is used before a masculine singular noun beginning with _z_, _s+consonant_, _gn_, or _ps._ _Un_ is used before masculine singular nouns beginning with any other letters. _Una_ is used before a feminine singular noun beginning with any consonant. _Un'_ is used before a feminine singular noun beginning with any vowel. There are seven definite articles, both singular and plural. In the singular: _lo_, which corresponds to the uses of _uno_; _il_, which corresponds to the uses of _un, la,_ which corresponds to the uses of _una_; _l',_ used before both masculine and feminine nouns and corresponds to _un'_ in the feminine and _un_ in the masculine. In the plural: _gli_, the plural of _lo and l'_; _i_, the plural of _il_; and _le_, the plural of _la_ and _l_'. If an adjective also precedes the noun, the article used corresponds with the adjective.

There are numerous contractions of prepositions with subsequent articles . There are numerous productive suffixes for diminutive , augmentative , pejorative, attenuating etc., which are also used to create neologisms .

There are 27 pronouns, grouped in clitic and tonic pronouns. Personal pronouns are separated into three groups: subject, object (which take the place of both direct and indirect objects), and reflexive. Second person subject pronouns have both a polite and a familiar form. These two different types of address are very important in Italian social distinctions. All object pronouns have two forms: stressed and unstressed. Unstressed object pronouns are much more frequently used, and come before the verb. Stressed object pronouns come after the verb, and are used when emphasis is required or to avoid ambiguity. Aside from personal pronouns, Italian also has demonstrative, interrogative, possessive, and relative pronouns. There are two types of demonstrative pronouns: relatively near (this) and relatively far (that). Demonstratives in Italian are repeated before each noun, unlike in English.

There are three regular sets of verbal conjugations , and various verbs are irregularly conjugated. Within each of these sets of conjugations, there are four simple (one-word) verbal conjugations by person/number in the indicative mood (present tense ; past tense with imperfective aspect , past tense with perfective aspect , and future tense ), two simple conjugations in the subjunctive mood (present tense and past tense), one simple conjugation in the conditional mood , and one simple conjugation in the imperative mood . Corresponding to each of the simple conjugations, there is a compound conjugation involving a simple conjugation of "to be" or "to have" followed by a past participle . "To have" is used to form compound conjugation when the verb is transitive ("Ha detto", "ha fatto": he/she has said, he/she has made/done), while "to be" is used in the case of verbs of motion and some other intransitive verbs ("È andato", "è stato": he/she has gone, he/she has been). "To be" may be used with transitive verbs, but in such a case it makes the verb passive ("Ê detto", "è fatto": it is said, it is made/done). This rule is not absolute, and some exceptions do exist.




Yes _Sì_ (listen ) /ˈsi/

No _No_ (listen ) /ˈnɔ/

Of course! _Certo! / Certamente! / Naturalmente!_ /ˈtʃɛrto/ /ˌtʃɛrtaˈmente/ /naturalˈmente/

Hello! _ Ciao !_ (informal) / _Salve!_ (formal); /ˈtʃaːo/

Cheers! _Salute!_ /saˈluːte/

How are you? _Come stai?_ (informal) _/ Come sta?_ (formal) _/ Come state?_ (plural) _/ Come va?_ (general, informal) /ˌkomeˈstai/; /ˌkomeˈsta/ /ˌkome ˈstaːte/ /ˌkome vˈva/

Good morning! _Buongiorno!_ (= Good day!) /ˌbwɔnˈdʒorno/

Good evening! _Buonasera!_ /ˌbwɔnaˈseːra/

Good night! _Buonanotte!_ (for a good night sleeping) / _Buona serata!_ (for a good night awake) /ˌbwɔnaˈnɔtte/ /ˌbwɔna seˈraːta/

Have a nice day! _Buona giornata!_ (formal) /ˌbwɔna dʒorˈnaːta/

Enjoy the meal! _Buon appetito!_ /ˌbwɔn‿appeˈtiːto/

Goodbye! _Arrivederci_ (general) / _ArrivederLa_ (formal) / _Ciao!_ (informal) (listen ) /arriveˈdertʃi/

Good luck! _Buona fortuna!_ (general) /ˌbwɔna forˈtuːna/

I love you _Ti amo_ (between lovers only) / _Ti voglio bene_ (in the sense of "I am fond of you"_, between lovers, friends, relatives etc.)_ /ti ˌvɔʎʎo ˈbɛːne/; /ti ˈaːmo/

Welcome _Benvenuto/-i_ (for male/males or mixed) _/ Benvenuta/-e_ (for female/females) /beɱveˈnuːto/

Please _Per favore / Per piacere / Per cortesia_ (listen ) /per faˈvoːre/ /per pjaˈtʃeːre/ /per korteˈziːa/

Thank you! _Grazie!_ (general) _/ Ti ringrazio!_ (informal) / _La ringrazio!_ (formal) / _Vi ringrazio!_ (plural) (listen ) /ˈɡrattsje/ /ti riŋˈɡrattsjo/

You are welcome! _Prego!_ /ˈprɛːɡo/

Excuse me / I am sorry _Mi dispiace_ (only "I am sorry") _/ Scusa(mi)_ (informal) _/ Mi scusi_ (formal) _/ Scusatemi_ (plural) _/ Sono desolato_ ("I am sorry", if male) _/ Sono desolata_ ("I am sorry", if female) (listen ) /ˈskuːzi/; /ˈskuːza/; /mi disˈpjaːtʃe/

Who? _Chi?_ /ki/

What? _Che cosa? / Cosa? / Che?_ /kekˈkɔːsa/ /ˈkɔːsa/ /ˈke/

When? _Quando?_ /ˈkwando/

Where? _Dove?_ /ˈdoːve/

How? _Come?_ /ˈkoːme/

Why / Because _perché_ /perˈke/

Again _di nuovo_ / _ancora_ /di ˈnwɔːvo/; /aŋˈkoːra/

How much? / How many? _Quanto? / Quanta? / Quanti? / Quante?_ /ˈkwanto/

What is your name? _Come ti chiami?_ (informal) / _Qual è il suo nome?_ (formal) / _Come si chiama?_ (formal) /ˌkomettiˈkjaːmi/ /kwal ˈɛ il ˌsu.o ˈnoːme/

My name is ... _Mi chiamo ..._ /mi ˈkjaːmo/

This is ... _Questo è ..._ (masculine) / _Questa è ..._ (feminine) /ˌkwesto ˈɛ/ /ˌkwesta ˈɛ/

Yes, I understand. _Sì, capisco. / Ho capito._ /si kaˈpisko/ /ɔkkaˈpiːto/

I do not understand. _Non capisco. / Non ho capito._ (listen ) /noŋ kaˈpisko/ /nonˌɔkkaˈpiːto/

Do you speak English? _Parli inglese?_ (informal) _/ Parla inglese?_ (formal) _/ Parlate inglese?_ (plural) (listen ) /parˌlate iŋˈɡleːse/ (listen ) /ˌparla iŋˈɡleːse/

I do not understand Italian. _Non capisco l'italiano._ /noŋ kaˌpisko litaˈljaːno/

Help me! _Aiutami!_ (informal) _/ Mi aiuti!_ (formal) _/ Aiutatemi!_ (plural) _/ Aiuto!_ (general) /aˈjuːtami/ /ajuˈtaːtemi/ /aˈjuːto/

You are right/wrong! _(Tu) hai ragione/torto!_ (informal) _/ (Lei) ha ragione/torto!_ (formal) _/ (Voi) avete ragione/torto!_ (plural)

What time is it? _Che ora è? / Che ore sono?_ /ke ˌora ˈɛ/ /ke ˌore ˈsono/

Where is the bathroom? _Dov'è il bagno?_ (listen ) /doˌvɛ il ˈbaɲɲo/

How much is it? _Quanto costa?_ /ˌkwanto ˈkɔsta/

The bill, please. _Il conto, per favore._ /il ˌkonto per faˈvoːre/

The study of Italian sharpens the mind. _Lo studio dell'italiano aguzza l'ingegno._ /loˈstuːdjo dellitaˈljaːno aˈɡuttsa linˈdʒeɲɲo/



what (adj.) che ke

what (standalone) cosa ˈkɔsa

who chi ki

how come ˈkome

where dove ˈdove

why, because perché perˈke

which quale ˈkwale

when quando ˈkwando

how much quanto ˈkwanto



today oggi ˈɔddʒi

yesterday ieri ˈjɛri

tomorrow domani doˈmani

second secondo (-a) /seˈkondo/

minute minuto (miˈnuto

hour ora ˈora

day giorno ˈdʒorno

week settimana settiˈmana

month mese ˈmese

year anno ˈanno



one _uno_ /ˈuːno/

two _due_ /ˈduːe/

three _tre_ /ˈtre/

four _quattro_ /ˈkwattro/

five _cinque_ /ˈtʃiŋkwe/

six _sei_ /ˈsɛi/

seven _sette_ /ˈsɛtte/

eight _otto_ /ˈɔtto/

nine _nove_ /ˈnɔve/

ten _dieci_ /ˈdjɛːtʃi/


eleven _undici_ /ˈunditʃi/

twelve _dodici_ /ˈdoːditʃi/

thirteen _tredici_ /ˈtreːditʃi/

fourteen _quattordici_ /kwatˈtorditʃi/

fifteen _quindici_ /ˈkwinditʃi/

sixteen _sedici_ /ˈseːditʃi/

seventeen _diciassette_ /ditʃasˈsɛtte/

eighteen _diciotto_ /diˈtʃɔtto/

nineteen _diciannove_ /ditʃanˈnɔːve/

twenty _venti_ /ˈventi/


twenty-one _ventuno_ /venˈtuːno/

twenty-two _ventidue_ /ˌventiˈduːe/

twenty-three _ventitré_ /ˌventiˈtre/

twenty-four _ventiquattro_ /ˌventiˈkwattro/

twenty-five _venticinque_ /ˌventiˈtʃiŋkwe/

twenty-six _ventisei_ /ˌventiˈsɛi/

twenty-seven _ventisette_ /ˌventiˈsɛtte/

twenty-eight _ventotto_ /venˈtɔtto/

twenty-nine _ventinove_ /ˌventiˈnɔːve/

thirty _trenta_ /ˈtrenta/


one hundred cento /ˈtʃɛnto/

one thousand mille /ˈmille/

two thousand duemila /ˌdueˈmiːla/

two thousand and seventeen (2017) duemiladiciassette /dueˌmilaˈditʃasˈsɛtte/

one million milione /miˈljone/

one billion miliardo /miˈljardo/



Monday _lunedì_ /luneˈdi/

Tuesday _martedì_ /marteˈdi/

Wednesday _mercoledì_ /ˌmɛrkoleˈdi/

Thursday _giovedì_ /dʒoveˈdi/

Friday _venerdì_ /venerˈdi/

Saturday _sabato_ /ˈsaːbato/

Sunday _domenica_ /doˈmeːnika/



January _gennaio_ /dʒenˈnaːjo/

February _febbraio_ /febˈbraːjo/

March _marzo_ /ˈmartso/

April _aprile_ /aˈpriːle/

May _maggio_ /ˈmaddʒo/

June _giugno_ /ˈdʒuɲɲo/

July _luglio_ /ˈluʎʎo/

August _agosto_ /aˈɡosto/

September _settembre_ /setˈtɛmbre/

October _ottobre_ /otˈtoːbre/

November _novembre_ /noˈvɛmbre/

December _dicembre_ /diˈtʃɛmbre/


There is a recording of Dante 's Divine Comedy read by Lino Pertile available online.


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* ^ It is debated, that the Sicilian language is the oldest and _direct_ descendant of Vulgar Latin.


* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "Eurobarometer – Europeans and their languages" (PDF). (485 KB), February 2006 * ^ Italian at _ Ethnologue _ (18th ed., 2015) * ^ _A_ _B_ "Italian — University of Leicester". .le.ac.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "Centro documentazione per l\'integrazione". Cdila.it. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "Centro documentazione per l\'integrazione". Cdila.it. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Italian". _ Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ "Romance languages". _Encyclopædia Britannica_. Retrieved 19 February 2017. ... if the Romance languages are compared with Latin, it is seen that by most measures Sardinian and Italian are least differentiated and French most * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Ethnologue report for language code:ita (Italy) – Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version * ^ "Reservations and Declarations for Treaty No.148 – European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages". _Council of Europe_. Council of Europe. Retrieved 25 April 2017. * ^ "Italy". Ethnologue. 1999-02-19. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Becoming Italian Word by Word: Italian Becomes the Fourth Most Studied Language in the World". Becomingitalianwordbyword.typepad.com. 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "German is world\'s fourth most popular language – The Local". Thelocal.de. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ Archived 3 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ See _Italica_ 1950: 46 (cf. and ): "Pei, Mario A. "A New Methodology for Romance Classification." Word, v, 2 (Aug. 1949), 135–146. Demonstrates a comparative statistical method for determining the extent of change from the Latin for the free and checked accented vowels of French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Rumanian, Old Provençal, and Logudorese Sardinian. By assigning 3½ change points per vowel (with 2 points for diphthongization, 1 point for modification in vowel quantity, ½ point for changes due to nasalization, palatalization or umlaut, and −½ point for failure to effect a normal change), there is a maximum of 77 change points for free and checked stressed vowel sounds (11×2×3½=77). According to this system (illustrated by seven charts at the end of the article), the percentage of change is greatest in French (44%) and least in Italian (12%) and Sardinian (8%). Prof. Pei suggests that this statistical method be extended not only to all other phonological, but also to all morphological and syntactical, phenomena.". * ^ See Koutna _et al._ (1990: 294) : "In the late forties and in the fifties some new proposals for classification of the Romance languages appeared. A statistical method attempting to evaluate the evidence quantitatively was developed in order to provide not only a classification but at the same time a measure of the divergence among the languages. The earliest attempt was made in 1949 by Mario Pei (1901–1978), who measured the divergence of seven modern Romance languages from Classical Latin, taking as his criterion the evolution of stressed vowels. Pei's results do not show the degree of contemporary divergence among the languages from each other but only the divergence of each one from Classical Latin. The closest language turned out to be Sardinian with 8% of change. Then followed Italian — 12%; Spanish — 20%; Romanian — 23,5%; Provençal — 25%; Portuguese — 31%; French — 44%." * ^ "Portland State Multicultural Topics in Communications Sciences & Disorders Italian". _www.pdx.edu_. Retrieved 2017-02-05. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ Laura., Lepschy, Anna (1988). _The Italian language today_. Lepschy, Giulio C. (2nd ed ed.). New York: New Amsterdam. ISBN 9780941533225 . OCLC 17650220 . CS1 maint: Extra text (link ) Cite error: Invalid tag; name ":0" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page ). * ^ Vittorio Coletti. _Storia della lingua_. Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana. ISBN 9788812000487 . Retrieved 10 October 2015. L’italiano di oggi ha ancora in gran parte la stessa grammatica e usa ancora lo stesso lessico del fiorentino letterario del Trecento. * ^ "History of the Italian language". Italian-language.biz. Retrieved 2006-09-24. * ^ _A_ _B_ P., McKay, John (2006). _A history of Western society_. Hill, Bennett D., Buckler, John. (8th ed ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 9780618522736 . OCLC 58837884 . CS1 maint: Extra text (link ) * ^ Zucker, Steven; Harris, Beth. "An Introduction to the Protestant Reformation". _khanacademy_. khanacademy. Retrieved 8 July 2017. * ^ "Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2010-04-21. * ^ Ghetti, Noemi, ed. (14 June 2013). " Dante perde la paternità: la lingua italiana è nata in Sicilia". Babylon Post. Retrieved 15 October 2016. * ^ Grimes, Barbara F. (October 1996). Barbara F. Grimes, ed. _Ethnologue: Languages of the World_. Consulting Editors: Richard S. Pittman & Joseph E. Grimes (thirteenth ed.). Dallas, Texas: Summer Institute of Linguistics, Academic Pub . ISBN 1-55671-026-7 . * ^ Brincat (2005) * ^ "Most similar languages to Italian". * ^ Pei, Mario (1949). _Story of Language_. ISBN 03-9700-400-1 . * ^ Dittmar, Jeremiah (2011). "Information Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of the Printing Press". _The Quarterly Journal of Economics_. 126 (3): 1133–1172. access-date= requires url= (help ) * ^ Chun, Dorothy; Kern, Richard; Smith, Bryan. "Technology in Language Use,Language Teaching, and Language Learning". _The Modern Language Journal_. Retrieved 12 July 2017. * ^ Williams, Martin. "Is technology a silver bullet for language teaching and learning?". _theguardian_. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 16 July 2017. * ^ "duolingo". _duolingo_. Retrieved 18 July 2017. * ^ Ryan, Camille (August 2013). "Language Use in the United States: 2011" (PDF). _American Community Survey Reports 2013, ACS-22_: 1–16. Retrieved July 23, 2017. * ^ Lüdi, Georges; Werlen, Iwar (April 2005). "Recensement Fédéral de la Population 2000 — Le Paysage Linguistique en Suisse" (PDF) (in French, German, and Italian). Neuchâtel : Office fédéral de la statistique. Retrieved 5 January 2006. * ^ The Vatican City State appendix to the Acta Apostolicae Sedis is entirely in Italian. * ^ "Europeans and their Languages" (PDF). _Europeans and their Languages_. European Commission: Directorate General for Education and Culture and Directorate General Press and Communication. February 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2013. * ^ "Central Bureau of Statistics". _www.dzs.hr_. Retrieved 2016-10-09. * ^ "POPULATION BY ETHNICITY, 1971 - 2011 CENSUSES". * ^ Pradelli, A. (2004). _l silenzio di una minoranza: gli italiani in Istria dall'esodo al post-comunismo 1945–2004_. Bologna: Lo Scarebeo. p. 38. * ^ http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/economics/2014/05/15/italians-looking-for-work-in-albania-19000-says-minister_90ce841c-5f1e-426e-8c09-93af7bdd8cf8.html * ^ http://www.balkaneu.com/albanian-government-italian-obligatory-language-professional-schools/ * ^ "Society". _Monaco-IQ Business Intelligence_. Lydia Porter. 2007–2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013. * ^ "France". _Ethnologue_. SIL International. 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013. * ^ Archived 17 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ "Scuola Italiana di Asmara (in Italian)". Scuoleasmara.it. Retrieved 2010-04-21. * ^ Diana Briton Putman, Mohamood Cabdi Noor, _The Somalis: their history and culture_, (Center for Applied Linguistics: 1993), p. 15.: "Somalis speak Somali. Many people also speak Arabic, and educated Somalis usually speak English. Swahili may also be spoken in coastal areas near Kenya." * ^ "Language Spoken at Home: 2000". United States Bureau of the Census . Retrieved 8 August 2012. * ^ "Newsletter". Netcapricorn.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "Statistics Canada 2006". 2.statcan.ca. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-21. * ^ "2011 Census QuickStats: Australia". Censusdata.abs.gov.au. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "Los segundos idiomas más hablados de Sudamérica AméricaEconomía – El sitio de los negocios globales de América Latina". Americaeconomia.com. 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "Welsh". Ethnologue. 1999-02-19. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ Bernasconi, Giulia (2012). "L’ITALIANO IN VENEZUELA". _Italiano LinguaDue_ (in Italian). Università degli Studi di Milano (2): 20. doi :10.13130/2037-3597/1921 . Retrieved 22 January 2017. L'italiano come lingua acquisita o riacquisita è largamente diffuso in Venezuela: recenti studi stimano circa 200.000 studenti di italiano nel Paese * ^ Sansonetti V. (1995) Quemé mis naves en esta montaña: La colonización de la altiplanicie de Coto Brus y la fundación de San Vito de Java. Jiménez y Tanzi. San José, Costa Rica (in Spanish) * ^ "Lingua italiana, la quarta più studiata nel mondo – La Stampa". Lastampa.it. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "9". Iic-colonia.de. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Dati e statistiche". Esteri.it. 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "Languages Spoken and Learned in the United States". Vistawide.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "Parte prima – Quadro generale". www.iic-colonia.de. Retrieved 2010-04-21. * ^ "Eurobarometer pool (2006), page 152" (PDF). Retrieved 2 June 2012. * ^ "Italian". Ethnologue. 1999-02-19. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ Longo, Maurizio (2007). "La lingua italiana in Albania" (PDF). _Education et Sociétés Plurilingues_ (in Italian) (22): 51–56. Retrieved 28 July 2014. Today, even though for political reasons English is the most widely taught foreign language in Albanian schools, Italian is anyway the most widespread foreign language. * ^ Longo, Maurizio; Ademi, Esmeralda; Bulija, Mirjana (June 2010). "Una quantificazione della penetrazione della lingua italiana in Albania tramite la televisione (III)" (PDF). _Education et Sociétés Plurilingues_ (in Italian) (28): 53–63. Retrieved 28 July 2014. * ^ "Italian Language". _www.ilsonline.it_. Retrieved 2016-10-07. * ^ "Major Dialects of Italian". Ccjk.com. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "Italian About World Languages". _aboutworldlanguages.com_. Retrieved 2017-07-28. * ^ Hall (1944 :77–78) * ^ Hall (1944 :78) * ^ Rogers & d\'Arcangeli (2004 :117) * ^ Bertinetto & Loporcaro (2005 :132) * ^ Luciano Canepari, _A Handbook of Pronunciation_, chapter 3: «Italian». * ^ "Dizionario d\'ortografia e di pronunzia". Dizionario.rai.it. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ "Dizionario d\'ortografia e di pronunzia". Dizionario.rai.it. Retrieved 2015-10-22. * ^ _A_ _B_ Clivio, Gianrenzo; Danesi, Marcel (2000). _The Sounds, Forms, and Uses of Italian: An Introduction to Italian Linguistics_. University of Toronto Press. pp. 21, 66. * ^ Canepari, Luciano (January 1999). _Il MªPI – Manuale di pronuncia italiana_ (second ed.). Bologna: Zanichelli. ISBN 88-08-24624-8 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ Danesi, Marcel (2008). _Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Italian Grammar, Premium Second Edition_. New York: McGraw-Hill Education. 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* Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004). "Italian". _Journal of the International Phonetic Association_. 34 (1): 117–121. doi :10.1017/S0025100304001628 . * M. Vitale, _Studi di Storia della Lingua Italiana_, LED Edizioni Universitarie, Milano, 1992, ISBN 88-7916-015-X * S. Morgana, _Capitoli di Storia Linguistica Italiana_, LED Edizioni Universitarie, Milano, 2003, ISBN 88-7916-211-X * J. Kinder, _CLIC: Cultura e Lingua d'Italia in CD-ROM / Culture and Language of Italy on CD-ROM_, Interlinea, Novara, 2008, ISBN 978-88-8212-637-7


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