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Italian ( italiano (help·info) [itaˈljaːno] or lingua italiana [ˈliŋɡwa itaˈljaːna]) is a Romance language. Italian is by most measures, together with the Sardinian language, the closest tongue to vulgar Latin
Latin
of the Romance languages.[6] Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City
Vatican City
and western Istria
Istria
(in Slovenia
Slovenia
and Croatia). It used to have official status in Albania, Malta
Malta
and Monaco, where it is still widely spoken, as well as in former Italian East Africa
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.[7] It has official minority status in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia
Slovenia
and Romania.[8] Many speakers are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages.[9] 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 69 million native speakers (13% of the EU population) and it is spoken as a second language by 16 million EU citizens (3%).[1] Including Italian speakers in non-EU European countries (such as Switzerland
Switzerland
and Albania) and on other continents, the total number of speakers is around 90 million.[10] 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.[11][12] 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.[13] Its development was also influenced by other Italian languages
Italian languages
and to some minor extent, by the Germanic languages
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
Middle Ages
and into the early modern period, most literate Italian speakers were also literate in Latin; and thus they easily adopted Latin
Latin
words into their writing—and eventually speech—in Italian. Its vowels are the second-closest to Latin
Latin
after Sardinian.[14][15] Unlike most other Romance languages, Italian retains Latin's contrast between short and long consonants.[16] As in most Romance languages, stress is distinctive.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Origins 1.2 Renaissance 1.3 Modern era 1.4 Contemporary times

2 Classification 3 Geographic distribution

3.1 Europe and the Mediterranean Region 3.2 Africa 3.3 Immigrant communities 3.4 Number of speakers by country[7] 3.5 Education 3.6 Influence and derived languages 3.7 Lingua franca

4 Dialects 5 Phonology

5.1 Assimilation

6 Writing system 7 Grammar 8 Examples

8.1 Conversation 8.2 Question Words[74][75] 8.3 Time[74][75] 8.4 Numbers 8.5 Days of the week 8.6 Months of the year 8.7 Sample texts

9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 Bibliography 13 External links

History[edit]

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Origins[edit] During the Middle Ages, the established written language in Europe was Latin. With the great majority of people illiterate, however, only a 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
Latin
over the course of centuries, evolving naturally unaffected by formal standards and teachings. These languages of Italy
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.[17]:13 The standard Italian language
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
Florence
in the 13th century,[18] the modern standard of the language was largely shaped by relatively recent events. However, Italian as a language spoken in Italy
Italy
and some surrounding regions have 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, probably from the 8th or early 9th century, contains a late form of Vulgar Latin
Latin
that can be seen as a very early Italian dialect.[19] What would come to be thought of as Italian was first formalized in the early 14th century through the works of Tuscan writer Dante
Dante
Alighieri, written in his native Florentine. Dante's epic poems, known collectively as the Commedia, to which another Tuscan poet Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio
later affixed the title Divina, were read throughout Italy
Italy
and his written dialect became the "canonical standard" that all educated Italians
Italians
could understand. Dante
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
Florence
at the time and the fact that it was linguistically an intermediate between northern and southern dialects.[17]:22 Thus the dialect of Florence
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
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 [va ˈbːɛne] by a Roman (and by any standard-speaker), [va ˈbene] 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 [a ˈkːasa] for Roman and standard, [a ˈkaza] for Milanese and generally northern. In contrast to the Gallo- Italic languages
Italic languages
of northern Italy, the Italo-Dalmatian Neapolitan language
Neapolitan language
and its dialects were largely unaffected by the Franco-Occitan influences introduced to Italy
Italy
mainly by bards from France
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
Tuscany
at the time (Late Middle Ages) gave its language weight, though the Venetian language
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
Florence
during the periods of the rise of the Banco Medici, Humanism, and the Renaissance
Renaissance
made its dialect, or rather a refined version of it, a standard in the arts. Renaissance[edit] The Renaissance
Renaissance
era, known as il Rinascimento in Italian, was seen as a time of "rebirth", which is the literal meaning of both renaissance (from French) and rinascimento (Italian). During this time, long-existing beliefs stemming from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
began to be understood from new a perspectives as humanists—individuals who placed emphasis on the human body and its full potential—began to shift focus from the church to human beings themselves.[20] Humanists
Humanists
began forming new beliefs in various forms: social, political, and intellectual. The ideals of the Renaissance
Renaissance
were evident throughout the Protestant Reformation, which took place simultaneously with the Renaissance. The Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
began with Martin Luther's rejection of the selling of indulgences by Johann Tetzel
Johann Tetzel
and other authorities within the Roman Catholic Church, resulting in Luther's eventual break-off from the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
in the Diet of Worms. After Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church, he founded what was then understood to be a sect of Catholicism, later referred to as Lutheranism.[20] Luther's preaching in favor of faith and scripture rather than tradition led him to translate the Bible
Bible
into many other languages, which would allow for people from all over Europe to read the Bible. Previously, the Bible
Bible
was only written in Latin, but after the Bible
Bible
was translated, it could be understood in many other languages, including Italian. The Italian language
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
Bible
and new pieces of literature.[21] The Roman Catholic Church
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.[22]

Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri
(top) and Petrarch
Petrarch
(bottom) were influential in establishing their Tuscan dialect
Tuscan dialect
as the most prominent literary language in all of Italy
Italy
in the Late Middle Ages.

Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo
was an influential figure in the development of the Italian language
Italian language
from the Tuscan dialect, as a literary medium, codifying the language for standard modern usage.

Italian became the language used in the courts of every state in the Italian 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
Italy
concerning the criteria that should govern the establishment of a modern Italian literary and spoken language. This discussion, known as "questione della lingua" (i. e., the problem of the language), ran through the Italian culture until the end of the 19th century, often linked to the political debate on achieving a united Italian state. Renaissance
Renaissance
scholars divided into three main factions:

The purists, headed by Venetian Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo
(who, in his Gli Asolani, claimed the language might be based only on the great literary classics, such as Petrarch
Petrarch
and some part of Boccaccio). The purists thought the Divine Comedy
Divine Comedy
was not dignified enough because it used elements from non-lyric registers of the language. Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli
and other Florentines preferred the version spoken by ordinary people in their own times. The courtiers, like Baldassare Castiglione
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
Accademia della Crusca
in Florence
Florence
(1582–1583), the official legislative body of the Italian language
Italian language
led to publication of Agnolo Monosini's Latin
Latin
tome Floris italicae linguae libri novem in 1604 followed by the first Italian dictionary in 1612. The continual advancements in technology plays a crucial role in the diffusion of languages. After the invention of the printing press in the fifteen century, the number of printing presses in Italy
Italy
grew rapidly and by the year 1500 reached a total of 56, the biggest number of printing presses in all of Europe. This allowed to produce more pieces of literature at a lower cost and as the dominant language, Italian spread.[23] Modern era[edit] An important event that helped the diffusion of Italian was the conquest and occupation of Italy
Italy
by Napoleon
Napoleon
in the early 19th century (who was himself of Italian-Corsican descent). This conquest propelled the unification of Italy
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. Contemporary times[edit] 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-cia[v]o" (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.[24] Classification[edit] Italian is a Romance language, and is therefore a descendant of Vulgar Latin
Latin
(the spoken form of non-classical Latin).[note 1] 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
Latin
in terms of vocabulary.[26] Lexical similarity is 89% with French, 87% with Catalan, 85% with Sardinian, 82% with Spanish, 78% with Ladin, and 77% with Romanian.[7][27][28] One study analyzing the degree of differentiation of Romance languages in comparison to Latin
Latin
(comparing phonology, inflection, discourse, syntax, vocabulary, and intonation) estimated that among the languages analyzed the distance between Italian and Latin
Latin
is only higher than that between Sardinian and Latin.[29] Geographic distribution[edit]

Use of the Italian language
Italian language
in Europe

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

Europe and the Mediterranean Region[edit] Italian is an official language of Italy
Italy
and San Marino
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
Ticino
and southern Graubünden (predominately in Italian Grigioni). Italian is the third most spoken language in Switzerland
Switzerland
(after German and French), and its use has modestly declined since the 1970s.[30] Italian is also used in administration and official documents in Vatican City.[31] Italian is widely spoken in Malta, where nearly two-thirds of the population can speak it fluently.[32] Italian served as Malta's official language until 1934, when it was abolished by the British colonial administration amid strong local opposition.[33] Italian is also recognized as an official language in Istria
Istria
County, Croatia, and Slovenian Istria, where there are significant and historic Italian populations.[34][35][36] 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
Italy
and Albania
Albania
but also the Albanian communities in Italy, and the 19,000 Italians
Italians
living in Albania.[37] 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.[38] Today, Italian is the third most spoken language in the country after Albanian and Greek. Italian is also spoken by a minority in Monaco
Monaco
and France
France
(especially in the southeast region of the country).[39][40] Africa[edit] Due to heavy Italian influence during the Italian colonial period, Italian is still understood by some in former colonies.[7] Although it was the primary language in Libya
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.[41] 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
Asmara
still has one Italian-language school.[42] Italian was also introduced to Somalia
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.[43] Immigrant communities[edit] Although over 17 million Americans are of Italian descent, only a little over one million people in the United States speak Italian at home.[44] Nevertheless, an Italian language
Italian language
media market does exist in the country.[45] On the other hand, although technology allows for the Italian language
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.[46] 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.[47] In Australia, Italian is the second most spoken foreign language after Chinese, with 1.4% of the population speaking it as their home language.[48] Italian immigrants to South America
South America
have also brought a presence of the language to that continent. Italian is the second most spoken language in Argentina[49] 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
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.[50] Italian bilingual speakers can be found in the Southeast of Brazil
Brazil
as well as in the South. In Venezuela, Italian is the second most spoken language after Spanish, with around 200,000 speakers.[51] Smaller Italian-speaking minorities on the continent are also found in Paraguay
Paraguay
and Ecuador. In Costa Rica, Central America, Italian is one of the most important immigration community 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.[52] Number of speakers by country[7][edit]

Country Number of speakers

 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

 Monaco 5,600

 Somalia 4,000

 Slovenia 3,760

  Vatican City 330

Education[edit]

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[11][53] most frequently taught foreign language in the world.[54] In the 21st century, technology also allows for the continual spread of the Italian language, as people have new ways for one to learn how to speak, read, and write languages at their own pace and at any given time. For example, in 2017 the free website and application Duolingo had 22.3 million English speakers learning the Italian language.[55] 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, 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.[56] 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
American Sign Language
is considered).[57] In central-east Europe Italian is first in Montenegro, second in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, and Ukraine after English, and third in Hungary, Romania
Romania
and Russia after English and German.[56] But throughout the world, Italian is the fifth most taught foreign language, after English, French, German, and Spanish.[58] In the European Union
European Union
statistics, Italian is spoken as a native language by 13% of the EU population, or 65 million people,[1] 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.[59] Italian is also one of the national languages of Switzerland, which is not a part of the European Union.[60] The Italian language
Italian language
is well-known and studied in Albania,[61] another non-EU member, due to its historical ties and geographical proximity to Italy
Italy
and to the diffusion of Italian television in the country.[62] Influence and derived languages[edit] See also: Italian diaspora From the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, thousands of Italians
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
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
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
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 languages because Argentina
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. Lingua franca[edit] See also: Mediterranean Lingua Franca Starting in late medieval times in much of Europe and the Mediterranean, Latin
Latin
was replaced as the primary commercial language by Italian language
Italian language
variants (especially Tuscan and Venetian). These variants were consolidated during the Renaissance
Renaissance
with the strength of Italy
Italy
and the rise of humanism and the arts. During that period, Italy
Italy
held artistic sway over the rest of Europe. It was the norm for all educated gentlemen to make the Grand Tour, visiting Italy
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
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
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[63] and especially, in culinary terms. Dialects[edit] 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 are spoken as the vernacular—other than standard Italian and distantly-related, non- Romance languages
Romance languages
spoken in border regions or among immigrant communities—are often imprecisely called "Italian dialects",[64] even though they are quite different, with some belonging to different branches of the Romance language
Romance language
family. The only exceptions to this are Sardinian, Ladin and Friulian, which are officially recognized as distinct minority languages by the law. On the other hand, Corsican (a language spoken on the French island of Corsica) is closely related to Tuscan, from which Standard Italian derives and evolved. The differences in the evolution of Latin
Latin
in the different regions of Italy
Italy
can be attributed to the presence of three other types of languages: substrata, superstrata, and adstrata. The most prevalent were substrata (the language of the original inhabitants), as the Italian dialects were most likely simply Latin
Latin
as spoken by native cultural groups. Superstrata and adstrata were both less important. Foreign conquerors of Italy
Italy
that dominated different regions at different times left behind little to no influence on the dialects. Foreign cultures with which Italy
Italy
engaged in peaceful relations with, such as trade, had no significant influence either.[17]:19-20 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
Rome
for the infinitive "to go"; and nare is what Venetians say for the infinitive "to go"). There is no definitive date when the various Italian variants of Latin—including varieties that contributed to modern Standard Italian—began to be distinct enough from Latin
Latin
to be considered separate languages. From a linguistic perspective, two language variants are considered separate languages (rather than variant dialects of a single language) when they are no longer mutually intelligible. For the Italian Romance languages, the first extant written evidence of varieties that can be considered no longer to be Latin
Latin
comes from the ninth and tenth centuries C.E. These written sources demonstrate certain vernacular characteristics and sometimes explicitly mention the use of the vernacular in Italy. Full literary manifestations of the vernacular began to surface around the 13th century in the form of various religious texts and poetry.[17]:21Although these are the first written records of Italian varieties separate from Latin, the spoken language had likely diverged long before the first written records appear, since those who were literate generally wrote in Latin
Latin
even if they spoke other Romance varieties in person. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, 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 factors (one can assume that only literates were capable of learning Standard Italian, whereas those who were illiterate had access only to 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
Italy
could speak Standard Italian. He reports that in 1951 that percentage had risen to 87%. The ability to speak Italian did not necessarily mean it was in everyday use, and most people (63.5%) still usually spoke their native dialects. In addition, other factors such as mass emigration, industrialization, and urbanization, and internal migrations after World War II
World War II
contributed to the proliferation of Standard Italian. The Italians
Italians
who emigrated during the Italian diaspora
Italian diaspora
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, often more educated than when they had left.[17]:35 The Italian dialects have declined in the modern era, as Italy
Italy
unified under Standard Italian and continues to do so aided by mass media, from newspapers to radio to television.[17]:37 Phonology[edit] Main article: Italian phonology

Luke 2, 1–7 of the Bible
Bible
being read by a speaker of Italian from Milan

This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode
Unicode
characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Consonant phonemes

Bilabial Labio- dental Dental/ Alveolar Post- alveolar Palatal Velar

Nasal

m

n

ɲ

Stop p b

t d

k ɡ

Affricate

t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ

Fricative

f v s z ʃ

Approximant

j

w

Lateral

l

ʎ

Trill

r

Notes:

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/ [ˈfaː.to] ~ /fatto/ [ˈfat.to] (first one means "fate, destiny" and the second means "fact", see "fato" and "fatto"). However, /ɲ/, /ʃ/, /ʎ/, are always geminated word-internally.[65] Similarly, nasals, liquids, and sibilants are pronounced slightly longer before medial consonant clusters.[66] /z/ is the only consonant that cannot be geminated. /t d t͡s d͡z s z/ are denti-alveolar, while /l n/ are alveolar.[67][68] The trill /r/ is sometimes reduced to a single vibration when not geminated, but it is not a flap *[ɾ][clarification needed]. Nasals assimilate to the point of articulation of whatever consonant they precede. For example, /nɡ/ is realized as [ŋɡ]. 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 [z] is an allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants). The two are only contrasted between two vowels within a word. According to Canepari,[69] 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/[70] ('I foresee', with pre meaning 'before' and sento meaning 'I see') vs. presento /preˈzɛnto/[71] ('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 [s].

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
Italian phonology
is conservative, preserving many words nearly unchanged from Vulgar Latin. Some examples:

Italian quattordici "fourteen" < Latin
Latin
quattuordecim (cf. Romanian paisprezece/paișpe, Spanish catorce, French quatorze /kaˈtɔʁz/, Catalan and Portuguese catorze) Italian settimana "week" < Latin
Latin
septimāna (cf. Romanian săptămână, Spanish and Portuguese semana, French semaine /s(ə)ˈmɛn/, Catalan setmana) Italian medesimo "same" < Vulgar Latin
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
Latin
*guadanyāre < Germanic /waidanjan/ (cf. Spanish ganar, Portuguese ganhar, French gagner /ɡaˈɲe/, Catalan guanyar)

The conservativeness of Italian phonology
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
Florence
in the region of Tuscany, and has changed little in the last 700 years or so. Furthermore, the Tuscan dialect
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
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 [biða], 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
Proto-Romance
final vowels, e.g. pacem > pace "peace" (cf. Romanian 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
Latin
ce-,ci- becomes /tʃe, tʃi/ rather than /(t)se, (t)si/. Latin
Latin
-ct- becomes /tt/ rather than /jt/ or /tʃ/: octō > otto "eight" (cf. Spanish ocho, French huit, Portuguese oito). Vulgar Latin
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 friend(s)"); 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).

Assimilation[edit] 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. Writing system[edit] 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
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.[72] 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 [h] 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 [ɡ]: 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
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
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:

Before back vowel (A, O, U) Before front vowel (I, E)

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 [ɾ] in unstressed position whereas [r] 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 [ʀ], [ʁ], or [ʋ].[73] 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 [ɡaˈraːʒ]. Grammar[edit] Main article: Italian grammar See also: Italian verbs Italian grammar is typical of the grammar of Romance languages
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.[74] 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
Latin
nouns). An instance of neuter gender also exists in pronouns of the third person singular. Examples:[75]

Definition Gender Singular Form Plural Form

Son Masculine Figlio Figli

House Feminine Casa Case

Love Masculine Amore Amori

Art Feminine Arte Arti

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) are not capitalized.[74] 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.[74] The order of words in the phrase is relatively free compared to most European languages.[72] 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.[74] 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.[74] 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. Examples[edit] Conversation[edit]

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pronunciation

Yes Sì (listen) /ˈsi/

No No (listen) /ˈnɔ/

Of course! Certo! / Certamente! / Naturalmente! /ˈtʃɛrto/ /ˌtʃertaˈmente/ /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 va/

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 [to...] Benvenuto/-i (for male/males or mixed) / Benvenuta/-e (for female/females) [a / in...] /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) /ˌkome tiˈkjaːmi/ /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/

Question Words[74][75][edit]

English Italian IPA

what (adj.) che ke

what (standalone) cosa ˈkɔza

who chi ki

how come ˈkome

where dove ˈdove

why, because perché perˈke

which quale ˈkwale

when quando ˈkwando

how much quanto ˈkwanto

Time[74][75][edit]

English Italian IPA

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

Numbers[edit]

English Italian IPA

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/

English Italian IPA

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/

English Italian IPA

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/

English Italian IPA

one hundred cento /ˈtʃɛnto/

one thousand mille /ˈmille/

two thousand duemila /ˌdueˈmiːla/

two thousand and eighteen (2018) duemiladiciotto /dueˌmilaˈditˈɔtto/

one million milione /miˈljone/

one billion miliardo /miˈljardo/

Days of the week[edit]

English Italian IPA

Monday lunedì /luneˈdi/

Tuesday martedì /marteˈdi/

Wednesday mercoledì /ˌmerkoleˈdi/

Thursday giovedì /dʒoveˈdi/

Friday venerdì /venerˈdi/

Saturday sabato /ˈsaːbato/

Sunday domenica /doˈmeːnika/

Months of the year[edit]

English Italian IPA

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/[76]

Sample texts[edit] There is a recording of Dante's Divine Comedy
Divine Comedy
read by Lino Pertile available online.[77] See also[edit]

Italy
Italy
portal Switzerland
Switzerland
portal Vatican City
Vatican City
portal Language portal

Italian edition of, the free encyclopedia

Languages of Italy Accademia della Crusca CELI CILS (Qualification) Enciclopedia Italiana Guide to phonetic transliteration of Italian Italian alphabet Italian dialects Italian exonyms Italian grammar Italian honorifics The Italian Language Foundation (in the United States) Italian language
Italian language
in Croatia Italian language
Italian language
in Slovenia Italian language
Italian language
in the United States Italian language
Italian language
in Venezuela Italian literature Italian musical terms Italian phonology Italian profanity Italian Sign Language Italian Studies Italian Italian-language international radio stations Lessico etimologico italiano Sicilian School Veronese Riddle Languages of the Vatican City Talian List of English words of Italian origin

Notes[edit]

^ It is debated, that the Sicilian language
Sicilian language
is the oldest and direct descendant of Vulgar Latin.[25]

References[edit]

^ a b c "Eurobarometer – Europeans and their languages" (PDF).  (485 KB), February 2006 ^ Italian at Ethnologue
Ethnologue
(18th ed., 2015) ^ "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, eds. (2017). "Italian". Glottolog
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3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ "Romance languages". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 19 February 2017. ... if the Romance languages
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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.  ^ Cite error: The named reference Italian language
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was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ 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.  ^ [1] Archived 3 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ See Italica 1950: 46 (cf. [2] and [3]): "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
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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 Laura., Lepschy, Anna (1988). The Italian language today. Lepschy, Giulio C. (2nd ed.). New York: New Amsterdam. pp. 13, 22, 19–20, 21, 35, 37. ISBN 978-0-941533-22-5. OCLC 17650220.  ^ 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.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-618-52273-6. OCLC 58837884.  ^ Zucker, Steven; Harris, Beth. "An Introduction to the Protestant Reformation". khanacademy. khanacademy. Retrieved 8 July 2017.  ^ The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Renaissance". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved 16 July 2017.  ^ Dittmar, Jeremiah (2011). "Information Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of the Printing Press". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 126 (3): 1133–1172. doi:10.1093/qje/qjr035.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ "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
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 0-397-00400-1.  ^ 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 November 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2006.  ^ The Vatican City
Vatican City
State appendix to the Acta Apostolicae Sedis
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.  ^ Hull, Geoffrey, The Malta
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Language Question: A Case Study in Cultural Imperialism, Valletta: Said International, 1993. ^ "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
Istria
dall'esodo al post-comunismo 1945–2004. Bologna: Lo Scarebeo. p. 38.  ^ " Italians
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looking for work in Albania
Albania
– 19,000, says minister – Economy – ANSAMed.it". www.ansamed.info.  ^ "Albanian government makes Italian an obligatory language in professional schools". www.balkaneu.com.  ^ "Society". Monaco-IQ Business Intelligence. Lydia Porter. 2007–2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.  ^ "France". Ethnologue. SIL International. 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.  ^ [4] Archived 17 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Scuola Italiana di Asmara
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.  ^ 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.  ^ "Statistics Canada
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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
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(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.  ^ "duolingo". duolingo. Retrieved 18 July 2017.  ^ 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)" [A quantification of the diffusion of the Italian language
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via television] (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.  ^ 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. ISBN 978-1-259-58772-6.  ^ a b c "Collins Italian Dictionary Translations, Definitions and Pronunciations". www.collinsdictionary.com. Retrieved 2017-07-28.  ^ Kellogg, Michael. "Dizionario italiano-inglese WordReference". WordReference.com (in Italian and English). WordReference.com. Retrieved 7 August 2015.  ^ "Princeton Dante
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Bibliography[edit]

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
Italy
on CD-ROM, Interlinea, Novara, 2008, ISBN 978-88-8212-637-7

External links[edit]

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