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Italian is an official language of Italy, San Marino, Switzerland, Slovenia, Vatican City and in some areas of Istria in Slovenia and Croatia with an Italian minority. It is also widely known and taught in Monaco and Malta. It is also widely spoken in Corsica and Nice (for both were former Italian possessions before being handed over to France), and Albania.


Linguistically speaking, the Italian language is a member of the Italo-Dalmatian group of languages, which is part of the Italo-Western grouping of the Romance languages, which are a subgroup of the Italic branch of Indo-European


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Italian language, Italian Italiano,  Romance language spoken by some 66,000,000 persons in Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia), France (including Corsica), Switzerland, and other countries. It is spoken by large numbers of emigrants and their descendants in the Americas, especially in the United States, Argentina, and Canada. Written materials in Italian date from the 10th century (a set of court records with the testimony of the witnesses in the Italian vernacular), and the first literary work of length is the Ritmo Laurenziano (“Laurentian Rhythm”) of the late 12th century.


Facts and figures

  • It is family of Indo-European » Italic » Romance » Italian.
  • Is the fifth most taught non-native language, after English, French, Spanish and German.
  • Spoken by about 60-65 million people, primarily in Italy.
  • Is regulated by “Accademia della Crusca”.
  • Italian is ranked 19th on the “List of Languages by number of native speakers.” (in a near tie with Turkish and Urdu).
  • Mostly spoken in Italy, but also in communities in Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia,  Croatia, Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Australia, Luxembourg and some places in Africa.
  • It is not uncommon for Italian-speakers to also speak a dialect particular to the   region where they live.


Language usage

Official language. Most Italians use varieties along a continuum from standard to regional to local according to what is appropriate. Possibly nearly half the population do not use Standard Italian as L1. Only 2.5% of Italy’s population could speak standard Italian when the nation unified in 1861.



According to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, every year there are more than 200,000 foreign students that are learning Italian language; they are distributed in the 90 Institutes of Italian Culture in the world, in the 179 Italian schools abroad and in the 111 Italian sections that are open into foreign schools.


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 Albania and 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.


Regulatory body

Accademia della Crusca


Italian language on websites

Italian language on websites ranks on 10th on its content available on net and it is 1.5% in terms of percentage.


Number of speakers

This language has about 61,000,000 speakers.



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