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28 July 2014
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Italian, Italiano

Related languages As one of the Italo-Romance languages, Italian is most closely related to Sardinian, Corsican and the other dialects of the peninsula.
European speakers 63,000,000 speakers
Territories The official language of Italy, the Vatican City and San Marino, and one of the official languages of Switzerland, where it is used in the cantons of Ticino and Graubünden. It's also spoken by home speakers in Malta, Monaco, Slovenia and Croatia.
Alphabet Roman alphabet, with the addition of acute and grave accents.
First examples Modern Italian evolved from spoken Latin via literary Tuscan, and the first example we have is a 12th century naval register from Pisa.
Other facts Although modern standard Italian is used all over Italy, it is very few Italians' first language. Most speak one of the 15 regional dialects as their first language. In a fine display of the power of the pen over the sword, the Tuscan dialect established dominance not because Tuscany was a greater military or financial power than other Italian regions, but because the 3 great writers of the Middle Ages, Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch, wrote in the Tuscan dialect.

Would you like to find out more? Then have a look at our Italian language resources!

Key Phrases
Si.
Yes.
No.
No.
Benvenuto!
Welcome!
Piacere di conoscerla.
Pleased to meet you.
Ciao.
Hello.
Arrivederci.
Goodbye.
Grazie.
Thank you.
Mi chiamo ...
My name is ...
Parla inglese?
Do you speak English?
Mi dispiace, non parlo italiano.
I'm sorry, I don't speak Italian.
Ho bisogno di aiuto.
I need help.
Dove è il bagno, per favore?
Where is the toilet, please?

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