Languages of Italy
On the various languages spoken in Italy / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The languages of Italy include Italian, which serves as the country's national language, in its standard and regional forms, as well as numerous local and regional languages, most of which, like Italian, belong to the broader Romance group. The majority of languages often labeled as regional are distributed in a continuum across the regions' administrative boundaries, with speakers from one locale within a single region being typically aware of the features distinguishing their own variety from one of the other places nearby.
|Languages of Italy|
|Minority||see "historical linguistic minorities"|
|Signed||Italian Sign Language|
|Source||Special Eurobarometer, Europeans and their Languages, 2006|
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|Culture of Italy|
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The official and most widely spoken language across the country is Italian, which started off as the medieval Tuscan of Florence. In parallel, many Italians also communicate in one of the local languages, most of which, like Tuscan, are indigenous evolutions of Vulgar Latin. Some local languages do not stem from Latin, however, but belong to other Indo-European branches, such as Cimbrian (Germanic), Arbëresh (Albanian), Slavomolisano (Slavic) and Griko (Greek). Other non-indigenous languages are spoken by a substantial percentage of the population due to immigration.
Of the indigenous languages, twelve are officially recognized as spoken by linguistic minorities: Albanian, Catalan, German, Greek, Slovene, Croatian, French, Franco-Provençal, Friulian, Ladin, Occitan and Sardinian; at the present moment, Sardinian is regarded as the largest of such groups, with approximately one million speakers, even though the Sardophone community is overall declining. However, full bilingualism (bilinguismo perfetto) is legally granted only to the three national minorities whose mother tongue is German, Slovene or French, and enacted in the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Aosta Valley, respectively.