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Italian language

Italiano, lingua italiana
Pronunciation [itaˈljaːno]
Native to Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, Slovenia (Slovene Istria) and Croatia (Istria County)
Region Italy, Ticino and southern Graubünden, Slovene Littoral and western Istria
Native speakers
65 million native speakers in the EU. (c. 2012)
85 million, total number of speakers.
Latin (Italian alphabet)
Italian Braille
Italiano segnato "Signed Italian"
italiano segnato esatto "Signed Exact Italian"
Official status
Official language in
 San Marino
  Vatican City
 Sovereign Military Order of Malta
 European Union
Recognised minority
language in
 Brazil (Rio Grande Do Sul)
Regulated by Accademia della Crusca (de facto)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 it
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3
Glottolog ital1282
Linguasphere 51-AAA-q
Map Italophone World.png
The geographic distribution of the Italian language in the world: large Italian-speaking communities are shown in green; light blue indicates areas where the Italian language was used officially during the Italian colonial period.
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Italian (About this sound italiano  [itaˈljaːno] or lingua italiana [ˈliŋɡwa itaˈljaːna]) is a Romance language. It is the second-closest to Latin in terms of vocabulary after Sardinian. 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 spoken by small minorities in places such as France (especially in Corsica), Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Crimea and Tunisia and by large expatriate communities in the Americas. Many speakers are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages. Italian is the fourth most studied language in the world.


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