Italian is the Romance language closest to Latin. It is official language in Italy, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City and co-official in Croatian Istria and Slovenian Istria, where there are significant historic populations. It is spoken by about 65 million native speakers as a native language (this number includes also the bilinguals who speak Italian and another language as a native language), mainly in Italy. In Switzerland it is spoken by about 8% of the population, being the third most spoken language in this country after German and French.
The ISO code for Italian is it.With our team of experienced, bilingual
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Together with English, French, German and Spanish, Italian is taught as a second language in many schools worldwide.
In the former Italian colonies in Africa (Libya, Somalia, Eritrea) Italian lost its status after the decolonization process, but it is still spoken or understood by older or educated people.
During the Renaissance, Italian was a prestigious language in many parts of Europe and was learned as a foreign language by the educated upper classes.
Italian has several dialectal variations which can be grouped in Northern, Central and Southern dialects, based on the respective regions of Italy where they are spoken. Some examples are Sicilian, Venetian, Corsican dialects, etc. Historically, the most prestigious dialect was the Tuscan dialect, especially the variety spoken by the educated society in Florence, in which the great writers Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca and Giovanni Boccaccio wrote their literary works and on which Standard Italian is based. Sardinian, Ladin and Friulian are recognized as official regional languages by law.
The Italian alphabet uses 21 letters of the Latin alphabet. Letters k, j, w, x, yare not part of the alphabet and theyexist only in loanwords.
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