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Discover the origins of modern Italian dialects, the background on the development of the language, and characteristics of urban dialects. Learn more about the linguistic affiliation of Italian speakers and the classification of the various dialects.
  1. Emiliano-Romagnolo (5)
  2. Neapolitan (7)
  3. Piedmontese (11)
  4. Sardinian (8)
  5. Sicilian (23)
  6. Venetian (9)

Italian Dialects
An Italian dialect would seem to be easy to define—it's a variant of Standard Italian spoken in small towns and villages throughout Italy. The reality is a lot more complex. In fact, what's often referred to as an Italian dialect can be a distinct local language (dialect of Italy) or a regional variety (dialect of Italian).

Italkian: A Judeo-Italian Dialect
Italkian, a Judeo-Italian dialect spoken mainly in urban areas in Rome and in central and northern Italy from the 10th to the 17th centuries in Italy, is on the verge of becoming extinct.

The Sopranos? Fuhgeddaboutit!
Is Sopranospeak a new Italian American dialect? The vernacular of this famiglia has become so popular that it's been codified in a glossary and Tony Soprano even has his own form of currency.

What Italian Do You Speak?
Most regions in Italy have their own accent, dialect, and sometimes their own language. The various languages and dialects spoken in Italy evolved over centuries and remained distinct from standard Italian for a variety of reasons.

Alphabets of Ancient Italy
Fascinating examples of the various alphabets of ancient Italy are beautifully illustrated.

Dictionary, proverbs, poetry, stories, and sayings, all in various Italian dialects.

Dizionario Genovese-Italiano
A dictionary of words in both Genovese and Italian.

Il Vernacoliere
Online access to the humor and satire magazine written in the Livornese vernacular (hence the name). Includes subscription information and horoscopes.

Italian Ethnologue
A wealth of demographic and sociolinguistic data such as number of speakers, location, dialects, and linguistic affiliation of speakers.

La Carta dei Dialetti d'Italia
Click on a region of Italy and a detailed interactive map shows the various linguistic subdivisions within the area. According to linguists, there are five principal groups of Italian regional dialects.

Language Map of Ancient Italy
Pinpoint the regional origins of various dialects with this language map of ancient Italy.

Non Parliamo Soltanto Italiano
Four-part interview with Professor Tristano Bolelli, celebrated linguist from Universiy of Pisa and author of the Dizionario dei Dialetti d'Italia. [In Italian]

VIVaio Acustico delle Lingue e dei Dialetti d'Italia is the long form of the acronymn Vivaldi, essentially an Italian linguistic atlas with a multitude of audio examples of speakers from Sicilia, Liguria, and Sardegna reciting specific words and phrases.

Víteliú was the Oscan term for the Italian peninsula. Learn all about the origins of the Italian language.

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