Languages of Italy

The official language of Italy is Italian, spoken by about 59,000,000 people, but regional languages do coexist with the standard language. Some of these regional languages (like Sardinian and Sicilian) are quite different from Standard Italian, making them difficult to understand for the others. Along with regional dialects,  there are also minority languages. They are the consequence of the successive migration flows Italy has seen in the past centuries. 

The Italian language is also widely known and taught in Monaco and in the neighboring islands of Malta and Albania. 

Italian is also the (or one of the) official language(s) of the following countries:

  • Switzerland
  • San Marino
  • Slovenia
  • Vatican State
  • Croatia

Check this short list to start learning Italian. Here are some basic words translated:

Hello: Salve

Goodbye: Ciao

Please: Per favore

Thanks: Grazie

You’re welcome: non c’è di che


No: No

language in Italy

Italian Language

The main language spoken in Italy is Italian. However, in specific areas of the country, the population speaks also other languages which are recognized and protected on the national level. For example: 


Spoken in the province of South Tyrol in the North of Italy, and in north-eastern Italian regions. In total, about 300,000 Italians speak German as their first language.


Spoken by about 80,000 Italians living in the north-eastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia near the border with Slovenia.

Molise Croatian

Spoken in the southern Molise region of central-south Italy and counts some 3,500 speakers. 

Arbëreshë Albanian

Spoken by 80,000 to 100,000 Italians in several pockets in Southern Italy and in central Sicily.

Italiot Greek

Endangered language with only 15000-20000 speakers left in two areas of Southern Italy.

Italian speaking countries

Besides Italy, you can hear the Italian language in countries such as Slovenia, Albania, Argentina, and even Belgium!  This is possible because 63 million people speak Italian as their first language while 3 million as their second language. There are also big Italian-speaking communities located in South America, the US, and Africa.