How well do you know the Italian language?

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is the origin of the Italian language?

How many people worldwide speak Italian?

What is the status of Italian in Croatia?

What is the primary language in Libya?

What is the second-most-widely spoken native language in the European Union?

What is the gender system in Italian?

What is the order of words in the Italian phrase compared to most European languages?

What is the phoneme /r/ in Italian?

What is the system for comparison of adjectives in Italian?


Italian Language: Key Facts and Figures

  • Italian is a Romance language that evolved from Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire.

  • Italian is the least divergent language from Latin, along with Sardinian.

  • Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland (Ticino and the Grisons), San Marino, and Vatican City.

  • Italian has official minority status in Croatia and in some areas of Slovenian Istria.

  • Italian is spoken by about 85 million people worldwide, including large immigrant and expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia.

  • Italian is the second-most-widely spoken native language in the European Union with 67 million speakers (15% of the EU population).

  • Italian is a major language in Europe, being one of the official languages of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and one of the working languages of the Council of Europe.

  • Italian is the main working language of the Holy See and the official language of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

  • Italian has a significant use in musical terminology and opera with numerous Italian words referring to music that have become international terms taken into various languages worldwide.

  • The language that came to be thought of as Italian developed in central Tuscany and was first formalized in the early 14th century through the works of Tuscan writer Dante Alighieri.

  • Italian became the language used in the courts of every state in the Italian Peninsula and was progressively made an official language of most of the Italian states predating unification, slowly replacing Latin.

  • Italian is an official language in Italy and San Marino and is spoken fluently by the majority of the countries' populations. Italian is the third most spoken language in Switzerland (after German and French).Overview of the Italian language and its global presence

  • Italian was the official language of Malta until 1934, and is an officially recognized minority language in Slovenia and Croatia.

  • Albanian government has pushed to make Italian a compulsory second language in schools due to its historical ties and geographical proximity to Italy.

  • Italian language was the primary language in Libya during colonial rule, and is still understood by some in the country.

  • Italian was the official language of Eritrea during Italian colonization, and is still used in commerce and spoken by some elders.

  • Italian immigrants brought the language to the Americas and Australia, with over 17 million Americans of Italian descent, but only a little over one million people in the US speak Italian at home.

  • Italian is the second most spoken non-official language in Canada, and the second most spoken foreign language after Chinese in Australia.

  • Italian is widely taught in many schools around the world, with over 200,000 foreign students studying the language each year.

  • Italian was a lingua franca in Europe and the Mediterranean during the Renaissance period, and is still used by the Catholic Church.

  • Italian dialects are often called "Italian dialects" in Italy, but they are actually local evolutions of spoken Latin that pre-date the establishment of Italian.

  • Standard Italian became increasingly widespread in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the use of dialects declined.

  • Italian has a seven-vowel system and 23 consonants, and is phonologically conservative, preserving many words nearly unchanged from Vulgar Latin.Overview of Italian Language

  • Italian developed as a literary language through a period of several hundred years, with an origin in 12th/13th-century Tuscan but with many words borrowed from languages farther to the north, with different sound outcomes.

  • Italian phonotactics do not usually permit verbs and polysyllabic nouns to end with consonants, except in poetry and song, so foreign words may receive extra terminal vowel sounds.

  • The Italian alphabet is typically considered to consist of 21 letters, traditionally excluding j, k, w, x, y, although they appear in loanwords.

  • Italian has geminate, or double, consonants, which are distinguished by length and intensity.

  • There is only one vibrant phoneme /r/ but the actual pronunciation depends on context and regional accent.

  • Italian grammar is typical of the grammar of Romance languages in general, with cases existing for personal pronouns but not for nouns.

  • There are two basic classes of nouns in Italian, referred to as genders, masculine and feminine, with gender may be natural or simply grammatical with no possible reference to biological gender.

  • Italian has three degrees for comparison of adjectives: positive, comparative, and superlative.

  • The order of words in the phrase is relatively free compared to most European languages.

  • There are both indefinite and definite articles in Italian.

  • Italian also has demonstrative, interrogative, possessive, and relative pronouns, with three regular sets of verbal conjugations, and various verbs are irregularly conjugated.

  • Italian vocabulary has a strong influence from Latin and Greek, with many loanwords from French, Spanish, and English.


Think you know everything about the Italian language? Test your knowledge with our quiz on the key facts and figures of this Romance language. From its origins in Tuscany to its global presence, this quiz covers everything from grammar and vocabulary to its use in music and opera. With questions on its phonology, gender, and conjugations, this quiz is perfect for Italian language learners and language enthusiasts alike. So, are you ready to prove your proficiency in Italian? Take our quiz now and find out!

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