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Languages in Italy

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The official language of Italy is Italian, a descendant of Tuscan dialect and a direct descendant of Latin. When Italy was unified, in 1861, Italian existed mainly as a literary language and almost each region had its own dialetto. Standardizing the language was an important step in unifying the Italians and the standardized language was based on the Florentine dialect spoken in most of Tuscany.

The largest group of non-Italian speakers are those who speak Sardinian, a Romance language, which retains many pre-Latin words. Some of the other languages spoken in pockets are German, French and Slovene.

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