Italian (Italian italiano or lingua italiana) is a Romance language spoken by about 62 million people, most of whom live in Italy. Standard Italian is based on the Florentine dialect. It also has double (or long) consonants like Latin (unlike most modern Romance languages). As with other Romance languages other than French, the accent place in a word can be different, it is usually on the penultimate syllable if the last syllable has no accent.
Italian is the official language in Italy and San Marino, and in the Swiss cantons of Ticino and Graubünden (Italian: Grigioni). In addition to Latin, Italian is the second official language in the Vatican, and in addition to Slovene in the Slovenian coastal areas of the municipalities of Koper, Izola and Piran, and in Croatia in Istria, where the Italian minority also lives. In Corsica, they speak a dialect similar to the Italian dialects in nearby Tuscany. As a colloquial language, it is widely spoken among the descendants of emigrants in Luxembourg, the USA, Argentina and Australia, and is also spoken in Malta, Italy and Albania. Much less is spoken in Italy’s former African colonies such as Somalia, Libya and Eritrea.
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