Regional Italian dialects


Every country has a local variation of the formal national language. How many regional dialects does Italy have? I wonder about how different they are to the Italian we learn as a foreign language and if there is anything we should be careful of.


If I counted correctly there are 22 different regional dialects. Wow! That’s a lot to learn isn’t it? I think you should decide which area you would like to spend the most time in and learn as much about that one as you can.


That’s really a lot, but it’s no wonder for a country as big as Italy. Which ones are the easiest so far? I thought it’s mostly about different accents and variations in some words. I also haven’t seen any free courses about regional dialects of any country because it’s too complicated.


I also wonder if you know basic Italian would you be able to converse with anyone in the whole country. I know that’s the way it is here in the states. Each region has their own dialects and yet we still can understand each other.


I found on Wikipedia that the dialects are not exactly derived from the ‘standard’ Italian. The one called ‘standard’ is based on Florentine Tuscan, while the dialects are actually the evolutions of Vulgar Latin. On paper, these languages have few similarities, although they may have absorbed each other’s elements in daily use.

I take it that learning the ‘standard’ Italian doesn’t necessarily mean that we can automatically use it in some other regions.