Italian language factsheet

Written on 1 December, 2020


Around 63 million people in the world speak Italian as their first language.

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family which originates from Vulgar Latin and it is the closest language to Latin. Italian is the official language of Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City.

Five interesting facts about the Italian language:

1. Italian became an official language in 1861.

2. The Italian alphabet only has 21 letters, the standard Italian alphabet doesn’t include J, K, W, X and Y; they are only used in foreign loan words.

3. Italian has significantly influenced English and other Western languages. Common English words of Italian origin include broccoli, fiasco, propaganda, flu, quarantine and lottery.

4. Italian is the universal language of music, especially classical music with many composers and musicians being Italian.

5. The longest Italian word contains 29 letters, ‘esofagodermatodigiunoplastica’, which refers to a reconstructive surgery related to the removal of the stomach.

If you would like to work with a professional translation agency for the translation of your documents from Italian to English or English to Italian, please do get in touch with the award-winning team at Surrey Translation Bureau.

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