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Italian is a Romance language and a direct descendant of Latin, more precisely, vulgar Latin.Today’s Standard Italian is based on the Tuscan language of Florence of the 14th century.They are therefore different from Italy’s regional languages, which are specific to Italy.From the Roman Empire to the today’s Italian Republic, Italy is one of the nations that has seen the most drastic changes in its territory.Due to its long history of strongly independent regional identities, until its relatively recent unification in 1861, Italy has kept a wide variety of regional languages, some of which have gained official recognition (like Sardinian).These regional languages are not mere dialects, but languages in their own right that are quite different from Standard Italian.

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German, Slovene and Griko (a variant of Greek), for example are spoken by minority groups in different areas of Italy.

Even though also spoken by minority groups within Italy, minority languages are different from regional languages, as they are spoken by minority groups stemming from other countries or regions of Europe. Reversely, Italian is also spoken by minority groups outside Italy, due to the presence of Italian immigrants in many other countries.

They are the consequence of the successive migration flows Italy has seen in the past centuries. Italian is also the official language in a number of other countries.

Bisiacco, one of the dialects of Venetian, is spoken in Gorizia Province.

Other dialects include Istrian, Triestino and Venetian Proper. Sicilian (Calabro-Sicilian, Sicilianu, Siculu) is distinct enough from Standard Italian to be considered a separate language.

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