Oh well…..

One of the nice things about speaking to Italians in Italian is that they rarely blame you for mistakes – both sides somehow manage to make themselves understood.

Most Italians do not speak Italian as a mother tongue. What we all – and they all – call Italian is actually Florentine Italian. What speaks most is the Romance language of their region. Or even smaller areas than a region.

It can also get very specific. Pozzuoli speaks a little closer to Catalan than the Neopolitan, which is only 10 miles away. The “Dialetti” can be much further apart than, for example, A Jethro Cornish and Scouse or Geordie. There are villages in Sicily that still speak something more Provencal than anything else. And that’s before we get to the little Albanian islands in the hills …

For the vast majority, Italian is itself a second language.

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