Languages of Monaco

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A bilingual French-Monégasque street sign

The official language of Monaco is French. In addition, there are several other languages spoken, including Monégasque, the national language of the Monégasque people.

French

French is the only official—and by far the most common—language in Monaco, a result of the role France has had over the microstate, since the annexation of Nice and the Nizzardo (the territory surrounding Monaco).

Monégasque

Monégasque is the traditional national language of the Monegasque people (who represent only 21.6% of the total population[1]). It is a dialect of Ligurian, and is somewhat similar to Italian.

Because the Monégasques are only a minority in Monaco, their tongue was threatened with extinction in the 1970s.[citation needed] However, the language is now being taught in schools. In the old part of Monaco, the street signs are marked with Monégasque in addition to French.

During his accession ceremonies in 2005, Albert II, Prince of Monaco, made a speech to his people in Monégasque.

Italian

Standard Italian is also a major language in Monaco. Italian nationals make up 19% of the total population.[1]

Italian was the ancestral language of the ruling House of Grimaldi, and was the official language of Monaco when it was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1815 to 1861. [2]

Italian is also spoken by Caroline, Princess of Hanover and her children Andrea Casiraghi, Charlotte Casiraghi Pierre Casiraghi, as her late husband was Italian.[3]

English

There is also an Anglophone community in Monaco (8.5% of which are from the United Kingdom or the United States, with English-speakers from other nations as too insignificant and thus listed within the category of "other," below),[1] in addition to English-speaking tourists visiting the city.

Princess Grace was born an American, and all three of her children (including the reigning Prince) grew up speaking English among other languages.[4]

Occitan

Occitan (Lenga d'òc) has also traditionally been spoken in Monaco, particularly when it covered a larger geographical territory, but is rarely used today.

Other

Intemelio is a Ligurian dialect spoken historically from the Principality of Monaco to the Italian province of Imperia.

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Monaco IQ (English language), referencing Chapter One of Files and Reports&InfoSujet=General Population Census 2008&6Gb|2008 census (gouv.mc not an English source) Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ History of Monaco
  3. ^ Biographie de Stefano Casiraghi.
  4. ^ Grace Kelly's last interview, 22 June 1982, on ABC's 20/20

See also

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