The official languages of San Marino are Italian and Sammarinese. Italian is a Romance language which shares many similarities with Latin and is the official language not only of San Marino and Italy but also Switzerland, Vatican City, Slovenia, and Croatia. Part of the Indo- European family of languages, Italian uses a variation of the Latin alphabet and is composed of twenty one letters made up of five vowels and sixteen consonants. Sammarinese,or Romagnol, is also a Romance language which is derived from Vulgar Latin.

Although Italian is the dominant language in San Marino ,approximately 83% of residents of speak Sammarinese. This ancient language can be traced back to Byzantine times in modern day Romania and is deemed to be a language under threat of dying out as many native speakers have failed to pass it down to younger generations. English is also spoken by many people living in this Italian enclave.

Examples of useful Italian phrases include “Ciao”, to be used as a casual hello, and “Salve” to be spoken in more formal situations. To wish someone a good day requires the simple phrase, “Buona giornata”. Wishing someone good luck can be achieved by saying, “Buona fortuna”. To wish someone a good meal one would say, “Buon appetite”.

In San Marino Sammarinese, or Romagol, has the status of a minority language since Italian enjoys widespread use among the small country’s populace. Sammarinese is part of the Gallo-Italic branch of linguistics which includes the dialects Piedmontese, Lombard, Emilian, and Ligurian. Romagol is considered by many to be a sub dialect of the Emilian-Romagnol language.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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