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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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

Notes[edit]

  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)
  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[edit]