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27-Jun-2016 11:01

The most characteristic differences, for instance, between Roman Italian and Milanese Italian are the gemination of initial consonants and the pronunciation of stressed "e", and of "s" in some cases: e.g.

va bene "all right": is pronounced for Milanese and generally northern.

During the Middle Ages, the established written language in Europe was Latin.The incorporation into Italian of learned, or "bookish" words from its own ancestor language, Latin, is arguably another form of lexical borrowing through the influence of written language and the liturgical language of the Church.Throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern period, most literate Italian speakers were also literate in Latin; and thus they easily adopted Latin words into their writing—and eventually speech—in Italian.However, Italian as a language spoken in Italy and some surrounding regions has a longer history.

In fact, the earliest surviving texts that can definitely be called Italian (or more accurately, vernacular, as distinct from its predecessor Vulgar Latin) are legal formulae known as the Placiti Cassinesi from the Province of Benevento that date from 960–963, although the Veronese Riddle, probably from the 8th or early 9th century, contains a late form of Vulgar Latin that can be seen as a very early Italian dialect.

Italian has been reported as the fourth or fifth most frequently taught foreign language in the world.