Italian is a Romance language and is the official language of Italy and San Marino, as well as one of the official languages of Switzerland. It is the language of administration in Vatican City and is spoken by large numbers of migrants around the world, as well as in countries in which Italian was introduced through colonisation. Italian is a widely used and maintained community language in Australia, and has been taught in Australian schools and universities for many decades, as well as being offered in community-run language classes. As Italian is so closely related to Spanish, Portuguese and French, it is not difficult for learners familiar with one of these languages to acquire another. The similarities between much of Italian and English vocabulary additionally make Italian easier for English speakers to learn.
Number of people in Australia who speak this language at home: 299,829 (ABS Census Data, 2011)
Language Category: European Languages
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