Italian


Italian is a major European language, being one of the official languages of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and one of the working languages of the Council of Europe.

Italian is the third most widely spoken first language in the European Union with 65 million native speakers (13% of the EU population) and it is spoken as a second language by 14 million EU citizens (3%). Including Italian speakers in non-EU European countries (such as Switzerland and Albania) and on other continents. The total number of global speakers is around 85 million.

Italian is the official language of classical music. Terms like crescendo (get louder), staccato (detached), and forte (loud) come from Italian. This is because musical notation was invented in Italy during the Renaissance.

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