Languages of Calabria

The primary languages of Calabria are the standard Italian language as well as regional varieties of the Neapolitan and Sicilian languages, all collectively known as Calabrian (Italian: calabrese). In addition, there are small numbers of Calabrian Greek speakers and pockets of Occitan and Arbëresh.

Calabrian (Calabrese)

Calabrian (it: Calabrese) refers to the Romance varieties spoken in Calabria, Italy. The varieties of Calabria are part of a strong dialect continuum that are generally recognizable as Calabrian, but that are usually divided into two different language groups:

  • In the southern two-thirds of the region, the Calabrian dialects are more closely related to Sicilian, grouped as Central-Southern Calabrian, or simply Calabro, and are usually classified as part of Extreme Southern Italian (Italiano meridionale-estremo) language group.[1]
  • In the northern one-third of the region, the Calabrian dialects are often classified typologically with Neapolitan language (it: Napoletano-Calabrese) and are called Northern Calabrian or just Cosentino.[2]

The Amantea-Cirò line is generally considered an approximate demarcation between the Neapolitan and Sicilian language groups.

The linguistic division roughly corresponds with the historic administrative division already in place since medieval times: Calabria Citeriore (or Latin Calabria) and Calabria Ulteriore (or Greek Calabria). This is a broad generalization and many communities in the more central parts of the region exhibit features of both language groups.

The dialects of Calabria have been extensively studied, catalogued and commented upon by German philologist Gerhard Rohlfs. From the mid-1920s to the mid-1970s, he traveled the region extensively and assembled a very extensive, multi-volume dictionary.

English Southern Calabrian Northern Calabrian Italian
tomorrow rumàni crai / dumàni domani
in the meantime asciatàntu / shramènti interimme frattanto
the day before last avantèri nustierzu ieri l'altro
to yawn sbadigghjàri alare sbadigliare
Other Languages
français: Calabrais
occitan: Calabrés
Türkçe: Kalabriyaca