Piedmontese is a Romance language spoken by about 3 million people
throughout the Piedmont (Piemont) region of northwest Italy.
To the east of this region varieties of Western Lombard are spoken,
and in the high western valleys Piedmontese is spoken alongside
varieties of Provençal. It is also spoken in Argentina, Brazil,
California, Australia and Chile.
Piedmontese has never been an official language but in the last thirty years it
has been recognized as a separate language by the Council of Europe, the Piemonte
region, UNESCO, some linguists and most Italians. It is not currently taught in schools but
some people are trying to have it introduced into primary schools. Piedmontese
is spoken mainly by older people and is not popular with the young, particularly
in the cities and towns. As a result, it is in danger of becoming extinct within
a couple of generations.
The first texts written in Piedmontese appeared during the 12th century, before
any Italian literary works were published. They were the Sermones Subalpini,
a collection of twenty religious pieces written in an archaic form of the language
which is now difficult to understand. Literature in Piedmontese started to appear
during the 17th century. and the first grammar of Piedmontese was published
in the 18th century. The period from 1850-1960 was the gold age for Piedmontese theater
and song and there is currently a lively Piedmontese poetry scene. The most famous
living Piedmontese singer is Gipo Farassino.
- c = [ʧ] before i or e/but [k] elsewhere
- g = [ʤ] before i or e/but [g] elsewhere
- s = [z] between vowels/after consonants and at the ends of words
- At the ends of words d = [t]/v = [w/f]/n = [ŋ] and lengthens the preceding vowel
- sci-/sce-/gl-/sgi-/sge- are found in some archaic words
Sample text in Piedmontese
Tùit j'esse uman a nasso lìber e uguaj an
dignità e an drit. A son dotà ‘d sust e
‘d consiensa e a dëvo agì j’un con
j’àutri ant n’ëspìrit ëd fradlansa.
(Artìcol 1 dla Diciarassion Universala dij Drit ëd l'Òm)
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information provided by G. Garella (email@example.com),
with corrections and additions by the Gioventura Piemontèisa
Information about Piedmontese
Piedmontese language and culture organisations
Sit an Piemontèis (in Piedmontese, Italian and English)
Songs, videos and recordings in Piedmontese
Other languages written with the Latin alphabet