Neapolitan is a Romance language spoken by about seven or eight million people in southern Italy, especially in the city of Naples (Nàpule/Napoli) and in Campania and southern Lazio. Neapolitan is part of a continuum of dialects spoken in most of southern Italy, though many would use the term "Neapolitan" only to refer to the dialects spoken in and around Naples.
Neapolitan developed from Vulgar Latin, like most of the other languages and dialects spoken in Italy, It also contains some influences from Oscan and Greek.
Today, Neapolitan is primarily a spoken language, though Neapolitan literature has been produced since the 15th century. It has no official status, and is not taught in schools, but often appears in popular songs.
Pate nuoste ca staje 'ncielo,
santificammo 'o nomme tuojo
faje vení 'o regno tuojo,
sempe c' 'a vuluntà toja,
accussí 'ncielo e 'nterra.
Fance avé 'o ppane tutt' 'e juorne
lièvace 'e dièbbete
comme nuje 'e llevamme a ll'ate,
nun 'nce fa spantecà,
e llievace 'o mmale 'a tuorno.
Hear a recording of the text by Roberta Salzano (recorded by Moshe Ash)
Tutt''e perzone ro munno nasciono liberi e cu' e stess diritt e dignità. Tutt quant tenon 'a reggione e 'a cuscienza e s'hann' a cumpurtà l'un cu ll'ate cu nu spirito 'e fratellanza.
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)
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Page last modified: 30.06.21
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