The Italian language (or lingua italiana, pronounced [‘lingua itali’ana] in Italian) is the official language of Italy where 93% of population are native Italian speakers. The standard Italian has a poetic and literary origin in the twelfth century but it has been used long before that – the earliest surviving Italuan texts are legal formulae from the Province of Benevento that can be traced back to 960–963. Each Italian region has its own distinctive dialect due to the former independency of the Italian city-states.
Writing system: Latin (Italian alphabet)
Official language in: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, European Union