Languages of Monaco

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A bilingual French-Monégasque street sign

The official language of Monaco is French, but there are several languages spoken, including Monégasque, the national language of the Monégasque people.

French[edit]

French is the only official—and by far the most common—language in Monaco, a result of the role France has had over the microstate, since the annexation of Nice and the Nizzardo (the territory surrounding Monaco), then culturally and ethnically Italian, as part of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.

Monégasque[edit]

Monégasque is the national language of the Monegasque people (who represent only 21.6% of the total population, but growing from 19.0% in 2000[1]). It is a dialect of Ligurian, and is somewhat similar to Italian.

Because the Monégasques are only a minority in Monaco, their tongue was threatened with extinction in the 1970s.[citation needed] However, the language is now being taught in schools, and its continuance is regarded as secured.[citation needed] In the old part of Monaco, the street signs are marked with Monégasque in addition to French.

During his accession ceremonies in 2005, Albert II, Prince of Monaco, made a speech to his people in Monégasque.

Italian[edit]

Standard Italian is also a major language in Monaco. Italian nationals make up 19% of the total population, down from 20% in 2000.[1]

Italian was the ancestral language of the ruling House of Grimaldi, and was the official language of Monaco when it was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1814 to 1861.[2]

Italian is also spoken by Caroline, Princess of Hanover and her children Andrea Casiraghi, Charlotte Casiraghi Pierre Casiraghi , as her late husband was Italian.[3]

English[edit]

There is also an Anglophone community in Monaco (8.5% of which are from the United Kingdom or the United States, with English-speakers from other nations as too insignificant and thus listed within the category of "other," below),[1] in addition to English-speaking tourists visiting the city.

Princess Grace was born an American, and all three of her children (including the reigning Prince) grew up speaking English among other languages.[4]

Occitan[edit]

Occitan (Lenga d'òc) has also traditionally been spoken in Monaco particularly when it covered a larger geographical territory, but it is rarely used today.

Other[edit]

Belgian, Swiss, and German nationals are approximately 2.5% each of the overall population, and "other" constitute a further 15%.[1] Some 125[citation needed] nationalities make up the population of Monaco.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Monaco IQ (English language), referencing Chapter One of Files and Reports&InfoSujet=General Population Census 2008&6Gb|2008 census (gouv.mc not an English source)
  2. ^ History of Monaco
  3. ^ Biographie de Stefano Casiraghi.
  4. ^ Grace Kelly's last interview, 22 June 1982, on ABC's 20/20

See also[edit]