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 Monegasque people.

French[edit]

French is the only official language in Monaco, a result of the role France has had over the microstate (see Franco-Monegasque Treaty) 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, somewhat similar to Italian.

Because the Monégasques are only a minority in Monaco, Monégasque 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.

At his coronation, Albert II, Prince of Monaco, made a speech to his people in the language.

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 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 the paternal language of Andrea Casiraghi, Charlotte Casiraghi and Pierre Casiraghi, children of Caroline of Monaco, Princess of Hanover and Heiress Presumptive of Monaco, as her late husband, Stefano Casiraghi, was born in Italy.[3]

English[edit]

There is also an English-speaking community in Monaco (8.5% of overall population being from Britain or USA, and population from other anglophone nations is too insignificant and is counted within the category of "other," below),[1] and many[quantify] English-speaking tourists and vacationers visit the city.

Princess Grace Kelly, mother of the current prince, was American and all three of her children grew up speaking English and other languages.[4]

Occitan[edit]

Occitan (or 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]