Piedmontese: Italian dialect, French cousin, a fading Romance

Bin ëvnù! You probably never heard of this language but this is why I posted this! I think it's worth sharing. So read on if you're curious!

What is Piedmontese?

Piedmontese is a minority Romance language spoken in northwest Italy, specifically in the Piedmont region, with over 1.6 million native speakers (in 2002). Like with many Romance languages of Italy, Piedmontese is treated as a mere dialect of Italian by the government, when really it's genetically closer to French. (Italian belongs to the Tuscan sub-group of Romance languages, while French is a Gallo-romance, and Piedmontese belongs to the Gallo-italic. "Gallo" ultimately means "from Gall", Gall being the name of France prior to Latin occupation). Because Piedmontese has Italian influence as well as Gallic ancestry, many Italians want to label it as a dialect, while really it's not that mutually intelligible with Italian.

Here is a video of a native Piedmontese speaker explaining the situation- in Piedmontese (with a translation in the description):

Hey, this actually sounds pretty cool! Can I learn it?

Of course! There are actually quite a few places you can use as a resource.

Sounds great! But can I ask for it to be on Duolingo?

If you want this beautiful, rare language to be on Duolingo for English, Italian and maybe even Spanish speakers, give this post an upvote! A course on Duolingo can help preserve, spread and teach this language with quality, for free! Thank you!

March 15, 2017


Sorted by top post

Dragon Polygot does marketing better than me! And I'm a marketer by profession :D

March 16, 2017

I live in Piedmont! (But I am not able to speak it.) I think this post was a great idea: no one ever talks about Piedmontese, so thank you :-)

March 17, 2017

I'm from Piedmont! I'm trying to learn it with the help of my grandma, which is part of the last generation that actually spoke it on a daily basis. It would be horrible if such an important part of my region's culture got lost, so even if I know I'm never going to use it (sadly IMHO) I want to bring a piece of culture perhaps a generation further, hoping that in the future dialects will be treated better or someone, as I am doing, will want to help it to survive.

April 19, 2018

This is very interesting! I've never heard of Piedmontese before. Thanks for sharing :)

March 15, 2017

My grandfather was from Piedmont and I'm planning on doing musicological research there one day. I would love to have this language on Duolingo! Thanks for posting this.

April 16, 2017

Hi, I am from Argentina, all my eight great-grandparents were born in Piamonte, Italy and spoke piemontèis as mother languague, they all emigrate to Argentina between 1880-1920. In the province where I live the piemontese immigration was so big that local people (who spoke spanish) and other immigrants learned and used actively the language.

All my grandparents (born in Argentina) learned first piemontèis at home and then spanish at school (spanish is Argentina's oficial language), till 20 years ago they used to speak piemontèis almost daily.

My parents both understand the language but they cannot speak it anymore, and they didn't pass the language to us, except for some phrases and words.

Nowadays the language can be heard in (some) family meetings, mostly; nobody speaks it "in the streets" anymore, yet a lot of words of our spanish dialect are piemontese. Also, many tipical piemontèis food are popular in my region even in families with no piamontese ancestors (a not-so-easy-thing in my province, by the way).

There is a Italian Social Club in my town that host courses of the language, yet I have never tried them.

I would love to see this language someday in Duolingo, yet I cannot help really much in building such course.

PS: It sounds horrible to me, but I want to learn it, it's in my veins!!!

October 23, 2017

A lot of piedmontese went to Argentina. I personally have people in my family who went there in the same period. I once knew an Argentinian who told me that in his province (Cordoba) there was a village where people still spoke some piedmontese and he told me that there they used to call the mouse of the computer "giari" that is how we call the mouse in piedmontese. They also said "pillar" or something like that to say "to take" which is similar to the piedmontese "pié"

September 23, 2019

Hi, to anyone interested, I started a Tinycards project on Piemontèis (just search "piedmontese").

March 19, 2018

Please make this happen!!! Very interested in learning this dialect.

October 29, 2018

Hi I gave you a lingot ;) I am a piedmontese speaker. When I was a child in the 90's I used to go often to the countryside where a lot of people spoke piedmontese all the time. I would like to contribute to a course. Am piasria 'dco scrive an piemontèis ant ij forum con d'aota gent ch'a veul parlelo o amparelo

September 23, 2019
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.