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Emiliàn e rumagnòl
Spoken in  Italy
 San Marino
Total speakers 2 million
Language family Indo-European
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 roa
ISO 639-3 either:
egl – Emilian
rgn – Romagnol

Emiliano-Romagnolo (also known as Emilian-Romagnolo) is a Romance language mostly spoken in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. It belongs to the Northern Italian group within Romance languages (like Piedmontese, Lombard, Ligurian and Venetian), which is included in the wider group of western Romance languages (like French, Occitan and Catalan). It is considered as a minority language, structurally separated from Italian by the Ethnologue and by the Red Book of Endangered Languages of UNESCO. The two dialect sub-groups of Emiliano-Romagnolo are Emiliano and Romagnolo.


Geographic extent

It is spoken in the Northern Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy (provinces of Pavia, of Mantua and in some municipalities in the province of Cremona), in the Central Italian regions of Tuscany (province of Massa-Carrara) and Marche (province of Pesaro e Urbino and in the Republic of San Marino. It is also spoken in the lower part of Veneto (in part of the province of Rovigo) in an ancient zone called in italian language transpadana ferrarese.


Areas where Emiliano-Romagnolo is spoken

Emiliano-Romagnolo varies considerably across the region, and several dialects exist (e.g.: Piacentino has much more in common with Lombard than with Central or Eastern Emiliano and it is hardly intelligible by a speaker from Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna). A major distinction is usually made between Emiliano and Romagnolo, seen as separate languages by some linguists. The latter is spoken in the provinces of Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna, Rimini but also in Pesaro e Urbino, in the region of Marche, which formed the historical region of Romagna. The heart-city of Romagnolo is Forlì, because it is the meditullium of Romagna, as Dante Alighieri says.

Emiliano-Romagnolo can be subdivided into two main subgroups, which in turn are made up of further varieties:

Group Dialect
Emiliano Western Emiliano (Piacentino and Pavese-Vogherese)
Massese (mixed with some Tuscan features)
Central-Western Emiliano (Parmigiano)
Central Emiliano (Reggiano and Modenese)
Southern Emiliano (Bolognese)
Northeastern Emiliano (Ferrarese and Mantovano)
Romagnolo Northern Romagnolo
Southern Romagnolo


The variants of both dialects have common features with all the other languages of the Gallo-Italic group. Some of the most outstanding features are:

  • All unstressed final vowels (except for a) have been lost: in Bolognese mèder, dutåur, âlber or in Piacentino mär, dutur, ärbul (Italian madre, dottore, albero; English mother, doctor, tree). (Note that in Bolognese the subsequent vowel of the tonic syllable is lengthened and may produce a diphthong).
  • Rounded vowels which are typical of the Gallo-Iberian area. In Carrarese and Western Emiliano there are four of them: ä, ü, ö (pronounced like in German in Western Emiliano), and å. In Western Emiliano there is also a sort of schwa similar to the third vowel of Piedmontese), written ë in Piacentino. In Bolognese there are two: (ä and å), in Central Emilian only ä. The phonetic of the same word may vary across the diffusion area of this idiom, as in the case of the word snail, written as lümäga in Western Emiliano and as lumèga in Bolognese. Another typical feature of Emilian dialects is extreme syncope, i.e. loss of atonic vowels within a word. As an example we can have the Bolognese words: śbdèl (hospital), bdòć (louse), and dscårrer (speak).
  • The nasal velar ŋ (transcribed in Bolognese orthography with the grapheme ń) as in cuséń [ku'zeŋ] (cousin).
  • The plural forms are made up either with a consonant alternation, similarly to some Germanic languages, or vowel distinctions: źnòć (knee) and źnûć (knees); dutåur (doctor) and dutûr (doctors); calzaider (bucket) and calzîder (buckets), with special suffix changes: martèl (hammer) and martî (hammers); fiôl (son) and fiû (sons), cuséna (female cousin) and cuséni (female cousins) [but: cuséna (kitchen) and cusén (kitchens)] or with no modifications: lèg (lake) and lèg (lakes).
  • Various verb classes
  • The presence of a verbal system with an affirmative conjugation and an interrogative conjugation (Example: the present tense form of the verb fèr to do): mé a fag (I do) - faghia (do I do?); té t fè (You do) - fèt (Do you do?); lò/lì al/la fà (he/she does) - fèl/fèla (does he/she do?); nuèter [or nuièter] a fän (We do) - faggna (Do we do?); vuèter [or vuièter] a fèv (You (pl.) do) - fèdi (do you do?); låur i/al fàn (they [m/f] do); fèni (do they do?)
  • The presence of two kinds of personal pronouns, tonic and clitic (atonic and inseparable verb host) that are used in the verbal conjugation:
me a sun [or so'] andèe - I went (not to be compared with e.g. moi, Je suis allé in French, where moi and je are functionally quite different from the Bolognese forms).

Emiliano-Romagnolo is not mutually intelligible with Italian and the two languages belong to different branches of the Romance language family tree (respectively Western Romance and Italo-Dalmatian). An uncommon feature for a Romance language is the extensive use of idiomatic phrasal verbs (verb-particle constructions) much in the same way as in English and other Germanic languages, above all in Piacentino, Pavese-Vogherese and Mantovano. Examples: dèr so (lit. give up, same as in English); fèr so (lit. do up, meaning: to tidy up); dèr zå (lit. give down, meaning: to brush or to beat); mètter vî (lit. to put away, meaning: to lock); dîr so (lit. to tell up, meaning: to call up); dèr vî (lit. to give away, same as in English); èser dré (action in progress, a form of gerund: A san dré ch'a fag - I'm doing); avair dré (to have with yourself: A i ò dré di sold - I have money with me).


The use of Emiliano-Romagnolo has in the past been stigmatized in Emiliano-Romagnolo speaking areas, due to a number of historical and social reasons; speaking the 'dialect' was considered a sign of poor schooling or low social status. It now appears to have lost its negative connotations: native speakers use it to address close friends and family, so its usage has come to mean "I feel well, I feel in the company of friends". Emiliano-Romagnolo is also commonly used in manufacturing industry or construction workplaces, where it is not uncommon to find foreign immigrants who speak it with workmates.


  • Yes - Sé, Ói (bolognese); sì (piacentino)
  • No - Nå (bolognese); no (piacentino)
  • I love you - A t vói bän (bolognese); a t' vöi bëin (piacentino)
  • Thanks, Thank you - A t aringrâzi (bolognese); a t' ringrasi (piacentino)
  • Good morning - Bån dé (bolognese); bon giùran (piacentino)
  • Good bye - A se vdrän (bolognese); arvëdas (piacentino)
  • I - Mé, A (bolognese); me, mi (piacentino)
  • And - E
  • How much is it - Quant véńnel? csa cåsstel? (bolognese); cus al custa, quant al custa, cus al vegna? (piacentino)
  • What's your name? - Cum t ciâmet? (bolognese); cma ta ciamat? (piacentino)
  • My name is... - A m ciâm ... (bolognese); me/mi a m' ciam... (piacentino)
  • Tree - Âlber (bolognese); pianta, ärbul (piacentino)
  • England - Inghiltèra
  • London - Lånndra
  • Emilia-Romagna - Emégglia-Rumâgna (bolognese); Emilia-Rumagna (piacentino)
  • Bologna - Bulåggna (bolognese); Bulogna (piacentino)
  • Forlì - Furlè (forlivese)
  • City - Zitè
  • Coffee - Cafà (bolognese); café (piacentino)
  • Wine - Vén (bolognese); vëin (piacentino)
  • Water - Âcua
  • Nine - Nôv (bolognese); növ (piacentino)
  • Sun - Såul (bolognese); sul (piacentino)
  • Language - Längua (bolognese); lëingua (piacentino)
  • God - Dìo (bolognese); diu (piacentino)
  • See you - A t salût
  • Excuse me - Scuśèm, ch'al scûśa bän (bolognese); scüsìm, scüsèm (piacentino)
  • Do you speak English/Emilian? - Dscårret in inglaiś/emigliàn?
  • Nation - Naziån
  • Father - Pèder
  • Mother - Mèder
  • Brother - Fradèl
  • Sister - Surèla
  • Son - Burdèl, bastérd (forlivese, romagnolo)
  • Doctor - Dutåur
  • America - Amêrica
  • Africa - Âfrica
  • Antarctica - Antàrrtide
  • Italy- Itâglia
  • Germany - Germâgna
  • Army - Esêrzit
  • World - Månnd
  • Peace - Pèś
  • War - Guèra

External links

Emiliano-Romagnolo edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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