Corsican is a Romance language spoken by about 341,000 people. Most of the speakers live in Corsica, though there are some in Paris and Marseilles and also in Bolivia, Canada, Cuba, Italy, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, the USA and Venezuela. Corsican has no official status in Corsica, and French is the official language there.
Corsican is closely related to Italian, particularly to the Tuscan dialect of Italian, and there is a high degree of mutual intelligibility between these languages. Corsican is essentially an oral language and as a result, there is considerable regional variation, particularly between the north and south of Corsica.
Corsican first appeared in writing towards the end of the 19th century, though the spelling system was not standardised until the 1970s. An orthography proposed by P. Marchetti and D. Geronimi was generally accepted, though it isn't always followed. In older Corsican texts there is considerable variation in spelling.
Corsican is used at all levels of education in Corsica. In most cases it is taught as a subject, but a few schools use it as a medium of instruction, along side French. Corsican courses for adults are widely available throughout Corsica, as well as in some cities on the French mainland.
The regional service of State radio (RCFM) broadcasts several programmes and a number of news bulletins in Corsican every day. One private radio station broadcasts entirely in Corsican, and several volunteer stations, such as Radio Calvi Citadelle and Voce Nustrale, broadcast programmes in Corsican. The regional TV station, France 3 Corse, broadcasts at least two hours of programmes in Corsican per week.
There is no daily or weekly newspaper entirely in Corsican, though some French-language papers do occasionally publish articles in the language. Corsican is also often used for headlines in papers or magazines.
More and more books are published in Corsican annually. There are also some Corsican language magazines, often sponsored or produced by political parties or cultural associations, and an increasing number of theatre productions.
K (cappa), W (vè dòppio), X (iquèsi) and Y (i grècu) are also used, but only in loan words.
Nascinu tutti l'omi libari è pari di dignità è di diritti. Pussedinu a raghjoni è a cuscenza è li tocca ad agiscia trà elli di modu fraternu.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Online Corsican phrases
Online Corsican dictionaries
Corsican Linguistic Database
Online Corsican language radio
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Page last modified: 23.04.21
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