Genoese (zeneise)

Genoese is the traditional name of the language spoken in the ancient Repubblica of Genoa, a territory that is nowadays called Liguria. The word "Genoese" can represent both the variety of the language spoken in Genoa, or the whole language, also called Ligurian. Ligurian is spoken by about 450,000 in the northwest of Italy, particularly in Liguria, but also in small part of Tuscany, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, in the towns of Carloforte and Calasetta in Sardinia, in southern France, parts of Corsica, and in Monaco, where the language has official status and is known as Monégasque or Munegascu. There are also Ligurian speakers in such countries as Argentina, Uruguay, Australia, Canada and the USA.

Genoese is spoken mainly in Genoa (Zena), and neighbouring varieties of Ligurian are similar. Belonging to the Gallo-Italian family, Genoese and Ligurian in general have more similarities with French, Piedmontese, Occitan and Catalan than with Italian. The majority of Genoese speakers are now elderly.

There has been literature in Genoese since the 13th century, though the spelling was not standardised until recently. In 1996 the Province of Genoa adopted a standard proposed in Grammatica by Fiorenzo Toso and promoted by the same institution. In 2008 the Académia Ligùstica do Brénno published a self-proclamed "official orthography" (Grafîa ofiçiâ), however this did not prove popular with the whole community. In November 2015 the newspaper "Il Secolo XIX" presented a new written standard based on the "Grammatica" one: this is now in use in the mass media of Liguria.

Genoese alphabet (Arfabeto)

A a Æ æ B b C c Ç ç D d E e Eu eu F f
G g H h I i J j L l M m N n O o P p
Q q R r S s T t U u V v X x Z z  

Genoese pronunciation

Genoese pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Genoese (Excel)

Sample text in Genoese

Tytti i ommi nàscian libberi e pægi in dignitæ e drîti. Sun dutæ de raxun e de cunscensa e dêvan agî i-yn versu i-âtri inte'n spirritu de fraternitæ.

Orthography used in mass media

Tutti i òmmi nascian liberi e eguali in dignitæ e driti. Son dotæ de raxon e de conscensa e devan agî i un verso i atri int'un spirito de fraternitæ.


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)

Some of the information on this page was provided by Andrea Acquarone

Sample videos in Genoese


Information about the Genoese language

Académia Ligùstica Do Brénno (in Genoese)

Self-proclamed Official Orthography and Alphabet (in Genoese)

A Compagna - Sito ufficiale dell'associazione genovese (in Italian)

Che l'inse! (in Italian)

Genoese phonology

Ligurian - English - Ligurian free dictionary

Recordings of Genoese and other Ligurian dialects

Genové Bilingual website in Spanish and Genoese, with resources to learn Genoese, Ligurian literature with Spanish version, texts, photos, etc.

O scîto do Paolìn (in Italian)

Romance languages

Aragonese, Aranese, Aromanian, Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, Dalmatian, Emilian-Romagnol, Extremaduran, Fala, Franco-Provençal, French, Friulian, Galician, Gallo, Gascon, Genoese, Guernésiais, Istro-Romanian, Istriot, Italian, Jèrriais, Ladino, Ladin, Ligurian, Lombard, Lorrain, Megleno-Romanian, Mirandese, Moldovan, Monégasque, Mozarabic, Neapolitan, Occitan, Occitan (Auvergnat), Occitan (Languedocien), Occitan (Limousin), Occitan (Provençal), Picard, Piedmontese, Portuguese, Romanian, Romansh, Sardinian, Sicilian, Spanish, Valencian, Venetian, Walloon

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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