Sardinian is a Romance language with about 1.2 million speakers in Sardinia, part of Italy. It is considered the most conservative of the Romance languages and the closest to Latin. It contains words borrowed from Punic, Byzantine Greek, Catalan, Spanish and Italian.
Sardinian is spoken mainly by adults. Many children grew up speaking it at home, but often switch to Italian when they start going to school.
There are four main varieties of Sardinian: Logudorese, Campidanese, Gallurese and Sassarese, and each of them, expect Sassarese, is really a collection of dialects. Some sources classify the main varieties as separate languages, while others see them as dialects.
Sardinian is a descendant of the ancient form of Latin brought to Sardinia by the Romans in 238 BC. Between the 14th and 17th centuries, Catalan and Spanish were the languages of administration in Sardinia. In 1714 Italian became the official and literary language in Sardinia, and the Italian authorities looked down on the Sardinian language.
Sardinian first started to appear in writing in 1080 AD. A standard written version of Sardinian, Limba Sarda Comuna (LSC) was published by the Ufitziu de sa Limba Sarda (Office of the Sardinian Language), in 2001. This was adopted by the Autonomous Region of Sardinia in 2006 as the co-official institutional language for the Region.
Totu sos èsseres umanos naschint lìberos e eguales in dinnidade e in deretos. Issos tenent sa resone e sa cussèntzia e depent operare s'unu cun s'àteru cun ispìritu de fraternidade.
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)
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Page last modified: 15.05.23
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