Unlike most other Romance languages, Italian has retained the contrast between short and long consonants which existed in Latin. As in most Romance languages, stress is distinctive. Of the Romance languages, Italian is considered to be one of the closest resembling Latin in terms of vocabulary, though Romanian most closely preserves the noun declension system of Classical Latin, and Spanish the verb conjugation system (see Old Latin), while Sardinian is the most conservative in terms of phonology.
It is affectionately called il parlar gentile (the gentle language) by its speakers.
Official Language of: Italy, San Marino, Slovenia, Switzerland, Croatia, Vatican City
Total number of speakers: 110-120 million
For additional information about the Italian Language, please click here