Category Archives: Italo-Celtic-Tocharian

A Look at the Portuguese Language

From here.

This post will look at the Portuguese language from the view of how hard it is to learn for the native English speaker. The European and Brazilian versions of Portuguese will both be looked at in this context.

Portuguese, like Spanish, is also very easy to learn, though Portuguese pronunciation is harder due to the unusual vowels such as nasal diphthongs and the strange palatal lateral ʎ, which many English speakers will mistake for an l.

Of the nasal diphthongs, ão is the hardest to make. In addition, Brazilian (Br) Portuguese has an r that sounds like an h, and l that sounds like a w and a d that sounds like a j, but only some of the time! Fortunately, in European (Eu) Portuguese, all of these sounds sound as you would expect them to.

Portuguese has two r sounds, a tapped r (ɾ) that is often misconceived as a trilled r (present in some British and Irish English dialects) and an uvular r (ʁ) which is truly difficult to make. However, this is the typical r sound found in French, German, Danish and Hebrew, so if you have a background in one of those languages, this should be an easy sound.  L2 learners not only have a hard time making them but also mix them up sometimes.

You can run many vowels together in Portuguese and still make a coherent sentence. See here:

É o a ou o b? [Euaoube]
Is it (is your answer) a or b?

That utterance turns an entire sentence into a single verb via run-on vowels, five of them in a row.

Most Portuguese speakers say that Portuguese is harder to learn than Spanish, especially the variety spoken in Portugal. Eu Portuguese elides many vowels and has more sounds per symbol than Br Portuguese does. Portuguese has both nasal and oral vowels, while Spanish has only oral values. In addition, Portuguese has 12 vowel phonemes to Spanish’s 5.

Portuguese has also retained the archaic subjunctive future which has been lost in many Romance languages.

Try this sentence: When I am President, I will change the law.

In Spanish, one uses the future tense as in English:

Cuando yo soy presidente, voy a cambiar la ley.

In Portuguese, you use the subjunctive future, lost in all modern Romance languages and lacking in English:

Quando eu for presidente, vou mudar a lei. – literally, When I may be President, I will possibly change the law.

The future subjunctive causes a lot of problems for Portuguese learners and is one of the main ways that it is harder than Spanish.

There is a form called the personal infinitive in Portuguese that also causes a lot of problems for Portuguese learners.

In addition, when making the present perfect in Spanish, it is fairly easy with the use have + participle as in English.

Compare I have worked.

In Spanish:

Yo he trabajado.

In Portuguese, there is no perfect to have nor is there any participle, instead, present perfect is formed via a conjugation that varies among verbs:

Eu trabalhei – because Eu hei trabalhado makes no sense in Portuguese.

Portuguese still uses the pluperfect tense quite a bit, a tense that gone out or is heading out of most IE languages. The pluperfect is used a lot less now in Br Portuguese, but it is still very widely used in Eu Portuguese. The pluperfect is used to discuss a past action that took place before another past action. An English translation might be

He had already gone by the time she showed up. The italicized part would be the equivalent to the pluperfect in English.

O pássaro voara quando o gato pulou sobre ele para tentar comê-lo.
The bird had (already) flown away when the cat jumped over it trying to eat it.

Even Br Portuguese has its difficulties centering around diglossia. It is written in 1700’s Eu Portuguese, but in speech, the Brazilian vernacular is used. Hence:

I love you

Amo-te or Amo-o [standard, written]
Eu te amo or Eu amo você  [spoken]

We saw them

Vimo-los [standard, written]
A gente viu eles  [spoken]

Even Eu Portuguese native speakers often make mistakes in Portuguese grammar when speaking. Young people writing today in Portuguese are said to be notorious for not writing or speaking it properly. The pronunciation is so complicated and difficult that even foreigners residing in Portugal for a decade never seem to get it quite right. In addition, Portuguese grammar is unimaginably complicated. There are probably more exceptions than there are rules, and even native speakers have issues with Portuguese grammar.

Portuguese gets a 3 rating, average difficulty.


Filed under Applied, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Language Families, Language Learning, Linguistics, Portuguese, Romance, Spanish

Phrasal Verbs in English

From here.

English verbal phrases or phrasal verbs are a nightmare for the English language learner. English language learners often say that phrasal verbs are one of the hardest if not the hardest aspects of learning English. Even after many years of even one or more decades of learning English, English L2 speakers often do not have phrasal verbs down pat (to have down pat is another phrasal verb by the way).

Phrasal verbs are not very common in other languages, and where they exist, you can often piece together the meaning a lot easier than you can in English. Phrasal verbs are formed by the addition of a preposition after the verb which changes the meaning of the verb. Phrasal verbs are probably left over from “separable verbs” in German. In most of the rest of IE, these become affixes as in Latin Latin cum-, ad-, pro-, in-, ex-, etc.. In many cases, phrasal verbs can have more than 10 different antagonistic meanings.

Here is a list of 123 phrasal verbs using the preposition up after a verb:

Back up – to go in reverse, often in a vehicle, or to go back over something previously dealt with that was poorly understood in order to understand it better.
Be up – to be in a waking state after having slept. I’ve been up for three hours. Also to be ready to do something challenging. Are you up for it?
Beat up
– to defeat someone thoroughly in a violent physical fight.
Bid up – to raise the price of something, usually at an auction, by calling out higher and higher bids.
Blow up – to explode an explosive or for a social situation to become violent and volatile.
Bone up – to study hard.
Book up – all of the booking seats have been filled for some entertainment or excursion.
Bottle up – to contain feelings until they are at the point of exploding.
Break up – to break into various pieces, or to end a relationship, either personal or between entitles, also to split a large entity, like a large company or a state.
Bruise up – to receive multiple bruises, often serious ones.
Brush up – to go over a previously learned skill.
Build up – to build intensively in an area, such as a town or city, from a previously less well-developed state.
Burn up – burn completely or to be made very angry.
Bust up – to burst out in laughter.
Buy up – to buy all or most all of something.
Call up – to telephone someone. Or to be ordered to appear in the military. The army called up all males aged 18-21 and ordered them to show up at the nearest recruiting office.
Catch up
– to reach a person or group that one had lagged behind earlier, or to take care of things, often hobbies, that had been put off by lack of time.
Chat up – to talk casually with a goal in mind, usually seduction or at least flirtation.
Cheer up – to change from a downcast mood to a more positive one.
Chop up – to cut into many, often small, pieces.
Clam up – to become very quiet suddenly and not say a thing.
Clean up – to make an area thoroughly tidy or to win completely and thoroughly.
Clear up – for a storm to dissipate, for a rash to go away, for a confusing matter to become understandable.
Close up – to close, also to end business hours for a public business.
Come up – to approach closely, to occur suddenly or to overflow.
Cook up – to prepare a meal or to configure a plan, often of a sly, ingenious or devious nature. They cooked up a scheme to swindle the boss.
Crack up
– to laugh, often heartily.
Crank up - elevate the volume.
Crawl up – to crawl inside something.
Curl up – to rest in a curled body position, either alone or with another being.
Cut up – to shred or to make jokes, often of a slapstick variety.
Do up – apply makeup to someone, often elaborately.
Dream up – to imagine a creative notion, often an elaborate one.
Dress up – to dress oneself in formal attire.
Drive up – to drive towards something, and then stop, or to raise the price of something by buying it intensively.
Drum up – to charge someone with wrongdoing, usually criminal, usually by a state actor, usually for false reasons.
Dry up – to dessicate.
Eat up – implies eating something ravenously or finishing the entire meal without leaving anything left.
End up – to arrive at some destination after a long winding, often convoluted journey either in space or in time.
Face up – to quit avoiding your problems and meet them head on.
Feel up – to grope someone sexually.
Get up – to awaken or rise from a prone position.
Give up – to surrender, in war or a contest, or to stop doing something trying or unpleasant that is yielding poor results, or to die, as in give up the ghost.
Grow up – to attain an age or maturity or to act like a mature person, often imperative.
Hang up – to place on a hanger or a wall, to end a phone call.
Hike up – to pull your clothes up when they are drifting down on your body.
Hit up - to visit someone casually or to ask for a favor or gift, usually small amounts of money.
Hold up – to delay, to ask someone ahead of you to wait, often imperative. Also a robbery, usually with a gun and a masked robber.
Hook up – to have a casual sexual encounter or to meet casually for a social encounter, often in a public place; also to connect together a mechanical devise or plug something in.
Hurry up - imperative, usually an order to quit delaying and join the general group or another person in some activity, often when they are leaving to go to another place.
Keep up – to maintain on a par with the competition without falling behind.
Kiss up – to mend a relationship after a fight.
Knock up – to impregnate.
Lay up – to be sidelined due to illness or injury for a time.
Let up – to ease off of someone or something, for a storm to dissipate, to stop attacking someone or s.t.
Lick up – to consume all of a liquid.
Light up – to set s.t. on fire or to smile suddenly and broadly.
Lighten up – to reduce the downcast or hostile seriousness of the mood of a person or setting.
Listen up – imperative – to order someone to pay attention, often with threats of aggression if they don’t comply.
Live up – to enjoy life.
Lock up – to lock securely, often locking various locks, or to imprison, or for an object or computer program to be frozen or jammed and unable to function.
Look up – to search for an item of information in some sort of a database, such as a phone book or dictionary. Also to admire someone.
Make up – to make amends, to apply cosmetics to one’s face or to invent a story.
Man up – to elevate oneself to manly behaviors when one is slacking and behaving in an unmanly fashion.
Mark up – to raise the price of s.t.
Measure up – in a competition, for an entity to match the competition.
Meet up – to meet someone or a group for a get meeting or date of some sort.
Mess up – to fail or to confuse and disarrange s.t. so much that it is bad need or reparation.
Mix up – to confuse, or to disarrange contents in a scattered fashion so that it does not resemble the original.
Mop up – mop a floor or finish off the remains of an enemy army or finalize a military operation.
Move up – to elevate the status of a person or entity in competition with other entities- to move up in the world.
Open up – when a person has been silent about something for a long time, as if holding a secret, finally reveals the secret and begins talking.
Own up – to confess to one’s sins under pressure and reluctantly.
Pass up - to miss an opportunity, often a good one.
Patch up – to put together a broken thing or relationship.
Pay up – to pay, usually a debt, often imperative to demand payment of a debt, to pay all of what one owes so you don’t owe anymore.
Pick up – to grasp an object and lift it higher, to seduce someone sexually or to acquire a new skill, usually rapidly.
Play up – to dramatize.
Pop up – for s.t. to appear suddenly, often out of nowhere.
Put up – to hang, to tolerate, often grudgingly, or to put forward a new image.
Read up – to read intensively as in studying.
Rev up – to turn the RPM’s higher on a stationary engine.
Ring up – to telephone someone or to charge someone on a cash register.
Rise up – for an oppressed group to arouse and fight back against their oppressors.
Roll up – to roll s.t. into a ball, to drive up to someone in a vehicle or to arrest all the members of an illegal group. The police rolled up that Mafia cell quickly.
Run up
– to tally a big bill, often foolishly or approach s.t. quickly.
Shake up – to upset a paradigm, to upset emotionally.
Shape up – usually imperative command ordering someone who is disorganized or slovenly to live life in a more orderly and proper fashion.
Shoot up – to inject, usually illegal drugs, or to fire many projectiles into a place with a gun.
Show up – to appear somewhere, often unexpectedly.
Shut up – to silence, often imperative, fighting words.
Sit up – to sit upright.
Slip up – to fail.
Speak up – to begin speaking after listening for a while, often imperative, a request for a silent person to say what they wish to say.
Spit up – to vomit, usually describing a child vomiting up its food.
Stand up – to go from a sitting position to a standing one quickly.
Start up – to initialize an engine or a program, to open a new business to go back to something that had been terminated previously, often a fight; a recrudescence.
Stay up – to not go to bed.
Stick up – to rob someone, usually a street robbery with a weapon, generally a gun.
Stir up – stir rapidly, upset a calm surrounding or scene or upset a paradigm.
Stop up – to block the flow of liquids with some object(s).
Straighten up – to go from living a dissolute or criminal life to a clean, law abiding one.
Suck up – to ingratiate oneself, often in an obsequious fashion.
Suit up – to get dressed in a uniform, often for athletics.
Sweep up – to arrest all the members of an illegal group, often a criminal gang.
Take up – to cohabit with someone – She has taken up with him. Or to develop a new skill, to bring something to a higher elevation, to cook something at a high heat to where it is assimilated.
Talk up – to try to convince someone of something by discussing it dramatically and intensively.
Tear up – to shred.
Think up – to conjure up a plan, often an elaborate or creative one.
Throw up - to vomit.
Touch up – to apply the final aspects of a work nearly finished.
Trip up – to stumble mentally over s.t. confusing.
Turn up – to increase volume or to appear suddenly somewhere.
Vacuum up – to vacuum.
Use up – to finish s.t. completely so there is no more left.
Wait up – to ask other parties to wait for someone who is coming in a hurry.
Wake up – to awaken.
Walk up – to approach someone or something.
Wash up – to wash.
Whip up – to cook a meal quickly or for winds to blow wildly.
Work up – to exercise heavily, until you sweat to work up a sweat. Or to generate s.t. a report or s.t. of that nature done rather hurriedly in a seat of the pants and unplanned fashion. We quickly worked up a formula for dealing with the matter.
Wrap up
– To finish something up, often something that is taking too long. Come on, let us wrap this up and getting it over with. Also, to bring to a conclusion that ties the ends together. The story wraps up with a scene where they all get together and sing a song.
Write up
– often to write a report of reprimand or a violation. The officer wrote him for having no tail lights.

Here is a much smaller list of phrasal verbs using the preposition down:

Be down  – to be ready to ready to do something daring, often s.t. bad, illegal or dangerous, such as a fight or a crime. Are you down?
Burn down
– reduce s.t. to ashes, like a structure.
Get down – to have fun and party, or to lie prone and remain there. Get down on the floor.
Drink down
to consume all of s.t.
Kick down – Drug slang meaning to contribute your drugs to a group drug stash so others can consume them with you, to share your drugs with others. Often used in a challenging sense.
Party down – to have fun and party
Pat down – to frisk.
Take down – to tackle.
Cook down – to reduce the liquid content in a cooked item.
Run down - to run over something, to review a list or to attack someone verbally for a long time.
Play down – to de-emphasize.
Write down – to write on a sheet of paper

Italian has phrasal verbs as in English, but the English ones are a lot more difficult. The Italian ones are usually a lot more clear given the verb and preposition involved, whereas with English if you have the verb and the preposition, the phrasal verb does not logically follow from their separate meanings. For instance:

andare fuorito go + out  – get out
andare giù
- to go + downget down

German has phrasal verbs as in English, but the meaning is often somewhat clear if you take the morphemes apart and look at their literal meanings. For instance:

vorschlagento suggest parses out to er schlägt vorto hit forth

whereas in English you have phrasal verbs like to get over with which even when separated out, don’t make sense literally.


Filed under Applied, Balto-Slavic-Germanic, English language, German, Germanic, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italian, Italic, Italo-Celtic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Language Families, Language Learning, Linguistics, Romance

Somerset English


The Somerset English dialect.

I am sorry, but this is some of the most messed up English I have ever heard in my life. I could barely make out a single word this fellow is saying. Speaker is an elderly man, about 80 years old, from Somerset County in southwest England. This area is south of Wales and east of Cornwall in a region called Exmoor. It is heavily forested with rolling  hills. This is a rural area where homes are spaced far apart. Sheep grazing is a common industry.

This man’s speech was probably typical of the region 80 years ago, in the 1920’s. Nowadays few young people speak like this anymore, as most have adopted the more popular London dialect.

It is said that this accent is similar to that spoken by early immigrants to America from the Mayflower era to 50 years later, who came disproportionately from southwestern England for some reason. Why? Easy access to the coast from which to sail ships? There is a town in Virgina called Tangier that retains a Restoration Era English accent to this very day. It was settled in 1670 by English form the southwest of England near where this Somerset dialect is spoken.

The entire accent in this region is known globally by the term “West Country dialect.” It encompasses most of southwest England over to Cornwall, east to Bristol or so and then southeast at least to Bournemouth on the coast. It is quite a strong accent, and it is rather unique.

I am not sure what this even sounds like. It might sound a bit like Scottish or possibly like Scouse from Liverpool. It is possible that Middle or even Old English sounded something like this. A commenter from Ireland said that it sounds something like Irish Gaelic for some odd reason. Why would an English accent sound like Gaelic? Because of the nearby influence of Welsh perhaps?

But honestly I felt that it sounded more like German, or better yet, Frisian, than anything else. There is a dialect of Danish, actually a separate language, called Jutish spoken in the far south of Denmark that sounds something like Scots and possibly like this dialect. Danes report that Jutish, at least the hard form spoken by people middle aged and older, is not intelligible with Standard Danish. However, Jutish or Synnejysk is further from Standard Danish than Danish is Swedish. If this is true, then Jutish is surely a separate language.

As Old English came from the Frisian (especially North Frisian) region of far northern Germany and far southern Denmark, it makes sense that these lects would resemble each other. Recall that three tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, were the ones who invaded England, conquering it from decaying Roman rule. Old Saxon pretty much went to Frisian, especially West Frisian. The language of the Jutes is maintained today by the Jutish speakers.


Filed under Balto-Slavic-Germanic, Britain, Celtic, Danish, Dialectology, English language, Europe, European, Frisian, Gaelic, German, Germanic, History, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Irish Gaelic, Language Families, Linguistics, Regional, Sociolinguistics, USA

Blogging Notes

All material copyright Robert Lindsay 2014. Reproduction without permission forbidden by law.

Cuban links
Compare Cuba to other like countries.

Kentucky death toll

International Nepal Solidarity Network

Nazis made soap from humans.




Aigueperse (North Occitan), just south of Gannat, cannot understand St. Pourcain (Eastern Marchois).
Journal of the Romance Languages, 6th Series, Volume 3.

Ainu is three separate languages – Hokkaido, Sakhalin and Kuril. All three are not intelligible with each other. Kuril Ainu, spoken on the Kuril Islands, went extinct in the late 1800’s. Sakhalin Ainu, spoken on southern Sakhalin, only has 1 speaker left, but it is probably not extinct. In 1992, the last speaker was a female age 90. Hokkaido Ainu has only 10 speakers left, and most are over 80 years old.

Arbëreshë Albanian spoken in Italy is actually five separate languages, Sicilian Albanian, Calabrian Albanian, Central Mountain Albanian, Campo Marino Albanian and Molise Albanian. From a migration in the 1400’s-1500’s. Not intelligible with Standard Albanian. 80,000 speakers. Taught in some schools.

Tosk and Gheg are not fully intelligible. Gheg is the language of Kosovo.

Arvanitika Albanian is spoken in Greece. Thracean Arvanitika, Northwestern Arvanitika, South Central Arvanitika, dialects of Arvanitika, are actually separate languages. 50,000 speakers.

Lebanese and Egyptian are as far apart as Spanish and Portuguese. Sp and Pt have 54% intelligibility, so Lebanese and Egyptian Arabic probably have around 50% intelligibility too. Lebanese and Egyptian are better understood because of media. North African Arabic has poor intelligibility to speakers outside of N Africa. Palestinian Arabic speakers cannot understand Saudi Arabic. Moroccan Arabic and West Algerian Arabic cannot understand Libyan Arabic.
Cairene Arabic is not intelligible with Sa’idi (Upper Egyptian) Arabic. Sudanese Arabic and Sudanese Arabic Creole are not intelligible with other varieties. Iraqi Arabic is not understood by speakers of other varieties. Shuwa (Chadic) Arabic of Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, etc. is not intelligible with other varieties. Omani Arabic is hard to understand for speakers of Gulf Arabic. So is Yemeni Arabic.

Mauritanian Arabic cannot be understood by Sudanese Arabic. Whether or not it can be understood by Algerian Arabic or Moroccan Arabic is not known.
There are probably multiple Arabic languages spoken in Palestine alone. Some Palestinian speakers have a hard time understanding speakers of other Palestinian dialects.
Luxor Egyptian Arabic, spoken in the city of Luxor, in the middle of Egypt on the Nile, is one of the oldest Arabic dialects of all, if not the oldest. It has poor intelligibility outside of Luxor.
Lebanese can’t understand Egyptian or Iraqi, and Iraqi can’t understand Lebanese or Egyptian.
Lebanese Arabic itself may be more than one language, as some Lebanese families in Sydney do not understand each other. Bahraini, Yemeni and Emirati are not intelligible with Cairene. Emirati may be intelligible with Yemeni. Tripolitanean Libyan is close to Tunisian whilst Cyrenaican Libyan is close to Khaleeji whilst Fezzani Libyan is close to Sudanese/Chadic Arabic, so there may be three separate languages inside Libyan Arabic.
Tunisians cannot understand Algerians or Moroccans well. Actually, Algerian Arabic has only 70-80% intelligibility with Moroccan Arabic and 30% intelligibility with Tunisian Arabic.
Algiers Arabic has a hard time understanding some Algerian Arabic dialects, so Algerian Arabic is not even intelligible even within itself. There is clearly more than one language inside Lebanese Arabic. North Lebanese Arabic may be a different language from Standard Lebanese Arabic. Gulf Arabic is not intelligible with the Arabic of the Levant.
Yemeni and Iraqi Arabic are not intelligible with most Saudi Arabic.
Jordanian Levantine Arabic speakers can’t understand Iraqi Arabic well.
Both varieties of Iraqi Arabic understand each other, Mesopotamian Spoken Arabic and North Mesopotamian Spoken Arabic.
Native Jordanian Arabic is a separate language, spoken by rural Bedouins and is hard to understand for most urban Jordanians.
Western Libyan Arabic is intelligible with Tunisian Arabic and with Eastern Algerian Arabic. The real Libyan Arabic is probably spoken in Eastern Libya.
Tunisian Arabic is intelligible with Western Libyan and Eastern Moroccan Arabic.
Moroccan Arabic is intelligible with Western Algerian Arabic.
Hassaniya and Maltese are not intelligible with anything else.
West Sudan Arabic, Khartoum Arabic and Juba Arabic are 3 different languages.
The degree of unintelligibility in Arabic dialects is much greater than in Chinese.!!_W0QQitemZ250417716017QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20090503?IMSfp=TL090503104002r36727
Levantine Arabic, the dialect of long-term Palestinian residents of Beirut, is intelligible with most urban dialects of Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Beirut.
Beirut and Syrian Arabic are quite intelligible.
Egyptians can understand only Egyptian and Sham Arabic (Levantine Arabic) and nothing else.
Nevertheless, Syrian/Lebanese Arabic does not appear to be intelligible with Egyptian Arabic.
Levantine Arabic is not completely intelligible even within itself.
Tajiki Arabic is two separate languages. Bukharian (influenced by Tajik) and Qashqadaryavi (influenced by Turkic languages).
In Yemen, Sa’idi, Yafi’i and Tihami Arabic are not intelligible with each other or with other Yemeni Arabic.,M1
Adenia Yemeni Arabic cannot understand Sanaani Yemeni Arabic.
Nubian Creole Arabic (Kenya) cannot understand Sudanese Creole Arabic.
Hadrami Yemeni is a completely different language from the rest of Yemeni Arabic.
Cypriot Maronite Arabic is not intelligible to other Arabic varieties.
Spoken mainly in the Kormakiti village in the north. There are far fewer than 2,000 speakers out of many thousand Maronites. Probably no children learn the language, and younger speakers, if there are any left, are more fluent in Greek. Greek influence has been strong for a long time to make Cypriot Arabic a hybrid language.
Even Algerian Arabic cannot understand Moroccan Arabic.

Faetar is a separate language from Arpitan. It split off in 1400 and has undergone heavy influence from Standard Italian and Apulian. It has 1,400 speakers in two towns, Celle and Faeto in Apulia in southern Italy. Language use is still vigorous even though most people in the towns are unemployed or retired. A few work in the fields. There is difficult intelligibility among Arpitan dialects, apparently at least among the major ones.

This implies that there are separate languages in Arpitan beyond Faetar. Difficult intelligibility among dialects was noted as early as 1807. Arpitan is in very bad shape in France, having lost 98% of its speakers. It is in good shape only in Valle d’Osta in Italy, where there are 68,000 speakers. There are 114,000 speakers overall. There have been attempts to make a standard written koine, but these have failed. There are also some speakers in Switzerland, but it is dying out and being replaced with Swiss French. Speakers are older or live in rural areas and it is now just a second language.

Also Jura Canton is the poorest canton in Switzerland and much of the housing is abandoned or falling apart. Dauphinois, Jurassien, Lyonnais, Savoyard, Vaudois, Faetar, Valdotan and Piedmont and are the major dialects, and all are probably separate languages.

The boundaries of Arpitan run from Neuchatel in Switzerland to Montreau – Valdahon – Ornans – Lons le Saunier in Franche-Comte where it borders Franche-Compte to Louhans and Macon in Burgundy where it borders Burgundian down to Roanne – Monbrison – St. Etienne in Lyonnais where it borders Auvergnat on the west to Annonay – Romans – Clelles – Mens – Chatillon en Dios in Dauphine where it borders Alpine Provencal – Modane in Savoy where it borders Gavot in the south to Mt. Cenis – Piedmont – Val de Aosta in Italy where it borders Piedmont to Sierre – Fribourg in Switzerland on the east back to Neuchatel.

Arpitan has roots dating back to Latin in the 1st Century, so it is close to Latin as is Romansch. The Romans built major roads all through the Arpitan area, and this is when Arpitan got started. Arpitan has a number of words that are found only in writings by Roman authors and nowhere else. By 600-700, this vulgar Latin had begun to evolve into Arpitan. Arpitan is not part of either langue d’oil or langue d’oc. In 1539, French was declared the language of the Republic. For several centuries, Arpitan and French existed side by side.

Arpitan was used for all daily activities, and French was the language of business, intellectuals, government, etc. Latin was also used. The two languages existed happily side by side for centuries until mandatory schooling in French. There were major wars declared on Arpitan in the 1800’s. Parents stopped teaching it to children because they thought it was useless, and they wanted them to learn French.

1. Lyon: Bressan, Bugésien, Macon, Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Roanne

2. Dauphiné: Rhodanien, Crémolan, Terre-Froides, Chambaran, Grésivaudan, Uissans

3. Savoy: Bressan, Langrin, Matchutin, Maurienne, Tarin, Tignes’, Arlésois, Chambéry, Annecin, Viutchoïs, Faucigneran, Chablais and Genevois

4. Franche-Comte: Neuchâtel, Vaud North, Pontassilien, Ain, Valserine

5. Vaud: Vaudois, West Gruyerien, Enhaut, Valais

6. Valle d’Aosta: Veni, Ferret, Doire, St Bernard, Tourmanche, Ayassin, La Thuile, Grisanche, Rhême

7. Arpitan dialect of Puglia

8. Piedmontese dialect Arpitan
Franc-Comptois has poor intelligibility to those not from the region. Mignovillard is a dialect of Franche-Compte Arpitan, a major dialect of the language.
Arpitan has 500 dialects. There are a number of areas even right around Lyon where the dialect is still well alive, although it is definitely threatened.
Above the Ardeche and southeast of St. Etienne, Annonay speaks Arpitan, and Lamastre speaks Occitan. Everything below Yssingeaux – Tournon is definitely Occitan, and everything above Rousillon – Serrieres is definitely Arpitan. In between, there is a transition zone, more Arpitan in the north and more Occitan in the south.
Arpitan is still very widely spoken in Isere around Grenoble.
Arpitan is still very much alive in the Lyonnais region, even around Roanne and Montbrison and also to the east of Lyon. The small town of Toussieu, 5 miles southeast of Lyon, still has 100 speakers.

There are speakers in Yzeron, Monts Lyonnais, Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise, Saint-Martin-en-Haut, Cottance, Panissières, Soucieu en Jarrest, Sainte-Foy-l’Argentière, Larajasse, Saint-André-la-Côte, Grézieu-le-Marché, Mornant, Saint-Laurent-de-Chamousset, Saint-Romain-en-Jarez, Saint-Didier-sous-Riverie, Saint-Denis-sur-Coise.
It is being taught at colleges, elementary schools and preschools in the area to the west and southwest of Lyon.
In the Terres Froides between Bourgoin and Grenoble, Arpitan is alive and understood by many people.
In the Isere, it is still spoken in Anneyron near Annonay, Roybon between Annonay and Grenoble, Ville-sous-Anjou near Rousillon and Vinay west of Grenoble.
There may be up to 200,000 passive speakers of Arpitan, whatever that means. Maybe it means they can understand it. In Neuchatel, Geneva and southern Jura, Arpitan vanished in the early 20th century.
Bressan has some internal diversity. The youngest speakers are about 60 years old now, but there are still dialect associations that promote it strongly. Bressan was the main mode of communication here until the 1970’s.
There are many different dialects within Bressan, and communication is sometimes difficult even from one village to the next.
Still spoken in Aubépin and Pont-de-Veyle in the Bresse
The line between Jurassien and Franche-Compte in Franche-Comte runs from Morteau through the Valdahon region to Ornans and then south to Lons de Saunier.
There are still a very few old speakers of Franche-Compte Arpitan. Franche-Compte oil is in much better shape. However, Franche-Compte is in extremely bad shape, one of the worst of all of the langues d’oil.
Forézien is now almost extinct.
Pilat is a Forez dialect.
Gaga is a dialect based on Forez spoken in St. Etienne. When the dialect is written down, it is not intelligible to Standard French.
Forez has heavy Occitan admixture to the point where it is hard sometimes to tell which language one is talking about.
The border with Lyonnais Arpitan and Occitan on the upper Rhone is said to be at Rousillon, but actually it is lower near Annonay.
Lyonnais still has quite a few speakers. It’s possible that all dialects are mutually intelligible, although the dialects are often very different.
Saugeais differs greatly from the rest of Jurassien, but intelligibility data is not known. Jurassien is South Franc-Comptois, which is Arpitan. North Jurassien is Franc-Comptois. Jurassien is still spoken, but appears to be dying. North Jurassien still exists and has speakers.
Jura Canton in Switzerland is about 1/2 Jurassien Arpitan and about 1/2 Haut-Doubs Franche-Compte.
Geneva, Fribourgeois, Neuchatel, Valaisan and Vaudois are the dialects of Switzerland, and all of those are probably separate languages too.
Valais has some of the strongest dialectal differentiation in the entire Arpitan region. Valais is divided into two large languages – West Valais spoken around Lake Geneva and East Valais spoken around Sion. Intelligibility is poor between the two poles.
Gruyerienne (Fribourg) is a separate language from Valais with difficult intelligibility.
Neuchatel went extinct in the 1920s. However, it now has 1 speaker and 3 people who can understand it.
Savoyard is in reasonably good shape. Most people wish to save the language, but only a few speak it – 7%.
In Savoy (Savoie and Haute-Savoie), Francoprovençal is spoken by approximately 35,000 speakers, in Ain (mainly in the region of Bresse) by 15,000, in Rhône by 1,000, in Loire by 5,000, in the northern and central parts of Isère by 2,000, and in the southern parts of the departments of Jura and Doubs by 2,000; and extends to the northernmost parts of Ardèche and Drôme as well.

In Italy, Francoprovençal (locally called Harpitan) is spoken in the Aosta Valley and in the Alpine valleys to the north and east of Val di Susa in Piedmont by perhaps 70,000 speakers of all generations but with a notable shift to Italian among younger people. In Switzerland, Francoprovençal was earlier spoken everywhere in Suisse Romande except the Canton of Jura where the Franc-Comtois dialect of French was spoken, but it survives mainly in the mountain villages of Valais and Fribourg and also in Vaud, being most actively used in the village of Evolène in Valais.

It is still spoken around Lake Geneva at the far east end of the lake, south to Martini in Valais and upstream of Martigny and also up towards Fribourg, all as Vaudois.
In Valloire, Valmeinier and Valle Arvan at the far southern end of Savoyard, between St. Jean de Maurienne and Modane, a Savoyard dialect is spoken that is not intelligible with the rest of Savoyard. It is also different in Valloire, Valmeinier and Valle Arvan, but intelligibility among those three varieties is not known. Probably heavy influence of Occitan in this region.

In Valloire, all persons over 60 use Arpitan as a daily language. St. Michel-Modana Savoyard is a separate language.
Valloire is a separate language. It is not intelligible with the dialect spoken in Albanne near St. Jean de Maurienne. Valmeinier, Valle Arvan and St. Michael de Maurienne also appear to be separate languages. The speech of Albertville and Chambery could be called South Savoyard. Dauphinois is still widely spoken in the villages around Villard de Lans south of Grenoble.

It is spoken south all the way down to the northern Drome to a line from Valence east to Mens, Clelles and Chatillon en Dios, below which is the border with Occitan.
In the Savoyard area from Mt. Blanc to Geneva to Montreaux to Evian to Abondance, there is good intelligibility among dialects. This could be called North Savoyard. As one moves to the south, it gets harder to understand. North Savoyard and South Savoyard seem to be two different languages. In the Val d’Illiez area between Montreaux and Martigny, some Arpitan dialects are spoken that are very different from everything else.
Valdostano Arpitan is all intelligible with itself. This is the only place it is doing well.

Latvian and Lithuanian have very poor oral intelligibility, but it’s a bit higher when written.

There is a unified Basque that everyone speaks so that they can understand each other.
However, there are cases where Guipuzcoan cannot understand Viscayan.
Souletin and Biscayan (France) do not understand each other.
Zuberoan or Souletin is spoken in France. It is not intelligible with the other Basque dialects. Souletin has influence from Béarnese, a dialect of Gascon (Occitan).
The problem is that Bizkaiera is the most spoken dialect (eastern Bizkaia and one third of Gipuzkoa), but Gipuzkoan (Batua) is considered the best dialect, and Bizkaian is considered the worst. I agree that Gipuzkoan should be the standard dialect, but Bizkaian should be respected.

On the other hand is difficult to say that Bizkaian is another language because Bizkaian speakers have always called their language Euskera (the same as the rest of the Basques), and my father, who only knows Bizkaian, never used Castilian to communicate with a Gipuzkoan. More or less both dialects are understandable. Another problem is the Suletine dialect.

The peculiarisms of Souletin are not due to Romance influence: in many ways, they seem to be remnants of Pyrenean Basque dialects (more particularly when it comes to phonetics even though they have their own peculiarities such as p, t and k not being sonorized after nasals) which is quite consistent with the history of Soule (if it were not for the language, one could not differentiate Soule from Béarn).


Polesian is transitional between Ukrainian and Belorussian and is thought to be a separate language.

Breton is spoken by 25% of the population or 250,000, but only by 5% as a native tongue.
250,000 speakers, 800,000 with some knowledge.
There are 10,000 Breton speakers in the Loire Atlantique.
Vannetais is a separate language. It is not intelligible with Leonard, another main dialect. Spoken in Brittany – the entire area of the department of Morbihan (with the exception of Belle Isle and regions around the Faouët and Gourin): Valves, Pontivy, Lorient, Plouay, Guémené-sur-Scorff, Baud, Auray, Quiberon, Sarzeau and the commune of Finistère Arzano.
Further, West Vannetais cannot understand East Vannetais.
Leonard is a separate language, not intelligible with Vannetais. Spoken in Leon (Leon or Bro Leon), the northern third of the department of Finistère (Brest, Morlaix, Plouguerneau, Landerneau, Saint-Pol-de-Léon, Landivisiau, Ouessant).
Leonard is about as far from Vannetais as it is from Cornouaillais. Intelligibility between Vannetais and Cornouaillais is not known.
Cornouaillais may be a separate language due to its distance from Leonard.
Groisillon, spoken in the Groix, is reportedly hard to understand for speakers of other dialects. It may be extinct, but more likely there are a few speakers left. Breton reportedly has 77 different dialects. The new Neo-Breton taught in the schools often can’t be understood by traditional speakers because it is full of borrowings from Cornish and Welsh.

Chakavian is a separate language. It has low intelligibility with Štokavian. Also spoken in Burgenland in Austria.
Molise Croatian, spoken in Italy, is not intelligible with the rest of Croatian.
Burgenland Croatian has poor intelligibility with the rest of Croatian.
Kajkavian has poor intelligibility with Shtovakian.

Southern Jutish is completely unintelligible to other Danes. The real Jutish is South Jantlandic. The other, Northern Jantlandic, is more intelligible with Standard Danish.
Bornholmian, spoken on Bornholm Island to the east of the rest of Denmark, is very different from the rest of Danish. It is described as a mixture between Danish and Swedish or a bridge between the two languages. It is very different from Sjælländska, spoken in the Sjælländ in the east of Denmark. Scanians can understand Bornholmian quite well, much better than they can understand Sjælländska. Bornholmian is actually a Scanian dialect – therefore, it is Old Danish.

This language used to be spoken in Scania, Bornholm and the Zeeland Coast. There are actually 5 different dialects on Bornholm, and they are diverse. Bornholmian is a mixture of Old Scanian (Old Norse) and Modern Danish. Bornholmian has 3 genders like Icelandic.
Bornholmian is not intelligible with the rest of Danish. However, it may well be with Scanian.


Dargwa appears to be several languages. The dialects Akhuhsa, Kaitak, Kubachi and Urakha are far enough apart that some linguists think that they are separate languages.
Language Policy in the Soviet Union. Lenore A. Grenoble. p. 17

Western and Eastern Even are apparently two different languages. Eastern is spoken in Kamchatka and Chukotka, and Western is spoken in Yakutia. Intelligibility is difficult between the two groups.


The Eastern and Southern dialects of Evenki are far enough apart to create intelligibility difficulties with learning materials, and they may be different languages.
Language Policy in the Soviet Union. Leonore A. Grenoble. p. 176.

The Savonian and Rauma dialects of Finnish have poor intelligibility with the rest of Finnish. Savonian is about as unintelligible to Finnish speakers as Estonian is.
Rauma cannot be understood by Finns.
Meänkiel or Tornedalen Finnish has ~80% intelligibility with Finnish.
Finns understand Northern Karelian pretty well, but Southern Karelian has poor intelligibility with Finnish. Southern Karelian is spoken from the White Sea to Lakes Ladoga and Onega. Between Lakes Ladoga and Onega, Lude and Olonets are spoken. North Karelian is spoken from the White Sea to the Finnish border.

The original domain of the langues d’oil were to the north of Seine, from Paris to the north all the way to the border of Belgium. It is the Latin of Northern Gaul that evolved with Belgian influence. Later on, German invaders had a strong influence, especially in Picard and Normandy. These invasions cut the region off from Mediterranean influence. During the Middle Ages, the language swept all the way down to the Loire.

By the Late Middle Ages, it moved down to the Gironde in the west and the Saintonge and south to the border of Limousin, then to north Auvergnat, then to the southern borders of Burgundy and Franche Comte, then north along the German and Luxembourg borders.
There are three main families of langue d’oil that form a large singular group – Gallo-Norman, Poitevin-Berrichon and Burgundian-Champenois. The last two are closer together than the first one. Walloon and Lorrain are clearly part of a second large group altogether. Franche-Compte is probably a part of the Burgundian-Champenois group. Picard is unusual. It has traits similar to Norman-Gallo, but it seems to be a bit closer to Wallo-Lorrain.
The most different langues d’oil were those that had contact with non-French languages like Breton, English, German and Dutch. The three dialects of Wallonia are further apart than the dialects of central France in general. Nivernais, Berrichon, Tourangeau, Orleanais, Peurcheron and Sarthois are all pretty close together.
There is an area of transition around Picard, Walloon, Lorrain (Germanized French) and Burgundy (real French) in which there seems to be a transition between “real French” and an area where there is more of an influence of Germanic sounds.
There is a crescent from Walloon through Lorrain and down to Arpitan and then to Occitan which seems to retain the most ancient remains of Old French and proto-langue d’oil. This crescent is bisected by an area of Germanic influence in the Lorrain. It goes from Walloon to Catalonia.
Gallo, Poitevin and Saintongeais seem to form a group of Western Langue d’oil. Picard, Walloon and Lorrain seem to form a Northeastern Langue d’oil with archaic features and much Germanic influences.,M1
Endangered languages of France
There are many French lects which are not intelligible to a speaker of St French.
The following is an extract from a report by Prof. Bernard Cerquiglini, the director of the National Institute of the French Language (institute national de la langue Française; a branch of the National Center of Scientific Research, CNRS) for the French Education, Research and Technology Minister and the French Culture and Communications Minister on the languages of France (April 1999): “The gap between French which is itself a dialect of langue d’oïl and the varieties of langues d’oïl, which today we would (wrongly) call “French dialects,” has continued to widen; Franc-Comtois, Walloon, Picard, Norman, Gallo, Poitevin, Saintongeais, Bourguignon-Morvandiau and Lorrain must be accepted among the regional languages of France; by placing them on the list [of French regional languages], they will be known from then on as langues d’oïl.”
Gallo, Norman, Picard, Chamagnois and Burgundian are still alive but not in good shape. They are mostly used in the home, in rural areas, etc. Gallo is not intelligible with Norman. Norman is not intelligible at all with Walloon, and Norman speakers cannot understand Picard. Cauchois speakers have some understanding of Picard but that may be due to exposure.
Acadian French, Quebecois French, Newfoundland French and  are not fully intelligible with each other, and hence are all separate languages.
Manitobaine and Saskatchais are very old dialects, older even than Quebecois. They are isolated and differentiated. Metis has 2 dialects, which are very different, Prairie Metis and North Ontario Metis. Both are quite different from both Manitobaine and Saskatchais on the one hand and North Ontario French on the other. It appears that Metis French is a separate language.

Manitobaine, Saskatchais and Metis are also called “Bush French”, “Hillbilly French” and “Prairie French.” British Colombian French is not a separate language – it is similar to general Prairie French. Albertan French also appears to be a dialect of Prairie French. Metis French is rusticated antique French from 1800.
Quebecois French is often hard for French speakers to understand. Quebec movies are given subtitles in France. French speakers say that this type of French sounds very old, rural or rustic. Brayon French is not intelligible with Quebecois French. Quebecois French speakers want to believe that there are no dialects of French in Canada and that everyone speaks Quebecois French. They wish to believe that Prairie French and North Ontario French have been assimilated to Quebecois. It is a political issue, not a linguistic one.

Quebecois speakers are furious that France French cannot understand them and say that they don’t speak proper French. There has been a lot of discrimination against Manitoban French speakers.
95% of French Canadians speak Quebecois French. Acadians came from Poitou. Quebecois came from Normandy, Brittany and Paris.
Continental Joual is the Canadian French spoken in France by French Canadian immigrants. It has only about 50% intelligibility with Standard French. Some Frenchmen say that Joual has 0% intelligibility with Standard French.
Acadian French is not intelligible to speakers of any other French Canadian dialects.
Acadian French may be intelligible with Cajun French. Acadian French is 15th century French mixed with lots of English.
Brayon French is very different from Acadian French and is closer to Metis and Quebecois French. It is spoken in the Beauce region of Quebec and the Madawaska area in New Brunswick.
Rural Quebecois French has poor intelligibility in Montreal or Quebec City. Metis Canadian French are not intelligible to Quebecois French speakers. Metis is not intelligible in France at all.
Saguenay Quebecois French is not intelligible to other Quebecois speakers. French speakers all over Canada communicate with each other and with France French by speaking Standard French they learned in school. They also speak a dialect French that the others may not be able to understand well.
Gaspésie Quebecois French is 16th century Burgundian French. It is quite different from Quebec City French.
Gaspésie French is drastically different from Montreal French. It seems to be dying out but was still widely spoken in the rural areas 30 years ago. It may well be a separate language and is probably the most diverse dialect spoken in Quebec. It is somewhat similar to Acadien French.
Hutterite French is not intelligible to other French speakers – it has heavy German admixture.
Walloon is spoken or understood by over a million speakers in Belgium, but it seems to be dying out in favor of Belgium French. 600,000 speakers. Half the population understands it. Most people over 60 speak it, but only 10% of those under 30 do.
Walloon has heavy Dutch and even German influences, even though it is a Romance language. It may have some of the heaviest Germanic influence of any Romance language other than Northern Italian. In addition, it has very heavy influence from Old French, especially Middle French. It also has influences from other langues d’oil, including Lorrain, Picard and Champenois.
Walloon is not intelligible with Picard, though the two are close. There is more distance between Picard and Walloon than between all of Occitan.
Dialects of Walloon – East Walloon – Barvaux, Huy, Liège, Hesbaye Liégois, East Liégeois, Verviers, Malmédy. South Walloon – Marche-en-Fanenne, Bastogne, Neufchâteau, Saint-Hubert, Bouillon. Central Walloon – Basse-Sambre, Rochefort, Dinant, Namur. West Walloon – East Brabançon, Jodoigne, Wavre, Hesbaye Namur, Gembloux, Sombreffe, Eghezée. Central Walloon – Nivelles, Charleroi, Beaumont, Chimay, Philippeville, La Louvière.
The Walloon speaking region extends into France in the Givet region right on the border of Belgium.
Walloon is spoken is two very small rural villages in Luxembourg, Donkels and Soller.
East Walloon (Liégeois) spoken around Malmedy, Liège, Verviers, Huy and Waremme is not intelligible to South Walloon speakers. It is very different and is the most conservative of the dialects.
South Walloon is spoken around Marche, Bastogne and Neufchâteau and is a separate language. Also called Wallo-Lorrain.
The three forms of Walloon are not intelligible with each other and certainly not with French. Belgian French is hard for Frenchmen to understand, but Belgian French speakers can understand Standard French just fine (exposure). Belgium. Robert Pateman, Mark Elliott. p. 85
The three most distant forms are East Walloon, West Walloon and South Walloon. Central Walloon or Walloon Namur is the easiest to understand of all of the forms.
Givet is central Walloon or Walloon Namur.
Wallo-Picard is known as West Walloon.
There is a Picardian Walloon, a Walloon language and a Walloonian Picard, a Picard language. Louviérois is a Picardian Walloon dialect on the border of the Picard-speaking area. It is intelligible with Walloonian Picard.
Walloon is influenced by Low Franconian (Flemish, Dutch) also.
Picard is a separate language spoken in the northeast of France in Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy and in Belgium. Speakers under age 50 are increasingly rare.
In Belgium, it is spoken by an estimated 200,000 people in the area extending from Tournai to Mons in the western part of the province of Hainaut.
However, it is still widely spoken by the lower classes and in the rural areas and is far from dying out.
French speakers have considerable but not total intelligibility of Picard. Intelligibility of Picard may be 70%. It is more different from French than Auvergnat is from other Occitan languages.
Picard is more than one language. For instance, Tournaisian spoken in Tournai, Belgium, cannot understand the Hainaut Rouch or Valenciennes spoken in Mons, which is really Wallo-Picard.
Chtimi is not a Picard dialect. It is an anthropological term used by the Picard speaking people of that region. They don’t like being called Picards, so they adopted the term Chtimi to describe themselves. So it is like Bearnais in that it is not a linguistic concept. There are significant differences between the Picard spoken to the east and west of the Saone and between Saone and the far north. No intelligibility data.
The Germanic influence on Picard is from Low Franconian (Flemish or Dutch)
Picard dialects – Northern – Ch’timi, Lille, Rouchi, (Valenciennes), Tournaisis, Borain, Rural Artesian, Boulonnais. Southern – Thiérachien, Vermandois, Vimeusien-Ponthieu, Amiénois, Beauvaisis.
Spoken by 18% of the population in Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy. Spoken by 50% of the population in Picardy.
The Wallonian Picard speakers of Borinage cannot understand the Picard speakers of Tournai.
Hainaut Rouch, Borain or Wallo-Picard is a separate language within Picard.
Borain speakers cannot understand the Central Walloon of Count St. Etienne.
Lorrain is spoken in Lorraine Province in France and in Wallonia in Belgium. Heavy Lorraine Franconian and Luxembourgeois influence. In 1870, researchers found that there were 132 separate dialects of Lorrain.
Lorrain differs markedly from Standard French. It’s closer to Walloon than to French. Gaumais is spoken in Belgium as an official language.
Lorrain and Poitevin understand almost nothing of each other.
The Germanic influence on Lorrain is from Middle Franconian. Some of the dialects of Lorrain are Gaumais, Argonnais, Barrois, Pays-Haut, Montmédy, Messin, Neufchâtelois, Châtenois, Plaine, Montagne, Bruche; Alsatian Valleys, Seille et Étang; Vermois, Lunevillois; Saintois, Vaucouleurs, Woëvre, Verdunois, Haut Lorraine, Jarnisy, La Haye, Vôge Vosges, Plains Vosges, Mid Vosges, High Vosges.
Some say that all Lorrain spoken on the plain (not in the High Vosges) can understand each other, but this is uncertain, because some of the dialects are extremely different. Lorrain is almost dead. All that is left is in the High Vosges and on the Moselle plain. In the High Vosges, the % of speakers is about 1%. The rest is basically gone. It died as monolingual language in about 1930. Speakers today are bilinguals who were taught the language by their parents.
Messin is a Lorrain dialect. Apparently still spoken in the city of Metz. It has also borrowed Middle Franconian German words.
Gaumais can easily understand Nancy, but not Bressaud.
Gaumais is probably a transitional Lorrain-Champenois dialect.
The Moselle region has a number of langues d’oil lects: Fontoy (Fentsch), Pays-Haut, L’Isle, Messin (Metz), Nied and Saulnois. Probably mostly Lorrain. Metz is a major dialect.
Moselle Valley Lorrain cannot understand Vologne Valley Lorrain, which is nearby in the west Vosges.
Bressaud, spoken in La Bresse in the Vosges, has difficult intelligibility with the rest of Lorrain. However, it may have good intelligibility with Welche.
Welche is still spoken in the foothills of the Vosges Mts in the Alsace just a few miles west of Colmar in high mountains. It may be a separate language. It seems to be dying out. There are about 2,000 mostly elderly speakers left, but there are probably some people as young as 30 with good knowledge of the language. Poor intelligibility with Standard French, possibly 40%.

It is related to the Lorrain language but is its own language. Strong German influence. Welche may be intelligible with the rest of the Vosges Lorrain dialects spoken in the west of the Vosges.
Welche language differences were much greater in the past. Now they have much reduced, and people can communicate well with most of the villages around them as the dialects have deteriorated and young people travel around more.
5 dialects – Upper Val Bruche (Bruchois), Val de Villé, Val Lièpvre, Val Kaysersberg (Kaysersbergeois), Val d ‘Orbey (Orbelais). Intelligibility between dialects is not known.
Bruchois is dialect spoken in the Val de Bruche. Bruchois still has a few speakers and a few people who understand it. Moribund. Lutzelhousois, right downstream, is an Alsatian dialect. Lutzelhousois still has speakers.
Rothaucois is a Bruchois dialect.
Val de Ville is still spoken by a few. Intelligibility with the rest is unknown.
Val Lièpvre still has a few speakers.
Spoken in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines.
Welche began to die after WW1 and the French reconquest. It had a brief revival again under German occupation. The Germans were better for Welche than the French!
Champenois is a language spoken in Champagne in France and Wallonia in Belgium. Intelligibility data between Champenois and other langues d’oil is lacking.
The real Champenois spoken in the Marne by grandparents even today is not at all intelligible with French.
Meuse is a Champenois dialect spoken in the Haute-Marne in far southeast Champagne-Ardennes. Verdun is a Meuse dialect.
Ardennais is a langue d’oil spoken in the Ardennes. A dialect of Champenois with heavy Walloon influence. A sort of Champenois-Walloon.
It still exists.
Ardennais is halfway between Walloon and Champenois. The language itself may be dead by now, replaced by a regional French with a lot of old words.
Sedan Ardennais has poor intelligibility with South Walloon or Wallo-Lorrain. It has Walloon (heavy), Lorrain and Picard influences.
Franc-Comptois (Jurassien) is a oil language of France also known as Jurassien. Spoken in the Franche-Compte region, including Haute-Saone, Haute-Marne, Territoire del Belfort, Haut-Rhin and the Jura Canton of Switzerland. There are six dialects – Saône-N, Doubs-Ognon, Lomont-Doubs, Ajoulot, Vâdais and Taignon.
Doubs is one of the major Franc-Comptois dialects.
Saône-N is spoken in the upper plateau of the département of Haute-Saône and southeastern Haute-Marne. Plancher-les-Mines is a dialect of Saone-N. Saône-N is apparently not intelligible with the rest of Franche-Compte.

Doubs-Ognon is spoken in the Ognon River valley, which includes the middle valleys of the département of Doubs, southern part of Haute-Saône and part of southeastern Haute-Marne. Lomont-Doubs is spoken in the Lomont Massif and upper valleys in eastern Doubs (France) and the western part of the Canton of Jura in Switzerland.

Ajulot is spoken in Ajoie, Elsgau frontier country, Savoureuse valley, western Sundgau and Porrentruy, which includes the Territoire de Belfort and adjacent parts of the département of Haut-Rhin, France and the northwestern part of the Canton of Jura. Belfort is a major Ajoulot dialect spoken in the far southeast or Franche-Compte near Switzerland. Vâdais is spoken in Delémont (Delsberg) in the Canton of Jura. It was already dying out 100 years ago. Franc-Comptois is in very bad shape; one of the worst of all of the langues d’oil.

Taignon is spoken in the Branches Massif in the southwestern part of the Canton of Jura.±dq=Franc-Comtois+dialect&source=bl&ots=pmi9XipmGA&sig=RxJloP1lNx9YY7QT-lI_TUevBxw&hl=en&ei=sy0RSqn4Kpa8tAOekMHvAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=29
Franc-Comtois is spoken in the rural areas. It differs a lot from Standard French.
Franc-Comptois has poor intelligibility to those not from the region.
There are extreme differences between some Franche-Compte dialects. For instance, the dialect in Val d’Amour south of Dole near the Burgundy border had extreme differences between one side of the Loue River. Intelligibility issues not known.
Franc-Montagnard (Freiberger) is spoken in one of the cantons of Jura. It may be a Franc-Comptois language.
Romand or Vaudois, the French spoken in Switzerland, can be hard to understand in its pure form.
The Burgundian language is still spoken in rural areas, and it is still in some cases passed down to children. Many of the older generation still speak it. Some of the younger generation understand it.
It differs considerably from Standard French.
Burgundian is largely unintelligible to French speakers and is still spoken in Burgundy. It is not in very good shape though.
In 1988, there were said to be 50,000 speakers of this language remaining.
Burgundian is widely spoken in the rural areas.
Beaujolais is a Burgundian dialect spoken in the Beaujolais region in the north of the Lyonnais region around the town of Villefranche and Beaujeu.
Côte d’Or is a major Burgundian dialect. Dialects include La Roche-Vanneau, and Thorey-sous-Charny.
Saône-et-Loire is a major Burgundian dialect. Dialects include Serley, Mercurey, Rully, Broye, Montmort, Varennes-Saint-Sauveur and Vallée du Mesvrin around Creusot and Suin.
Chaumont-le-Bois, Oise, Saint-Julien-de-Jonzy and Chissey-en-Morvan are all dialects of Burgundian.
Lyonnais is a major Burgundian dialect spoken around Lyon. It is transitional to Lyonnais Arpitan.
Yonne is a major Burgundian dialect spoken in the region with the same name.
Valsaônnois is a Burgundian dialect spoken in the Val de Saône Côte-d’Or, major cities are Auxonne and Saint-Jean-de-Losne. It reportedly extends into the west Franche-Compte around Dole and Vesoul.
Châtillonnais, Dijonnais and Bèzois are major Burgundian dialects.
Langrois is a dialect spoken in the Langres in the south of Champagne-Ardennes and northeastern Burgundy. It may no longer exist.
Gâtinais is still spoken in the Loing Valley south of Paris in Orleans. Its relationship to Orleanais is not known. It is not in good shape.
Gâtinais is possibly part of Burgundian, but this is not certain.
Mayonnaiseis a dialect of Burgundian spoken around the town of Macon. It’s transitional to Arpitan. It’s very little spoken these days, but lives in various dialect associations that try to promote it.
Auxois is a Burgundian dialect spoken in the Cote d’Or around Beaune. Probably transitional between Morvandeau and Langrois.
Montcellien is a Morvandeau dialect that is spoken in the mining region of Montceau. 50% speak it and 90% can understand it. In some Morvan villages, almost everyone speaks Morvandeau. In the Upper Morvan, there are villages where most of the children understand it, and a minority can speak it. It is especially lively around Autun and Salieu.
Mallerin is a Morvandeau dialect spoken around Montsauche in the Morvan. Yocotai is a Morvandeau dialect spoken around Chateau-Chinon.
Morvandeau is said to be a part of Burgundian, but it’s actually a separate language.
Morvandeau is divided into a North Morvandeau and a South Morvandeau.
Morvandeau has difficult intelligibility with Burgundian.
South Morvandeau is influenced by Brionnais-Charolais. Morvandeau has 4 main variants: Northwest, influenced by Central langue d’oil; Central, Montane and Sédelocien, close to Auxois.
From 1958-1970, in Alligny-en-Morvan, Morvandeau was universally spoken by all older peasants in the region.
Bressan Oil-tan is a separate language, not a part of Burgundian. It is transitional to Arpitan.
Bressan has difficult intelligibility with Burgundian.
Chalonnais is a Bressan dialect spoken in the wine growing country around Chalon in southern Burgundy.
Brionno-Charolais is largely unintelligible to French speakers and is still spoken in Burgundy. It is a transitional French language to Arpitan.
Brionnais-Charolais is a separate language transitional to Franco-Provencal and Northeastern Auvergnat. Spoken in the Brionnais-Charolais region in the far southwest of Burgundy and a tiny bit into the northeastern part of Auvergne near Dignon and Marcigny. Dialects: North Charolais, South Charolais, East Brionnais, West Brionnais.
It’s not a part of Burgundian.
Brionnais-Charolais has difficult intelligibility with Burgundian.
Berrichon is spoken around Berry south of Paris and is pretty impenetrable to French speakers. Berrichon is not doing well.
There is marginal intelligibility between Berrichon and Bourbonnais, possibly on the order of 70% or so.
Berrichon is still spoken today and has a literature.
Berrichon was spoken throughout the whole region until 1950 or so.
Berrichon still had quite a few speakers as of 2006. Berrichon has no differences in grammar or syntax with French. The differences are mostly lexical, but even there, most of the words have French cognates. The most serious differences are phonetic.
Berrichon still has many speakers in the area around Lower Berry around Pérassay and St. Severus in Indre near the border with Limousin. It is spoken to a lesser extent around Cher.
Tourangeau and Berrichon differ in many important ways. They may well be separate languages.
Indre and Champagne are major dialects of Berrichon, and La Chatre is an Indre dialect. Champagne is spoken in the region of that name around the cities of Levroux, Châteauroux and Issoudun.
Berrichon is divided into two main dialects: Upper Berrichon, Lower Berrichon.
Nivernais is spoken in the region of Nivernais. Related to Berrichon, Morvandeau, Orleanais, Burgundian, Bourbonnais, really a part of Berrichon.
Machinois is a dialect of Nivernais spoken in the La Machine coal mining region of Nivernais.
Donziais, a Nivernais dialect spoken in Donzy, was still spoken until at least 1976. Has a literature. Nivernais is a transitional langue d’oil between Berrichon and Morvandeau.
Nivernais may be a separate language.
Auxerre is a dialect of Nivernais.
It’s probably a Burgundian-Berrichon transitional dialect, as such, it probably has ~70% intelligibility with Berrichon like Bourbonnais.
In the 1940’s, around La Voix de Amognes, almost everyone spoke Nivernais.
Poyaudine is a dialect spoken around the Nivernais region. It part of Berrichon.
Solognot is a langue d’oil that was spoken in the Sologne around the town of Vierzon north of Berry. It is little known. Still spoken in 1905. This may only exist as a dialect of French anymore. This may a dialect of Berrichon, but others say it was a separate language.
Orléanais did not go extinct in the early 1800’s. It is spoken in the city of Orléans today.
It is hard to French speakers to understand.
Some say that Orleanais is a dialect of Berrichon, but this is uncertain if not dubious.,M1
Bourbonnais is spoken in the northern Auvergnat region.

Intelligibility is 70% with Berrichon. It is almost completely dead now and for the most part has transformed into a regional dialect. Only a few old people and enthusiasts speak the pure language.
Bourbonnais may or may not be a part of Burgundian.
Bourbonnais is part of a group with Berrichon, but it is a separate language.
Bourbonnais is interesting because it is at the center of langue d’oil (Berrichon, Burgundian), Arpitan (Forez) and Occitan (Auvergnat). It is really transitional between Berrichon and Burgundian.
The southern boundaries of Bourbonnais are Montlucon, Vichy and Gannat. Below that, in the southern third of the Bourbonnais region, Creusois Occitan is spoken. It is spoken north of Montlucon – St Pourçain – Lapalisse, as well in the Cher of Berry all the way to St. Armond-Montron. Between these two zones is some sort of uncertain transition zone. In the southeast of the Bourbonnais region, Creusois has heavy Arpitan input.
Peurcheron is different from Norman – it is a lot more like Gallo. Intelligibility data for Peurcheron and Gallo and other langues d’oil is lacking. But it is considered to be close to Standard French (Francien). Peurcheron however is probably not intelligible with Gallo. It is close to Norman, but closer to the dialects of the center, of which it is a part.
Possibly a dialect of Manceau, but it is also considered to be a dialect of Norman.
Percheron may have died out in the 1940’s.
Percheron may still be spoken around Chartres.
As of 1908, Percheron was not intelligible with French.
Tourangeau is a langue d’oil that still exists. It is little known. It is spoken near the city of Tours. This is now apparently just a regional dialect of French, intelligible to any French speaker. However, some say it still exists but is in bad shape.
It seems to be a separate language.
Manceau cannot understand Tourangeau.
Tourangeau and Berrichon differ in many important ways. They may well be separate languages.
The situation in Tours is very confusing. The bourgeois of Tours adopted the pure French accent of Paris, and it is this accent that people speak of when they said, as they have since the 1500’s, that Tours has the purest French in all of France.

However, in the Tours countryside, the Tourangeau dialect was spoken, and it was definitely a separate language from Standard French. It is almost dead now, and whatever remains of it is only in the rural areas. There are some recordings of relatively pure Tourangeau speakers from the 1970’s. Tourangeau in some form still exists in the countryside, but it will be dead in 30 years or so.
Blaisois was a langue d’oil spoken around Blois and was related to Orleanais. It was still spoken in 1892. Unknown if it still exists, but it probably does not.
Vendômois was a langue d’oil spoken around Vendome in Orleans. Probably not spoken anymore. Beauceron is a langue d’oil spoken in the Beauce southwest of Paris around the cities of Chartres and Etampes in Orleans. It was still widely spoken in 1911. Relationship to Orleanais is not known. It is thought to be dead except for some old words spoken in rural areas and is now a dialect of French, however it may yet exist in some form.
It may still be spoken around Chartres.
Briard is a langue d’oil spoken in Brie east of Paris. Little is known about it. Dead since 1950. Now it is just a dialect of French with some old words in it. However, some old farmers from Brie still have a very strong accent, which is nevertheless intelligible with French.
Etampois was a patois spoken only 15 miles south of France in the rural farming region of Hurepoix near the city of Esson. Nothing remains of this but a regional accent and some old words in the rural areas.
Norman has Germanic influences, but they are not due to German, more to Scandinavian, especially Danish and Norse.

Jones, Mari C. 2001. Jersey Norman French: A Linguistic Study of an Obsolescent Dialect, illustrated edition. Wiley-Blackwell
Jèrriais or Jersey French is a French language spoken on Jersey Island. Jèrriais has some intelligibility of Guernésiais. There are 2,874 speakers left. 15% of the population understands the language. The language is being revived. It is recognized as a regional language by the British government. Monolingual children were showing up at school as late as 30 years ago. There is a heavy English and some Breton influence.
In Jersey, there are people who speak Jèrriais and English, but no French.
Serquiais is a separate language spoken on Sark, descended from the Jèrriais of the colonists of the 1500’s. The remaining speakers are mostly elderly. It has suffered in recent years due to the influx of tax exiles. It is not inherently intelligible to Jèrriais or Guernésiais, nor with the Norman spoken on coast. There are only 20 speakers left. Serquiais is the most different of all compared to Standard French.,M1
Jèrriais speakers have a hard time understanding Serquiais. Serquiais and Guernésiais have no mutual intelligibility.
Guernésiais is spoken in Guernsey. It is recognized by the British government as a regional language. Guernésiais and Jèrriais have some intelligibility. There are 1,327 speakers. Speakers are mostly over age 64. 14% of the population have some understanding of the language. No intelligibility of Serquiais.
There are two Guernésiais languages, North Guernésiais, spoken in the lower parishes, and South Guernésiais, spoken in the upper parishes. There is poor intelligibility between them. Only one variety is being revived. Most Guernsey residents use some Guernésiais words in everyday speech without even knowing it. Speakers were evacuated to the mainland during WW2, and they quit speaking the language.,M1
All Insular Norman French is hard for Mainland Norman French to understand, and it is all very different from Mainland Norman French.
Spoken south of the Joret Line.
Southern Norman is not intelligible with Cotentin. Has Gallo, Angevin, Manceau and Mayennais influences, at least west of Domfront. Some see it as part of Western Langue d’oil.
Calvadosien is spoken in Calvados. Not intelligible with Cotentinais.
Avranchin dialect is similar to Gallo.
Vexinois is spoken around Gisors. Not intelligible with Cotentinais.
Lieuvin-Evrecin is spoken around Thiberville, Buezeville and Evreux.
Cauchois is a dialect of the Norman language that is doing pretty well. It is spoken towards the east near Picard. It is spoken in the Pays de Caux region of the Seine-Maritime Department. Up to 20% of the residents are speakers. There is some intelligibility with Picard.
Cauchois has some, but probably not full, understanding of Cotentinais.
Cauchois is now extremely Frenchified.
Augeron is an endangered dialect of Norman spoken in the Pays d’Auge.
Not intelligible with Cotentinais.
Eure Norman is not intelligible with Cotentinais.
Roumois is spoken in the Roumois region south of the Seine below Elbeuf and west to the Risle. Between Cauchois and Augeron. Not intelligible with Cotentinais.
Brayon, spoken between Beauvais and Neufchatel. Transitional to Picard. Not intelligible with Cotentin.
In the area of the Envermeu and Aumale in the Bresle River region, a Picard-Norman transitional dialect is spoken.
Cotentinais is the Norman dialect spoken on the Cotentin Peninsula. The La Hague dialect is close to, but not intelligible with, Guernsey French. There are 5 dialects. Haguais is spoken in La Hague, in the north west of the Cotentin Peninsula. Val de Saire is spoken in the north east. Coutançais Du Nord is spoken to the north of the Coutances-Saint-Lô line. Coutançais Du Sud is spoken to the north of the Joret line. Baupteis is spoken in Baptois, between Carentan and La Haye-du-Puits. Intelligibility among dialects is not known.
Almost everyone over age 40 speaks Cotentinais. Below age 40 there are not many speakers, but still, about 20% of those under 40 speak the language.

A Sociolinguistic Study of the Regional French of Normandy. Damien John Hall. PhD Dissertation. University of Pennsylvania. 2008.
There are still some people, mostly farm workers, who are more or less monolingual in Cotentin.
Gallo is still widely used in Brittany and is even taught in the schools. It is the only langue d’oïl that is taught in the schools.
Spoken in the eastern parts of Brittany and in the department of Loire-Atlantique (Pays de Loire region).
Gallo has poor intelligibility with Mayennais.
Gallo itself has many dialects. The version spoken around Vannes is very different from the Gallo spoken around in Avranches. Rennes is in the middle. Past Avranches, it transitions into Mayennais and Manceau. Vannes Gallo is quite different.
150,000 people in Brittany were raised as children speaking Gallo.
Gallo is close to Norman, but it is closer to Poitevin.
South of the Loire from Nantes to Clisson, a Gallo with Poitevin influences is spoken.
Gallo is now very Frenchified. It has about 62% intelligibility with French. By contrast, Walloon and France-Comptois have almost none. This is really Frenchified Gallo, only one type of Gallo.
There is also the real Gallo, spoken in the countryside. You can’t understand it at all, and it’s simply a foreign language.
The following are the major dialect divisions of Gallo – North Gallo – Rennes, Dol, Saint-Malo, Saint-Brieuc, Trégor, Cornouaille. Central – Vannetais Gallo, Guérande, Brière, Mée. South – Retz, Vignoble.
There are 3 big Gallo dialects spoken in the Loire Atlantique. They are Gallo-Roman (heavy French influence) in the east, Old Gallo (north and northwest) and Poitevin Gallo in the south.
The Retz is where Gallo-Poitevin is spoken. It is more Poitevin towards the south and more Gallo towards the north. Intelligibility data is not available. This language is very different on Noirmoutiers Island than it is in the Pays de Monts right nearby.

Breton was spoken in the Pays de Retz until the 1400’s, when it was taken over by Gallo or Poitevin or both.
200,000 speakers of Gallo. 400,000 can understand it.
If you look at Gallo dictionaries from 200 years ago, there are lots of words that modern speakers would not understand at all.–andre-bienvenu-rue-des-scribes-ed
Saint-Malo is a major Gallo dialect spoken in the coastal city of that name. Around St. Malo and Cancale, Gallo has a lot of Norman influences. Eastern limit of Gallo is Mt. St. Michael. Avranchin may be Norman speaking.
Around Fougeres, Gallo is heavily influenced by Mayennais. And around Chateaubriant and Derval, Gallo is heavily influenced by Angevin. Around Vitre, the language is more Mayennais than Gallo.
Along a line Nantes – Ancenis – Pouancé, there is an Angevin-Gallo transition zone.
Rennes Gallo is very similar to Mayennais. Nantes Gallo is close to Angevin.
Gallo has many dialects, more Breton influence in the west and more French influence in the west. Even people living 5-10 miles apart have difficult intelligibility. Gallo is known since the 800’s.
Angevin is a langue d’oil that still exists. It is spoken near the city of Ange in northwestern France.
Angevin is a separate language from Gallo. A rural Angevin speaker cannot really understand an urban speaker of Gallo proper.
Angevin is intelligible with Mayennais.
Around Beaupreau and Cholet, in the Mauges south of the Loire, an Angevin with Poitevin influences is spoken.
The Poitevin Angevin in the Mauges is not intelligible with Poitevin.
Manceau is a langue d’oil that is still spoken. It is spoken in and around the city of Le Mans.
It is very close to Angevin and Gallo but is not intelligible with Gallo. It is but probably intelligible with Mayennais and Angevin. The language change from Gallo to Manceau is between Rennes and Laval.
Also known as Sarthois. Appears to be intelligible with Angevin, at least with East Angevin. Whether it is intelligible with West Angevin is not known.
Manceau is filled with Gallo and Angevin words.
Manceau cannot understand Tourangeau.;amp;oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#PPA107,M1
Mayennais is spoken in and around the city of Mayenne in northwest France.
Mayennais is quite hard for Standard French speakers to understand.
It is still widely spoken in the rural areas.
Mayennais is apparently a transitional dialect between Angevin and Gallo. It is intelligible with Angevin.
Mayennais has poor intelligibility with Gallo.
Mayennais has Gallo, Norman, Angevin and Manceau influences.
Sarthois is still hard to understand for Frenchmen; even Sarthois French is hard to understand.
Poitevin is a separate language and is spoken in Poitou in West Central France on the coast. Difficult intelligibility with Saintongeais, but this is controversial.
South of the Loire, a mixed Poitevin-Gallo language (Gallo-Poitevin) is spoken, but this is really Poitevin. 70% of the words are Poitevin. It is Poitevin with Angevin and Gallo influence. Probably difficult intelligibility with the rest of Poitevin.
There are still monolingual Poitevin speakers, some living right in Poitiers.
Civraisien, Pictavien, Chauvignois, Châtelleraudais, Gatinais, Loudun, Montmorillais, Retais and Retzois are Poitevin dialects. Intelligibility among them is not known.
Saintongeais and Poitevin are as far apart as Spanish is from French, according to some. Lexical similarity is only 30% between Poitevin and Saintongeais.
Lorrain and Poitevin understand almost nothing of each other.
The northern border where Poitevin transitions into Angevin is at Thouars and Loudun. Poitevin turns into Tourangeau at Châtellerault, where a Poitevin-Tourangeau transitional dialect is spoken.
Maraîchin is apparently a separate language from the rest of Poitevin. Maraichin is spoken from Machecoul to Challans and west to the coast. Marais is spoken around Aiguillon Bay on the border with Poitou.

Aunisois is spoken in the Aunis in far northwest Poitou.

In addition, Low Bocain, High Bocain, Southwest Bocain, Marais, Aunisois and Insular Poitevin (spoken on the islands) are 6 separate languages. None of these languages is completely intelligible with each other. All of these are spoken in the Vendee. In other words, Poitevin may be 8 separate languages.
Saintongeais is spoken on the west central coast of France near Poitevin in the provinces of Charente and Charente Maritime. It is still widely spoken in the rural areas. It is still used in radio, on TV and in shows.
Saintongeais was formerly together with Poitevin, as Poitevin-Saintongeais, but recently they were split in a controversial decision. Saintongeais may have difficult intelligibility with Poitevin, but this is very controversial.
Charentais is apparently a dialect of Saintongeais
Oleronais is spoken on the island of Oleron. Probably a dialect of Saintongeais. Saintongeais and Angoumois are very different. Angoumois may well be a separate language, but intelligibility data is not available. Angoumois is spoken in the east of Saintonge. In the far east, on the border of Limousin, Limousin Charentre is spoken, an Occitan dialect with oil influence. It borders the Perigord region.
Charentais still has some middle aged speakers. It’s not at all intelligible with French.
When Saintongeais speakers read the “Poitevin-Saintongeais” language that is promoted by the unified language people, it makes no sense to them. Charentais speakers also oppose the new unified writing system, saying it makes no sense to them. Saintongeais appeared in 1200. Saintongeais and Poitevin are as far apart as Spanish and Italian.

Intelligibility between Saintongeais and Poitevin is probably around 30-40%. No one can read Saintongeais-Poitevin unified; only a handful of intellectuals can, all of them Poitevin. It is a project from a group of Poitou intellectuals in the 1970’s. Poitevin-Saintongeais is actually several incomprehensible dialects. Experiments show that Saintongeais has only 50% comprehension of Poitevin.
Gabaye is a langue d’oil transitional to Occitan spoken in the region of Gabaye in Acquitaine. Spoken around Blaye and Libourne. Still widely spoken.
Apparently a dialect of Saintongeais. Poitevin is known since the 800’s.
Meridional French from Languedoc and the Maritime Provencal region is said to be hard to understand to Francophones from the north of the Continent, even though it is supposedly a dialect.
Meridional French speakers get subtitles on French TV. African and North African French is easily intelligible with the French in France. Belgian French, Aosta French and Swiss French are intelligible with French in France. Lebanese and SE Asian French are both very different. Lebanese may nevertheless be intelligible to French speakers in France.
Some African French gets subtitles on French TV.
Cajun French spoken by 17,200 speakers. Southern Louisiana west of the Mississippi as far north as Avoyelles, Evangeline, Allen and Calcasieu parishes. Dialects are Marsh French, Prairie French, Big Woods French. About 50% intelligibility of Standard French. Different from the variety of ‘Broken French’ used by 8,000 African Americans, or ‘Napoleanic Era French’.
Louisiana Cajun French, a French creole spoken in Louisiana by 60,000 people, mostly older. Louisiana, St. Martin Parish (St. Martinville, Breaux Bridge, Cecilia), New Roads and Edgard; east Texas; some in Sacramento, California. Originated from Haitian Creole.

‘Broken French’ is used by 8,000 African Americans in Louisiana, or ‘Napoleanic Era French’. It is not known if this is a separate language or not. This an archaic French variety from 200 years ago.
St Lucia Creole French. Spoken by 158,000 in Saint Lucia. Population total all countries: 356,950. Also in Dominica (42,600), France, Grenada (2,300), Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago (3,800). Many speakers in Dominica, where it is called Dominican Creole French. DCF is a dialect of SLCF, with 98% intelligibility.

All French Caribbean creoles have some degree of mutual intelligibility. On St Lucia, almost everyone speaks it as an L1; on the other islands where they speak English, it has lower prestige. In Dominica, 10% speak Standard French. Has many Carib and Arawak loans.
Guyanese Creole French, 50,000 speakers. Intelligibility of St Lucia Creole 78%, Karipuna Creole 77%. It is the most important rural language and the L1 for 30% of the population in the capital. Has low prestige. Many educated can speak it, but don’t like to. Also spoken in Suriname.
Guadeloupe Creole French – 430,000 in Guadeloupe. Population total all countries: 848,000. Spoken in Eastern St. Barthélemy, Marie Galante islands. Also in Martinique (418,000) as Martinique Creole French. Dialects are Marie Galante Creole French and St. Barts Creole French. St. Barts is almost a separate language. Intelligibility of St Lucia Creole 89%.
Karipúna Creole French, 1,710 speakers in Brazil in Amapá, on French Guiana border. It is unknown how different this variety is from Guyanese Creole French. They formerly spoke Karipúna, an unclassified extinct language, possibly from Marajó Island at the mouth of the Amazon.
San Miguel Creole French, spoken in Panama, 3 speakers, almost extinct. They came from St. Lucia as laborers in the 1800’s.
Morisyen, a French creole spoken in Mauritius. 800,000 in Mauritius. Population total all countries: 806,000. Also in France, Madagascar, United Kingdom. It is more similar to Caribbean French creoles than to Reunion.
Réunion Creole French, 555,000 in Réunion. Population total all countries: 600,500. Also in Comoros, Madagascar. There are two varieties – an urban variety that is closer to French and a rural variety that is closer to Bantu and West African languages. 25% are white, poor, live in the mountainous interior and speak archaic highland varieties. 25% are Indian, live in coastal lowlands and speak the basilect. 45% are African or mixed race, live in coastal lowlands and speak the basilect.
Seselwa Creole French, spoken in the Seychelles by 72,700. Very similar to Morisyen. Poor intelligibility of Reunion Creole. It is one of the official languages, and it is taught in primary schools.
Tayo Creole French, spoken by 2,000 in New Caledonia. Also spoken as an L2 by some Wallis Islanders. Some also speak French.
Haitian Creole French, 6,960,000 in Haiti. Population total all countries: 7,701,640. Also in Bahamas, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States. Influences from Wolof, Fon and Éwé. It has been an official language since 1961. Standard French has higher social status.

The tiny towns of Erto e Casso (dialects Ertano and Cassanese), Claut and Cimolais in Friuli Venezeia Giulia speak a Rhaeto-Romansch dialect that is transitional between Friulian and Ladin. Later it came under Venetian influence. Ladin was formerly spoken in a nearby area, which explains the Ladin influence.

The people say they speak Friulian, but the towns voted not to be included in the Friulian speaking region. The variety is not intelligible with the rest of Friulian. It is probably not intelligible with Ladin either. The name is Vajontino. The nearby village of Casso speaks some sort of Venetian, possibly Ladino Venetian. It is not really known what this lect is, whether it it is Friulian or Ladin at its base.
In the town of Forni di Sotto on the border between the Comelico Ladin and the Friulian region, a dialect called Fornese is spoken that is often considered to be a part of Ladin. However, it is a cross between Carnico or Carnian Friulian and Cadore Ladin, especially Comelicano. It is said to be so different from the rest of Carnico that it is not even a part of that language. At the same time, it does not seem to be Ladin either.

Probably similar to Vajontino, but intelligibility between this lect and Vajontino is not known. Probably not intelligible with Cadore Ladin. Intelligibility with Carnico Friulian is not known. This is basically a Friulian dialect that has undergone profound Cadore Ladin influence.
Fornese differs even from one village to another.
The Central Friulian of Gemona di Friuli in the north of the province has difficult intelligibility with Northern Friulian dialects spoken in Moggia Ugidense only 10-15 miles away.
In addition, Low Friulian has a hard time understanding Carnian Friulian in the far north.
Carnian itself is extremely diverse. Intelligibility within Carnian is not known.

Calabrian Greek is a separate language from Greek proper, as it has poor intelligibility with Greek. It is an archaic language ranging from Byzantine to Medieval Greek. It has 50-70,000 speakers. Also called Griko.
Cappadocian Greek is not extinct at all as was previously thought. Thought extinct in the 1960’s, it was rediscovered in 2005.
The Story of Pu: The Grammaticalization in Space and Time of a Modern Greek Complementizer by Nick Nicholas.
Cypriot Greek and Cretan have marginal intelligibility with Standard Greek. Cretan has ~80% intelligibility and Cypriot ~60% with Standard Greek. Mariupolitan Greek is probably a dialect of Pontic Greek.
The dialect of Olympos, a village on the Greek island of Karpathos, is not even intelligible to other residents of the island.
Mariupolitan Greek is spoken in Mariupol in the Ukraine. This is a group of Greeks who moved into the area 200 years ago. Their Greek lect is still spoken to this day. It has a great deal of Turkic in it from Crimean Tatar so it is hard for Greeks to understand.


Greenlandic is 3 separate languages – West (Standard), East (Tunumiisut) and Polar Greenlandic (Inuktun). They are hardly mutually intelligible and are thus all three separate languages. Inuktun has 1,000 speakers, Tunumiisut has 3,000 speakers, and West has 46,000 speakers.


Quite a few older Italians can only speak dialect and cannot speak Standard Italian very well or at all. Even some younger Italians are better in dialect than in Standard Italian. Others mix the two quite a bit. The Italian dialects are like the German and Chinese ones – they are different in phonology, lexicon and syntax.

The truth is that Italians can understand each other pretty well when they speak Standard Italian, but when they speak their dialects, people who don’t also speak the dialect are typically lost. It is not true that Neapolitan and Sicilian are intelligible, nor is it true that all of the Padanian languages – Emilian-Romangnolo, Lombard, Ligurian, Piedmontese and Venetian – are intelligible.

For one thing, Venetian speakers can barely understand a word of Alpine Lombard, and Piedmontese is very hard for them to understand. Lombard and Piedmontese are not intelligible within themselves, and Emilian and Romangnolo are not intelligible.
There are 1,500 dialects in Italy, and many of them are not intelligible with Standard Italian. It is traditionally said that many of the hundreds of Italian dialects are not intelligible with each other.
In the Central Alpennines, dialects in mountain villages may be poorly understood only a few miles away. Umbria, Tuscany, Molise, Abruzze, Latium, Marches.
Italkian or Judeo-Italian is almost extinct. Has only 200 speakers. This is probably actually a set of languages instead of a single language as there are different forms based on different Italian languages so it is dubious that speakers of the various Italkian forms can understand each other.
Corfu Apulian Italkian is a separate language spoken by Jews who left Apulia between 12-00-1400 to cross the Adriatic and settle on the far northwestern Greek island of Corfu. It is still spoken to this day. Corfu Apulian has many Greek borrowings, especially for words for fruits and vegetables. There is also some Hebrew vocabulary. The language has changed so much over 700 years that although the syntax is exactly the same as the Apulian spoken across the sea in Italy, Corfu Italkian speakers cannot understand modern Apulian speech.
US Italian is poorly understood in Italy. It is a koine based on various Sicilian and Neapolitan lects from about 100 years ago. US Italian is not much alive anymore. It was “spoken by the grandparents” and not passed on to their children or grandchildren. It is dying out.
When they go back to Sicily and Basilica, they are not easily understood. Dialect is very widely spoken in Sicily and Basilica.
Molisano is not intelligible with Neapolitan. Perhaps a better description would be Western and Eastern Neapolitan. EN has been influenced by Albanian, Slavic and Greek, and WN has been influenced by Spanish, Catalan, Sardinian and Sicilian.
Termoli (Termolese) on the coast near Campomarino is similar to southern Abruzze with some Foggiano influences. Coastal Molisano seems to be a different language than western Molisano west of Campobasso, which looks Campanian. West Molisano and Coastal Molisano must be different languages.
Foggiano is not intelligible with Molisano. Abruzzese is not intelligible with Napolitano. It is not fully intelligible with Molisano either. Pizzonese is an Abruzzese dialect in Molise, but it has many characteristics of Gallo-Italic. Pizzonese has only partial intelligibility with the nearby dialect of Castel di Sangro (Sangrino) over the border in Abruzze.

Pizzonese is similar to other dialects in the far south of Abruzze. Molisano is extremely different from Abruzzese. Myke Bernabei, Pizzonese and Standard Italian speaker, USA, personal communication, August 2009.
Abruzzese is not intelligible with Standard Italian.
There may be up to 1,000 dialects in Abruzze alone.
Even South Abruzzese is quite a bit different from Molisano. Abruzzese, especially spoken by older people in the rural areas, is typically unintelligible to speakers of Standard Italian.,%20Radical%20Communication%20and%20the%202009%20G8%20Summit%20in%20L’Aquila%20.pdf
The L’Aquila (Aquilano) dialect of Abruzzese is very divergent from the rest of Abruzzese, has poor intelligibility outside of the city of L’Aquila, even in neighboring towns. It may well be a separate language.
Celanese, the language of the small town of Celano, is not understood outside of the city.
In the north of Abruzze near the Marches border, Abruzzese looks a lot like the dialect of the Marches. There is a new language every 3 miles or so. In the town of Sant’Omero near Nereto, there are two separate languages, one in Bivio Sant’Omero and another around the castle of the old city itself.
A good case can be made that there are separate languages, Coastal Abruzzese and Mountain Abruzzese. But there are more languages even within those – Pescara and Terramo (Pescarese and Terramano) on the coast seem to be separate languages, and L’Aquila and Sulmona in the mountains seem to be separate languages.

We conclude that these are separate languages since it is said that the differences between these lects are as great as those between Romanesco, Napolitano and the Marches. These differences arguably constitute those of separate languages, hence we may be dealing with separate languages here. In addition, Montesalvo, right next to Pescara, has a different dialect from Pescara, and the dialect of Citta Sant’Angelo (Ciusantagnilese) nearby, is completely different from either Pescara or Montesalvo. Intelligibility data for these lects spoken near Pescara are not available.

In addition, the dialect of Tagliacozzo (Tagliacozzano) in the far west mountains is quite a bit different from the L’Aquila dialect. Tagliacozzano includes the dialects spoken in nearby Cese and Avezzano (Avezzanese). All of these fall under the Mariscano dialect, which is quite a bit different even from eastern L’Aquila dialect. It is also similar to Forconese spoken in Rocche, Ocre, Fossa, Sant’Eusanio and Bagno.
Mariscano-Tagliacozzano may be a separate language, as well may be Carseolano spoken to the east near the border with the Marches. Whether or not Tagliacozzano and Marsicano are separate languages is uncertain at this point as they share a lot of similarities. Pennese is probably a separate language. It is not intelligible with Pescarese which is in its own family, so surely it is not intelligible with Terramano either, which is spoken from Teramo to the border with the Marches in Ascoli Piceno.

Eastern Terramano, especially around the Val Vibrata near the border with Marches, is actually a Marches dialect. The dialect in the Sulmona region is a separate language referred to as Peligno. It is spoken from Tocco Casauria to the east. Intelligibility between Chietino, Lanceanese and Vastese to the south are not known.
Pescarese has developed into a koine that is said to be intelligible from Silvi in the north to Francavilla al Mare in the south. This would include Montesalvo. It is also intelligible in Spoltore, Sambuceto, all the way inland to Mosculfo, San Giovanni Teotino and Città Sant’Angelo. So apparently Città Sant’Angelo and Montesalvo are intelligible with Pescarese after all.

Beyond these limits, Pescarese is apparently not intelligible. The old of Pescara still speak a very pure Pescarese that is not the same as the koine. Intelligibility data about the pure dialect is not available. Therefore, Chietino, Pennese and Ortuna are apparently not intelligible with the real hard Pescarese and represent another language or languages.
Chietino can understand Pescarese well, but probably they are hearing the koine.
All dialects of Venetian generally considered to be intelligible, with minimum 92% intelligibility between the most divergent dialects, Central and Western. Dialects include Central (Padua, Vicenza, Polesine), with about 1,500,000 speakers, Eastern/Coastal (Venice, Trieste, Grado, Istria, Rijeka), Western (Verona, Trento), North-Central (Treviso, parts of Pordenonese), Northern (Belluno, comprising Feltre, Agordo, Cadore, Zoldo Alto), Chioggia, Pontine Marshes, Dalmatia in Croatia, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina in Brazil.
The dialect of Padua to the west along the Riviera del Brenta, the ones from Rovigo to Cavarzere to the west, the ones from Choggia to Venice and Mestre and the ones around San Donà di Piave north of Venice, which looks like Treviso-Belluno dialect, all have profound differences. Intelligibility data is not known. Only the Vicenza-Padua-Treviso region speaks a fairly uniform dialect.
The number of Venetian dialects may actually be in the 1000’s.
Zoldano Ladin (Zoldano Venetian): Spoken in the Val Zoldana in Zoppè de Cadore and probably in Forno di Zoldo and Zoldo Alto. Semi-Ladin, said to be Venetian with heavy Ladin influence. Also has Romansch, Celtic, Lombard and influences. In more recent years, French and German vocabulary has gone in.

As the valley has become poorer, more Italian loans have been adopted. Apparently not intelligible with Venetian. Zoldano is consistent from one end of the valley to the other. In the past there were slight differences between the speech of the north and the south of the valley. Spoken farther east than Agordino. Some but not full intelligibility of Pieve di Cadore Ladin.

Ospitale di Cadore Ladin (Ospitale di Cadore Venetian): Probably more a northern Venetian dialect than a Cadore Ladin dialect. Probably intelligible with Zoldano. Probably not intelligible with the rest of Venetian. This is the farthest east variant of all of the Ladino Venetian lects.
Agordino Ladin (Agordino Venetian): Spoken in the upper parts of the Cordevole Valley in Val Fiorentina. Sometimes called semi-Ladin or said to be Venetian with heavy Ladin influence. Has a few Venetian words. Apparently not intelligible with the rest of Venetian. Possibly intelligible with Zoldano and Ospitale de Cadore.
Spoken in Alleghe (Alleghese) and in Falcalde (Falcialde) where it blends into Rocchesano.
Udine Venetian or Udinese is a very different dialect, reminiscent of the Venetian of the 1800’s. Triestine is also very different. It didn’t exist until 200 years ago when it replaced a Friulian-like lect previously spoken there. Intelligibility issues are not known. Udinese is now almost extinct.
Triestine is spoken everywhere, all the time, all through the city. However, it is now heavily Italianized. Intelligibility with surrounding lects such as Udinese is not known. Triestine has marginal intelligibility with other types of Venetian.
Colonial Venetian is a separate language, as a major split in Venetian. Triestine and Udinese are a part of Colonial Venetian.
Veronese cannot understand Rural Paduan. They can understand Brescian Lombard better. Veronese sounds like Trentino.
Paduan itself seems to be a separate language. It includes Padua to the west along the Riviera del Brenta.
Even inside Padua Province, there are tremendous dialectal variations. The dialect changes about every 10-15 miles and sometimes even in shorter distances. A single word can have a dozen different variations inside Padua alone, along with words that are mixtures of the existing variants. In Padua, there are dialects that look nothing at all like the general regional Paduan dialect.
Treviso seems to have marginal intelligibility even with Padova. It’s probably a separate language. Treviso definitely cannot understand Triestine at all.
The dialect of Chioggia (Chioggiotto) cannot be understood by any other Venetians.
Portoguraro in the far east of Veneto Province is a separate language. It is almost Friulian.
The dialect of the city of Vicenza (Vicentino) is very different from the rest of the province, and the dialect spoken in Arzignano 10 miles to the west has difficult intelligibility with the speech of the city.
High Vicentino (Alto Vicentino) is spoken on the Asiago Plateau in the Cimbrian region. It has strong Cimbrian influences, and residents of Vicenza understand nothing of it.
Belluno is apparently a separate language from Treviso.
The dialect of Belluno (Bellunese) can differ quite a bit even from villages 2-3 miles away.
Primierotto, spoken in the Valle di Primiero, though it is spoken in Trento, has almost nothing to do with Trentino proper and instead is closer to the dialect of Feltre (Feltrino) and Bellunese. Instead it has heavy German influence due to many German speaking miners coming from Austria from 1300 until 1910. It has sharp differences with all surrounding dialects.

This lect is spoken in the towns of Canal San Bovo, Mezzano, Fiera di Primiero, Transacqua, Tonadico, Siror, Imer and Sagron Mis 17 miles west of Belluno and 22 miles south of the Val di Fasa in Trentino Province. Agordo is about 12 miles to the northeast. Intelligibility with Bellunese or Feltrino is not known. Not intelligible with Val di Fassa Trentino Venetian. This is Central Trentino, which is Venetian.
The dialect of Pergine Val Sugana (Valsuganotto) 6 miles east of Trento is not intelligible with the dialects spoken 15-20 miles away.

Valsuganotto is a mixture of Trentino Lombard and Venetian with a bit of Feltrino. It also has Bavarian and Tyrolean influences. It is characterized as an archaic Vicenza type dialect. There are differences between the speech of the upper and lower valley. This is Venetian Eastern Trentino. Intelligibility between this and Primierotto is not known.
Trentino is more than one language. The dialect in Val Lagarina is very different from that in the Val di Non, and they appear to be separate languages. Val Lagarina is not intelligible with Pergine Val Sugana 15 miles to the north. Val Lagarina is Central Trentino (Venetian) and Val di Non is Western Trentino (Eastern Lombard). Intelligibility between Val Lagarina and Cembrano is not known.
The Val di Cembra (Cembrano) speaks Trentino heavily affected by Ladin. Segonzano also speaks Trentino. The dialect is similar to the the Trentino spoken in Trento. Cembrano has major internal differences on the right and left sides of the river valley. Valigiano is a Cembrano dialect. This is Central Trentino, originally Eastern Lombard but now so heavily Venetianized that it is a Venetian lect. Intelligibility between Cembrano and Val Lagarina is not known.
Trentino has 100’s of dialects, many of which are mutually unintelligible. Val di Fassa, Fiemme and Val di Non are separate languages, and they cannot understand each other, but Val di Non is East Lombard and not Venetian. Fiemme and Val di Fassa are Venetian. Predazzo and Ziano also speak Trentino. These are located to the south of Fiemme. Cavalese also speaks Trentino. The dialects of Cavalese and Predazzo are very different.
Intelligibility data is not known.
Other Trentino dialects include Val Sugana and Val dell’Adige.
Venice itself, the dialect in and around it from the lagoon to the south to up to Venice and Mestre, seems to be a separate language.
The dialect of the Rovigo strip down by the Po River on the border of the Romagna region is often said to be a different language. It is not intelligible with Belluno, Treviso or Venice.
Polesella Italian (Pula) cannot be understood by Venetian speakers. It has heavy Emilian tendencies, especially with the dialect of Ferrara. It is spoken in Veneto.
Porto Viro is the same language as Polesella.
The dialect of the Rovigo Strip, which may or may not include Polesella, is not intelligible with Ferrarese, so it looks like Pula is a Rovigo Venetian dialect and not an Emilian one. However, intelligibility between Pula and the rest of Rovigo and Ferrarese is not known, so the status of Pula is still up in the air.
The Istrian Venetian language of Pula, Slovenia, in the hard form now spoken only by a few elders, was not intelligible with the rest of Istrian Venetian spoken in such places as Vodnjan, Porec and Fiume in Croatia. Pula is a separate language if it is not even intelligible with the rest of Istrian Venetian. The intelligibility of the rest of Istrian Venetian with any other Venetian is uncertain.
Istrian Venetian itself, or Colonial Venetian, which covers Triestine, Udinese and the Istrian forms, does seem to be a separate language altogether as a major split in Venetian.
Bisiacco, spoken in the Monfalcone region of Gorizia Province, is not related to Colonial Venetian and is probably a separate language. It is now spoken mostly by the elderly. It comes from a movement from Colonial Veneto to Monfalcone in 1500. It is not related to Triestine, since the Triestine language has only been in existence for 200 years. Prior, another language related to Friulian was spoken.
Gradese, spoken in Grado, and Marano, spoken in Marano Lagunare, are not related to Venetian and are instead variations of an independent language. They are very close to Friulian. They are very archaic.
Sicilian is unintelligible with Standard Italian. It has an incredible 250,000 words, 1/2 of which are derived from Latin. Next are Greek and Spanish. There are also French, Arabic, German and Catalan influences.
Apparently some Sicilian lects are not intelligible with each other even now, as of 2006.
1/4 of Sicilian words have no exact Italian translation. Sicilian has a huge vocabulary rivaling that of English. North of Naples, it is completely unintelligible to other Italians.
The language of Salerno in Puglia is not intelligible with Sicilian.
Basilicata and Pugliese are not intelligible with Sicilian.
Even within the same province, the differences are so great that the language becomes unintelligible from one place to the next. There is a Sicilian koine or Standard Sicilian that can be understood throughout the island by anyone who knows it.
We have no intelligibility data for Central Metafonetica (in the central part of Sicily that includes some areas of the Provinces of Caltanissetta, Messina, Palermo and Agrigento), Southeast Metafonetica (in the Province of Ragusa and the adjoining area within the Province of Syracuse) Ennese (in the province of Enna) and Eastern Nonmetafonetica (in the area including the province of Catania, the second largest city in Sicily and the adjoining area within the Province of Syracuse).
It appears that Agrigentino, Siracusano and Ennese may be separate languages on a par with the rest of the Sicilian lects. Siracusano is together with Catanese in a major split called Catanese-Siracusano. Caltanissetta (Nisseno) is together with Ennese is a single group called Nisseno-Ennese. The Madonie Mountains contain a separate entire split in Sicilian.
Agrigentino can’t understand Palermitano, Catanese or Messinese very well. But Agrigentino actually includes two separate major splits – Eastern Agrigentino and Central Eastern Agrigentino.
The real Ennese is dying out and is only spoken today by the elderly. A new Ennese is spoken among the younger people that is similar to Catanese, because most of the younger people go off to Catania to study.
The original Ennese dialect is hard to understand for Siracusano speakers. Siracusano also has a hard time with Agrigento, Palermitano, Catanese and even Ragusano.
Nisseno is very different from Catanese.;wap2
Ragusano, Ennese and Catanese do not appear to be intelligible with each other.
Pantesco is a divergent Sicilian dialect, the most heavily Semiticized lect in the Romance family. It is spoken on Pantelleria Island off the coast of Sicily. The lect has serious Arab influence as the island is closer to North Africa than to Sicily. The lect has Phoenician, Carthaginian, Roman, Arabic and Spanish influences.

60-100 years ago, it was not intelligible with the rest of Sicilian and furthermore, there were two unintelligible varieties on the island – a heavily Arabized language on the heights and a less Arabized language on the coast. In recent times, Pantesco has been heavily influenced by both Standard Sicilian and Standard Italian. The dialect is now more or less similar to that of Trapani (Trapanese) on the west coast of Sicily between Palermo and Sciacca.

Nevertheless, it is still a highly divergent lect. Intelligibility with the rest of Sicilian is not known. But as a major split in Sicilian, Pantesco is quite probably a separate language.
Pantesco has a lot of similarities with Maltese Arabic.
Catanese (Catania) and the Lipari Islands are not intelligible with each other, so Sicilian is surely not intelligible with Neapolitan. Catanese is not intelligible with Palermitano (Palermo), especially if the speakers came from small villages near Catania and Palermo. Catanese is Eastern Nonmetafonetican Sicilian. Lipari Islands is Aeolian Islands Sicilian.

Palermitano and Sciacca are Western Sicilian. The very pure Catanese dialect spoken in the city of Catania cannot be understood outside of city of Catania itself.
Catanese and Siracusano, part of the same group, are very different from each other.
The dialect in the villages outside the city of Catania is completely different from the Catanese spoken in the city of Catania and cannot be understand by a Catania city speaker. If this is true even inside the province of Catania, then Siracusano and Catanese must be separate languages.
Sciacca has poor intelligibility with Palermitano. Both are Western Sicilian.
Messina (Messinese) is also very different from Catania and Palermitano. It is probably a separate language.
Trapanese is hard to understand in Catania. Intelligibility with Palermitano and Sciacca is unknown, but probably none of the huge splits in Sicilian can understand each other.
Northeastern and Southeastern are also major splits in Sicilian and are probably separate languages. Eastern Agrigento and the Madonie Region are part of Central Sicilian and are probably also separate languages.
The dialects of the Madonie Region around Petralia Sottana are not even intelligible with the other dialects spoken in Palermo Province, especially the dialect of Palermo.
The hard dialect of the city of Palermo does not appear to be fully intelligible outside the city.
In the south of Campania, in the Salerno and Cilento region known as Southern Cilento, there are a number of dialects that are more or less Sicilian. These are a result of Sicilian settlers moving to the area in the 1100’s and 1200’s.

The Sicilian nature of the dialects seems to be going out in recent years, a process that started in the 1950’s. Now they can best be heard in the speech of the old people. The young people’s speech has accommodated more to the Neapolitan standard. Sicilian speakers who have heard these lects say that they can’t understand them, but they can pick out some Sicilian words here and there. The dialects also have heavy Greek and Latin influences.

Intelligibility between these Sicilian Cilentino lects is not known. They are spoken in remote villages in the mountains in what is now a national park. The rest of Southern Cilentino is more or less Neapolitan. The dialects include Roccagloriosa, Rofrano and Alfano. Rofrano is more archaic than Roccagloriosa and has kept more of the old words. Roccagloriosa has been subject to more Neapolitan innovations and has lost a lot of the old words. Roccagloriosa and Rofrano are only a few miles away from each other in the mountains. Cilentino Sicilian is a separate language.
Heavy Umbrian dialect of the type spoken by old men in bars may be only 80-90% intelligible to outsiders.
Umbria has many dialects, many nearly unintelligible to each other.
The hard Perugia dialect is very different from the dialect of Castiglione del Lago 12 miles away. Intelligibility issues are not known. There is another Perugia dialect that is very heavily Italianized.
Some dialects of Umbrian have poor intelligibility with each other. For instance, Norcia in the south and Castiglione del Lago Viterbese in the north are not intelligible with the rest of Umbrian.
Umbrian has three main dialects, which in general are nearly incomprehensible to one another. Northwestern from Perugia (Perugino) and Gubbio (Eugubino), Southeastern from Foligno (Fulginate), Spoleto, Nocera Umbra (Nocera) and the Vallo di Nera and Southwestern from Terni (Ternano) and Orvieto.
The dialect of Città di Castello (Tifernate) is totally different from all others in Umbria and must be a separate language. It has strong Romagnol influences.
The dialect of Castle di Gregorio (Castelgiorgese) spoken in Umbria on the border of Tuscany and Lazio near Lake Bolsena and not far from Mt. Amiata seems to be a separate language. Though it has Umbrian, Laziale and Tuscan influences, it has also has many words that are completely different from any of the surrounding dialects.
Every region of Italy, even Tuscany, has one or more dialects that are not intelligible with Standard Italian.
The pure dialects of Pistoia and the Pistoese Mountains were already dying out in the 1890’s and were best preserved in the speech of the old, especially old women. This area is located between Luca and Florence.
Pistoese is in danger of extinction. Although this is a Tuscan dialect, there are some Bolognese traits in it. Lucca and Pistoia served as a barrier between Tuscan dialects and Gallo-Tuscan. The Tuscan dialects spoken around Castiglione del Lago on the border with Umbria in southeastern Tuscany are not intelligible to speakers of Standard Italian. Intelligibility with the rest of Tuscan is not known.
Hard Tuscan dialect, even that spoken by old men from the Florence region, cannot be understood by people from Campania.
There are major splits in Tuscan: Coastal: Versilia/Viareggio, Lucca, Pisa, Livorno, Elba. Far North: Massa, Garfagnana, Lunigiana. Western: Nievolino, Pontedera, Volterra, Empoli. Internal: Florence, Prato, Pistoia. Eastern: Casentino, Arezzo, Chianaiolo. Southern: Siena, Grosseto, Amiatino.
The dialect of Grosseto (Grossetano) in the south of Tuscany resembles Romanesco. It is much different from the rest of Tuscany. Possibly intelligible with the dialects of northern Latium. Speakers in Ortobello, to the south of Grosseto on the coast of Tuscany, speak a dialect with Spanish influences. Grossetano has 200,000 speakers.
The Grossetano spoken in the interior of Grosseto Province differs radically from that spoken on the coast such that coastal speakers cannot understand them. The dialect of Grosseto is different from that of Ortobello to the south. In the interior of Grosseto Province, Grossetano is totally different on the Sienna side of the mountains as it is in the Grosseto side. The Grosseto side has more of a Latium influence.

The tiny resort town of San Stefano near Monte Argentario on the coast, where they speak Santostefanese, has a unique dialect. Portercolese is spoken in Porto Ercole next door and is very similar. A true hard Tuscan dialect is still spoken here, with Arab and Southern Italian influences. For 300 years, Monte Argentario was owned by Spain. Starting in the early 1700’s, many settlers arrived, mostly from Naples but some from Tuscany.

Later more settlers arrived from Sicily, Calabria, Liguria, Corsica and Sardinia. Major influences include Spanish and Neapolitan.
The dialects of Mt. Amiata (Amiatino) are very different, having come from Corsica long ago. There are strong influences of northern Lazio on these dialects, which are totally different from those of the rest of Grossetano. Amiatino is probably a separate language, in between Tuscan and the North Lazio dialects.
Ortobello and Argentarino, though only 4 miles apart, are described as two different languages. This usually indicates difficult intelligibility.
There are dramatic differences even within Tuscan, such as between Lucchese and Versiliese, spoken in the historical area of Versilia. Lucchese is not intelligible with Lunigiana spoken to the north. It is also probably not intelligible with Versiliese, since the differences between these two are great. In the southern part of Versilia in Viareggio, Camaiore and the south-central part of Massarosa, a Lucchese dialect is spoken.
The dialect of Lucca is significantly different from the dialect of Viareggio and dramatically different from that of Gargafuna.
Versiliese cannot understand Lunigiana, and it has great differences between it and Lucchese. In the towns of Pietrasanta, Forte dei Marmi, Seravezza and Stazzema Versilia, a Versiliese-Garfagnana dialect is spoken which is Gallo-Italic.
Garfagnana (Garfagnino) is apparently a separate dialect that is not intelligible with Lunigiana. It probably also has poor intelligibility with the rest of Tuscan also. Garfagnino is Gallo-Italic, though it is part of a group with Versiliese. As it moves more towards Lunigiana, it looks more like the Lunigiana dialect.

While it is similar to Lucchese, it is also said to be completely different from that dialect. Intelligibility with Versiliese is not known. It is basically spoken in the upper valley of the Serchio River around San Giuliano Terme, Borgo a Mozzano, Barga and Bagni de Lucca. Garfagnino is in danger of extinction. Garfagnino spoken north of Massa in Forno cannot be understood by speakers of Standard Italian.
Versiliese is highly variable. If you go a few miles towards Massa, it’s another language, and another few miles towards Carrara, it’s another language. This implies that Massa and Carrara are different languages.
The dialect of Livorno (Livornese) is very different from the rest of Tuscan dialects. In fact, it is hard to understand even for speakers from Rosignano just south of Livorno. Livornese may be a separate language. In Forte de Marmi, just south of Massa, the dialect is different from that of Viareggio, only 6 miles to the south.

The dialects of Rosignano, Cecina and Collesalvetti are similar to Pisa. Pisano probably has marginal intelligibility with Livornese, which is best seen as an island dialect.
Massa Carrara in the northwest of Tuscany does not speak Tuscan – they speak Emilian-Romagnol. Mount Amiata (Amiatano) in the south around Grosseto Province is very different. They came from Corsica long ago. It is halfway between Tuscan and the dialect of Northern Lazio. Abbadia is a village in this region. Intelligibility issues with Amiatano are not known.
The Lunigiana dialect is a separate language spoken in the Lunigiana region from the Massa Carrara region north to the northern border of Tuscany.

It is also understood in the Massa (Massese) Carrara region (Carrarino or Carrarese is a part of this language), extending north to near the Emiliano Romagna border in Casola in Lunigiana, Fivizzano, Comano, Licciana Nardi, Bagnone, Filatierra, to Pontremoli down to Zeri, Tresana, Aulla and Fosdinovo in Tuscany and across the border in Genoa in La Spezia (Spezzino) and Podenzana north in the mountains to Borghetto di Vara in Genoa.

It is a mix between Tuscan, Genoese Ligurian and Emilian. The duchy of Carrara was linked politically with that of Modena in the late 1700’s. The differences between the dialects of this area and the rest of Tuscany may date back to ancient times. Most of Tuscany was Etruscan-speaking while the far north was Apuan and Ligurian. It has about 300,000-600,000 speakers, and they can all understand each other.

However, the dialects of Massa and Carrara are said to be very different from that of Lunigiana. Even the Massase dialect itself has many differences, with different lects spoken north of the city, north and south of the Frigiso River and towards the mountains. Although there are Modenese influences in the lexicon, the accent is not Emilian. Instead, Lunigiana has a unique accent. It is difficult to tell the speech of Carrarese from Spezzino or Sarzanino.

Carrarese is similar to Modenese and Frignano in Emilia. However, Massese has heavy influence from Versilia. Lunigiana is more Carrarese/Massese and Spezzino, while Garfagnino is more Lucchese. Carrarese is divided into different dialects in the mountains, the city and in Marinella. Garfagnana is apparently a separate dialect that is not intelligible with Lunigiana.
Although modern Italian is said to be directly descended from Senese from Siena, hard Senese dialect is said to be not readily intelligible to outsiders.
Even people from the province of Florence who understand all of the dialects there have a hard time with Senese, especially the dialect of Poggibonsi 15 miles northwest of Sienna.
The dialect of Arezzo (Aretino) has difficult intelligibility at times for other Tuscans. It is said to be one of hardest dialects to understand for other Tuscans, especially Florentines. This is spoken in the northeast near the border with Umbria. It has Gallo-Italic tendencies similar to lower Romagna and the Marches. The influence runs from about Rimini to Arezzo.
The dialect of Monghidoro (Monghidorese), spoken just across the border of Tuscany in Bologna Province of Emilia-Romagna, has difficult intelligibility for speakers of Mugellano in Tuscany just across the border. Intelligibility between Monghidorese and Castel del Rio is not known, but they are probably not intelligible as Castel del Rio is Romagnol, Monghidorese is Emilian, and Mugellano is Tuscan-Romagnol.
Gallo-Tuscan is considered to be a major split in Italian dialects along the lines of Tuscan, Median, and Central. It is spoken along the Apennine Mountains on the border of Tuscany and Emilia around the regions of Sambuca Pistoiese, Fiumalbo and Garfagnana.

Although Garfagnana seems to be a separate dialect, Garfagnana does not appear to be intelligible with the rest of these dialects to the east around Sambuca Pistoiese and Fiumalbo in the Modena Apennines. The dialects in this region, especially around Sambuca Pistoiese, are incredibly diverse, and there may be more than one language involved here. The Gallo-Tuscan dialects outside of Garfagnana are a separate language. They are very much dying out.
This language is also called Pavanese.

It goes from the borders of Bologna and Modena provinces in Emilia into Tuscany in the provinces of Florence, Prato, Pistoia, Lucca and in Massa Carrara, reaches the Riviera. Obviously includes Garfagnana but seems to go beyond that. The villages were very divided such that each one felt isolated from the other. One of the dialects began to die out 40 years ago after the building of a road to the town. It is now spoken only by the elderly and will probably soon die out.

Spoken in Pavana (Pavanese), Spedaletto, Lustrola (Lustrolese), Treppio (Treppiese), San Mommè (Sammomeano), Lagacci (Lagaccese), Fossato (Fossatese), San Marcello Pistoia, La Collina, San Pellegrino al Casero, Cantagallo, Cutigliano, Piteglio, Abetone, Pracchia and Sambuca Pistoiese (Sambucano) in Tuscany and Badi (Badese), Lizzano (Lizzanese), Gaggio Montano (Gaggese), Posola (Posolante), Porretta Terme (Porrettano), Rocca Pitigliana (Rocchese), Biagioni, Ponte della Venturina (Ponteventurinese), Castel di Casio, Faldo, Granaglione (Granaglionesi), Camugnano and Castiglione dei Pepoli in Bologna and Tagliole and Fiumalbo (Fiumalbino) in Modena.

Spoken in the upper Reno River Valley, in the headwaters of the river. Lizzanese is in danger of extinction. Treppiese went extinct in the mid 1970’s, and the others are now only spoken by the old and may go extinct within 10-20 years.
Fiumalbino is considerably different from all surrounding dialects and is said to be a language, not a dialect. Pievepelago next door in Emilia speaks a similar dialect, but it has a lot more Modenese influence. Abetone is right next to Fiumalbo over the border in Tuscany, but their dialect is completely different. Intelligibility issues are not known.
In Tuscany, there is a Gallo-Italic dialect spoken in Colognora Valleriana (Cológnoro) in the Lucchese Mountains between Collodi (Pinocchio’s land) and Boveglio. It is only spoken by the elderly now.
A similar dialect was spoken nearby in the town of Gombitelli but is now extinct.
On Sardinia, the language changes completely every 15 miles or so. Everything is different, including the lexicon. Sardinians say that there is a multitude of dialects on the island, and they can’t understand 50% of them. Specific intelligibility data is not available.
Speakers from Florence and Livorno in Italy can understand Corsican completely. Standard Italian speakers can understand it well. It is dying out. The figure for the # of speakers is ~50,000, not 341,000 given by Ethnologue.
Corsican dialects have 79-89% lexical similarity, hence may be separate languages. Dialects are Cismontano Capocorsino, Castellanese, Oltramontano, Oltramontano Sartenese, Bonifacio, Capraiese (spoken in Capri).
Southern Corsican dialects are closer to Gallurese and Sassarese than to the rest of Corsican.
Intelligibility between Standard Italian and Corsican is actually somewhat marginal.

Sometimes they are just close enough to more or less understand each other – other times, they are just far enough to not be understood. Intelligibility is probably around 80-90% between the two varieties. Intelligibility between Corsican and Sassarese is good but not total, possibly on the order of 80%. Intelligibility of Gallurese is said to be “not immediate, but not difficult either.” It is not known how to quantify that.

Bonifacio Corsican is less intelligible to the rest of Corsican than the rest of the dialects. It is dying out and only has 600-800 speakers or so. It is closer to Genovese Ligurian. Corsican appears to be a separate language.
Corsican is spoken on the Tuscan island of Capraia (Capraiese). The language is mostly Corsican, but it has many Ligurian words. Intelligibility between Capraia and the rest of Corsican is not known. It probably lacks full intelligibility with Ligurian.
Cismontano speakers of Corse cannot understand the Oltramontano Sartenese of Sartene nor can they understand Bastia speakers. Bastia is close to Capraiese.
Gallurese is close to Corsican and Sassarese and not as close to Logudorese and Campidanese to the south, which are the real pure Sardinian. Gallurese has only 81% lexical similarity with Sassarese.,M1
Encyclopedia of Endangered Languages treats Gallurese as an outlying dialect of Corsican.
Gallurese is a transitional Corsican-Sardinian language. Intelligibility between Gallurese and Corsican is described as “not immediate, but also not difficult.” It is uncertain how to classify such intelligibility.
Gallurese has 80,000 speakers, and 70,000 of them speak the main variety, Tempiese. Nevertheless, Gallurese is quite uniform.
Santa Teresa Gallurese (Teresino) and San Teodoro Gallurese are not intelligible with the rest of Gallurese. San Teodoro is transitional Gallurese-Logudorese, and Teresino is transitional Gallurese-Corsican.
The dialect of La Maddalena (Isulanu or Maddalenino) is probably not intelligible with the rest of Gallurese, but may be intelligible with Bonifacio Corsican and Teresino. It closely resembles Bonifacio. These people came from Bonifacio 200-300 years ago. Subsequently a lot of Genoan words went in when it was a Genoan naval base.
Sassarese is close to Gallurese and Corsican and not as close to Logudorese and Campidanese to the south. Only 81% lexical similarity with Gallurese. We are not able to split Sassarese from Gallurese due to claims that they are mutually intelligible, but such claims may be dubious.
Sassarese is sometimes also known as Turritano. But strictly speaking, Turritano is the dialect of Porto Torres (Portotorrese), and Sassarese is the dialect of Sassari. The dialect of Valledoria is called Muddizzesu.±dq=Alguer%C3%A8s+dialect&source=bl&ots=_WB-G1K9rg&sig=KjlYuGXQDozIYNw05JUnZYl0zHo&hl=en&ei=LzAaSqHsE5S4sgOPld2SDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=27#PPA235,M1
The Encyclopedia of Endangered Languages treats Sassarese as an outlying Corsican language.
Sassarese is a mix between Gallurese/Sardinian/Italian with Italian plurals.
Sassarese has much more Logudorese influence than Gallurese does. Gallurese has only negligible Logudorese influence. So in that sense, Sassarese and Gallurese are quite different.
It is spoken by 120,000 people. It is spoken more by the under 35 than the over 35 for some odd reason.
Sassarese is a transitional Corsican-Sardinian language.
Sassarese arose from Tuscan, Corsican, Logudorese and Genoese.
Its base is 12th Century Pisan from Tuscany, and it still resembles a Pisan dialect from the 1100’s. It also has a bit of Genoan and quite a few Sardinian words.
Sassarese is not intelligible with either Campidanese or Logudorese, but it is said that Gallurese can understand them. At 81% lexical similarity, one wonders if that is true.
The dialects of Stintino and Sassari, both Sassarese dialects, are completely different. Intelligibility is not known.
Sassarese has considerable but not full intelligibility with Corsican, possibly on the order of 80%. Sassarese is incomprehensible to those who are not used to it, but that refers to true Sardinian and not to Gallurese and Corsican. Essentially it is the same language as Gallurese, but has dramatically different phonology.
Castellanese is a transitional Sassarese-Gallurese dialect, but it resembles Sassarese more.

The dialect of Castelsardo is said to be completely different from the Sassarese dialects of Sassari and Stintino. Intelligibility data is not known. Castellanese is also spoken in Sedini (Sedinese), Turgu (Terghese), Santa Maria Coghinas, Lu Bagnu, Valledoria, La Ciaccia and La Muddizza. In Turgu, three dialects are spoken – Nulvese, Osilese and Castellanese.

In Valledoria they speak three different dialects – a mixture of Sedinese and Gallurese, a Muddizza dialect close to Sedinese, and Gallurese from the Aggius region (Aggese). Because we cannot split Gallurese and Sassarese due to claims of mutual intelligibility, we cannot split this Gallurese-Sassarese transitional lect either because at the moment, Gallurese and Sassarese are a single language, so a transitional lect between them is a part of that single language.

Castellanese is really a part of Sassarese, even though it is Sassarese-Gallurese transitional.
Campidanese is one of the real Sardinian languages. Lexical similarity: only 73% with Logudorese and 66% with Gallurese. Widely used in the south. It is very different from the rest of Sardinian.
Campidanese has 670,000 speakers. It is spoken by about 69% of the population in the area, but it is understood by 97%.
Campidanese is more variable than Gallurese but not as much as Logudorese. Arborese is often regarded as a fourth split in Sardinian. It is often lumped in with Campidanese, but it’s really transitional between Campidanese and Logudorese. Spoken in Oristano Province, San Vero Milis, Cabras, Milis, Samugheo, Bonarcado. Bonarcado is North Arborese, and San Very Milis and Milis are South Arborese.

Milis is also West Arborese, and Samugheo, Busachi, Neoneli and Fordongianus are East Arborese. It is spoken in the NE of the Campidanese region on the border of Logudorese.
Ogliastrino is considered by some to be a major language-level split in Campidanese. Spoken in the east-central part of Sardinia from Tertena to Urzulei. Very archaic. Barbaricino is another major language-level split in Campidanese.

Spoken in Mandrolisai and Barbagia around the towns of Laconi, Seulo, Samugheo, Sorgono, Meana Sardo, Ortueri, Atzara, Tiana, Aritzo, Belvì, Desulo and Tonara. Has a lot of Nuorese influence and is said to be actually Campidanese-Logurdorese transitional.

The following are other large splits in Campidanese:

Sarrabese, spoken in the Sarrabus-Genei region of far southeastern Sardinia around the towns of San Vito, Muravera, Villaputzu and Castiadas.

Sulcitano, spoken in Sulcis around the towns of Iglesias, Carbonia and Sant’Antioco in far southwest Sardinia on the coast and on the island of Sant’Antioco Island.

Cagliaritano, spoken in the capital of Cagliari and in Quartu Sant’Elena and Sinnai.

Western Campidanese, spoken in the states of Trexenta, Marmilla (Barumini, Tuili, Genoni and Mandas) and Medio Campidano (Gonnosfanadiga, Villacidro, Sanluri and Guspini).
Campidanese is not intelligible with Sassarese.
Cagliaritano cannot understand Barbaricino spoken in the far north of the Campidanese region near the border to Logudorese, with heavy Nuorese influence. Campidanese South-Central Barbaricino is a separate language, but it is probably intelligible with Logudorese Barbaricino.
Barbaricino in general does not appear to be intelligible with other Sardinian lects. Barbaricino is part of Nuorese, even though part of it is Logudorese and part of it is Campidanese. It appears that even the Nuorese spoken in Dorgali cannot understand Barbaricino.
Barbaricino is a large split in Logudorese. Spoken in Barbagia region around the towns of Ollolai, Fonni, Orgosolo, Oliena, Ovodda, Mamoiada, Lodine, Gavoi and Olzai. Similar to Nuorese and very divergent.
Logudorese is very different from the rest of Sardinian. Lexical similarity 73% with Campidanese and Sassarese, 70% with Gallurese. Farmers and housewives over 35 hardly speak any Italian. Spoken by 330,000, understood by 533,000.
Logudorese is very different from place to place. Olbia, Berchidda, Oschiri, Tula, Posada and Siniscola all have huge differences in their dialects. It is more variable than Campidanese and much more variable than Gallurese.
Baroniese is similar to Nourese, spoken in the Baronie region in the area of Orosei, Siniscola, Galtellì, Lode and Done.
Nuorese is often considered to be a third division of Sardinian – Logudorese, Campidanese and Nuorese, but Nuorese is much closer to Logudorese.

Nuorese is spoken in the east-central part of Sardinia. Intelligibility between Nuorese and Logudorese is not known.
Nuorese is said to be almost the same language as Logudorese, only with some archaic words and differences in pronunciation.
Apparently Logudorese speakers from Macomer cannot understand Nuorese. Nuorese appears to be a separate language.
Calabrese is not intelligible to non-Calabrians.
There is a Calabrian standard or koine which can be understood by all Calabrians.
Calabrese is not intelligible with Sicilian or Neapolitan, nor with Abruzzese.

Catanzaro has 50% intelligibility with Reggio Calabria (Roggetino) and Cosenza (Cosentino). The dialect of Vibo Valletina is not intelligible with Catanzaro. Reggio and Cosenza are not intelligible. Roggetino has heavy Greek influence. Roggetino, spoken in Reggio Calabria over to Melito di Porto Salvo, Scilla and Villa San Giovanni on the far southern coast of Calabria, is a Sicilian dialect similar to Messina or Catanese.

Intelligibility with Messinese is not known, however it is probably not intelligible with Catanese. Roggetino actually extends all the way up to Bagnara Calabra, Seminara and Palmi to the north. Cosentino is different from all other Southern dialects and looks more Neapolitan. Calabrian only looks Sicilian from about Vibo to the south. The rest of it does not really have Sicilian voicing. The dialects change every few miles or so, and they often find it hard to understand each other.

The north of Calabrese looks Neapolitan, and it becomes more Sicilian as you head south. The Greek influence starts around Cosenza and Catanzaro and becomes very strong around Reggio. All of southern Calabria around the Reggio region was Greek speaking for a long time.
The dialects of the interior of the Reggio region around Aspromonte National Park and Vibo Vallentina are particularly hard for Central Calabrian speakers to understand. Intelligibility between Interior Reggio, Vibo Vallentina and Roggetino is not known.
West Calabrian (Vibo Vallentina Province) and East Calabrian (Crotone Province) are basically separate languages along with Roggetino in Reggio Calabria Province (South Calabrian) and Cosentino in Cosenza Province (North/Hither Calabrian or Calabria Citeriore Calabrian) and Catanzaro Province (Central Calabrian). There are intelligibility problems between all of these groupings.
Rural Cosentino dialects are not intelligible to the Cosentino from the city of Cosenza. Many of the dialects in Cosenza are hard to understand for other Cosenzans.
Foggiano has heavy Neapolitan influence. In Lecce in Salento, the dialect is almost Greek. Barese has some Spanish influence. Barese is very diverse.
In Barletta, on the border of Barese and Foggiano, many families speak mostly Eastern Neapolitan and only speak Standard Italian in school.
The truth is that there is no one Pugliese dialect. The dialect of Carovigno resembles Greek. In Brindisi Province, every town has its own dialect with a different rhythm and vocabulary. In a larger sense, each district has its own dialect – Finisterrae, Costa Nuestra, Siciliana and Chicochulo. In Foggia, Pugliese looks like Neapolitan. In Salento, it has heavy Greek and Arabic influences. In the Lecce area, the dialect of towns like Gallipoli, Galatina, Galatone, Leuca and Calimera have heavy Greek influence.
In Castrignano dei Greci, the dialect has a heavy influence from Ancient Greek.
Every town in Salento has its own dialect.

The Salento dialect is said to be a separate language in its own right.
Salentino may have difficult intelligibility with Sicilian.
The Puglian dialects are not completely intelligible with Neapolitan. There is enough to interfere with speech.
In Foggia, almost every town and city has a dramatically different dialect from the others. Intelligibility data is not available, but Foggiano is not even intelligible within itself, so it must be a separate language. Foggiano has Apulian, Abruzzese and Neapolitan characteristics.
The dialect in and around the city of Foggia is a separate language from that spoken in San Severo (Sanseverese), and the dialect in the Gargano is completely different from that of Foggia and different from Sanseverese. The Gargano dialect is more similar to the speech of Abruzze. It has a common coastal flavor to it. Sanseverese is not understandable outside the city of San Severo.
In northern Puglia, in Foggia, there are three towns that speak Foggiano: Motta Montecorvino, Pietramontecorvino and Volturino. The language is similar to Neapolitan. The lects of the three towns are so different that the residents can only converse with the other towns by speaking Italian. So there are three languages here – Motta Montecorvino, Pietra Montecorvino and Volturino Foggiano. Spoken in the far north of Foggia near the border with Molise. There is still no road connecting the three villages. Standard Italian speakers don’t understand Foggiano and vice versa.
Molfetta (Molfettese) sometimes has a hard time understanding the dialects of the cities around it, so it seems to be a separate language.
In the north of Apulia, the North Central Apulian dialect is spoken in the towns of Barletta, Margherita di Savoia, San Ferdinando di Puglia and Spinazzola on the border of Apulia and Foggia in Barletta-Andria-Trani Province. This is transitional between Barese and Foggiano, so it is probably a separate language.
There are great differences even in the North Central Apulian dialect of Barletta, Andria and Trani. Within only 5 miles, there are big differences between Trani and Andri and between Barletta and Corato. Intelligibility issues are not known.
Barese is utterly unintelligible to Standard Italian speakers even after being around them for 2 yrs.
Sicilian may be able to understand Salentino well, but they can’t understand a single word of Barese.
Barese has influences from Latin, Greek, Arab, Spanish, French and German.
Speakers of New Barese, a full fledged dialect spoken by the younger generations, have a hard time understanding speakers of Old Barese, spoken by the older generations.
The dialect of Giovinazzo (Giovinazzese), several miles north of Bari, is incomprehensible to Barese speakers. It also has difficult intelligibility with Molfettese speakers.
The Altamurano dialect spoken in Altamura in Bari Province is considered part of the Bari group of dialects, but it has profound phonological and morphological differences with that group such that it is probably a separate language.
The dialect of Turi (Turese), although part of the Bari group, is not much like Barese at all. Instead it resembles the dialects of the Murgia Plateau, which may be a separate language.
Monopoli has somewhat marginal intelligibility of Barese, just 15-20 miles to the north. Fasano – Monopoli – Barese have a lot of similarities, and Brindisi (Brindisino), 35 miles to the south is very different. However, Fasano may be a separate language from Barese and Monopoli.
Monteparano in Puglia cannot be understood 6 miles outside the village, and Monteparano speakers cannot understand their neighbors. Polignano a Mari, near Bari, is poorly understood by the neighboring towns of Monopoli and Mona di Bari. It is closer to Sicilian.
The dialect of Polignano a Mare, south of Bari near Monopoli, is different from all of the other dialects of the south of Bari Province, and it may be a separate language.
Bitontino, spoken in the territory of Bitonto, is different from all other dialects in Bari Province, so it must be a separate language. It is heavily Arabic.
The dialect of San Vito dei Normanni (Sanvitese), is spoken in Brindisi Province. It is a Brindisi dialect, but it also has influences from the north (Barese) and west (Tarantino) and close by to the north (Ostunese – Cigliese). Bottom line is that Sanvitese is hard to understand even for neighboring villages.
The dialect of San Giorgio Ionico (Sangiorgese), right next to Taranto, is not Tarantino but instead is a Brindisi dialect.
The dialect of Grottaglie, located between Taranto and Brindisi, is hard for outsiders to understand. It has similarities to Brindisino, Tarantino and Leccese. This is located right next to San Giorgio Ionico, Lizzano and Sava. Intelligibility with these lects is not known. Looks to have similarities to Lizzanese.
The Lizzano (Lizzanese) dialect in Taranto Province is very different from Tarantino and is closer to Brindisino, but it also has heavy Leccese influences. Intelligibility data is not known. It may not be intelligible with either Brindisino or Leccese.
The Manduria dialect (Manduriano) seems very similar to the Lizzano dialect.
Even the dialects of Sava (Savese) and Maruggio (Maruggese) are very different, even though they are only 6 miles apart. Maruggese is also very different from Torricella, only 4 miles away. Maruggese has some similarities to Savese, Manduriano and Lizzanese, but it also has many differences. Intelligibility data not available.

But Savese, Manduriano, Lizzanese and Torricella may be a single language as Monteparano to the northwest is not intelligible with any of them.
The dialect of Martina Franca is completely different from the nearby dialects of Ostuni (Ostunese) and Ciglie Messapica (Cigliese). Martina Franca does not speak the same as Taranto at all, nor is it like Barese.
The dialects of Martina Franca, Fasano (6 miles east on the coast) and Locorotondo, halfway in between, are three separate languages, often incomprehensible to each other.
Tarantino is a separate language. The dialect of Taranto city is not even fully intelligible with the surrounding dialects of Taranto Province. Tarantino is very different from all other forms of Pugliese and is a separate language. Pugliese does not exist – there is Foggiano, Barese and Salentino instead. Sicilian and Salentino cannot understand Pugliese. Salentino has Sicilian and Arab influences. In Calabria, every town has a different dialect, and some of them are quite hard to understand.
Tarantino is not intelligible to Neapolitan speakers. Tarantino is transitional between Pugliese to the north (east Neapolitan) and Salentino to the south. It is not intelligible to Salentino speakers.
Tarantino is different from all of the dialects around it.
Leccese is only spoken in the city of that name (Lecce) and a few surrounding towns. Brindisino is a separate language from Leccese. Tarantino cannot understand Lecchese. Leccese may be a separate language.
The dialects of Carpignano Salentino and Poggiardo on the east coast of Lecce Province SE of Lecce are not intelligible with Casarano, Galatina, Porto Cesareo and Gallipoli further west. Casarano, Galatina, Porto Cesareo and Gallipoli form a single language called Ionian Salento. This is the area where there are many Greek-speaking villages, so these dialects may have heavy Greek influence.
The dialect of Marittimese, spoken in Marittima 4-5 miles south of Poggiardo in the south of Lecce, cannot even understand villages 1/2 mile away. Marittimese is a separate language.
Marchigiano is a separate language in its own right. Marche has an incredible number of dialects in the province.;amp;webtag=ab-italian&tid=4001
Marche and Umbria probably have the purest Italian for a foreign language learner, similar to Hamburg in Germany. Dialect use is declining in Campano (Neapolitan).
Tolentino Marchigiano is not intelligible to speakers of Standard Italian.
At least some Marchigiano dialects are not intelligible with Standard Italian.
There are four main regions of La Marche, each with its own dialect – Northern Marchigiano – Pesaro and Urbino, Central Marchigiano – Macerata, Southern Marchigiano – Ascoli Piceno, and last the port of Ancona.
Anconitano is spoken only in and around the city of Ancona in northern Marches. It is apparently a separate language because a koine has developed based on the Ancona dialect that is now spoken in the villages surrounding the city. In general, Anconitano is not understood completely outside of the city of Ancona.
Intelligibility between Northern Marchigiano (Pesaro) and Southern Marchigiano (Ascoli) is poor. Pesaro is actually Romagnol.
Central (Maceratese-Fermano-Camerete) and Southern Marchigiano (Ascoli Piceno) are not intelligible either. Maceratese and Fermano are the same language. Maceratese-Fermano-Camerete is uniform across the area and all of the dialects are mutually intelligible. None of the four major dialects of Marchigiano are intelligible with each other. They are Anconitano, Pesaro, Maceratese and Ascolino.
The dialect of San Benedetto del Tronto (Sambenedettese), a coastal town 13 miles west of Ascoli Piceno, is so completely different from the Southern Marches dialects that it cannot even be included in that group and it must be a separate language. The dialect of Grottomare right next to the town is nearly the same as San Benedetto.*session*id*key*=*session*id*val*
The nearby dialect of Ripatransone (Ripano), only 7 miles northwest of San Benedetto del Tronto, is not only different from all Ascoli dialects, but it said to be nearly unique as a Romance language and even Indo-European language in its own right.

For instance, verbs decline based on two dual systems, masculine/feminine and objective/ pragmatic. Such features are not found anywhere else in Indo-European. The dialect of Cossignano (Cossignanese), 4 miles east of Ripatransone, shares the same features as Ripatransone. Montefiore dell’Aso (Montefiorano), 6 miles to the north, shares these features and may be included in this group.
Laziale is completely unintelligible to speakers of Standard Italian, especially the form spoken in Bomarzo in the far north of Lazio. This area is near Viterbo, 70 miles northwest of Rome in the lower Tiber Valley near the border with Umbria.
In addition, Viterbese is so distant from Romanesco that intelligibility is difficult at times.
The available evidence seems to be that Ciociaro is a separate language, extrapolating from the intelligibility of the lects around it. It differs quite a bit from Romanesco and the lects of Campania and less from Sabiano and the dialects of the Castelli Romana. It is spoken for the most part in Frosinone Province. Ciociaro extends from Frosinone to Agnani and Fiuggi up past Alatri and down to Supino and Ceccano.
Ciociaro is spoken to the southeast of Rome in southern Lazio, is not intelligible to speakers of Romanesco. Also, Romanesco speakers cannot understand the dialects spoken on the coast to the west of Rome. Sezzese, spoken in Sezze, and Sonninense, spoken in Sonnino, are very different, and are in fact two separate languages. They are not intelligible with other dialects of Lazio nor with Romanesco. Lazio dialects are not intelligible with Romanesco. Ciociaro is located in Frosinone Province.

The Frosinone dialect is called Frusinate. Romanesco is much more intelligible to Standard Italian speakers, if not purely intelligible. The true Romanesco is completely different from the dialects of the rest of Lazio, not only on the coast to the west, but to the north, the Lepini around Cori,  the Castelli Romani dialects just southeast of Rome near Lakes Albano and Nemi and the dialects of Fianno and Morlupo to the north of Rome near Campagnano di Roma. Ciociaro is spoken more or less from Velletri to near Subiaco and from Veroli down to near Terracina on the coast.
The dialects of Castelli Romani are very different, basically halfway in between Ciociaro and Romanesco. They are not intelligible with Romanesco and probably not with Ciociaro either.
The dialects are very different in the Castelli Romani. In Albano Laziale, Ariccia, Frascati and Monte Porzio Catone, Romanesco is now spoken. The old dialects are all dead.

In the areas further from Rome such as Genzano di Roma, Nemi, Lanuvio, Velletri, Rocca di Papa (Rocchigiano) and Lariano, the dialects have almost nothing in common with Romanesco, and furthermore, each town has a different dialect. The dialect of Tivoli, not part of the Castelli Romani group, is part of the historical dialects of Latium which have historical roots in the Umbrian-Marches group. It has Sabino influences. Tivoli is now spoken only by the old. Intelligibility data is not known for any of these lects.
Sabino is often considered to be a separate language, apparently on structural grounds. Sabino is actually three separate languages – Aquilano, Carseolano and Tagliacozzano.
Sabino is not intelligible with Romanesco. The real Sabino is now spoken only by the old, and the younger people speak a Sabino heavily influenced by Romanesco.
Romanesco is also considered to be a separate language sometimes. It is often not intelligible to other Italians.
Sicilians and Calabrians cannot even understand Romanesco!
However, what cannot be understood is the hard Romanesco. The Romanesco typically spoken today is a soft Romanesco, very much diluted and heavily Italianized.
Romanesco is more understandable to Standard Italian speakers because it has much Tuscan influence. The other dialects of Latium do not have this influence and are instead of the Marches-Umbrian type and are much harder to understand for Standard Italian speakers.
Napolitano, spoken in Naples, is doing very well. There was heavy immigration from late 1700’s to the early 1900’s, but it did not effect the language, because most came from the surrounding Neapolitan speaking regions of Abruzzo, Molise, northern Calabria, southern Lazio and Capitanata which are not so different from Napolitano so it made learning Napolitano fairly easy.

In contrast, the Gallo-Italic languages are not doing well due to immigration. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, there was heavy immigration from the south to the north, but the Gallo-Italic languages are so far from the typical Italian dialects of the center and south that comprehension is impossible, and further, the distance makes the immigrants not even want to learn the language. Hence most of the immigrants never learned to speak Gallo-Italic, and the languages started to die, especially in the cities.
The dialect of San Valentino Torio is intelligible with the Salerno dialect (Salernitano) spoken 12 miles to the northeast. Salernitano is a dialect of Napolitano. It is also spoken in Vietri sul Mare and Cava de Tirreni to the north and in Pontecagnano, Battipaglia, Eboli, Olevano sul Tusciano and San Cipriano Picentino to the south.
In the city of Naples alone, there are at least 10 different dialects of Napolitano, and there is difficult intelligibility with some of them.
The dialect of Panza, Panzese, spoken on the island of Ischia off the coast of Naples, appears to be a separate language on structural grounds. It retains a form of the neuter gender lost in the rest of Italian, and it also separates male from female forms in the past participle. There are also both male and female forms of the definite article. Intelligibility data with the rest of Ischia or with any other Neapolitan lects is not known. It has Greek, Latin, French, Spanish and Portuguese in it.
In addition, Avellinese, Casertano, Beneventano (of Benevento 50 miles northeast of Naples) are generally considered by Campanians to be separate languages. None of them are intelligible with Napolitano. Avellinese is not similar to any other dialects in Campania.
Gaetano, spoken in Gaeta at the far northern end of the Neapolitan zone in far southern Latium, is a form of Neapolitan that is not intelligible with Standard Italian and seems to be a separate language from the rest of Neapolitan.

The dialect of the New Town is completely different from the dialects around it, particularly the dialects of the Liri River that forms the border of Campania and Latium, and there is a striking difference between the dialects of the Old Town and the New Town on the outskirts. The new dialect resembles Pugliese-Molisano with some Ciociaro influences.

This dialect descends from fishermen from Puglia who moved to Gaeta along with peasants from the surrounding countryside who moved to the city, mostly fishermen who were fishing in the Lago di Fondi centuries ago. The Old Town dialect is Neapolitan, related to the families of soldiers from Naples who lived in the city, as Gaeta was the capital of the Kingdom of Naples. Old Gaetano is a separate language, a Neapolitan language.
The dialects spoken along the coast, including the Old Town Gaetano dialect, seem to form a coherent group related to New Town Gaetano that includes in addition Formia and Sperlonga on the coast, Itri and Fondi a bit inland and Cassino far inland. It’s Apulian and Campanian with a few Lazio words.

However, the lects spoken inland in the Aurunci Park in the towns of Castelforte, San Cosma, Spigno, Minto, Ausonia and Coreno Ausonius seem to be a different language. They have a Campanian base along with Abruzzese, Ciociario and some Romanesco words. In addition, the inland dialects have difficult intelligibility with even the High Casertano in Campania, which appears to be a separate language.
Puteolano, spoken in Pozzuoli, is unintelligible to Napolitano speakers. Puteolano is quite similar to Torrese.

Dialects similar to Puteolano are spoken in Torre del Greco, in Paternò inland of the city of Catania in Sicily and in Furore on the Amalfi Coast. Pozzuoli was a very busy port, and most of those were busy ports too. The hard Puteolano is only spoken by old people now, but even the newer dialect spoken by younger people is very hard to understand. The hard dialect is even worse.
The dialect of Marcianese near Caserta is said to resemble Puteolano and Torre del Greco. However, the split between Puteolano and the rest of the Central Coast is so great that Marcianese cannot possibly be intelligible with Puteolano.
Torrese, spoken in the port suburb of Naples, Torre Annunziata, is very, very different. It has a lot of Greek and Spanish in it. It also has a lot of different words from sailors and immigrants to the city.,8812.100.html?PHPSESSID=8akbhtnhaeesbdtbtds6h8one2
The dialect of Torre del Greco spoken in the same area as Torre Annunziata (7 miles to the north) and is also unintelligible to Napolitano speakers. In addition, the real hardcore Torre del Greco dialect spoken by the elderly cannot even be understood by residents of Torre Annunziata.
Castellamarse di Stabia, 5 miles south of Torre Annunziata, has a dialect that is similar to Torrese and is equally incomprehensible to other Neapolitan speakers. Castellamarse is not intelligible with Torrese.
The dialects of Castellamarse, Sorrento (Sorrentino) and Vico Equense are apparently not fully intelligible with each other.,8812.40.html
The dialect of Amalfi (Amalfitano), while spoken in the Salerno region which is intelligible with Napolitano, nevertheless, Amalfitano itself (20 miles southeast of Naples and 10 miles west of Salerno) is not at all intelligible with Napolitano. Due to heavy immigration from that region 15 miles to the north, Amalfitano is similar to the dialect of San Giuseppe Vesuviano (Sangiuseppese) east of Torre del Greco. Intelligibility between Amalfitano and Sorrentino is not known.
The dialects of Scario and San Giovanni a Piro, 3 miles apart, on the Italian Campanian coast in the mountains south of Naples in Campania National Park, were not fully intelligible. There is great dialectal diversity in this area.
Both Cilentano in the south of Campania and Irpino in the east are considered to separate languages from Neapolitan. When it is said that they separate languages, that generally means that they are not intelligible with Neapolitan.,8812.40.html
Indeed, Cilentano is not intelligible at all with the Napolitano.
The dialects of Castellabate and Agropoli, though only 7 miles apart on the Cilento coast, are completely different. Intelligibility issues are not known.
Avellinese, spoken in Avellino, is not intelligible with the Napolitano. Avellinese is part of Irpino. Whether it is intelligible with the rest of Irpino is uncertain.
The dialect of Averso, a city 12 miles north of Naples, is like Avellinese and cannot be understood by Napolitano speakers. Intelligibility between Averso, Acerra and Casertano is not known.
Residents of the town of San Giorgio a Cremano 5 miles east of Naples understand nothing of the dialect of Acerra spoken 10 miles northeast of Naples. San Giorgio a Cremano also cannot understand Torre di Greco spoken only 5 miles south of them on the coast. Intelligibility between Acerra, Averso and Casertano is not known.
The dialect spoken in Caserta (Casertano), 15 miles north of Naples, is not at all intelligible with Gaetano Neapolitan, so it looks like the Neapolitan spoken in the south of Lazio is not intelligible with the dialects spoken north of Naples. Intelligibility between Casertano, Averso and Acerra is not known.
The old dialect of Civitavecchia, coastal city 35 miles northwest of Rome, spoken in the so called ghetto and the old city by fishermen, is almost dead, but it could not be understood outside the city. Civitavecchia was settled in the 1700’s by fishermen from various other parts of Latium, especially Gaeta in the south and from Pozzuoli, Torre del Greco and the islands of Procida and Ischia around Naples. A smaller number came from Tuscany, Liguria and Sicily.

The new dialect is just regional Italian with some Romanesco words. The region around Rome and Tuscany as a whole is where dialects are dying worst of all. This was frankly a Neapolitan language spoken in the north of Latium.
The Lucano area of east Basilicata seems to be a separate language, akin to Pugliese. This language stretches from Matera to Melfi. The western part of Basilicata around Potenza is more Campanian. This is another language. In addition, the dialect of the the Tyrrhennian coast is different from that of the Sinni Valley inland.

The Middle Basente Valley around Grottole is different from Potentino, and in the Camastra Altra Saura Mountains in the towns of Abriola, Anzi, Calvello, Guardia Perticara and Laurenzana, there is yet another dialect. Intelligibility data is not known. The area around Melfi and Rionera in Vulture seems to be another language. The truth is that all of these are probably separate languages.
A region of Basilicata near the Puglia border around the town of Matera has profound dialectal diversity such that each town seems to have its own dialect. This is in the Lucano Northern Calabrese area. There is the dialect of the city of Matera (Materano), and then there are dialects of surrounding villages that are not intelligible outside the village. Materano is generally said to not be intelligible outside the city.
Lucano has a heavy Albanian influence, as many Albanians fled here in the 1500’s and 1600’s. In many cases, the dialect seems to be dying out and is only spoken by older folks. The areas with heavy Albanian influence are Matera and the cluster of towns including Rionera in Vulture and Barile and Rapolla to the north around Melfi.
The dialect of Matarea (Marateota) on the west coast of Basilicata must be a separate language. It is a cross between Neapolitan at the far southern end of the Neapolitan language and Sicilian. The rest of the influences are similar to Lucanian in general – Oscan, Latin, Greek, Spanish, French.
Marateota is part of a larger group of Luncanian-Calabrese transitional dialects called Archaic Calabro-Lucanian that are spoken in the far south of Basilicata to the far north of Calabria called the Lausberg area. The area stretches from the Tyrhennian to the Ionian Sea along the Pollonian Massif. The northern border includes Lauria, Latronico and Senise.

The border on the south is Castrovillani and Mormanno. Along the coast it is found in Diamonte, Scalea and Praia a Mare. Inland, it runs to Orsomarso, Papasidero, Aieta and Tortora. On the east, it runs from Cassano allo Ionio and Albidona inland to the coast at Villapiana Lido and Trebisacce. More specifically, this is a transition between far southern Neapolitan and Cozenza Calabrese.
The dialect of Tursi in Lucano (Tursitano) is simply not understood outside of Tursi itself. It’s a separate language of its own. This is part of a larger group called Metapontino that may well be a language of its own.
Lombard is 3 different languages – Western, Eastern and Alpine. They are not mutually intelligible.
Bergamasco (East Lombard) can’t understand Varese (West Lombard) at all, nor can Bergamasco understand Milanese (West Lombard).
Bergamasco Eastern Lombard is hard for Western Lombard speakers to understand.
Eastern Lombard itself is more than one language.
Trentino West may well be a separate language. It does not appear to be intelligible with the rest of Trentino, either with Central Trentino or with Eastern Trentino. Eastern Trentino is basically Venetian. Central Trentino used to look like Western Trentino but is now heavily Venetianized. Central Trentino is not intelligible with Eastern Trentino nor within itself. Eastern Trentino is not intelligible within itself either.

On the face of it, it looks like Western Trentino is probably not intelligible with Central Trentino nor with the rest of Eastern Lombard and is probably a separate language.
Cremonese is Lombard, but it has very heavy Emilian influences such that people argue about what language it is. Cremonese is Eastern Lombard, related to Brescian. The real Cremonese is spoken in the town of Cremona and right around it. Cremonese must be a separate language.
Cremasco is a dialect of Eastern Lombard that is right next to Cremonese. It is completely different from Cremonese, and it must be a separate language. It is spoken in the center of Cremona Province.
Soresinese, transitional between Cremonese and Cremasco in Cremona Province, has almost nothing in common with Cremonese other than vocabulary. Otherwise, it is totally different. It must be a separate language.
Brescian, a Eastern Lombard dialect, is spoken in and around Brescia in Eastern Lombard province. 50 years ago everyone spoke it, but now most do not.
Bergamasco can’t understand Brescian.
The dialects of the Ome and Monticelli Brusati regions 8-9 miles northeast of Brescia are also very different, similar to Lumezzanese. The two areas are right next to each other south of Lake Iseo. Intelligibility with the rest of Brescian is not known.

Lumezzanese is a Brescian lect spoken in the town of Lumezzane about 7 miles north of Brescia near Vestone. It has poor intelligibility with the rest of Brescian.
The dialects of the Middle and Upper Garda region around Lake Garda are very different and are probably a separate language. This Upper Garda region includes the towns of Salo, Gardone Riviera, Gargnano, Limone sul Garda, Magasa, Tignale, Tremosine, Toscolano and Valvestino.
Bergamasco cannot understand High Mantovano spoken in Mantua. In some setups, High Mantovano is a dialect of Brescian, and in others, it is a full split in Eastern Lombard. Intelligibility between Brescian and High Mantovano is not known.

However, there are separate dialects inside of Mantovano which are different from Mantovano proper. Since there is a different Lombard language in every province of Lombard, it stands to reason that High Mantovano is a separate language.
Bergamasco is hard to understand by people not from Bergamo Province. Bergamasco is a separate language.
Furthermore, Bergamasco has many dialects. Dialects in certain valleys are not intelligible with the rest of Bergamasco, so Bergamasco is more than one language.

Valleys 24 miles away from Bergamo to the north around Santa Brigada, Pizzatorre, Foppolo, Mezzoldo, Carona, Branzi, Ardesio, Gromo, Valgoglio, Gandellino, Valbondione and Castione della Presolana are not intelligible with Bergamasco. So there is a High Bergamasco that is a separate language from Bergamasco of the plains.
The dialects of Val d’Imagna in Bergamo cannot be understood by other Bergamasco speakers even 8 miles away.
Western Lombard has a koine, which implies that it itself is more than one language. The koine is Ticinese. It is still very vital.
Comasco is spoken in and around Como 25 miles north of Milan in the far north of Lombard Province near Lago de Como and the Swiss border. Comasco is still very widely spoken by all ages. Comasco is part of a group with Lecchese. Comasco is probably a separate language, but intelligibility between Comasco and Leccese is not known, and they may be one language.
Laghée is hardly intelligible to those outside the area. It is spoken in the northern part of Como and Lecce Provinces. It is similar to but not intelligible with Comasco, Leccese and Ticinese.
Germasino, spoken in a small village on the shores of Lake Como, is not similar to the rest of Laghée. The dialect has heavy Sicilian influence. The village was populated by immigrants from Palermo in the early 1800’s.

Presumably the Sicilian lect originally spoken has come under heavy pressure from the surrounding Laghée dialects. The lect is now dying out and is only spoken by the elderly. Intelligibility issues with the rest of Laghée are not known, but it is not intelligible with Sicilian, so it’s probably not intelligible with Laghée.
Germasino is not intelligible with Sicilian at all.
In addition, Gerasimo-like dialects, possibly intelligible with each other, are spoken in nearby towns such as Livo, Peglio, Dosso del Liro and Vercania Cain.
The dialect of Stazzona is hard to understand outside the village itself. It is Laghée.
In Val Cavargna, a dialect called Rungin has appeared that cannot be understood by outsiders. This is part of the Laghée dialect.
Milanese Italian (not Milanese Western Lombard or Meneghino) is hard for Standard Italian speakers to understand. After about 3 weeks of close contact, they can pick up it. Milanese cannot understand Varzi, spoken to the south of the Pavia region, a transitional dialect to Piedmontese and Emilian.
In Solaro north of Milan, the dialect is not spoken much anymore, especially by young people.
Based on this map and what we know about Piedmontese lects spoken in the area, it seems that Legnanese, spoken around Legnano and Bustoa, is a separate language with difficult intelligibility of Novarese and Milanese to the south, and Bosino (Varese) to the north around Varese and the lakes.

Novarese is part of a group with Pavese and Lodigiano. In the east of the area, bordering Bergamo Province, is Brianzolo or Monza. Novarese, Bosino and Bustocco-Legnanese seem to be separate languages. Brianzolo and Lodigiano are also probably separate languages. Milanese has difficult intelligibility with Monza, Comasco and Varese. Monza (Brianzolo) is probably not intelligible with Bustocco-Legnanese or Livignasco. Comasco probably can’t understand Monza or Bustocco-Legnanese.

Bustocco must be a separate language because it is so different from all the rest of West Lombard. Bustocco has a lot of ancient Ligurian substrate, much more than Legnanese which also has this substrate. Since every province of Lombardy speaks a separate language, it stands to reason that Lodigiano is a separate language.
Tortonese, spoken in the Tortona area of Alessandria east of Piedmont near the border with Lombardy, must be a separate language. This is a Western Lombard dialect transitional to Emilian with some Piedmontese traits. Actually, it is outside of West Lombard proper and in its own group.
Pavese is so strange that it is characterized as both a Western Lombard and an Emilian dialect. The weight of evidence now suggests that it is Emilian, but it is still included in many maps of the Western Lombard language. Pavese cannot possibly be intelligible with Novarese then, and it must be a separate language.
Lomelinnese, spoken in Lomellina in the west of Pavia Province, is probably close to Pavese, but intelligibility between it and the rest of Pavese is not known.
To the north of Varese is Ticinese. To the east of Ticinese is Valtellinese spoken in the Valtellina and Chiavennasco spoken around Chiavenna. This is a separate language group called Western Alpine Lombard.
Puschlaver or Pus’ciavin is an Alpine Lombard language spoken in Poschiavo area in Graubünden in Switzerland. It is a mix of Alpine Lombard and Vallader Romansch. Graubünden is mostly German speaking, and people are leaving the area due to economics.
However, it may not be dying out at all since 75% of the children in the area still speak Poschiavo.
Due to its extreme differences with the rest of Alpine Lombard, Poschiavo – Valtellinese – Chiavennasco – Bregaliot must be a separate language. However, among these, Chiavennasco-Bregaliot is very different from Poschiavo-Valtellinese. For one thing, Poschiavo-Valtellinese is Eastern Alpine Lombard and Chiavennasco-Bregaliot is Western Alpine Lombard. In addition, Valtellinese is more than one language.
Poschiavo is about the same language as that spoken as Tirano Eastern Alpine Lombard in Tirano just across the border in Italy. It has very heavy Romansch influence, even compared to the rest of the Alpine Lombard in the region.
Pus’ciavin has heavy German influence, and until a few years ago, there was a big difference between the dialect spoken by the town’s Protestants and that spoken by its Catholics.
Pus’ciavin is intelligible with Valtellinese and Chiavennasco.
Poschiavo probably has difficult intelligibility with Ticinese.
However, every Valtellina district has a different dialect, often with completely different words, and Valtellinese is at least two separate languages, one Western Alpine Lombard Valtellinese and the other Eastern Alpine Lombard Valtellinese.
Alpine Lombard dialects in the Sondrio region are considered to be transitional between Western and Eastern Lombard, although technically, they are called Eastern Alpine Lombard. This is probably a separate language called Valtellinese.

Valtellinese is Western Lombard down around Sondrio and Morbengo, and then becomes more Eastern Lombard in the Alta Valtellina around Tirano and especially up by Bormio. In Val Masino north of Morbengo, Val Malenco north of Sondrio and Val Gerola south of Morbengo, the dialects really change a lot, with variations even from town to town due to the long isolation of these valleys and the difficulties in communicating from one area to the next.

Valtellinese is really two different languages, one Western Alpine Lombard and the other Eastern Alpine Lombard.
Alpine Lombard is also spoken in the Grisons in Grabunden, in Mesolcina, Val Calanca and Val Bregaglia. Val Bregaglia (Bregaliot) has heavy Romansch influence. Mesolcina is very similar to Ticinese. Valposchiavo is a continuation of Valtellinese and is also spoken in Switzerland.

The four dialects are quite different. This is probably a separate language – Swiss Alpine Lombard –  from the rest of Ticinese spoken to the west in Ticino Province. Bregaliot has more in common with Chiavennasco, and neither has much in common with Ticinese. Mesolcina and Val Calanca resemble Ticinese a lot more. The Val Calanca is south of Mesolcina and includes the towns of Rovaredo, Selma and Rossa. The Val Mesolcina is east of Biasca. Mesolcina and Val Calanca probably look a lot like the Sopraceneri Ticinese spoken around Biasca.

Val Bregaglia is in both Italy and Switzerland and includes the towns of Chiavenna, Valli di Chiavenna and Piuro in Italy and Bondo, Soglio, Castasegna, Vicosoprano, all the way to Stampa, Maloja and Bivio in Switzerland. In Switzerland, they speak Bregaliot, and in Italy, they speak Chiavennasco. But Bregaliot may be a lot different from Chiavennasco due to heavy Romansch influence. However, Chiavennasco also has a lot of Romansch influence, but probably less than Bregaliot.

Chiavennasco, Bregaliot, Val Calanca and Mesolcina are all Western Alpine Lombard, while Valposchiavo is Eastern Alpine Lombard. However, even Val Calanca and Mesolcina dialects are said to be very different from each other. In addition, Chiavennasco and Valposchiavo are very different. Bregaliot probably has difficult intelligibility with Ticinese.
In Mesolcina, they speak two very different dialects. There are two completely different dialects, one spoken in San Bernardino and Mesocco in the upper valley and another spoken in Rovaredo and Grono in the lower valley.
Leventinese, the dialect of the the Leventine District of Ticino, Switzerland, is not intelligible with other Alpine Lombard dialects and is thus a separate language. Swiss Alpine Lombard has a variety of dialects that have poor intelligibility. This area includes the towns of Leventine and Bedretto. This is Ticino Western Alpine Lombard.
Southern Swiss Ticinese can’t understand Northern Swiss Ticinese. Mendrisotto in the south of Ticino can’t understand the Leventine District in the north of Ticino, so Swiss Italian is more than one language. About 30% of the population, 110,000 people, speaks dialect as a first language, much more than in the Grisons.
In addition, Mendrisotto speakers cannot even understand the Ticinese spoken in the Sopraceneri valleys just to the north of them around the towns of Bellinoza and Locarno. Intelligibility is marginal between these groups, on the order of 80-90%. Mendrisotto Sottoceneri, Leventinese Sopraceneri and Bellinoza/Locarno Sopraceneri are all separate languages.

Sottoceneri includes Mendrisotto, Lugano, Valli di Lugano and Malcantone. Sopraceneri includes Val Leventina, Bellinoza, Locarno, Ascona, Biasca, Val Verzasca, Valli di Blenio, Vallemaggia, Brissago e Isole, Gambarogno and Centovalle and Insernone.
In the Sottoceneri of Switzerland, a Laghée dialect is spoken. Sopraceneri is probably more Ticinese.
There is a Ticinese koine spoken throughout Swiss Ticino which can be understood by everyone. It’s not known if it can also be understood in Italian Ticino across the border, but reportedly it differs little from Italian Ticinese. In Ticino Swiss Alpine Lombard, the dialect has a lot of words from French, German and Romansch.
Livignasco is spoken in the small city of Livigno in far northeastern Lombard Province on the Swiss border near St. Moritz at the headwaters of the Danube River. The hard dialect died out 30 years ago, but even the reduced dialect is hard for outsiders to understand. It has heavy Romansch and German influence. It has about 5,000 speakers. This is Eastern Alpine Lombard.
Camuno is spoken in the Italian Alps in the Val Camonica in the upper valley of the Oglio River between Ponti de Legno and Pisogne 20 miles north of Brescia. It has poor intelligibility with the rest of Brescian. Very heavy Romansch influence. This is part of Eastern Alpine Lombard. The Lower-Middle Camuno dialect is spoken from Pisogne to Niardo. It has heavy influence from Bergamasco and Brescian and may not be a separate language.

The dialect of the upper valley from Cedegolo up to Ponti de Legno has heavy Romansch influence and is a separate language. Edolese, spoken in Edolo, has heavy Brescian influence since people going north from Brescia had to go through Edolo and may not be a separate language. In the Valle di Saviore east of Cedegolo and in the Val Corteno east of Edolo, the dialects are different.
There is no Camuno koine as one never developed as the towns were too isolated, so we may be dealing with more than one language here.
Monte Isola, a town on the largest island in Lake Iseo in the Brescian region, has developed its own particular dialect that is hard to understand for all of the Brescian speakers on the shores of the lake. This is basically Camuno Eastern Alpine Lombard.
Bormino, spoken in Bormio, is a separate Eastern Alpine Lombard language.
In Predazzo, between Moena and Fiemma, Predazzano is spoken. The nature of this lect and intelligibility with Fiemmese or Moena is not known. This is considered to be Trentino Eastern Lombard, and it is very divergent. Around Fiemme, it has a lot of Ladin. Around Cavalese, it is more Lombard. Dialects in this area are very different. Predazzo Eastern Lombard is probably not intelligible with Val di Non Eastern Lombard.
Predazzano is very different from Cavalese. Intelligibility issues are not known. A separate dialect called Ziano is spoken in the town of Ziano west of Predazzo. 10 miles to the south of Cavalese, the Central Trentino spoken in Segonzano is described as Venetian.
Other Eastern Trentino dialects include Alta Rendena and Giudicarie Esteriori. Intelligibility data is not known.
Eastern Lombard is also spoken in the Val di Non. Intelligibility with the rest of Eastern Lombard is not known. Val di Non Eastern Lombard is not intelligible with Fiemme Eastern Lombard.
Gallo-Italic lects are not dialects of Sicilian nor are they dialects of Lombard, and due to differences of origin in each town and independent development for the next 800 years, they only bear passing resemblance to each other. There are 11 main Gallo-Italic languages in Sicily, and they are listed below. Each of the 11 is a separate language. They are mostly spoken in Enna and Messina and to a lesser extent in Syracuse, Catania, Palermo and Caltanissetta.
Gallo-Siculo derives from movements of Gallo-Italic speakers from 1000-1200 to Sicily.
Texts written in Siculo-Italic would not be intelligible to any Lombard speaker.
An Olive Branch for Sante (a novel) and The Italian Diaspora in Australia and Representations of Italy and Italians in Australian Narrative PhD Dissertation Murdoch.

San Fratellano is a Siculo-Gallic language based on Provencal from 1200 spoken in Sicily. Most of the original settlers were from the lower Piedmont (Monferrato) and the upper Ligurian area (Oltregiogo) and from the south of France. It also has elements of Piedmontese, Emilian, Ligurian and Lombard. It is a separate language that is spoken by about 5,000 people.
Italians from towns 10 miles away understand little or nothing of San Fratellano.
Sanfratellano is also spoken in the town of Acquedolci. Acquedolci was apparently settled by settler from San Fratello.
The language of San Piero Patti (Sampietrino) has a similar origin as San Fratello, from the Piedmont and the Provencal area of France.
The language of Novara di Sicilia has similar origins.
Nicosiani or Nicosiarta Lombard is not intelligible to other Sicilians. The original settlers here were from Piedmont and Lombardy.
Piazza Armerina in Sicily speaks Piazzese, a language with Gallo-Italic roots that is still spoken by the old people. Actually, this language may be from the Monferrato region of the Piedmont.
Valguarnerese is a Gallo-Italic language spoken in Valguarnera in Enna Province.
Sperlinga also speaks its own unique Gallo-Italic language.
Montalbano Elicona also speaks a Gallo-Italic language.
Aidone also has a Gallo-Italic language, but now it is almost dead. Speakers switched over mostly to Sicilian starting about 100 years ago because they were tired of not being understood by their neighbors.
Fondachelli-Fantina also has a Gallo-Italic language.
The dialects of Potenza (Potentino) and surrounding towns such as Picerno, Tito (Titese), Pignola (Pignolese) and Vaglia Basilicata, Avigliano (Aviglianese) are Gallo-Italic from the area on the border of Piedmont and Liguria around Monferrate between the 1100’s and the 1600’s.

The language is basically Monferrate Piedmontese, but it has since converged a lot with the surrounding Lucanian lects. Intelligibility of these lects with each other is not known. However, Potenza was founded by immigrants from Avigliano, so the two lects may be close. These languages are very far from Neapolitan, though you can hear the Neapolitan accent in them. Potentino is generally acknowledged to be unintelligible outside the region.
More Lucanian Gallo-Italic is spoken in the mountains overlooking the Policastro Gulf in Trecchina (Trecchinese), Rivello and Nemoli and in Tortorella and Casaletto Spartano (Casalettano) in far southern Catania. Intelligibility of these lects with each other or with the Gallo-Italic spoken around Potenza is not known.
In Casaletto Spartano, everyone of all ages speaks dialect all the time to this day.
Currently in Liguria, only 30% speak Ligurian in the family. In the 1960’s, it was 80%.
In the towns of Riva Trigoso (Rivano), Casarza Ligure (Casarzese) and Sestri Levante (Sestrino) in the area from Genoa to Spezia where the true Ligurian is spoken, three different dialects are spoken which are all quite different from one another. Intelligibility issues are not known. The towns are only 2 miles or so away from each other.
Monegasque, a Ligurian dialect closely related to Genovese, is one of the official languages of Monaco and is widely spoken. The other official languages are Italian and French. It has its own orthography and is now doing well after being promoted and integrated into school. Monegasque is considered by Wikipedia to be a separate language possibly because it is the language of a state.
The vocabulary is 63% Genoese. The real Monegasque died out 50 years ago. It has been replaced by a patois of the street in which Monegasque was mixed with Ventimiglian Ligurian, Mentonasq and Nissart.
Intermelian, a dialect of Ligurian, is referred to by Wikipedia as a language and not a dialect. Intermelian has good intelligibility with the rest of Ligurian, but knowing what we do about Ligurian dialects, that seems dubious.
However, Occitan speakers who can understand Mentonasque cannot understand one word of Ligurian, hence the notion of an Occitan-Italian or a French-Italian dialect continuum is dubious. Mentonasque/Monegasque/Intermelian may be a separate language.
Ormeasco is spoken in Ormea in the area where Piedmont, Liguria and France all come together. It is a Ligurian lect spoken in Piedmont. It has poor intelligibility even with the other Brigasco lects around it. It is basically a Ligurian Alps Ligurian dialect with heavy South Cuneo Piedmontese influences. There are also strong French influences via Piedmontese and Occitan borrowings via Brigasco.
The Brigasco spoken in the Ligurian town of Olivetta San Michele (Olivettano) near the borders of Piedmont and France is not at all intelligible with the Ventimiglian dialect spoken nearby on the coast in the towns of San Remo (Sanremasco) and Vallecrosia (Vallecrosino).

Neither is it intelligible with lects spoken just nearby. This area is part of the Roiasco dialect region; in fact, except for some areas in France, Brigasco comprises all of Roiasco. Brigasco is also spoken in Realdo, Verdeggia and Monesi di Triora in Liguria, in Piedmont in Piaggia, Upega and Carnino in Briga Alta, and in Viozene and Ormea and in France in Morignole in La Brigue, Tende (Tendasque), Fontan, Saorge and Breil-sur-Roya. Olivetta San Michele speakers cannot understand those of Airole, a town only a few miles away. Nor can they understand Ventimiglian, San Remo or Bordighera.

In addition, the Olivettano dialect is different in nearby towns of Fanghetto such that the two are apparently not even fully intelligible. Olivettano probably has no more than 10 speakers. The rest of the population speaks a sort of Ventimiglian lect. Ventimiglia is only 8 miles to the south on the coast. Intelligibility between Brigasco and the rest of Ligurian is said to be good, but that does not seem to be true at all.
Tabarchino on Sardinia has nothing to do with the rest of Sardinian, but instead resembles the Ligurian spoken in Genoa or Pegli. It is spoken in Calasetta on the island of Sant’Antioco, off the Southwestern tip of Sardinia. Tabarchino has been split off from Ligurian for 500 years. A group of families from Genoa and Pegli left in the 1500’s to settle an island off the coast of Tunisia, Tabarka. In 1738, they left the island were allowed to settle in Sardinia.
Tabarchino is said to be generally incomprehensible to outsiders. It is a mixture of Sardinian, Genoan and Arabic.
Bonifacio (Bonifacino) is not part of Corsican. It is incomprehensible to the other Corsican dialects and is a separate language. It is close to Genoan Ligurian, but it is actually a Genoan dialect from 1284. Intelligibility with Ligurian is not known, but it is probably not full.
There appear to be several different Ligurian languages with difficult intelligibility between them. A Frenchified Ligurian is spoken in Imperia; a Piedmontese variant in Savona; in Genoa and La Spezia, the real Ligurian; and Sarzana (Sarzanino) is totally different.

A Piedmontese-Piacenza Ligurian is also spoken from Parco Naturale Regionale dell’Aveto around Rezzoaglio on the Liguria border with Emilia to Ferriere (Ferrierese) in the Piacenza region of Emilia near where Genoa, Piedmont, Lombardy and Emilia all come together, but this language is actually Piacentino Emilian and not Ligurian in Emilia around Ferriere. But it is Ligurian in Liguria. That is five different languages, but Sarzanino is Lunigiana Emilian.
There is a real Ligurian that is spoken from about Genoa south to Sestri Levante and to the hinterland (except for the area from Rezzoaglio to the border) where they all more or less understand each other. This is the zone of Genoan influence and Genoan-type dialects. From Sestri Levante south to La Spezia, intelligibility with this lect is less certain. It appears that the area from Sestri Levante to La Spezia may be a separate language that is not fully intelligible with the Genoan area.
Piedmontese is still going very strong in the 21st Century. Widely used by executives at the Fiat plant in Turin. Piedmontese is more than one language since it has a koine which they can all use to communicate to each other with.
Currently in Piedmont, only 50% speak dialect in the family. In the 1960’s, it was 80%.
Piedmontese is spoken in Valle d’Aosta next to Arpitan speakers from Verres south to Pont-Saint Martin. This is to the north of the Canavese speaking region in the north of Turin Province. The relationship of this lect to Canavese is not known, but Val d’Aosta Piedmontese must be quite divergent from the rest of Piedmontese.
As one of the three major splits in Piedmontese, Canavese must be a separate language. It is spoken in the north of Turin Province in a region roughly including Ivrea, Chivasso, Ciriè, Cuorgnè and Rivarolo Canavese.
The Piedmontese in the north of Cuneo Province is not intelligible with the Piedmontese in the south of Cuneo, so North Cuneese and South Cuneese are separate languages. The northern language sounds a lot like French. Asti is also very different from Cuneese, and they can’t understand each other. Piedmontese is widely spoken in Turin, Cuneo, Asti, Vercelli and Biella Provinces. It is spoken by people of all ages but is the mother tongue of the old people.

Eastern provinces like Novara and Alessandria use different dialects closer to Milanese Western Lombard. Piedmontese has heavy French and Arpitan influences. There is a different dialect in every village.
The dialect of Vignolo (Vignolino), only several miles outside of Cuneo, has difficult intelligibility with the dialect of Cuneo city. Vignolo has many terms from Occitan. Also Cuneo cannot understand the dialect of Alba to the east of Cuneo Province.
The dialect of Mondovi, 10-15 miles east of Cuneo, is not understood outside the general vicinity of the city. It is not doing well in the city, but in the countryside it is still widely spoken by everyone from the smallest children all the way up to the elderly.
There are several languages within Piedmontese. One is the Lower Occitan Valleys-Foothills. This is sort of a Cuneese Piedmontese dialect mixed with Occitan Valley Provencal Occitan. Saluzzese is spoken in Saluzzo and is surely a separate language. Saluzzese is still spoken by almost all ages. Albese-Braidese is a separate language spoken around the cities of Alba and Bra. It is very different from Cuneese.

In the Langhe region, an archaic Piedmontese with a lot of Ligurian influences, Langarolo, is spoken. It is similar to an archaic Alba with a lot of Ligurian mixed in. This region is bordered approximately by Alba and Cannelli on the north down to Mombalone and Murazzano on the south. Borderline Piedmont spoken down near the Ligurian border in the Ligurian Alps in the Ceva-Bagnasco-Saliceto area. Fossanese is spoken in Fossa. Intelligibility with Cuneese is probably difficult.

So Lower Occitan Valleys-Foothills, Saluzzese, Albese-Bradese, Langarolo, Borderline Piedmont and Fossanese are all separate languages spoken in Cuneo Province.
Asti or Monferrato is not fully intelligible to speakers of Turinese. Turinese and Astiano are separate languages. In the Piedmontese area, there are still quite a few monolingual old people. The dialect of Casale Monferrato is also not intelligible in Turin.
Even the dialect of Mensio Alfredo near Montechiaro d’Asti only 20 miles east of Turin is not intelligible to Turinese speakers. This town is 10 miles northeast of Asti and is considered to be in the suburbs of Turin.
Alessandrino, spoken in in the province of Alessandria, is probably a separate language due to its distance from the rest of Piedmontese. Strong Western Lombard influences. Spoken in the region of Alessandria, Acqui and Casale.
Borgomanorese, a Piedmontese dialect spoken in Borgomanero in Novara Province, is not intelligible with the rest of Piedmontese, nor is it intelligible with Gozzano, spoken only a few miles away. Gozzano probably speaks some sort of Varese dialect of Western Lombard. Some say Borgomanero is extinct, but it is still spoken.

However, the strip from Borgomanero south to Galliate (Galliatese) is pretty much one language, transitional to Western Lombard.
Borgomanorese is a transitional lect between Piedmontese and Western Lombard that is hard to classify, but it is more Piedmontese than Insubric.
The speech of Cameri (Camerese) and Oleggio (Olegesse) is included in this group. Not intelligible with the Western Novarese spoken in the capital of Novara.
Vercellese, spoken in Vercelli Province, must be a separate language due to its great distance from the rest of Piedmontese, not only in phonology which resembles Western Lombard but also in its lexicon, which contains many different words. This area is bounded by Trino, Cigliano, Vercelli, Santhia up to Gattinara and Borgosesia up to Valesesia, Rima and Rimella high in the Alps.
The dialects of Biella (Biellese) and Pinerola (Pinerolese) appear to be separate languages since they are regarded as splits as large as Vercillese, Cuneese and Alessandrino. Biellese is understood well throughout the valley where it is spoken. Pinerolese has Occitan influences.
Emilian has a different dialect in every town and city. There are sometimes intelligibility problems between dialects. There is no standard Emilian. It is still very heavily spoken in Morfasso – almost everyone speaks it. It is also heavily spoken in Parma, Piacenza and Piaza. Many young people still speak Emilian.
In Emilian, the Parma (Parmesan) and Modena (Modenese) dialects are quite different though the cities are close to each other.
Around Borgo Val di Taro, Albareto, Compiano, Tornolo and Bedonia in the Upper Val di Taro in Parma Province, a High Parmesan dialect is spoken that has heavy Ligurian influence. It is not intelligible with the rest of Parmesan and is a separate language.
Modenese has good intelligibility across the province, including with Capri (Capriese) and Mirandola (Mirandolese). Intelligibility with Reggiano and Parmesan is not known. However, Modenese apparently has difficult intelligibility outside of the province itself.
In Reggio in Emilia, there are four different dialects – the low dialect, the city dialect, the hill dialect and the dialect of the High Alpennines. All have their own character, with different lexicons and phonology. Intelligibility data is unknown. Reggio is in between Parma and Modena. Reggiano is still used heavily by those aged 35-40+ along with some young people.
Between High Alpennines Reggiano and the Low Reggiano on the border with Modena in Guastalla, there is a huge gulf as wide as that between Avellinese and Naples. Avellinese and Naples are not intelligible with each other, so we can assume that a similar situation exists with regard to Guastalla (Guastallese) and High Alpennines Reggiano, between which intelligibility is probably problematic. Low Reggiano and High Alpennines Reggiano are probably two separate languages.
Bolognese was said to be unintelligible to those not from the city, or at least it was 150 years ago. The present situation is not known, but this is probably still the case as Bolognese is very different from Ferrarese, and as an Eastern Emilian dialect, it probably has problems with Central Emilian dialects like Reggiano, Parmesan and Modenese.
However, residents of the nearby town of San Giorgio di Piano 12 miles north of Bologna understand Bolognese well. Castel San Pietro Terme 13 miles SE of Bologna also understands Bolognese.
Vogherese is probably not intelligible with the rest of Emilian because it is so different.
Mantovano is generally not understood outside the province.
Ferrarese does not really look like either Bolognese or the dialects of the area from just north of Ravenna to Bologna. It looks more like Venetian. Probably difficult intelligibility with the rest of Emilian.
The dialects of the Valli di Comacchio around the cities of Ravenna, Camacchio and Argenta seem to be a major split in Emilian, and these dialects hence constitute a separate language.
Piacento, spoken in Piacenza, possibly transitional to Lombard, is said to be unintelligible outside the region.
Western Emilian (Piacento) is not intelligible with Southern Emilian (Bolognese). It has heavy Lombard influence. It is a separate language.
Piacentino Mountains Emilian has poor intelligibility with the variety spoken on the nearby plains below. This language is spoken in the upper valleys of the Nure, Trebbia and Val Aveto Rivers in far northwest Emiliano Romagno Province. It is similar to Ligurian. In some ways the language is transitional between Paviese, Piacentino and Genoese. Transitional between Western Lombard, Piedmontese, Ligurian and Emilian.
The dialect of Cattaragna, a village halfway between Ferriere and Ottone in the Piacentino Mountains region, is not completely understood outside of the town. The dialects in this area are very diverse.
Bobbiese is so different from the rest of Emilian that it is not even considered to be an Emilian dialect at all. Therefore, it must be a separate language. It has heavy Western Lombard, Piedmontese and Ligurian influences. It is considered transitional between Emilian, Ligurian and Western Lombard. It also somewhat resembles the dialects of Pavese and Piacenza.
Forvilese Apennine Romagnol is quite different from Coastal Romagnol. Romagnol and Emilian are very different, probably around 90% different if you try to quantify it. Northern Marchigiano is Romagnol.
Romagnol changes into a totally new lect every 15 miles or so. Intelligibility data is not available.
Intelligibility issues are significant enough in Romagnol that a koine is urgently needed and is often discussed by partisans of the language. The dialect of Cesena, considered to be “central” has been suggested as a good candidate.
Forvilese Apennine Romagnol as spoken in Verghereto and Forvilese Coastal Romagnol as spoken in San Mauro Pascoli are so different that they have a hard time understanding each other. Forvilese Apennine Romagnol and Forvilese Coastal Romagnol are different languages. They are both spoken in the province of Forlì-Cesena in Emilia-Romagna. The dialect of Ravenna is quite different from Forlì, Cesena and Rimini (Riminese). Also spoken in San Marino as Sanmarinese.
At least in the old days, the hard dialect of the area of Caburaccia and Bordignano in the Firenzuola region of the Upper Mugello to the north of Florence could not be understood by speakers of Castel del Rio 5 miles to the northwest in Bologna Province of Emilia-Romagna.

The dialect is probably still alive. The dialect is called “Balzarotto,” and it is said to be neither Florentine nor Romagnol – it is Tuscan-Romagnol transitional, but technically, it is Romagnol. It is the border between Tuscany and Romagna in the Appenines, or the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines to be exact. The dialect in this area is called Tuscan-Romagnol. Castel del Rio across the border is Romagnol.

Castel del Rio Romagnol and Balzarotto Romagnol are two different languages, and Castel del Rio Romagnol (Bergamo Apennine Romagnol) is doubtless not intelligible with Verghereto Romagnol (Forvilese Apennine Romagnol). It is generally said that people in the Upper Mugello speak a Romagnol dialect.

Tohoku is unintelligible to other Japanese.
Satsuma is unintelligible to other Japanese.
Also known as Kagoshima. Not even intelligible with other Kyushu dialects. 80% lexical similarity with Japanese.
Kyushu Japanese is not intelligible with Standard Japanese. It has ~55% intelligibility. It is as far away as Spanish is from Portuguese.
Hachijō is the most divergent form of Japanese, basically a separate branch altogether. Spoken on the southern Izu Islands off the coast of Tokyo. Definitely not at all intelligible with Japanese. Shares some features with Kyushu and Okinawan languages.

North and South Kashubian are separate languages. Speakers in the north can’t understand those in the south.


Inkhokvari, a dialect of Khvarshi, is now thought to be a separate language. There may only be ~300 speakers left. Spoken in the villages of Kvantlyada, Santlyada, Inkhokari (Inkhokvari) and Khvayni in Tsumada County in the Republic of Dagestan in the Russian Federation.


Komi-Permyak and Komi may well be separate languages. At any rate, Yazva Komi has only 80% intelligibility of Komi-Permyak.

Jeju Korean is not intelligible with the rest of Korean in its hard form, and many linguists say it is a separate language.

Lach is a apparently a separate language as it is not even intelligible within itself. Eastern Lach and Western Lach are separate languages, having limited intelligibility between them. It is often thought to be a dialect of Silesian, but this is not correct. Its relationship with Cieszyn Silesian spoken right to the east of it is not known, although they are closely related. It is controversial whether Lach is a part of either Czech or Polish. Generally seen as a part of the Silesian language. Lach may be best seen as a Polish-Czech transitional language.

There are various dialects of Ladin. Intelligibility in Ladin is very controversial and resembles the situation with Occitan. Some say they can all understand each other, but others say that the main dialects are not mutually intelligible.,463af2212,49747d3a2,49749d0123,0.html
Spoken in the Abtei, Gröden, Fassatal, Ampezzo and Buchenstein valleys of the Dolomites and Cortina d’Ampezzo in the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto.
Ladin is declining badly because it is not taught in schools. It is limited to 2 hours per week in elementary school and 1 hour per week in high school and even there only in Val Gardena and Val Badia. There is no way to change this according to the statute of autonomy in Bolzano, and the statue prevents the use of Ladin as a medium for education. However, Ladin is protected in Trento and Bolzano.
There are intelligibility problems with the various Ladin dialects.
Western Ladin includes Fassan, Gardenese, Novi, Nones and Solandro.
Fassa is not intelligible with the Ladin spoken in other areas.
Fascian Ladin or Fassan Ladin: Spoken in Val di Fassa and variants in Moena and Canazei in the Fassatal Valley of the Dolomites. There are 8,620 residents, of whom 60-75% speak Lain as a mother tongue. There are two main varieties, Canazei in the upper valley and Moena in the lower valley. Heavy Italian influence. Fassan is Dolomitic Ladin. Spoken in Trentino Province.
Canazei or Cazèt Fascian: Spoken in the upper part of the Val di Fassa in Mazzin, Campitello and Canazei. Marginal intelligibility of Moena Fascian spoken in the lower valley. Spoken in Canazei and Campitela di Fassa. Intelligibility with Brach is not known but may be nearly intelligible.
Brach Fascian: Spoken in the center of the valley in Soraga, Pozza di Fassa and Vigo di Fassa. Intelligibility with Moena or Canazei is unknown, but may be nearly intelligible. Possibly not intelligible with Fiemmese.

Moena Fascian: Spoken in the lower part of the Val di Fassa. Canazei Fascian has problems understanding Moena Fascian. Spoken in Moena, Mazzin, Vigo de Fassa, Pozza and Soraga. Intelligibility with Fiemmese or Brach is unknown but may be nearly intelligible.

Fiemmese Ladin: Spoken in the Fiemma Valley south of the Val di Fass. Canazei Fascian speakers use Italian to speak to Fiemmese speakers. Intelligibility with Moena and Brach is not known but may be nearly intelligible with Moena.
Gherdëina Ladin: spoken in Val Gardena or Gröden Valley, South Tyrol, by 8,148 inhabitants, 80-90% of the population. This dialect is close to German. Spoken in Bolzano, extremely protected. Gherdëina is described as “completely different” from Fascian, Anpezan and Cadore. Val Badia can understand Gherdëina but Fassa cannot. Part of South Tyrolean Ladin. Intelligibility between Gherdëina and Novi is unknown but probably good.
Novi Ladin (Novese): formerly spoken on the Seiser Alm and Isarco Welschnofen in South Tyrol, where they settled permanently in the 17th century. It is still spoken in Bulla, Roncadizza and Sureghes northwest of Bolzano near Ortisei. Val Badia can understand Novi but Fascian cannot. Part of South Tyrolean Ladin. This is even closer to German than Gherdëina. Intelligibility between Novi and Gherdëina is unknown but is probably good.

Novi and Gherdëina seem to be quite close. This was really just Gardenese spoken in Ortisei.
Nones/Solandro Ladin: spoken in Val di Non (as Nones) and with variations in different parts of the valley and the adjacent lower Val di Sole (as Solandro) in Trento Province just north of Trento and just west of Bolzano.

Nones has a lot of German words in it. Two different forms – Nones and Solandro or Solander. Solandro is spoken in Val di Sole, Val di Peio and Val di Rabbi (as Rabies). The last linguistic census of 2001 found that more than 7,000 residents in Val di Non and Val di Sole spoke Ladin. It is uncertain whether Nones/Solandro is a language of its own. Some say it is part of the Trentino language. Nones/Solandro is basically a Ladin dialect transitional to Trentino East Lombard. Often referred to as Anaunico Ladin. Val Badia and Fassa cannot understand Nones.

Intelligibility between Nones and Solandro is uncertain, but they are considered to be part of one language. There are two main dialects of Solandro, one in the lower valley and one in the upper valley. The lower valley has heavy Nones influence, and the upper valley is more conservative and has Celtic influences.
Lower Valley Solandro in the lower valley is spoken by 4,000 people in the towns of Caldes, Terzolas and Male and has heavy Nones influence.
Central Valley Solandro in the central valley in the towns of Croviana, Monclassico, Dimaro, Commezzadura, and Mizzen has 4,500 speakers and is considered to be the standard. A variation of Central Solandro is spoken in the mountain towns of Ortise and Menas.
La Montàgna Solandro is very conservative and very different. It is spoken in Termenago and Castello in Pellizzano and in Ortisé and Menàs in Mezzana. It is very conservative and has almost nothing to do with the valley dialects such as Pellizzano and Ossana.
Vermiglio Solandro is spoken by 2,000 people in the town of that name. Strong Lombard influences, but not enough to classify it as Eastern Lombard. It has a lot of German in it.
Pellizzano-Ossana Solandro is spoken in the towns of those names and the two are very similar. This dialect resembles Eastern Lombard. Many miners came from Lecce and Como in the 14th Century to work in mines here, and this accounts for the Western Lombard influences on the lect. It is spoken by 500 people in Pellizzano and 800 in Ossana. May be intelligible with Vermiglio Solandro.
Val di Pejo Solandro is spoken in the valley of that name. This is a relatively pure Ladin which resembles Nones or Fassa.
Rabies Solandro spoken in the Val di Rabbi is one of the most conservative forms of Ladin in existence.
Nones has 30,000 speakers, but there is some debate over whether it it Ladin or not. Solandro is also under question about whether or not it is Ladin. It has 15,000 speakers.
Some say Nones/Solandro are not real Ladin but are more properly seen as Ladin-Alpine Lombard transitional dialects. In this view, only Val Badia, Fassan, Fodom, Anpezan and Gherdëina are seen as the real Ladin; in other views, only Val Badia and Gherdëina are the true Ladin, as Fodom and Anpezan have Lombard influences.

Central Ladin: (transitional to Alpine Venetian).
Val Badia-Marebbe Ladin (Maréo/Badiot Enneberg/Abtei): Gadertal and Val Marebbe (formerly in Val Luson and lower Val Badia), South Tyrol, by 9,229 inhabitants, 95% as their mother tongue. Mareo/Enneberg/Marebbe are 3 names for the Mareo version which is spoken in the lower valley. Badiot is spoken in the upper valley.

The language varies from town to town. Less Germanized than Gherdëina, probably the closest to a pure Ladin. Spoken in Bolzano, extremely protected. Maréo/Badiot is said to be “completely different” from Fascian, Anpezan and Cadore. Part of South Tyrolean Ladin. Intelligible with Gherdëina. Not intelligible with Fodom.
Fodom, Alta Val Cordevole, Buchenstein or Livinallese Ladin: spoken in the municipalities of Livinallongo Col di Lana, Colle Saint Lucia and Arabba in the villages of Cherz, Alfauro and Varda in Belluno by about 80 to 90% of the population as their mother tongue. Fodom has two very different dialects, one in the main valley of Livinallongo Col di Lana resembling Val Badia and the other in Colle Saint Lucia looking more Italian. Heavy Venetian and Italian influence. Considered part of Dolomitic Ladin. Not intelligible with Val Badia. Similar to Agordo Ladin Venetian.

Intelligibility with Anpezan is not known. Intelligibility with Rocchesano is unknown but may be good.
Rocchesano Ladin. Spoken in Rocca Pietore in the northwestern part of the Agordino region. The version spoken in the part of the region called Laste is more conservative. Blends into Ladino Venetian in Alleghe and Falcalde. Intelligibility with Fodom is not known but may be good. Very much on the border between Ladin and Venetian.
Fassa cannot understand Gardenese or any of the other Ladin dialects very well. Val Badia does not understand many other Ladin varieties either. For sure they cannot understand Anpez or Fodom. They may be able to understand Gardenese pretty well. Residents of different valleys often resort to German or Italian to understand each other better.
Social & Cultural Geography, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2001

Mapping Languages from Inside: Notes on Perceptual Dialectology. Gabriele Iannaccaro & Vittorio Dell’Aquila.

Eastern Ladin (transitional to Alpine Venetian-Friulian)
Near Belluno in Belluno Province.
In practice, Eastern Ladin except Anpezan is regarded as a separate language from Dolomitic Ladin.
Eastern Ladin – differences.
The main variants of Cadore are Oltrechiusa, Central Cadore and Comelicano. All are spoken in Belluno. Anpezan is not considered to be a part of Cadore, though it is close to it.
Anpezan, Ampezzo or Ampezzano Ladin: Cortina d’Ampezzo, Belluno. Similar to Cadore Ladin. Spoken in the Ampezzo Valley of the Dolomites. Heavy Venetian influence, but has many archaic qualities since it was under Austrian rule for 400 years – longer than the surrounding areas. Halfway between Ladin and Venetian. Anpezan is said to be “completely different” from Fascian, Maréo/Badiot, Gherdëina and Cadore.

Considered part of Dolomitic Ladin. Intelligibility with Fodom is not known, but Anpezan is not intelligible with Val Badia. Anpezan can understand Central Cadore, especially Oltrechiusano. Oltrechiusano and Anpezan form a sort of a grouping.
Central Cadore Ladin (Cadorino): Spoken in Valle di Cadore, Pieve di Cadore, Perarolo di Cadore, Calalzo di Cadore and Domegge di Cadore, except Comelico and Sappada, with Venetian influences. It is spoken in the Cadore all the way down to Perarolo di Cadore. Below Perarolo, it turns into Venetian. It is not uniform and differs greatly across the area. Pozzale is very archaic, with Oltrechiusano traits. Calalzo and Domegge also have archaic Ladin dialects.

The Ladin of Pieve di Cadore, Tai di Cadore, Sottocastello, Valle di Cadore, Calalzo di Cadore, Domegge di Cadore, Ospitale di Cadore and Perarolo di Cadore has few speakers left. In these places, a variety of Cadore Venetian is now spoken. Sometimes included in Ladin and sometimes not.
Oltrechiusano or Oltrechiusotto Ladin: Spoken in San Vito di Cadore, Borca di Cadore and Vodo di Cadore. Also very conservative, only slightly less so than Anpezan. Good intelligibility with Anpezan, with which it forms a group. Central Cadore.
Cibianese Ladin is spoken in Cibiana di Cadore. Central Cadore.
In Pescul and Selva di Cadore, Oltremontano Ladin is spoken. This extends down to Zoppè di Cadore, where the language changes to Ladin Venetian. Central Cadore. This is far to the west near where Ladin turns into Venetian.
Eastern Cadore Ladin (Cadorino): Spoken in Lozzo di Cadore, Vigo di Cadore, Lorenzago di Cadore and Auronzo di Cadore. More conservative than Central Cadore. The Laggio dialect of Vigo and Auronzo is very archaic, similar to Comelico. This is apparently a separate language from Central Cadore.
Oltrepiavano Ladin is spoken in the towns of Vigo di Cadore, Pelos di Cadore, Laggio di Cadore, Pinie and Lorenzago di Cadore (Lorenzaghese). Eastern Cadore lects. Very archaic, resembles Comelico but also very different.
Aurunzo di Cadore speaks Aurunzo Ladin, an Eastern Cadore dialect. Also spoken in Rizzio. The dialect of Aurunzo is very archaic, similar to Comelico. Aurunzo is very similar to Oltrepiavano, but it is very different from Comelicese. Oltrepiavano/Aurunzo di Cadore may be  single language.
Citropaviano Ladin is spoken up to Lozzo di Cadore (Lozzese) but it varies from town to town. Eastern Cadore.

Comelico, Comelicese or Comeliano Ladin: widespread in Comelico, Belluno. It is the most conservative of the Eastern Cadore dialects, even more conservative than Anpezan. Similar to Cadore but could also be confused with Friulian. The Comelico dialect could be divided into two sections: 1) Eastern Comelico: towns of Costalissoio, Campolongo, San Pietro di Cadore, Mare, Presenzio and Cosalta di Cadore; 2) Western Comelico: towns of Candide, Casamazzagno, Dosoledo, San Nicolò, Cosat, Parola, Danta, Santo Stefano, Campitello and Casta.
Comelico has difficult intelligibility with Central Cadore. Central Cadore speakers from Pieve di Cadore regard it as a “language from outer space.” Comelico was under the Hapsburgs until 1919.

North Frisian
North Frisian is four different languages as far as % cognates is concerned. Mainland (including Halligen Frisian), Öömrang-Fering, Sölring and Halunder or Heligolandic. Also, Hallig is not very intelligible with other mainland varieties like Mooring.

Tehran Persian has a hard time understanding the dialects of the other major cities.

Lachian is a separate language, a transitional language between Polish and Czech. It is not even intelligible within itself.

European Portuguese has marginal to poor intelligibility for about a month to speakers of Brazilian Portuguese. EU Portuguese speakers understand BR Portuguese well because they are so exposed to it. Brazil is so much larger, and Portuguese TV is now flooded with Brazilian shows.

EU Portuguese is much more different from BR Portuguese speakers than any Latin American Spanish lect is to any other, and the difference is on the order of Quebecois French and France French or US English and Scots. At worst, intelligibility of EU Portuguese to BR Portuguese speakers, at least at first, may be as low as 50%. This strongly suggests that European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese are separate languages.

They used to be close together, but they have been drifting rapidly apart in recent decades possibly due to the huge size of Brazil’s population and the fact that the two speech forms don’t interact that much in Brazil. Many EU Portuguese movies and sitcoms are dubbed in Brazil.
Spanish speakers can’t understand hardcore Galician at all. It gets subtitles on Spanish TV. Galician is basically halfway between Portuguese and Spanish. Galician dialects are not that far apart, and they are generally intelligible with each other.
Some Galician speakers reportedly can’t understand Lisbon Portuguese at all, however the degree of intelligibility between Galician and Portuguese is very controversial.,M1
Galician has 1.5 million speakers.
There may be 3 million Galician speakers.
91% of the 2,720,445 population of Galicia, or 2.4 million, can speak Galician.
Galician has 85% intelligibility with Portuguese. It has good intelligibility with Northern dialects, especially Alto-Minho and Trás-os-Montes. It has poorer intelligibility with Central and Southern Portuguese.
Portuguese speakers often have a hard time understanding Galician, especially the verb conjugations. Galicians also often have a hard time understanding Portuguese and even reading it. 95% of the Galician population understands Galician.
It is said that southern Galician dialects are intelligible with northern Portuguese dialects, but the intelligibility is actually quite marginal.

While they usually understand each other, even right on the border, Portuguese speakers often speak Castillian to Galician speakers to avoid the communication problems involved in Galician-Portuguese speech. So you can see that those who speak both Castillian and Portuguese still cannot understand Galician completely.
Galician and Asturian are not intelligible, but Galician is intelligible with some Asturian dialects on the border of Galician.
Spanish speakers can only understand 40% or so of written Galician.
Galician was a dialect of Portuguese until 1688 when the two languages split. There are 70,000 speakers outside of Galicia in Spain, including 50,000 in Asturias (Eonavian), 15,000 in Castille-Leon (Galician-Leonese) and 5,000 in Extremadura (Fala).
In 1843 (168 years ago), it was reported that there was tremendous dialectal diversity in Galician, that no two villages spoke the same dialect, and it was very common for Galician speakers to not understand each other.
Br Portuguese speakers can understand Galician better than they can understand Eu Portuguese.
Eonavian is either a dialect of Galician, a dialect of Asturian, or a transitional dialect to both, or a separate language altogether. It’s just known as “fala” to its speakers. There are 45,000 speakers. The speakers mostly say that they speak neither Asturian nor Galician, but some separate lect that is basically a mixture of the two. The linguistic analysis says that is some form of Galician.

Eonavian is best seen as the language that most closely resembles the old Galician-Portuguese language spoken in the region. It has changed less than Asturian, Galician, or Portuguese. Eonavian seems to be a lot closer to Galician than to Asturian, but the speakers are Asturian, hence identify with Asturias and dislike the Galicians trying to claim their language.
Eonavian speakers are not understood in Western Asturias, so Eonavian is not a dialect of Asturian. However, Galician speakers are well understood by the Old Eonavian speakers. New Eonavian speakers are very Castillianized and have a hard time understanding real Galician. Chapurriao is another word for Eonavian, however it is derogatory.
There is also Galician-Leonese, which resembles Galician-Asturian or Eonavian. It is poorly known. Intelligibility with Leonese proper, Galician proper or even Eonavian is not known. It is spoken by about 15,000 speakers in Leon. This is Biero Leonese. It may be intelligible with Galician and Fala. Intelligibility with the rest of Leonese is not known.
Galician-Leonese is a transitional dialect between Galician and Leonese. It is much more like Galician than Leonese. It may well be intelligible with Galician.
The Leonese-Galician spoken in El Bierzo, Leon, near the Galician border, is called Berciano. It’s closer to Galician than to Leonese. It is still spoken. It is close to Galician, but speakers say it is not Galician.
In the far west of Bierzo, Galician is spoken by 22,000 speakers. A bit to the west is a Galician dialect transitional to Leonese, then to the east, is a Leonese dialect transitional to Galician, then to the east is Leonese proper. It’s not certain what is meant when someone says Berciano.
Most people in El Bierzo speak Galician, about 10% speak Leonese, and the rest speak Castillian.
Around 50 % of the population of the Galician-speaking area of the Bierzo normally speak Galician. In the last reform of the Statute of the Autonomous Region of Castile and Leon, the recognition of Galician as a territory language was included, though this process has had no important effect in the recuperation of the language. The population of El Bierzo is 130,000.
On the border between Portugal and Spain in the Baixa Limao region, an ancient Galician-Portuguese language is still spoken in the towns of Entrimo and Lobios and in northern Portugal in Terras de Bouro (lands of the Buri) and Castro Laboreiro. The Galicians says this is a Galician dialect, and the Portuguese say that it is a Portuguese dialect, but both are probably wrong.

It resembles Tras O Montes Portuguese, and Tras O Montes Portuguese is not fully intelligible with Galician. It is spoken mostly by the elderly now who are 70-85 years old. This lect is quite difficult to classify, but it may be the remains of the old Galician-Portuguese language as Eonavian is, only spoken a bit further to the south. Intelligibility data is not known.
Fala is a Galician-Extremaduran language. It’s not a dialect of Portuguese though. It is also close to Castillian.
Fala has 20,000 speakers.
Fala is not intelligible with Portuguese, Leonese or Extremaduran, but it is intelligible with Galician. It is an absolute fact that Fala is intelligible with Galician. A survey of Fala speakers found that 100% of them could understand Galician. Many had been to Galicia for various reasons. 95% of the inhabitants of the valleys speak Fala, including young children. It is even taught in the schools.
Fala is utterly incomprehensible to Spanish speakers. It is spoken in Valverde de Freso (Valverdeiro dialect), Hoyos, Eljas (Manege dialect) and San Martin de Trevejos (Lagarteiro dialect). All of these locations in the Xalima Valley are in Caceres Province.
Also known as Jalama. It is a form of Galician that is influenced by Spanish and Asturian-Leonese. They reject the Galician written standard because it is far from what they speak.
Portuguese is also spoken in Almedilha or La Almedilla in Salamanca Province. Intelligibility with Portuguese is not known, but speakers got subtitles in a Galician documentary. It is strikingly similar to the Fala Galician spoken in the nearby Xalima Valley. Linguists are uncertain whether this lect is Galician, Portuguese or Extremaduran.
However, older reports from 1962 said that this was a Senabrese Leonese dialect with some Portuguese influences. It sounds like it is similar to Mirandese, Rio de Onorese and Guadramiles. However, the best analysis seems to be that this is really Galician, but why then does it get subtitles on a Galician documentary? May be more similar to Mirandese than anything else.
A Galician lect with Leonese and Portuguese influences is spoken in Calabor in Zamora. Little is known about this lect. This area is close to the Mirandese/Rio de Onor region. Intelligibility with Galician is not known, but speakers got subtitles in a Galician documentary.
West Coast Galician speakers on the coast say they have a hard time understanding the Mountain Galician spoken in the hills. Galician itself may be more than one language.
Speakers of the neo-Galician taught in schools have a hard time understand the traditional Old Galician dialects spoken in the countryside. 50 years ago, many Galicians could not speak Spanish. Some say that Galician-Spanish intelligibility is as high as 95%, but that seems dubious since rural Galician speakers are subtitled on Spanish TV.

Spanish speakers seem to understand the normative variety of Galician very well. Galician and Spanish have 95% lexical similarity. Intelligibility between Spanish and Galician may be as high as 80%.
Herrera de Alcántara Portuguese (Firrerenho) – An archaic Portuguese from the 1200’s with much Castillian influence is still spoken in Herrera de Alcántara in Caceres and Bajadoz. The area was made part of Spain with the Treaty of 1297. Only spoken by those over 60. This dialect is not close to Alentejan. Instead, it is simply an ancient Portuguese dialect. The town has 275 inhabitants. Intelligibility with Portuguese is not known, but speakers got subtitles in a Galician documentary. Firrerenho may not be intelligible with Portuguese proper or with La Codosera.
Alentejan, a Portuguese dialect spoken in Portugal, may well be a separate language. It is probably further from Standard Portuguese than the Scandinavian languages are from each other and further from St Portuguese than St Portuguese is from Mirandese.
Oliventino is apparently an Alentejan Portuguese dialect heavily influenced by Extremaduran Spanish. It is spoken in Olivenza and Táliga in Badajdoz, Spain, claimed by Portugal. Oliventino dates from 1801, when Portugal lost control over the area. It lacks full intelligibility with Standard Portuguese. It is dying out. The youngest speakers are about 60 years old now.
Oliventino is classed as an Alentejan dialect.
Oliventeno is also spoken in Villa Real, São Jorge da Lor, São Domingos de Gusmão, Taliga and São Bento da Contenda in the same general area.
Cedillo Portuguese (Cedilhero) – Another strange variety is spoken in Caceres in Cedillo and villages west of Valencia de Alcántara (La Fontañera, Las Casiñas, El Pino) in Spain near the border. This is a variety dating to Portuguese colonization in the 1700’s. Now only spoken by those over 60. Quite similar to Alentejan across the border. Intelligibility with Portuguese is not known, but speakers got subtitles in a Galician documentary.
La Codosera Portuguese – Another unusual variety is spoken in towns around La Codosera, in northwestern Badajoz Province in Spain, such as La Rabaza (Rabaça), Bacoco, La Tojera (Tojeira) and El Marco. Apparently the same origin as Cedillo Portuguese. Similar to Alentejan. Intelligibility data is not known for any of these varieties. Cedilhero and La Codosera may be intelligible with Alentejan but not with Portuguese proper.
Fronterizo, Fronteiriço or Portunhol is not intelligible with either Spanish or Portuguese. It is spoken in Northern Uruguay on the border with Brazil. The region covers the cities of Rivera/Santana do Livramento (150,000-200,000 inhabitants), part of the department of Artigas, part of the department of Tacuarembó, and the Riverense cities of Tranqueras, Minas de Corrales and Vichadero. It has 100,000 speakers. The Spanish is Rioplatanese Spanish.
Azores Portuguese, spoken on the Azores Islands, is generally intelligible to other speakers of Portuguese. However, the form spoken on San Miguel Island, San Miguel Island Azores Portuguese, is often hard to other Portuguese speakers to understand.
However, everyone from the Azores, no matter which island, gets subtitled on Portuguese TV.
Upper Guinea Creole (Kriol), lingua franca of Guinea-Bissau, also spoken in Casamance, Senegal.

Sri Lanka Portuguese Creole is spoken in coastal cities of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Indo-Portuguese, Ceylonese Portuguese Creole or Sri Lankan Portuguese Creole (SLPC) is a language spoken in Sri Lanka. While the predominant languages of the island are Sinhalese and Tamil, the interaction of the Portuguese and the Sri Lankans led to the evolution of a new language, Sri Lanka Portuguese Creole (SLPC), which flourished as a lingua franca on the island for over 350 years (16th to mid 19th centuries).

All speakers of SLPC are members of the Burgher community: descendants of the Portuguese and Dutch who originally founded families in Sri Lanka. Europeans, Eurasians, and Burghers account for 0.2% of the Sri Lankan population. Though only a small group of people actually continue to speak SLPC, the Portuguese cultural traditions are still in wide practice by the mains, it was 80%. Sri Lankans who are neither of Portuguese descent nor Roman Catholics.

SLPC is associated with the Sri Lanka Kaffir people, an ethnic minority group. SLPC has been considered the most important creole dialect in Asia because of its vitality and the influence of its vocabulary on the Sinhalese language. Lexical borrowing from Portuguese can be observed in Portuguese influence has been so deeply absorbed into daily Sri Lankan life and behavior that these traditions will likely continue into perpetuity.

Sri Lanka was a Portuguese colony for 140 years from 1520 to 1660. The Portuguese were established for twenty-years in Goa before coming to Sri Lanka in 1517. By that time a distinct pidgin of Portuguese had probably begun to develop, and this was used as the basis for communication with the new territory’s inhabitants. There is very little documented evidence of the linguistic situation at the time, however, it is clear that by the early 17th Century a Portuguese-based pidgin was in use in the Portuguese controlled littoral and was not unknown in the kingdom of Kandy because of its frequent dealings with outsiders.

Also, a creole community had been established consisting of two groups or creole speakers: the Topazes (Tupasses, mestiços, etc.), dark skinned or half-caste people claiming Portuguese descent and Christian confession and Kaffirs (Caffres, etc.), or East Africans. The Topazes were children of local or half-caste mothers and Portuguese or half-caste fathers. They would have been exposed to pidgin/creole Portuguese at home.

They identified with Portuguese, a natural occurrence, considering that the Portuguese were at the apex of the social order, though they probably had local family ties as well. The Portuguese brought black slaves to Sri Lanka from East Africa, Kaffirs. Today the language is spoken by descendants of Topazes and Casados, the Portuguese Burgher community, in the Eastern towns of Batticaloa (Koolavaddy, Mamangam, Uppodai, Dutch Bar, Akkaraipattu) and Trincomalee (Palayuttu).

But there are also speakers among the Kaffirs, descendant of African slaves, in the Northwestern province, in Puttalam (Mannar). In the village of Wahakotte near Galewala, in central Sri Lanka, there is a small community of Catholics with partial Portuguese ancestry, where the language was spoken until two generations ago. Batticaloa is a medium-sized coastal town in the Eastern Province that has always been an isolated outpost and has been able to retain many ancient habits.

This isolation has been a factor in the preservation of SLPC, but very little information exists about the town’s history. Tamil speakers are the overwhelming majority, but there is also a concentrated community of SLPC speaking Burghers. The language is facing extinction, as it is now only used at home and few are able to speak it well. Throughout Sri Lanka many SLPC speakers have emigrated to other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and Europe. There are still 100 Burgher families in Batticaloa and Trincomalee and 80 Kaffir families in Puttalam that speak the language. It’s heading for extinction.

Saramaccan Portuguese/English Creole. Spoken in Suriname.

Papiamento is spoken in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Spanish influenced. To some extent intelligible with Cape Verdean creoles.

Macanese is spoken in Macao and Hong Kong, the two special administrative regions of China. Decreolization process occurred. Macanese or Macau Creole (known as Patuá to its speakers) is a creole language derived mainly from Malay, Sinhalese, Cantonese and Portuguese, which was originally spoken by the Macanese community of the Portuguese colony of Macau. It is now spoken by a few families in Macau and in the Macanese diaspora. 50 speakers.

The language is also called by its speakers Papia Cristam di Macau (“Christian speech of Macau”), and has been nicknamed Dóci Língu di Macau (“Sweet Language of Macau”) and Doci Papiaçam (“Sweet Speech”) by poets. In Portuguese it is called Macaense, Macaista Chapado (“Pure Macanese”), or Patuá (from French patois).

Patuá arose in Macau after the territory was “gradually occupied by Portugal after the mid-16th century” [according to the preamble to Macau Basic Law] and became a major hub of the Portuguese naval, commercial and religious activities in East Asia. The language developed first mainly among the descendants of Portuguese settlers. These often married women from Malacca and Sri Lanka rather than from neighboring China, so the language had strong Malay and Sinhalese influence from the beginning.

In the 17th century it was further influenced by the influx of immigrants from other Portuguese colonies in Asia, especially from Malacca, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, that had been displaced by the Dutch expansion in the East Indies, along with Japanese Christian refugees. The modern version arose in the late 19th century, when Macanese men began marrying Chinese women from Macau and its hinterland in the Pearl River delta.

The British occupation of Hong Kong from the mid-19th century also added many English words to the lexicon. Over its history the language also acquired elements from several other Indian tongues, Spanish and a string of other European and Asian languages. These varied influences made Macanese a unique “cocktail” of European and Asian languages. The archaic form of Patuá has already died,” adding that “modern” Patuá could be considered a “dialect derived from archaic Patuá.”

He also underlined the fact that “modern” Patuá has been strongly influenced by Cantonese, namely since the beginning of the 20th century. The language played an important role in Macau’s social and commercial development between the 16th and 19th centuries, when it was the main language of communication among Macau’s Eurasian residents. However, even during that period the total number of speakers was relatively small, probably always amounting to just thousands, not tens of thousands of people. Macanese continued to be spoken as the mother tongue of several thousand of people, in Macau, Hong Kong and elsewhere, through 19th and early 20th century.

At that time, Macanese speakers were consciously using the language in opposition to the standard Portuguese of the metropolitan administration. In the early 20th century, for example, it was the vehicle of satirical sketches poking fun at Portuguese authorities. On the other hand, Macanese never enjoyed any official status and was never formally taught in Macau. Starting in the late 19th century, its role in the life of the colony was greatly diminished by the central government’s drive to establish standard Portuguese throughout its territories. High-society Macanese gradually stopped using it in the early 20th century because of its perceived “low class” status as a “primitive Portuguese”.

All people, including many Chinese learning Portuguese as their second or third language, are required to learn standard European Portuguese dialect. Macanese is the now nearly extinct native language of the so-called Macanese people, Macau’s Eurasian minority, which presently comprises some 8,000 residents in Macau (about 2% of its population) and an estimated 20,000 emigrants and their descendants. Most of the Macanese lexicon derives from Malay, through various Portuguese-influenced creoles (papiás) like the Kristang of Malacca and the creole spoken in the Indonesian island of Flores.

Many words also came from Sinhalese, through the Indo-Portuguese creoles of the Kaffir and Portuguese Burgher communities of Sri Lanka. Some terms derived from other Indian languages through other Indo-Portuguese creoles. The Portuguese contribution to the lexicon came mainly from the dialects of southern Portugal.
Kristi Language of the village of Korlay, India. Kristi is the language of some 1,000 Christians in an isolated area around the village of Korlai in Raigad District of Maharashtra state, India. More commonly, the language is known as Korlai Creole Portuguese, Korlai Portuguese, or No Ling (“our language” in the language itself).

The village lies at the mouth of Kundalika River, across from the ruins of a large Portuguese fort, which is located in Revdanda. No Ling has certain similarities with Papiá Kristang, spoken in the Malaysian town of Malacca. Until the 20th century, Korlai, its Christian inhabitants and its language were relatively isolated from the Marathi-speaking Hindus and Muslims surrounding them. Since 1986, there is a bridge across the Kundalika River, and due to this, industry has now moved into the area.
Kristang is spoken in Malaysia. Papiá Kristang (“Christian language”), or just Kristang, is a creole language. It is spoken by the Kristang, a community of people with mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry, chiefly in Malacca (Malaysia) and Singapore. The language is also called Cristão or Cristan (“Christian”), Português de Malaca (“Malacca Portuguese”), or simply Papiá.

The language has about 5,000 speakers in Malacca and another 400 in Singapore. About 80% of the older Kristang in Malacca regularly speak it. There are also a few speakers in Kuala Lumpur due to migration. Kristang is also spoken by some immigrants and their descendants in the United Kingdom, where some settled after Malaysian independence, and also in Australia, in particular in the city of Perth, which is a popular destination for retirees from this community. The Kristang language originated after the conquest of Malacca (Malaysia) in 1511 by the Portuguese.

The community of speakers descends mainly from marriages between Portuguese settlers and local Malay women, as well as a certain number of migrants from Goa, themselves of mixed Indian and Portuguese ancestry. Kristang had a substantial influence on Macanese, the creole language spoken in Macau, due to heavy migration from Malacca to Macau after Malacca was taken over by the Dutch. Even after Portugal lost Malacca and broke almost all contact in 1641, the Kristang community largely preserved its language. The language is not taught at school, although there are still some church services in Portuguese. Grammar similar to Malay, vocabulary similar to Portuguese.
Forro Spoken in São Tomé Island, São Tomé and Príncipe. Forro is a Portuguese-based creole language spoken in São Tomé and Príncipe. The substrate languages were from the Bantu and Kwa groups. This pidgin then became fixed (creolized) as it became the mother language of children born from Portuguese men and African women slaves. The substrate languages were from the Bantu and Kwa groups.

It is most similar to Principense, Angolar and Annobonese. Roughly 93% of São Tomean Creole lexicon is from Portuguese and 7% of African origin. Although 95% of São Tomeans speak Portuguese, the islands’ national language is Forro (spoken by 85%). Portuguese is the main language for children until their early 20’s, when they relearn Forro.
Diu Indo-Portuguese is spoken in Diu, India. Almost extinct. The Diu Indo-Portuguese language or Diu Portuguese Creole (in Portuguese Língua Dos Velhos, “Elder’s Language”) was spoken in Diu, India. It is a creole based on Portuguese and a local language. Widely spoken in the past, the language is rapidly disappearing because Gujarati is more widely spoken and is now the main language of education there.

Daman Indo-Portuguese  is spoken in Daman, India. Semi-Creole. Decreolization process occurred. The Daman Indo-Portuguese language or Daman Portuguese creole, known to its speakers as Língua da Casa (Portuguese for “Home language”), is a Portuguese-based creole spoken in Daman. It is of the few Portuguese creoles still spoken in South Asia. The Daman creole is a descendant of the Norteiro creole, spoken originally by the Norteiros on the coast from Chaul, Baçaim, Bombay, Daman and Diu.

Since the Norteiros are ethnic Konkani people, the substrate of the Daman creole is likely to be Konkani. Gujarati has also been suggested as a possible substrate, but this is doubtful since the Gujarati people moved into the region only after the Portuguese arrived. The Portuguese heritage in Daman is more solid than in Goa, and this helped to keep the language alive.

Even so, the language is rapidly disappearing because Gujarati is becoming more widely spoken and has become the main language of education. Only the older members of the community speak it at home now. In the past there was a vibrant community of Damanese who spoke it. The language is spoken by ~2,000 people, all Christian Damanese. However, the Damanese Portuguese-Indian Association says that there are 10-12,000 Portuguese speakers (all Christians) in the territory of 110,000 residents. Sunday Mass is celebrated in Portuguese.

Crioulo do Sotavento (Kriolu) is spoken in Sotavento islands of Cape Verde. Some divide it into several creoles: Santiago Crioulo (Bádiu), Maio Crioulo, Fogo Crioulo and Brava Crioulo. Some decreolization.

Crioulo de São Vicente language of São Vicente Island, Cape Verde. Semi-Creole. Some decreolization.

Crioulo do Barlavento (Criol) is spoken in the Barlavento islands of Cape Verde. Crioulo do Barlavento is sometimes divided into several creoles: São Nicolau Crioulo, Sal Crioulo, Boavista Crioulo and Santo Antão Crioulo. Some decreolization.
Cape Verdean Creole speakers can understand Eu and Br Portuguese and Spanish, but speakers of those languages cannot understand CV Creole.
Annobonnese is a language of the island of Annobón, Equatorial Guinea. Spoken by 2,500 in the Annobon and Bioko Islands off the coast of Equatorial Guinea, mostly by people of mixed African, Spanish and Portuguese descent. It is called Falar de Ano Bom or Annobonense in Portuguese and Annobonés in Spanish. In fact, it must be derived from Forro as it shares the same structure (82% of its lexicon).

After Annobon passed to Spain, the language gained some words of Spanish origin (10% of its lexicon). The language was spoken originally by the descendants of marriages between Portuguese men and African women slaves imported from other places, especially São Tomé and Angola and therefore descends from a mixture of Portuguese and Forro.
Angolar is spoken in coastal areas of São Tomé Island, São Tomé and Príncipe. Angolar, also Ngola (Lungua N’golá) is a minority language of São Tomé and Príncipe, spoken in the southernmost towns of São Tomé Island and sparsely along the coast. It has a heavy substrate of a dialect of Umbundu (Port. Umbundo), a Bantu language from inland Angola, from where a number of Black slaves were taken to this island. 5,000 speakers.
The Principense language, called Lunguyê (“Language of the Island”) by its speakers, is a Portuguese creole spoken in a community of some 4,000 people in São Tomé and Príncipe, specifically on the island of Príncipe (there are two Portuguese-based creoles on São Tomé – Angolar and São Tomense), according to a 1989 study.

Today it is mostly spoken by some elderly women (the Ethnologue entry lists 200 native speakers); most of the island’s community speaks Portuguese, but some also speak Forro. Like Forro, it is a creole language based on Portuguese with substrates of Bantu and Kwa.

Upper Engadine: Puter, Lower Engadine: Vallader, Upper Rhine: Surselva, Lower Rhine: Sutselva, in between: Surmeiran. Romansh is actually 5 different languages, at least. Intelligibility is probably on the order of 80% or so, though testing might be nice.
They differ phonologically and also in syntax. Each variety has its own writing system and media. There is no koine. There is a standard writing system, but it’s not known how successful it will be, as previous efforts at standardization failed.
Romansh is a dialect chain.
Surselva speakers resort to German when speaking to Engadine speakers, because they can’t understand it.
Romansch is 5 separate languages, and Romansch speakers cannot understand Ladin speakers.
Val Bregaglia/Valtellina Romansch is an old Romansch dialect formerly widely spoken in the Val Bregaglia and Valtellina region of Italy. It is now only spoken by the elderly and a few younger people. It is mostly a mixture of Puter Romansch and Ladin with an overlay of Western Alpine Lombard Italian.

It was the lingua franca in the region 100 years ago, but has since been replaced by Western Alpine Lombard Italian. Not intelligible with the rest of Romansch or with Italian. Some intelligibility of Ladin, some of Romansch, less of Ticinese Italian.
Bergajot is spoken in the Bregaglia Valley near Chiavenna and upwards towards Switzerland. It is more Italian than Puter Romansch, but Puter Romansch and Bergajot speakers can understand each other. This was probably the natural extension of Romansch to the south, but the language was never written down, and Italian was adopted as the written language, so what developed was a cross between Romansch and Italian.

The Ålesund dialect is apparently not intelligible to Standard Norwegian speakers.
Ålesund is harder for Norwegians to understand than Danish, so Ålesund must have less than 70% intelligibility with Norwegian.
Nynorsk is the language that you learn in school, however Bokmal is spoken by 85% of the population and is used a lot in the media. Nynorsk is a purist approach to Norwegian that many say sounds old-fashioned. You can often decide between 2 or 3 different forms to use for any word or phrase. You can choose how your Norwegian looks. Many of the forms are old forms that are related to Faroese, Icelandic or Old Norse.

Bokmal is basically the realm of Oslo and Eastern Norway, while Nynorsk is more spoken in the West. If you speak Nynorsk, you are seen as classy and well educated. Nynorsk speakers resent having to learn Bokmal to speak to Easterners, but Easterners don’t bother to learn Nynorsk. Nynorsk is often closer to the dialect that people actually speak at home. Bokmal is more like Danish. Nynorsk was created by Ivar Aasen in the 1840’s via a survey of all Norwegian dialects to try to create a pure written Norwegian that was more Norwegian than Danish. Nynorsk is more of a written language, but it is sometimes spoken too.
The dialects of Inner Sogn and Outer Sogn around the Sognefjord are not intelligible to outsiders. Outer Sogn is much worse (less than 50%) than Inner Sogn (intelligibility 50%).
Northwest Norwegian (Romsdal, Sunnmøre, Nordfjord, Sunnfjord and outer parts of Sogn), Outer Sogn and Ålesund (Romsdal) may be intelligible as they are both part of Northwest Norwegian. Southwest Norwegian includes the inner parts of Sogn og Fjordane, Hordaland except the city of Bergen), Rogaland (Stavanger) and western parts of Vest-Agder). Inner Sogn has only 50% intelligibility with Standard Norwegian.
Sognamål is spoken in Sogn. It is related to Icelandic and is a very conservative dialect.
The Bergen dialect, though not a part of SW Norwegian, is hard for outsiders to understand.
The Setesdalsk dialect, spoken in the region of Setesdal in Aust-Augder County in the municipalities of Bykle, Valle and the north of Bygland, is the most divergent dialect in the country. Surely it must be a separate language. It has only ~2,000 speakers and many residents of this rural area are leaving for the cities, as is happening all over Norway. Children are no longer speaking the dialect, preferring instead the language of the southern coast.
Some suggest that Trondersk is a separate language, as it is similar to Jamska in Sweden, but this is controversial. Intelligibility data with Standard Norwegian is not known. This appears to be the same language as Jamska in Sweden. Jamska was created a long time ago when Trondersk speakers left Norway for Sweden.
However, Trondersk is not even intelligible within itself, so it looks as if Trondersk is a separate language.

Pannonian Rusyn is a part of Slovak and Rusyn is a part of Ukrainian. Pannonian Rusyn speakers (Rusin) do not understand either Rusyn or Ukrainian very well. Pannonian Rusyn is apparently not fully intelligible with Eastern Slovak either. Some say that Pannonian Rusyn is also spoken in Hungary and Slovakia.

Northern, Central and Southern Selkup are all separate languages. Marginal intelligibility between the three. Northern Selkup materials not usable by Central and Southern Selkup.

Eastern Slovak is a separate language, one of the Slavic microlanguages. It is not intelligible to speakers of Western Slovak.
Speakers in Bratislava (Western Slovak) cannot understand speakers of Eastern Slovak (Kosice). Bratislava speakers say Kosice speakers sounds 1/2 Ukrainian and 1/2 Slovak, and uses many strange words.

Prekmurian is not even intelligible to other Slovenians. Part of the larger Pannonian group. This is more intelligible than Resian or Torre Valley though.
Resian is a separate language with no intelligibility with the rest of Slovene. Part of a larger Littoral group.
The Torre Valley dialect, spoken mostly in Italy but also in a few towns in Slovenia, is is unintelligible to most Slovenes. It is is very archaic, heavily Romanized and has many Friulian words. Spoken in Tapiana and Lusevera in Italy and in Breginj and Livek in Slovenia. It is now threatened and has only a very reduced number of speakers. Resian is quite a bit more archaic than even Torre Valley. Torre Valley may be intelligible with Resian.
Upper  Carniolan, Lower Carniolan, Styrian, Rovte, Carinthian, and Mixed Kočevje subdialects may be separate languages.

Torlakian is a separate language, an old Shtovakian dialect. It appears where Serbian blends into Bulgarian/Macedonian. It is not even intelligible within itself.

Judezmo, Ladino or Judeo-Spanish is an endangered language has been spoken since the Middle Ages by the Sephardic Diaspora mostly in Turkey and Greece, but also in the Balkans and in North Africa, especially in Morocco.

There are a few speakers, around 10,000, left in Turkey, mostly in Istanbul. There are other speakers left scattered around the world, mostly in Israel. Ladino is extinct in Morocco and there are few speakers left in Greece and the Balkans after the Holocaust. However, up to 400,000 speakers have some ability to speak the language. Other estimates put the figure at 200,000, and Ladino is not the dominant language for most of them.
Ladino when spoken is not intelligible with Spanish.
Galician Castilian may well be a separate language. In the rural areas, some Galician Spanish, especially by female speakers, is so unusual that it is unintelligible to Spanish speakers. They grew up speaking both Spanish and Galician. This is Spanish with heavy Galician interference.
A good breakdown of the Asturo-Leonese system. It appears that what is not intelligible is East Asturo-Leonese (including Extremaduran and Cantabrian) with Central and West Leonese (West and Central Leonese and Asturian). It’s not known whether West and Central Leonese can understand West and Central Asturian, but perhaps they can.

a) Leon West:

- Western Astur-Leonese: Spoken between the Nalón and Navia Rivers in Asturias and much of León, Zamora and Miranda (Portugal).

- Astur-Leones central: Spoken between Nalón and Sella in Asturias and part of Leon. It is based on the standard of Asturias.

- Eastern Astur-Leonese: Spoken between Sella and Purón in Asturias and a small part of Leon.

b) East Leon:

- Western Cantabrian: Spoken from the Rio Puron (currently Asturias) to the Besaya River and Pas.

- Eastern Cantabrian: Spoken from the watershed between the Besaya River and Pas to Assos.

- Altoextremeño: Spoken in the north of Extremadura and the southern end of Salamanca.
There were 450,000 speakers of Asturian as of 1991, or 68% of the population.
50% of the rural and less educated population speaks it habitually, but only 12% of the urban and more educated population does.
There are 300-450,000 speakers of Asturian as of 2007, minus 35,000 for Leonese and Mirandese.
Asturian is more different from Spanish than Murcian or Extremaduran and is as different as Galician or Catalan.
Asturian has 550,000 speakers – 100,000 1st language speakers and 450,000 2nd language and passive speakers.
Some Spanish speakers can only understand 40% of written Asturian.
Asturian has 80% intelligibility with Spanish but 95%+ lexical similarity and 90% phonemic similarity (90-95% similarity). Intelligibility is almost always lower than similarity.,M1
Northern Spain is a dialect continuum – Galician, Asturian, Cantabrian, Leonese, Castillian.
Asturian is mostly Central Asturian-Leonese, eastern Asturian-Leonese is not spoken much anymore, and Western is mostly Leonese in Leon, Zamora and Salamanca.
Spanish speakers even have a hard time understanding Asturian Spanish, which is said to be just a dialect of Spanish. Intelligibility is somewhat marginal.
Leonese has 20-25,000 speakers, and Mirandese has 10-15,000.
Asturian-Leonese looks like Spanish from the 1400’s-1500’s. Intelligibility between Asturian and Leonese is not full. Mirandese is not fully intelligible with Leonese.
Leonese is very similar to Mirandese in Portugal, it’s just that Mirandese has been influenced by Portuguese. It’s seriously endangered. There are some children speakers.
Leonese has some phonetic qualities that are unique among all Spanish varieties, hence this is why it is thought to be a separate language. It is at the center axis of two dialect continua – Asturian-Castilian and Castilian-Portuguese/Galician. Therefore, it seems that Leonese has more Portuguese elements in it than Asturian does. Also called central Asturian-Leonese. Asturian, Leonese and Mirandese seem to be separate languages by linguistic consensus now.
Extremaduran lacks complete intelligibility with Leonese. The differences between the two are very large. There are three types of Leonese – Eastern is in Sajambre and Valdeón, is almost extinct, and is related to Cantabrian to the north. Central covers the northern 1/2 of eastern Leon and Zamora and is almost extinct. It is related to Central Asturian.

Western Leonese is where most of the speakers are and where the standard is set. It is related to Western Asturian. Asturian and Leonese are separate languages. The differences between them are much greater than between Catalan and Valencian and more along the lines of Galician and Portuguese.
Some say that Leonese has 55,000 speakers, including many new young speakers who are learning it in Leon and Zamora at institutes.
Leonese is in poor shape in Zamora, mostly spoken by some older people in the villages. There is heavy Castillianization taking place. A Leonese-Galician is still spoken in the West, supposedly a Galician dialect, but speakers say it is not Galician. The young people are getting interested in the old language again, but it’s an uphill climb. Generations abandoned the speech as “bad Spanish.” They never thought that they spoke differently or that they were not speaking Spanish.
Central Leonese is still alive. It has speakers around the Rio Toro is central Leon. Patxuezu (Palluezu), a Western Leonese dialect, is spoken around Villablino, Murias de Paredes and Las Omañas. This dialect is also still alive. Around El Bierzo and Boeza, near Nocena, a Western Leonese dialect called Cepedano is still spoken, but it is dying out and is now rarely heard.

In the mountains of Maragatería comarca around Astorga, they speak a Western Leonese dialect called Maragatu. Sayagués is a Western Leonese dialect that is spoken in Comarca Sayago around Bermillo de Sayago southwest of Zamora. In Aliste Comarca around the Aliste River west of Ricobarco Reservoir, they speak a Western Leonese dialect called Alistanu. Around Sanabria in Western Leon near the Portuguese and Galician border, they speak a Western Leonese dialect called Sanabrés.

Around Cepeda in Zamora, between Bejar and Ciudad Rodrigo in the Sierra de la Culebra Mountains, they speak a Western Leonese dialect called Cepedanu. Some other Leonese varieties are Babianu, Lacianiegu, Carbayés, Forniellu and Valdeones. In the north of Leon, 91% of the population at least understands the language, 64% can speak it, 30% can write it, and 21% can read it. In the entire province of Leon, 81% can at least understand Leonese, and 37% can at least speak it.

Asturian-Leonese: Linguistic, Sociolinguistic and Legal Aspects. Héctor García Gil.
Sanabrés is spoken in Pedralba and Ungilde and Rio de Onor (a town split between Portugal and Spain – Rihonor de Castillia is the Spanish part) in the Pedralba de la Pradería region. Rio de Onorese has heavy Portuguese influence. In Pedralba and Ungilde, Sanabrés has heavy Castillian influence. The Galician spoken in Calabor and the Sanabrés spoken nearly are similar, with a lot of shared vocabulary.
Bierzanu is the variety of Western Leonese spoken around El Bierzo. Leonese-Galician is spoken in the west of this area, and Leonese is spoken in the rest. Cabreirés a Western Leonese dialect spoken in the Sierra de Cabrera in Leon.
Leonese is spoken in the Bierzo region mainly in the valleys of Riba de Sil, Forniella and La Cabrera. The number of its speakers oscillates between 2,500 and 4,000. The population of El Bierzo is 130,000. The language has no protection, speakers have low self-esteem, and intergenerational transmission is about zero.
Mirandese separated from Asturian and Leonese when the Moors invaded in 800 AD. It has 15,000 speakers in far northeast Portugal. There is one village of monolingual speakers that has become a tourist attraction.
Mirandese is a result of an old Leonese migration to Portugal. Both Leonese and Mirandese are very conservative, but Mirandese is even more conservative than Leonese.
Mirandese is not fully intelligible with Leonese.
Mirandese is fairly far from Asturian, less than 85% intelligible.
In some treatments, Mirandese is simply a Western dialect of Leonese. The other two dialects are Sanbrese and Lleon. Sanbrese is spoken in Zamora. Intelligibility between Mirandese and Sanbrese/Lleon is unknown, but may not be full.
Mirandese is really Leonese transitioning to Galician.
Mirandese is not fully intelligible with Portuguese.
Most Mirandese speakers speak no Spanish, and some do not even speak Portuguese. It’s as different from Portuguese as Galician and Asturian are.
In Rio de Onor, Portugal, on the border between Spain and Portugal in the Sierra de Culebra north of Braganca, Rihonorés, a Leonese dialect full of Portuguese words and constructions is still widely spoken. This is a Senabrese Leonese lect that’s full of Portuguese. Intelligibility data is not known, but it is thought to be quite close to Mirandese.

It is said to have gone extinct 40 years ago, but it may still be alive though nearly extinct. The town is actually split in two, half of it being in Spain and the other half in Portugal.
The residents speak both Portuguese and Spanish indifferently, with both languages heavily influenced by Rihonorés.
Guadramiles is spoken in Guadramil, Portugal in the same area as Rio de Onor. It is a Leonese dialect that is full of Portuguese. Thought to be very close to Mirandese. It is said to be nearly extinct.
There are three lects: Mirandese/Sendinese, Guadramiles and Rio De Onores. They may be all one language.
Extremaduran is definitely a separate language from Spanish. It has poor intelligibility with Spanish. This is especially true in NW Extremadura. Extremaduran is actually closer to Leonese than to Spanish, and it should probably be seen as a language in that family rather than a language in the Castillian family. There is a lot of confusion between the Extremaduran language and the Extremaduran dialect of Spanish. One is a dialect of Spanish, and the other is a separate language.
Extremaduran has heavier Castillian influence than the rest of Asturo-Leonese.
Extremaduran is related to the eastern Tur-Leonese dialect of Leonese. This probably means the eastern dialect of Tormes Leonese, which would be near the Extremaduran region. However, they can’t understand Central Asturian at all.
200,000 speak Extremaduran, an archaic Leonese dialect.
Extremaduran Spanish has 1.5-2.5 million speakers. This is called Middle and Low Extremaduran. High Extremaduran, the pure Extremaduran, is a language. Extremaduran may have around 80% intelligibility with Spanish.
The differences between Extremaduran and Spanish are greater than the differences between the Catalan dialects.
Extremaduran speakers can hardly understand Asturian at all, but they can understand Cantabrian quite well. There are three types of Extremaduran. Only Northern Extremaduran is the real language. Central and Southern Extremaduran are extinct since the 1700’s and have gone over to Extremaduran Spanish, a Spanish dialect.
Truly, there is one language called Cantabrian-Extremaduran since the two lects are intelligible. However, Cantabrian is probably not intelligible with the rest of Asturian if it is so close to Extremaduran. Cantabrian is probably also not intelligible with Leonese either since it looks like Extremaduran is not. Extremaduran is also spoken in SW Salamanca. It is mostly spoken in NW Extremadura. The southern and central dialects are called Castuo.

The state does not support the Extremaduran language and wants the speakers to all go over to Spanish. Some also refer to Cantabrian-Extremaduran as Eastern Leonese. Southern and Central Extremaduran are just dialects of Spanish anymore, but there has been a revival that is trying to say that these dialects are the Extremaduran language, which confuses things further. The real Extremaduran language is spoken in the north, mostly in the rural areas and by older people now.
Barranquenho or Barranquian is spoken in Barranca, Portugal. It is a mixture of Alentejan Portuguese and Andalusian Spanish/Old Low Extremaduran with many old words that have fallen out of use in Spanish and Portuguese. It is hardly intelligible to Standard Portuguese speakers. Also called Barrancabermeja. Intelligibility with Extremaduran and Andalusian is not known.
Ethnologue lists this lect as a dialect of Extremaduran.
Not intelligible with Castillian. 2,000 speakers.
There is controversy about whether it is a mixed Spanish-Portuguese language or whether it is a transitional language between the two languages similar to how Benasqués transitions between Aragonese and Catalan. There is also controversy about whether it is a Portuguese language with Castillian influence or whether it is a Leonese language with Portuguese influence.
Barranquenho is overwhelmingly Portuguese in character from a grammatical POV. It has a few Spanish intrusions and even fewer Spanish constructions. The phonetics are mixed Spanish/Portuguese.
Cantabrian is spoken in mountains of Cantabria.
Cantabrian lacks full intelligibility with Spanish, though it is a transitional Leonese-Castillian lect.
In its pure form, it probably only has about a few thousand speakers. It definitely still exists, but it is rapidly going extinct as it is being heavily contaminated with Spanish. The main question is to what extent it is intelligible with Leonese proper. There is also a Cantabrian-Spanish mixed language which may be more properly referred to as Cantabrian Spanish, a dialect of Spanish.

However, Extremaduran is not fully intelligible with Leonese, so the same is probably true of Cantabrian.
Pure Cantabrian could be understood by Cantabrian residents of the coastal area who did not speak Cantabrian. Mountain Cantabrian speakers would come from the mountains and no one could understand them.
In 2000, Cantabrian was spoken by 20% of the population of Cantabria, mostly older residents of rural and mountainous areas. The population of Cantabria is 591,000, so 20% means that there are 118,000 speakers of this language. It has 40-100,000 speakers. Most speakers are older and in the Pas Valley. The language is generally considered to be in the Leonese-Extremaduran-Mirandese cluster. Cantabrian is said to be quite close to Eastern Asturian. Most Asturian is Central Asturian (80%). Eastern Asturian is dying out.
Cantabrian has heavier Castillian influence than the rest of Asturo-Leonese.
Interestingly, Spanish itself is apparently derived from an ancient vulgar Latin dialect in Cantabria. The lect became popular and spread south, eventually turning into Spanish. Since this language was at that time obviously Asturo-Leonese, the fascinating conclusion is that Spanish itself is a dialect of Asturo-Leonese in the same manner as Portuguese is a dialect of Galician. Spanish comes from about the year 1000 – that is when it started to differentiate.

Lebaniego is a type of Cantabrian spoken in Liébana in the SW of Cantabria. Pasiego is a type of Cantabrian spoken in Valle del Pas in Cantabria. Campurriano is a type of Cantabrian spoken in the Campoo region of South Cantabria. Sobano is a type of Cantabrian spoken in the Soba Valley of Cantabria. Montañés or Cabuérnigo is a type of Cantabrian spoken in the Cabuérniga Valley of Cantabria. Trasmerano and Pejino area types of Cantabrian spoken in the Trasmiera region of East Cantabria.
Some Spanish speakers in Spain cannot understand Andalusian at all. Even though it is traditionally regarded as a dialect by Spanish linguists, the poor intelligibility implies it is a separate language. Intelligibility studies are needed. The pure Andalusian language spoken around Ubrique in the Sierra de Cadiz Mountains in Cadiz Province cannot be readily understood by Spanish speakers.….29
Andalusian is close to Manchengo and the speech of Bajadoz. Intelligibility is not known.
Andalusian is spoken by 20% of the population.
Intelligibility with Spanish is often poor, especially with those from the north of Spain.
There is also an Andalusian Spanish, which is just a dialect of Spanish.
Argentines can’t even understand Andalusian Spanish.
Murcian may well be a separate language, but it is probably dying out. There are two things here – one is the Murcian dialect of Spanish, widely spoken and intelligible with Spanish. The other is the Murcian language, apparently a separate language and not widely spoken.

Many important linguists, such as Francisco Martínez Torres and Antonio Sánchez Verdú, among others, have stated that Murcian is a true fully structured language, and it has a huge number of speakers. Possibly transitional between Castillian and Catalan. Has a strange vocabulary that makes it a transitional language between Andalusian, Catalan, Mozarabic, Castillian and Aragonese. It probably has more Arabic in it than any other lect of Spain. At any rate, Murcian is the most divergent Spanish dialect.

Intelligibility studies are badly needed because there does not seem to be any data available.
Sánchez Verdú, Antonio y Martínez Torres, Francisco. Diccionario Popular de Nuestra Tierra (Murciano-Castellano/Castellano-Murciano).
Panocho is almost unintelligible outside of the region. It has many Arabic words. Panocho is a dialect of Murcian.
Manchengo, at least in its hard form, is not intelligible outside the region, even in Madrid. Manchengo is spoken in the region of La Mancha, south of Madrid. It contains many unique words.….29
Manchengo is similar to both Andalusian and Bajadoz speech, but may not be intelligible with either.
Aragonese lacks full intelligibility with Spanish.
Even Spanish speakers in Aragon often cannot understand Aragonese at all. Aragonese has been superseded by Aragonese Spanish since 1800. There are 15,000 1st language speakers, but about 50-100,000 have passive knowledge or are second language speakers. There are four dialects, West, Central, Eastern and Southern. Most speakers speak Eastern Aragonese, but the standard is based on a Central-Eastern mix. Aragonese may have around 80% intelligibility with Spanish.
Aragonese is a separate language, similar to Gascon (Occitan) and Catalan.

Dialects: Western Aragonese, (Cheso, Aragüesino, Ansotano) or Fabla, en Huesca y Alto Aragón; Central Aragonese (Belsetán, Chaques, Tensino, Pandicuto, Aisino, Bergotés); Foothill Aragonese (Ayerbense, Nabales, Somontanés); Eastern Aragonese (Benasqués, Grausino, Ribagorzano, Sobrarbense, Fobano, Chistabino) – only Chistabino and Fobano are surely Aragonese. Benasques is a separate language, and Grausino, Sobrarbense, Estadillano and Ribagorzano are controversial.
Aragonese is now heavily Castillianized. There are only two dialects left which preserve the best pure Aragonese speech. In 1981, there were only 12,000 Aragonese speakers left. The decline of Aragonese began in the 1500’s when the Spanish crown forbade the use of Aragonese in official documents. The last outposts of spoken Aragonese represent the last retreat of the ancient Aragonese language. Chistabino is well preserved – spoken in the East.

Central Aragonese is highly Castillianized. Panticuto, Tensino and Bergotes represent Central Pyrenean Aragonese. It is almost completely extinct. Anso and Cheso have well preserved Aragonese in the west. Ansotano has about 80 speakers left, all over 60. The pure Cheso is almost extinct. Belsetán is almost extinct. Torres del Obispo and Azanuy are in the south of Benasques and speak the same transitional lect. The lect is doing less well there. Tensino is extinct, though it was alive in 2000. Aragonese is almost extinct in Huesca and Saragossa.

Panticuto has only 3-4 speakers left. Foothills Aragonese still has a few elderly speakers.
The Present State of Aragonese. Brian Mott.
Dialectologica 5, 65-85. 2010.
However, a less pure version of Cheso is still widely spoken in Hecho, even by young people. Ansotano is spoken by those aged 45+. Eastern Aragonese still has many speakers, including children. Lower Eastern Aragonese is heavily Castillianized.
Jaca is extinct.
Ribagorçan is an Eastern Aragonese dialect that is transitional to Catalan. It is best to think of it more as a transitional lect than as a dialect of Catalan. Speakers say that their language is neither Aragonese nor Catalan. There are really different varieties of this language. Heading to the west, it is more Aragonese, to the east, more Catalan. In Catalonia, it is a Catalan dialect. In some areas, it’s really neither Catalan nor Aragonese. Whether it’s a separate language or not is up in the air.
Benasquese is not a dialect of Catalan. It is regarded by most linguists as being half way between Catalan and Aragonese but closer to the latter. It could almost be regarded as a microlanguage in its own right, although it’s now usually considered the most extreme of the eastern varieties of Aragonese even by most native speakers, who simply call it ‘patués’.

So it is either an extreme transitional variety (as thought by most old linguists), an Aragonese dialect (as thought by the Academia de l’Aragonés) or a microlanguage between Aragonese and Catalan (as thought by the Sociedat de Lingüistica Aragonesa), but a Catalan dialect, certainly not, as it is far more distant from Catalan, both grammatically and lexically, than Algherese is. Benasquese is spoken in high valleys of Pyrenees and is very different from Catalan.
Benasquese is simply the High version of Ribagorzan. There are two other versions, Middle and Low. Middle is spoken in Campo, and Low is spoken is Grues. Grues has heavy Castillian influences. For some reason, Middle and Low are listed in Wikipedia as Aragonese dialects instead of Ribagorzan dialects.
Others say that Benasquese is a transitional language in between Gascon, Catalan and Aragonese.
Cheso, far West Aragonese, cannot understand Benasquese. Benasquese is a separate language.
Chapurriau or Aguavivano, spoken in Aguaviva in Teruel in the Franca Strip, is a very strange type of Catalan that seems to be Catalan-Aragonese transitional. However, the Chapurriau themselves say that they do not speak Catalan. At least those in La Cordonera do.
Catalan has 75,000 speakers in Aragon, far more than Aragonese. Chapurriau seems to be closer to Valencian than to anything else.
Also spoken in Matarraña. Attempts to auto-translate Chappurriau into Catalan with online translation services created an unreadable mess, so written Chappurriau is quite different from Catalan. Translating to Spanish was even worse.
Intelligibility is apparently excellent between Chapurriau and Catalan.
In Castellote, both Aragonese and Chapurriau are spoken alongside Spanish.
It also has Old Spanish mixed in. Mixture of Valencian, Old Spanish, Spanish and some Catalan. Apparently also some Aragonese.
Churro or Xurro is spoken in the frontier regions of Western Valencia. It is an Aragonese-Spanish mixed dialect that has undergone heavy Valencian influence. Intelligibility data is not known.

It is mostly spoken by older people now and is undergoing heavy Spanish influence. It is spoken in Enguera, Canal de Navarres, the Ademuz Corner and High Mijares in towns like Ademuz, Chelva, Segorbe and Chiva. This is generally considered to be a Spanish dialect rather than a Valencian or Catalan dialect.
Churro is spoken south of the province of Teruel, in the Castellón bordering the counties of Gúdar, Javalambre, Maestrazgo and Rubielos in towns like Mora, Mosqueruela and Olba. It incorporates lexicon from Castilian and Valencian, with a lot of Aragonese influences. This speech is common in the interior of Castellón and the eastern parts of Valencia like Gúdar, Maestrazgo and Javalambre, and in Aragon in the towns of Mora, Mosqueruela and Olba.

Attempts to translate Churro into both Catalan and Spanish via online translators both failed terribly. This implies that written Churro is not intelligible with either Spanish or Catalan.
Chilean telenovelas are dubbed in standard Latin American Spanish as no one understands the Chileans. Chilean Spanish may be a separate language.
Chilean Spanish is hard to understand for non Chileans. In Latin America, it is said that no one can understand the Chileans.
Mexican Spanish speakers have a hard time understanding Argentine Spanish.
Mexican Spanish speakers often have a very hard time understanding Castillian Spanish from Spain.
Lunfardo Spanish is a Spanish that developed 100 yrs ago from around the Rio Plata area near Buenos Aires and Montevideo. It is unintelligible with other varieties of Spanish.
Bolivian Spanish is well known for being hard to understand.
Dominican Spanish is hard for many outsiders to understand, in part due to its strange and heavily Indian vocabulary and also due to its speed. Rural varieties are especially hard to make out. Dominican Spanish is not as far apart from the rest of Spanish as Haitian creyol is from French.
Hard Mexico City street dialect can be almost impossible to understand to other Spanish speakers due to the massive use of slang and expressions.
Quechua Spanish is hard to understand for people outside the region.
Speakers of Rioplatanese Spanish say that they have a hard time understanding other Spanish speakers at times, and they can sometimes understand Italian better than other Spanish speakers.
Other Spanish speakers have a pretty hard time with Rioplatanese also.
Argentine movies are dubbed into neutral Spanish for markets like Venezuela and Mexico. Caribbean Coast Colombian Spanish is very hard to hear even for speakers of Colombian Spanish. Speakers of Colombian Spanish born and raised in Colombia could only understand 50% of Caribbean Coast Colombian Spanish after 20 years of limited exposure.
Palenquero is a Spanish creole spoken in Colombia in the village of San Basilio de Palenque southeast of Cartagena and in 2 neighborhoods in Barranquilla. It is entirely unintelligible to Spanish speakers. There are only about 500 speakers. 10% of those under 25 speak it. Most speakers are older. Some speakers are mostly monolingual in Palenquero and have limited Spanish skills. It is a mixture of Spanish and the KiKongo language from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are also other influences from different African languages. The village was formed by escaped slaves (Maroons) and some Amerindians. It is declining. This is the only Spanish creole in Latin America.
Speakers are Black and very poor. There are many passive speakers among the 3,000 population of the town. Palenque is Latin American Spanish for a fortified village of runaway slaves. Benkos Biohó, a 17th-century African resistance leader, probably founded the village. He led raids of escaped slaves on Cartagena and other towns. They were armed with stolen rifles. There are also serious Portuguese influences. There are Palenquero classes in the school.
Chavacano is a Spanish creole spoken in the Philippines by 607,000 people. It is the only Spanish creole in Asia and has survived for over 400 years, making it one of the oldest creoles on Earth. It is not intelligible with any Spanish dialect, and Chavacano speakers, while they can understand individual Spanish words, cannot understand whole sentences. There are 6 dialects, all mutually intelligible, based on whatever Philippine languages are the substrates for various creoles.

3 of the dialects are based on Tagalog – Caviteño (spoken in Cavite City), Ternateño (spoken in Ternate, Cavite) and Ermiteño (once spoken in the old district of Ermita in Manila and now extinct). Zamboangueño (spoken in Zamboanga City), Davaoeño (spoken in some areas of Davao) and Cotabateño (spoken in Cotabato City) are based mostly on Cebuano. Davaoeño may be nearly extinct, and Cotabateño, Caviteño and Ternateño are also threatened with extinction. Zamboangueño has the most speakers. Caviteño and Ternateño also have some speakers. Cotabateño has a few speakers.

Zamboangueño is the dialect with the most speakers, as it is the main language of Zamboaga City, which has 1 million residents. In 1635, the Spanish colonial government was determined to make Zamboaga City a part of the colony with the construction of a major fortress there. To build it, they imported many Spanish speaking Mestizos and also hired many local Filipino speakers of native Austronesian languages. They could not talk to each other, so a pidgin and eventually a creole developed.

Peter Isotalo, a fanatical Swedish nationalist, personally destroyed the Scanian, Elfdalian, Jamtlandic and Gutnish entries in Ethnologue.
Scanians can’t understand Danish, but Danes can understand Scanian better than Standard Swedish. However, Danes have a hard time understanding Scanian.
Many Swedes have a hard time understanding Scanian.
Scanian is certainly not a type of Danish, though Scanians can understand Bornholmian well. Danes can’t understand Scanian at all.
Morpekanska is spoken in Halland in Morpus Parish. Difficult intelligibility with Swedish. Intelligibility with Scanian is not known. It is an East Danish lect like Bornholmian and Scanian.
Listerländska is spoken in Listerlandet in western Blekinge. It is a part of East Danish similar to Scanian. It hard for Swedes to understand. Intelligibility with the rest of East Danish is not known. It is a Western Blekinge lect. The rest of Blekinge is apparently understood by Swedes. Influenced by Danish, German and Baltic languages, along with some English.
Scanian is much closer to Danish and even English than other Swedish lects.
Höglandssmåländskan is a variant of the Småländska lect spoken in Småländ. While most of Småländska is apparently intelligible with Swedish, the Höglandssmåländskan lect spoken in southern Höglandssmåländs or the southern Småländ Highlands, especially in Sävsjö and the western parts of Vetlanda, is hard to understand.
Some Småländska lects are hard for outsiders to understand. In particular, the Småländska lect spoken in Eksjö in the far north of Småländ is hard for people just to the north of Stockholm to understand. The Småländska lect in this region is related to Gotlandska spoken in Gotland just to the north. This is considered to be a Gotaland lect.
Richard Aland, personal communication
Gutnish still exists. There is Gutnish Swedish, which is just a dialect of Swedish (Gotländska), which most of the people speak, and there yet exists Gutnish, which has some speakers on Gotland, mostly in the countryside. It is the strangest and most divergent Swedish lect, and it is not readily intelligible with Standard Swedish. People in Gotland say it is a separate language from Swedish. It is a form of Old Norse, possibly the purest and easternmost form of that language. The suggestion that Gutnish is extinct is false.
Elfdalian is clearly a separate language related to Swedish and not a Swedish dialect. It is one of the most conservative of Swedish lects, retaining many archaic features. Swedish speakers have a very hard time understanding Elfdalian. It is an endangered language, since many children are not learning it.
Östen Dahl says that Elfdalian is further from Swedish than than Faroese and Icelandic are.
Elfdalian may be intelligible with Narpes, spoken in Finland. Elfdalian split off from Old Norse about 1200-1300. It may be as far from Swedish as German is.
Elfdalian is part of a larger language group called Dalecarlian. Within this group, it is part of Southwest Dalecarlian. However, even within SW Dalecarlian, Elfdalian is hard for the others to understand. Orsamål, Oremål, Moramål and Älvdalsmål are all part of SW Dalecarlian. Orsamål actually has a bit of a hard time understanding Elfdalian. Moramål is not even intelligible within itself. There are difficulties in understanding between North and South Moramål.

Moramål is spoken in Mora Parish in Ovansiljan and Upper Siljan in East Dalecarlia.

Upper Västerdalmål, part of Västerdalmål or West Dalecarlian, is hard for outsiders to understand due to its archaic character. Spoken in Lima and Transtrand Parishes. Lower Siljan and Lower West Dalecardian understand each other well. Malungmål, spoken in Lower West Dalecarlia in Malung, is hard for both Upper and Lower West Dalecarlians to understand due to its intermediate nature. However, Rättvik and Leksand are more easily understood by Swedes and should be properly seen as Swedish dialects.They are best seen as transitional between the Dalecarlian language and Swedish proper.
Hälsingemål is hard for outsiders to understand.
Jamtish or Jämska in Jämtland is not intelligible at all with Swedish. Skåne speakers get subtitles on Swedish TV. Swedish dialects are dying out. Swedish speakers say that Norwegian is easier to understand than Scanian. It takes new residents up to a year to learn to understand Gutnish, and after 7 yrs, they still can’t understand the local farmers. Gutnish still has about 10,000 speakers.
Bondska is a separate language spoken in Upper Norrland. Influences from Old Norse, Old Swedish, Sami and Meänkieli Finnish. Sami influence dates from 1300-1600. Not intelligible with Swedish. Spoken in Skelleftea, Sorsele, Norsjö and Piteå. Skelleftemål, Överkalixmål, Vilhelminamål, Lulemål and Pitemål are part of this language and possibly Kalixmål proper. Also known as Västerbottniska,Western Gulf, or Westrobothnian.Whether or not Jämska is intelligible with Bondska is uncertain, but Jämska is a Norrland dialect.
Ostrobothnian or Bothnian Gulf Swedish is spoken in Finland. There is Ostrobothnian, North Bothnian Gulf and Southern Bothnian Gulf, and the three do not always understand each other, hence they are separate languages. Ostrobothnian dialects are the most archaic in all of Scandinavia except for Icelandic, hence the difficulty in others understanding them. A lot of influence from Old Norse. Classified as East Swedish.
Närpes is a very strange Ostrobothnian lect that is not intelligible with the rest of Ostrobothnian.
Estonian Swedish is a form of Old Swedish spoken in Estonia, a village in Ukraine (Gammalsvenskby) and in Sweden. It has many Estonian words and is not intelligible with Swedish. It has 12-100 speakers in Estonia and 300-1,000 speakers in Sweden. It is dying out and being replaced by Swedish in both Sweden and Estonia. Classified as East Swedish.
Värmländska is spoken in a region called Värmland. It may be a separate language because it is not even intelligible within itself. Karlstadmål speakers, spoken in Karlstad, have a hard time understanding Ekshäringsmål, spoken in Ekshärad.

Manchurian Kirghiz (also called Fuyü Kirghiz) still spoken in Manchuria on the east bank of the lower Nonni River in Fuyu County in Heilongjiang Province in China. Either an outlying dialect of Khakass or Tuvan, at any rate, it is now a separate language. There are fewer than 10 speakers left.

Rusyn is definitely a separate language from Ukrainian. The two are not always mutually intelligible. It has about the same mutual intelligibility with Ukrainian as Belorussian does.
Eastern Slovak and Rusyn have ~80% mutual intelligibility.

West Frisian
Schiermonnikoogs (Skiermuontseagersk) is an archaic West Frisian dialect, poorly understood by the rest of West Frisian, that is spoken on the island of Schiermonnikoog. It is actually spoken more in the north of Groningen than in Friesland.

It is in serious decline since WW2 due mostly to immigration from the mainland. The newcomers arrive speaking a West Frisian dialect from Groningen, Vastewal. There are only about 100 speakers left. However, many others speak a “weak” Schiermonnikoogs. Courses in Schiermonnikoogs have been popular since the 1960’s, and there have been a number of publications in the language.
Hindeloopers is an archaic West Frisian dialect, really a separate language, that is spoken on the SW coast of Friesland in the town of Hindeloopen. It has very conservative phonetics and vocabulary, much of it from Old Frisian. Hindeloopers is slowly becoming more like Standard Frisian due to increased exposure of its speakers to Standard Frisian and immigrants moving to the area. It is hard for other Frisian speakers to understand.

Intelligibility testing
Casad, Eugene H. 1974. Dialect intelligibility testing. Summer Institute of Linguistics Publications in Linguistics and Related Fields 38. Norman: Summer Institute of Linguistics of the University of Oklahoma.

Crimes of Mao.

29 bodies remain unidentified.

Marxism Search etext


Race – Asians – Thailand
Mon Khiew Cave in Thailand 25,800 YBP looks like Aborigines. Tabon, Niah, Gua Gunung all look like Aborigines or Melanesians.

Race – Asians – Austronesians
The Austronesians – all Polynesians and Malays come from a common ancestor in Fujian province. Some, but no hard evidence, of Australoid genes in S Chinese. Any SE Asian person with dark skin and kinky hair probably has Australoid genes.
Proto-Austronesians actually go back to common ancestors in China all the way back to 40,000 YBP. Some of the group is found as far north as Mongolia. The Taiwan aborigines have been isolated on Taiwan for 10,000-20,000 years. However, there are founder effects ranging from 2,000-20,000 years back, so there were probably multiple migrations to Taiwan.
The proto-Austronesian homeland was in Taiwan, and they went from Central or Southern China to there long ago and have been in isolation from other groups for a long time. This explains the genetic distance between South Chinese and Taiwanese aborigines. All Taiwanese aborigines share a common source population.
Rejects a Taiwan settlement for the Philippines. Suggests that the Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia were settled from island SE Asia long ago, about 20,000 YBP. I have an explanation for this. Negrito types left Sundaland 20,000 YBP due to floods and settled Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan. Later, Taiwanese aborigines came from Taiwan to constitute the main Filipinos. This study offers no explanation for the genetic resemblance between Filipinos, Ami and Hong Kong Han.
Taiwan aborigines and Indonesians were settled independently by ancient Dai. The people most closely resembling the ancient Dai are the Taiwan aborigines. These Dai went from Hainan and Guangxi to Taiwan and Indonesia.
The proto-Polynesians also came from Taiwan, down through the Philippines to eastern Indonesia and then out to Polynesia. Along the way they picked up a lot of genes from Melanesians in Eastern Indonesia and possibly in Melanesia proper.
Taiwan aborigines are only 2% of Taiwan’s population now. Numbering about 440,000, they are divided into 11 major groups: Ami, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Puyuma, Rukai, Tsou, Saisiyat, Yami, Thao and Kavalan. Currently the Taiwanese government recognizes 11 aboriginal tribes and is considering adding Seediq or Taroko as the 12th tribe. The 11 recognized tribes consist of 10 “Highland” tribes: Atayal, Bunun, Ami, Tsou, Puyuma, Paiwan, Tao (aka Yami), Saisiyat, Rukai, Thao and one “Flatland” tribe: Kavalan.

Many Aboriginals that have been Hanized are now searching their roots and wish to be recognized as a tribe again. The aboriginal groups recorded by Japanese anthropologist:

Flatland tribes “Pingpu” (North to South):

Ketagalan: This group’s name is the origin of the name of the Port City JiLung. In Hokko it is pronounced KeLang. From JiLung to Taipei.

Luilang: Taipei to TaoYuan.

Taokas: TaoYuan (the name of the group again is the origin of the name of the place) and HsinChu to MiaoLi.

Pazeh: Around Taichung.

Papora: Taichung, ChingShui.

Babuza: South of the DaDu River and north of the ZhuoSui River. One of the stronger tribes during Qing rule.

Hoanya: YuanLin to JiaYi.

Siraya: Tainan to Pingdong. This tribe had writing created for them by the Dutch. They continued to use this writing for contracts until the end of Qing rule.

Rukai is at least 4 separate languages – Mantauran (250-300 speakers), Maga, Tona and Budai-Tanan or Rukai Proper.
The Ami tribe was properly positioned to be the source for colonizing the Austronesian lands.
Austronesians went from the Moluccas to Micronesia and Melanesia 2,500-3,200 YBP. From 4,500-7,500 YBP, the Austronesians went to the Philippines. From 3,500-4,500 YBP, they went to Indonesia – Java, Moluccas, Borneo, Sulawesi. 2,500 YBP, they moved out from Borneo to Sumatra, up to Malaysia and up to Southern Vietnam. The Austronesians reached Polynesia 2,000 YBP, Hawaii 1,500 YBP, Easter Island 1,250 YBP and New Zealand 700 YBP. The Austronesians colonized Taiwan 8,000-12,000 YBP.
Austronesians were in Cagayan Valley cultivating rice 5,000 YBP. The Lapita culture was a combination of Papuan and Austronesian. Polynesia was colonized from the Mulukus.
Lapita culture developed in the Bismark Islands north of New Guinea 3,700 YBP and then spread out through Oceania.
The Chams of Vietnam and Cambodia are said to be Austronesians. These same Chams are said to have left Indochina when their Hindu-influenced culture was being attacked by Khmers, Viets.
88% of Taiwanese have some Taiwan aborigine ancestry. But in the vast majority of them, it is no more than 25%.
The Proto-Ami is the ancestor of the second Austronesian migration that was assimilated to the earlier Malayo-Polynesians, so it is natural that Filipinos are related to Ami and Guangdongren.

The Ivatans and Tao tribe of Taiwan were originally related to Ami in their genetics since they speak a Philippines language, but they were heavily admixed with the other tribes in Taiwan that is why they are very different, there were many back and forth migrations from Batanes to Orchid island. The related tribes to Ami are the ones that found the Yue kingdoms of Guangdong and Taiwan Strait. The Proto-Ami are also a component of Vietnamese ancestry because they migrated to Vietnam as well.

Race – Asians – Malays
Malays back to northwestern Yunnan, 4,500 YBP.
Malays came from Taiwan to Philippines to Borneo (where they originated) to Sumatra and then up into Malaysia. They are Austronesians.
Melanesian teeth look much different from Southeast Asian teeth. Differentiation probably occurred 30,000 YBP.
Proto-Mongoloids from 30,000 YBP. Southern Mongoloid is Sundadont. It is between Melanesian and NE Asian. Sundadonts gave way to NE Asian Sinodonts. Senoi related to Vietnamese and Khmer – Austroasiatics. Austronesians came 1,000 years after Senoi, 3,000 YBP and interbred with Senoi, creating Proto-Malay.

Pygmies are excellent at dissipating heat and expertly adapted to living in the jungle where there is low carbohydrate and protein reserve. Gene studies show Senoi are close to Khmer. On teeth, Senoi are close to SE Asians and Polynesians. Aboriginal Malays look SE Asian, Semang look European or Australoid, Proto-Malay look Micronesian, SE Asian and Polynesian. Australian, Papuan and Melanesian teeth are all quite different.
Semang and Senoi cluster with Andaman Islanders, coastal New Guinea and Tamils in skull shape. Until 5,000 YBP, South Asians were quite muscular. From 10,000-40,000 YBP, they looked a lot like Aborigines. Skeletons in Australia from up to 60,000 YBP, in Sri Lanka up to 35,000 YBP.
Semang have woolly (some wavy) hair, Senoi have wavy (some straight and a few woolly) hair, and Aboriginal Malays have straight (some wavy) hair.
Semang go back 50,000 years in Malaysia, Senoi are related to the Austroasiatics who came to Malaysia 4,000 YBP and bred in heavily with the Semang. Aboriginal Malays were in Indochina 18,000 YBP, then spread down through Malaysia 8,000 YBP and into the islands.
Senoi arrived 4,000-8,000 YBP in Malaysia.
Orang Asli go back genetically up to 42,000-63,000 YBP, the oldest gene lines out of Africa yet found.

An origin for the Malays from around the time of the last glacial maximum – 20,000 YBP.
Along same lines, the proto-Malay originate from SEA 20,000 YBP, then migrated into Malaysia about 7,000-10,000 YBP. The Senoi are 1/2 Semang and 1/2 indigenous SEA. Malays from Hoabhinian 3,000-4,000 YBP (Gua Cha) look like present day Melanesians from the Loyalty Islands.

Race – Asia – SE Asia
Vietnamese a mixture of Ancient SE Asians and Chinese Han from southern China (Yunnan) who invaded, possibly pushed down by northern Chinese 2,200 YBP. These Chinese swept through Vietnam and conquered the area, mixing in with the native groups. There is also some Austronesian mixture.
Mon-Khmers came down from Yunnan 4,000 YBP after being pushed out by northern Chinese. There were already Austronesians from Indonesia in Cambodia. They displaced Australoid or ancient SE Asian types who were there as early as 12,000 YBP. Many excavations have revealed Australoid skulls in SE Asia from long ago. Mon-Khmers come from area of Tibet, China and India and are one of the oldest Asian groups of all. At Angkor Wat, they created a great culture.

There are Khmer and Cham genes in Vietnamese. There were Negritos living there 25,000-50,000 YBP. Then Australoids and Melanesians came, then finally Austronesians. There were many Negritos in the Red River Delta until 2,500 YBP when Tai people came down from Yunnan – these were the Ðôngsonians. Austronesians had come earlier, 4,000 YBP – the Man Bac culture. Vietnamese were mostly an Austronesian-Tai mix as of 2,000 YBP, with much Chinese to come later. The Negritos were displaced. You can see drawings of Negritos at Angkor Wat.

There is little Negrito in modern Vietnamese. Vietnamese and Cantonese are related genetically. The languages also have borrowed a lot from each other.

Race – Asians – Vietnamese
The Vietnamese are totally mixed, and it is all still being figured out. They seem to be related to the Mon-Khmer, Thai, Austronesians (from Yunnan). Later there is a lot of Chinese going in.
Chinese colonization of Vietnam. There were endless rebellions due to heavy-handed Chinese rule and Chinese colonization-imperialism, some led by women. Also Chinese discriminated against Vietnamese. The position of women declined with Confucianism. Independent by 944, but Chinese influence kept coming in.
Chams came also. Chams invaded Da Nang in 875. By 1700, Vietnam conquered most of the area and forced the Montagnards to flee to the mts. Montagnards are the original people, and they are related to Australoids.
In Vietnam, Hoabhinian existed from 6,000-18,000 YBP. Australo-Mongoloid or Melanesian elements dominated the Hoabhinian and Bacsonian skeletons. The Dabut Culture began ca. 8,000 YBP but developed from 5,000-6,500 YBP. This culture was found in the northern part of Middle Vietnam (provinces Nghe An and Ha Tinh). Radiocarbon dating for this culture gives dates from ~3,500-5,000 YBP.

Anthropological studies show that Australoid elements dominate in the skulls of Da But, Con Co Ngua, Quynh Van and Bau Du. They belong to Mongoloid-Australoid or Melanesian race. Skulls of the Peinan culture on the southeast coast of Taiwan look very much like this and may be related. The Man Bac people were Austronesians. Man Bac skulls are classed as the Ancient SE Asians – the Indonesian race. Recently, a very important burial field of those people was excavated at the Ninh Binh (Northern Vietnam) site of Man Bac. A 14C-dating for this site is 3,530 YBP.

But the first human occupation here could have been as early as 4,000 YBP. It was the age of many late neolithic, early metal age cultures as Phung Nguyen, Hoa Loc, Ha Long and Go Ma Vuong. These people were living in real villages. Some of them had already developed an agricultural society, as in the case of Phung Nguyen culture. A great deal of rice and rice artifacts were found in the late phase of this culture. Those are Oriza Sativa, a large developed type of this grain.

Growing rice established new cultural developments, with lots of settlements with rich potsherd layers, many domestic animal bones and rice remains. The non-food productions of pottery, stone tools, and especially jade ornament artifacts showed that a surplus economy in food production had developed. For the Pre-Ðôngsonian culture (2,800-3,500 YBP), many big burial fields in the Delta of Ma River have been excavated.

Pre-Ðôngsonian skulls have strong elements of Australoid, but elements of Mongoloid are clearly increasing – Austronesians. The Quy Chu and Nui Nap people are identified with the South Asian or Indonesian race. Ðôngsonian – or Ðông Son – Culture in Vietnam was regarded as the most developed culture in late prehistory of Vietnam. It began 2,700-2,800 YBP, and ended with the complete occupation by the Han Dynasty in 2,200 YBP.

The Ðông Son culture belonged to the Iron Age and is found mainly in North Vietnam, southward only to Da Nang (18N latitude) and northward to southern Kwangzi and Kwangtung of China. The Ðông Son are Tai. Anthropological research confirms increasing Mongoloid elements in the Ðông Son skulls.

However, the Ðông Son peoples belonged to the Indonesian or Ancient Southeast Asian group – a Southern Mongoloid with strong Australoid elements (Cuong, 1996). Cuong, N.L.,1996. Anthropological Research on Ðôngsonian Skeletons (in Vietnamese). Hanoi. The picture of the ancient Hoabinhian culture is relatively diverse. Traditional theory links it to the Son Vi culture, but this is not yet proven as Son Vi dates are up in the air. There are today three sites which might have given birth to the Hoabinhian: Tham Khuong cave, Nguom rock shelter and Dieu rock shelter (Mai Da Dieu).

In Tham Khuong (Lai Chau province), Hoabinhian tools were found in cultural layers mixing with Sonvian-like or early Tham Khuong typical tools. The 14C- and ESR-dates in the lower level are 28,000-33,000 YBP, and the middle level is 15,000 YBP. At Nguom (Thai Nguyen province), the levels II and III, which contain Hoabinhian-like tools and few Sonvian-like tools mixed with some flake tools, existed from 19,000-23,000 YBP. Before that, a real flake tools complex has been found in Level I and has been called the “Nguom industry”.

At Dieu rock shelter (Thanh Hoa province), the Hoabinhian-like tools are seen at 8,000-24,000 YBP. Before that, we find a quartz pebble tools complex with an estimated date of 24,000-30,000 YBP (Nguyen Gia Doi, 1999).

A study of such tool complexes reveals that the Tham Khuong complex is closer to typical Hoabinhian tools than is Mai Da Dieu, but both sites could have given birth to the typical Hoabinhian Culture, which was characterized by the Xom Trai and Lang Vanh groups. The Nguom site is a less attractive site for candidates for precursors to the Hoabinhian.
This study of the human skulls and skeletons found in Man Bac of Ninh Binh province in North Vietnam supports that modern Vietnamese were late arrivers in North Vietnam. According to the study, there is a huge difference between the Man Bac skulls and the earlier Hoabinhian skulls. The Man Bac skulls showed close affinities to the Ðông Son skulls (in North Vietnam), Jiangnan skulls of the Zhou Dynasty (China), and Weidun skulls (China).

The excavation of the Man Bac site (c. 3,500-3,800 YBP) in Ninh Binh Province, Northern Vietnam, yielded a large mortuary assemblage. A total of 31 inhumations were recovered during the 2004-2005 excavation. Multivariate comparisons using cranial and dental metrics demonstrated close affinities of the Man Bac people to later early Metal Age Ðông Son Vietnamese and early and modern samples from southern China including the Neolithic to Western Han period samples from the Yangtze Basin.

In contrast, large morphological gaps were found between the Man Bac people (except for a single individual) and the other earlier prehistoric Vietnamese samples represented by Hoabinhian and early Neolithic Bac Son and Da But cultural contexts.

These findings suggest that the initial appearance of immigrants in northern Vietnam was of those who were biologically related to pre- or early historic population stocks in northern or eastern peripheral areas, including Southern China. The Man Bac skeletons support the ‘two-layer’ hypothesis in discussions pertaining to the population history of Southeast Asia.

The Jomon sample and individual C29 of Man Bac are neighbors, and they branch off from another major cluster in which the other prehistoric Vietnamese, represented by the Mai Da Nuoc Hoabinhian specimen and the early Neolithic Bac Son and Da But samples, are grouped together and adjacent to the Gua Cha Malay and Australo-Melanesian samples. On the other hand, individual C29 of Man Bac as well as the early Neolithic Bac Son and Da But Vietnamese are placed in the other major cluster, which consists of the Australo-Melanesians, Andaman Islands, Jomon, Hoabinhian and Neolithic Malaysian samples.

The earlier prehistoric Vietnamese as well as the early Malaysians resembled the Australo-Melanesian samples the most. It may be concluded that the Man Bac people were immigrants affiliated with the populations in the Yangtze River region in southern China and that they connect, through the subsequent early Iron Age Ðông Son people, to the present-day majority of Vietnamese.

Thus, the Man Bac population (excluding individual C29) is not directly descended from the Hoabinhian, Bac Son, or Da But indigenous populations. The ‘immigration’ hypothesis, also called the ‘two layer’ model, as a means of understanding the population history of Southeast Asia, has been supported by a wide array of archaeological, genetic and historical linguistic studies.

These researchers have shown that the pre-modern expansion of language families, specifically the Austronesian and Austroasiatic families, can often be linked with the dispersal of rice-cultivating populations during the Neolithic period. Based on this study of human skulls found in North Vietnam, the legend of Lac Long Quan in Dong Dinh Lake might have some truth to it. All the place names that appear in the Viet legend about the creation of Viet people were names of places around the Yangtze Basin.

Our forefather, Lac Long Quan, was born near Dong Dinh Lake which is located in present-day Hunan Province. The study of human skulls in North Vietnam suggests that Ðôngsonians (whose descendants are modern Vietnamese) were related to the Neolithic people (7,000 YBP) in Jiangnan and Wuden (near Shanghai) yet were very different from the neolithic Hoabinhian in North Vietnam.

Hence people from the Yangtze Basin migrated to North Vietnam about 4,000 YBP and developed the Ðông Son culture in the Red River Delta. And perhaps as they migrated to North Vietnam 4,000 YBP they carried with them the legend about their homeland in Dong Dinh lake of Hunan Province? The Man Bac people (proto-Austronesians) come from the Yangtze River Basin. Many Vietnamese are into the dark skin is inferior – light skin is better thing. Many also look down on Khmers and criticize their own people if they think they look too Khmer. Dark skin = Khmer-looking.

The E. Asian preference for light skin in women especially goes back to before they even met any Whites. Skin-lightening products, which may be dangerous, sell big. Part of the preference may be due to class. A light-skinned woman had a husband who was so rich that she did not have to work in the fields all day – she could stay home. The wife of a poorer man had to work in the fields all day. A lot of Vietnamese strongly dislike the Chinese, but no one in Asia likes China – it’s the 800 lb gorilla.
The proto-Ami are also a component of Vietnamese ancestry because they migrated to Vietnam as well.

Race – Asians – Negritos

Bulbeck, D., Rainer, D. Groves, C., Raghavan, P. “ The Contribution of South Asia to the Peopling of Australasia” and the Relevance of Basel’s Naturhistorisch Museum to the Anthropological Collection to the Project Aims . Bull. Soc. Suisse d’Anthrop. 9(2):49-70
The first two splits in the human line were apparently to the Andaman Islands and to the Semang in Malaysia and Thailand.
Makranis of Pakistan – the Negritos of Pakistan?

Race – Asians – Japanese

The Yayoi migrants of the Middle Holocene (3,000 YBP) looked a lot like Thai and SE Chinese people. Only recently have the transitioned to a more modern NE Asian type.

Asians – Chinese
There is evidence that Negritos were influential in the establishment of the very first modern civilizations in SE Asia, including Funan 2,000 YBP and the Xia Dynasty 4,100 YBP. What is interesting is that the Xia Dynasty was largely in Central China, so this implies that there were still Negritos in Central China at this time.

We know that Ainu types transitioned to modern-day NE Asians 9,000 YBP in N China, but it is also thought that Negrito types transitioned to modern day SE Asians 5,000 YBP. If this theory is true, it means that there were still Negrito types in Central China 4,000 YBP and in Indochina 2,000 YBP, so Negritos lasted a lot longer here than we thought.
At 7,000 YBP, people in the Yangtze Delta region at Hemudu looked like Aborigines. The Weidun and Anyang samples from South China look like Man Bac and later Ðông Son Vietnamese. Anyang is 2,500-~3,000 YBP, and Weidun is from 5,000-7,000 YBP. The Ðôngsonians were Indonesian types – Mongoloids with an Australoid influence that were strongly transitioning to Mongoloid.

Man Bac are related to Neolithic people (7,000 YBP) in Jiangnan and Wuden (near Shanghai). These old Chinese types related to Man Bac are proto-Austronesians and probably proto-Tai.
In the earliest Chinese history, several texts in classic books spoke of these diminutive Blacks; thus the Tcheu-Li composed under the dynasty of Tcheu (249-1,122 B.C.) gives a description of the inhabitants with black and oily skin. Prince Liu-Nan, who died in 122 B.C., speaks of a kingdom of diminutive Blacks in the southwest of China.

Race – Asians – Hmong
The Hmong people go back in one line to 10,000-42,000 years, in another to 1,500-5,500 years, another to 4,000-23,000 years. They are related to the Lahu, Dai, Zhuang, Naxi, Taiwanese aborigines and Vietnamese. Archaeological evidence puts them back 4,600-6,400 YBP. They are closest to Dai and then S Han, then to Austroasiatic and northern groups. Hmong come from Central-Southern China, Austroasiatics from SW China.

Hmong only moved to SW China in the past 400 years or so. Only in Indochina since 1700’s. Hmong were defeated near Beijing by NE Asians in the Battle of Zhuolu 4,600 YBP, then they were pushed to the South. Hmong have more NE Asian lineage than any other SE Asian group.
The Hmong have legends about ancestors who had blond hair and light eyes. The Chinese have written records about Hmong with blond hair and light eyes dating back far before the French. The Hmong may have originated in the West Turkestan – Uighur zone, and this is the zone where the Tocharian speakers, some of whom had Caucasian features and red hair, lived 6,000 YBP. Chinese folk tales called these people “The White Dragons.” They used to fight the Chinese.

In Asia, Hmong generally do not marry outside their race, though sometimes they do. It is said to be quite rare in the US too. The Hmong women near me are often very beautiful, but they do not seem to be available at all.
Hmong-Mien family is at least 6,000 YBP.

AA family is very old – 6,000 YBP.

Race – Asians – Li
The Lin on Hainan appear to be related to Hmong and split off after the battle of Zhuolu.

Race – Asians – Mien
Hmong are quite distant from the Mien.

Race – Melanesians–suh3C1SbBawNvktT4#PPA298,M1
Lahr, Marta Mirazon (1996) The Evolution of Modern Human Cranial Diversity – A Study in Cranial Evolution, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
NG occupied by 40,000 YBP New Ireland occupied at 33,000 YBP.

Greatest Polynesian mixture is found in Vanuatu and Fiji. Other islands show affinities with Australians, Negritos, Indonesians and Polynesians. In New Britain and New Caledonia, they look most like Australians. (p. 298),M1
Vanuatu was settled first by Australoids related to Aborigines, then by Polynesians. Result was a race akin to Fijians – a mixed Melanesian-Polynesian group. This race was created as early as 3,000 YBP.

Race – Micronesians,M1
Settlement of Micronesia
Similar with Micronesians. Colonized along the north coast of New Guinea.


Race – Polynesians
Samoan chiefs ban you from the village if you commit a crime.
Insanity about the ancient Whites of Easter Island – they were just Polynesians.
Warrior gene in Polynesians.
Best evidence to date: Despite being close to Melanesians, they are an independent development. Polynesians are 94% Austronesian on one side. This line went Taiwan-Philippines-Indonesia and then out to Polynesia. They are 3.5% Melanesian. Both of these lines went through very severe bottlenecks.

.6% comes from Philippines. Another line has only been found in South Americans and may be the first evidence that Polynesians colonized the Americas.
However, this report shows major admixture of both Melanesians and Austronesians. The proto-Polynesians went first to Fiji in Melanesia, then on to Polynesia.
Polynesians left Taiwan, went to Philippines, then moved to East Indonesia, then moved very slowly through Melanesia, picking up many Melanesian genes along the way. “Slow boat theory.”
Wallacea maps
Wallacea or eastern Indonesia is seen as the homeland of the Polynesians before they left Fiji, out from which they expanded.
Polynesians are significantly related to Austronesians. Polynesians are 50% Melanesian (mothers) and 50% Austronesian (fathers), though they tend to cluster more towards Melanesians. Their maternal and paternal lines are quite different.
Maoris seem to have high rates of BPD – especially Maori women, who have high rates of self-harm, and many psychological papers hint that they may have high levels of BPD.

Maoris also have high rates of alcoholism, smoking, domestic violence, relationship instability (single parent homes), proclivity towards impulsive, aggressive and criminal behavior, high crime rate, black and white thinking, lack of fixed values (forming one’s identity based on whatever group is around at the time). Some of this may have been useful for them in the past, but isn’t really now.
Almost all Polynesians and Aborigines – even the bright ones – drop out of school in Australia.
Melanesia was settled from 30,000-50,000 YBP and the Melanesians are now one of the most genetically diverse peoples on Earth. Polynesia and Micronesia were settled from Taiwan 3,000 YBP. They moved through Indonesia and Melanesia, picking up few genes along the way. So the Taiwanese aborigines become the huge Polynesians somehow.
Polynesians are mostly related to Taiwanese and Micronesians. The ones further west are more Melanesian. The ones further east have almost none. Melanesians have no more than 20% Austronesian in them, and that is only the ones that speak an Austronesian language. The Papuans along the coast (more properly termed Melanesians) are quite a bit different from the Papuans further inland (true Papuans) in the highlands.

The ones in the highlands are close to Aborigines and the ones along the coast much less so. The Melanesians are extremely diverse, from island to island and even within islands.

Race – Caucasians

Race – Caucasians – New Caucasian races
Orcadian Scots are so different from everyone else that they must be a separate race.
On mtDNA, Kabardians, Abaz, Cherkess, Georgians, Armenians, Azeris, Kurds, Jews are all one race. Adyge and Russians form another small race. Chechens and Ingush are a separate race. Druze are also a separate race. Basques are much further from Caucasus than from Indo-Europeans. Turks and Kurds and Turks and Armenians are quite distant.
Germans cluster with Germans and Slavs with Slavs, but both Slavs and Germanics are closer to each other than either is to Greeks. Greeks are the link between Europe and Arabia. Finns are way outside of Europeans, even more outside than Russians. Georgians and Ossetians are Iranians are close to Iranians.
On Y chromosomes, Dargins, Kazbegi Georgians and Svans form separate races.
Jews are apparently a separate race of Whites. They fit into the Caucasus Race above.
Russians, Finns, Poles and Latvians, with Adygeans, form a Finno-Slavic Race

According to Cinnioglu et al (2004) there are many haplogroups present in Turkey. The majority haplogroups are shared with European and Near Eastern populations as E3b, G, J, I, L, N, K2, R1, which form 94.1% from the Turkish Gene pool and contrast with only a minor share of haplogroups related to Central Asia C, Q, O – 3.4%, India H, R2 – 1.5% and Africa A, E3*, E3a – 1%.
Gujaratis form a separate race apart from all other Indians, possibly due to “Scythian” influence from 1,200 YBP.
Caucasians started in Southern Russia 45,000 YBP. A 28,000 YBP skeleton has DNA that looks like modern Europeans.

PIE Homeland
Well, Basically everywhere there have been Indo-European languages (from India and Xinjiang to northwestern Europe) we find the haplogroup ADN-Y R1a1, so we can logically conclude that there is very probably a link.

The ancient cultures related to the Kurgan ones (supposed to be the origin of the early Indo-Europeans), that spread in time in central Asia (like the Andronovo one) and south Siberia have human remains that have shown to be almost exclusively R1a1 and there are mtDNA haplogroups that seems to be related to Europe as well (subclades of mtDNA H, HV, U2, U4, U5 subclades, subclades of T, some K subclades (all also found in Europe)) as we can see in the more recent study.

The genetic study I talked of says that the remains of these bronze age/Iron age R1a1 were Europoids generally with light hair, light-colored eyes and pale skin. So…we can assume that both Scythians (Sakas) and original Aryans of South Asia had that kind of phenotypes or at least many of them.

And IIRC, one of the bones of the Krasnoyarsk region (In Russia roughly above the west of Mongolia) of a culture apparently Indo-European, had the same genetic signature that one of the Xinjiang Europid mummy (Xinjiang is in north-western China, in the Tarim Basin – a region where Europid characteristics are still found sometimes).

Indeed, and some persons of the Indo-European speaking regions of Asia are strikingly Europid. There are pictures of such individuals here:
They seem to match the description of the recent human genetics article I mentioned above, concerning south Siberians/central Asians of bronze/Iron age (probably ancestors of the Indo-Iranian speaking Scythians/Sakas and also of the “Aryans” of India and Persia). excerpt here for the ones that didn’t read the full article:
Well, recently, there has been more info that strengthens the Kurgan theory.

I’m thinking of this:

Race – Caucasians – Origins
Racial classification.

Race – IQ
Black-white IQ differences – great stuff

IQ rises in childhood.
FE is on fluid intelligence, not on crystallized intelligence
American Indians outscore Hispanics on the GRE despite having lower IQ’s.
Intelligence data Indians in UK both Southern and Northern – 96 IQ Richard Lynn. Business Today. January 2005. US native Americans 90, US Hispanics 90 Linda S. Gottfredson, School of Education, University of Delaware. Social Consequences of Group Differences in Cognitive Ability. 2004, page 24.

Race – Crime
4 factors in crime outside of IQ. Blacks have crime rate close to whites when controlling for IQ (1997), differences in criminal and psychopathic IQ, imprisonment rates in White countries.


“Unknown City, Hwy 101 location, January 1973. A truck driver hits a 7 foot BF on US 101. The front of the logging truck is badly damaged, no report on the condition of the BF.”
One BF was hit by a train, and some farmer kept it in a barn until it was better around Powers, Oregon. A BF was hit and was on the side of the road by Portland, Oregon.
The Historical Bigfoot by Chard Arment
John Green, The Apes Among Us
Albert Petka of Nulato, AK was attacked by a reported BF on his boat. His dogs drove the creature off, but Mr. Petka later died of his injuries.

The Historical Bigfoot by Chard Arment
In 1868, a hair-covered, bipedal creature was pursued by hunters with hounds after terrorizing people in Meadville, MS. The hounds chased the creature Westward to the banks of the Mississippi River, where they bayed it. When the hunters got there, they urged the dogs onward, and the dogs tried to catch it (dogs are commonly used to catch wild hogs, etc.).

The creature killed one of the dogs, and the men began to fire at it, at which time it leaped into the river and swam for the other side. It should be noted that the river is very wide at this point.
****** the Mafulu

Biggest days

1. 109,518 November 23

2. 109,497 November 20, 2009

3. 91,555 November 19, 2009

4. 89,245 November 22, 2009

5. 87,411 November 21, 2009

Biggest weeks

1. 494,860: November 2-8, 2009

2. 494,860: November 25-30, 2009

3. 494,860: November 16-24, 2009

4. 494,860: November 9-15, 2009

5. 372,649: October 9-15, 2009

Biggest months

1. 1,979,440: November 2009

2. 431,679: October 2009

3. 244,088: August 2010

4. 230,853: May 2012

5. 226,320: February 2012

A good older camera: Also I am using Panasonic Lumix DMC LX-1 from 2006 and Panasonic Lumix DMC FX7 from 2004. Those old Panasonic pocket cameras have Leica lenses and this is just what I appreciate. Quality seems to be good also today. But they are pocket cameras and they are missing many possibilities compared with Nikon or Canon or Sony high quality cameras.

Italian translation (traduzione in Italiano). French translation (en Français). Spanish translation (en Español). Polish translation (w jezyku polskim). Portuguese translation(em Português). Serbo-Croatian translation (u Srpsko-hrvatski). Korean translation (??). Finnish translation (on Suomen). German translation (in deutscher Sprache). Dutch translation (in het Nederlands). Swedish translation (på svenska). Norwegian translation (på norsk). Tagalog translation (isinalin sa Tagalog).

I am looking for translators to translate this post into . Email me if you are interested.

MA Jobling, C Tyler-Smith. The human Y chromosome: An evolutionary marker comes of age. Nature. 2003

TM Karafet, FL Mendez, et al. New binary polymorphisms reshape and increase resolution of the human Y chromosomal haplogroup tree. Genome Res. 2008

Sexual Behavior: Problems and Management (Applied Clinical Psychology). Nathaniel McConaghy

17 Y-STRs (DYS456, DYS389I, DYS390, DYS389II, DYS458, DYS19, DYS385a/b, DYS393, DYS391, DYS439, DYS635 or Y-GATA C4, DYS392, Y-GATA H4, DYS437, DYS438 and DYS448) have been analyzed in 320 male individuals from Sarawak, an eastern state of Malaysia on the Borneo island using the AmpFlSTR® Y-filer™ (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA). These individuals were from three indigenous ethnic groups in Sarawak comprising of 103 Ibans, 113 Bidayuhs and 104 Melanaus.

The observed 17-loci haplotypes and the individual allele frequencies for each locus were estimated, whilst the locus diversity, haplotype diversity and discrimination capacity were calculated in the three groups. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that 87.6% of the haplotypic variation was found within population and 12.4% between populations (fixation index FST=0.124, p=0.000).

This study has revealed that the indigenous populations in Sarawak are distinctly different from each other and to the three major ethnic groups in Malaysia (Malays, Chinese and Indians), with the Melanaus having a strikingly high degree of shared haplotypes within. There are rare unusual variants and microvariants that were not present in Malaysian Malay, Chinese or Indian groups.

In addition, occurrences of DYS385 duplications which were only noticeably present in Chinese group previously was also observed in the Iban group whilst null alleles were detected at several Y-loci (namely DYS19, DYS392, DYS389II and DYS448) in the Iban and Melanau groups.


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Differential Mutual Intelligibility between Portuguese and Spanish


I discussed this earlier. While intelligibility between Spanish and Portuguese is high, it is not equal. Portuguese speakers often say they understand Spanish better than Spanish speakers say they understand Portuguese. The only intelligibility study found that Spanish speakers had 50% intelligibility of Portuguese but Portuguese speakers had 58% intelligibility of Spanish.

The link shows you why this is so. There are two factors. One is that Portuguese has a more complicated vowel system with nasalized vowels. The other is that Spanish is more staccato, with words being separated more in speech while Portuguese is more connected with words flowing together. Spanish speakers are lost in the vowels and can’t pick the words apart from the river of speech.


Filed under Applied, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Language Families, Language Learning, Linguistics, Portuguese, Romance, Spanish

Interesting Comments on Galician

I just received these comments from a Galician speaker who lives in the Galician region of Spain. Galician is a language related to Portuguese that is spoken in the far northwest of Spain.

Interesante conversación. Qué pena que no la haya visto en su día.

Vivo en Galicia, pero nací en Madrid y hablo Castellano y también Gallego.

En galicia la gente de la calle lo que habla es castrapo. Una jerga con estructura sintáctica del gallego, usando palabras castellanas y con entonación gallega. Por eso, dice el artículista, la gente castellana entiende al de la televisión pero no entiende a la gente de la calle.

Cualquier gallego entiende el portugués escrito, pero la fonética del Portugués se aparta mucho del gallego y del castellano y lo que entiende por escrito no lo entiende si lo oye.

El gallego es un idioma practicamente muerto, porque con la televisión gallega lo que han conseguido es hacer un gallego con una estructura castellana usando ciertas palabras gallegas y con entonación castellana.

Los jovenes no quieren hablar gallego, solo lo habán los que van poco a la escuela, abandonan el sistema educativo, que curiosamente es donde se enseña. Entre marineros, labradores y gente de oficios bajos es donde se habla más el castrapo, porque el gallego de le TV tampoco lo habla nadie. Y cuando la gente que suele hablar castrapo habla castellano es penoso oirles.
Incluso los que hablan bien castellano cometen un sin fin de faltas tanto de pronunciación como de sintaxis y de léxico. Los gallegos son lo que hasta ahora hablan peor el castellano en España. En poco tiempo supongo que les superarán los catalanes que hablarán castellano como lo puede hacer un japonés medio.

Lo malo es que unos cuantos iluminados utilicen la lengua como arma política, y pretendan, como en Cataluña, erradicar el castellano en aras de conseguir un país que nunca existió. Mira el ejemplo tonto de los integracionistas gallegos, quiren pasar de tener una lengua reconocida en España a tener un dialecto del portugués, no reconocido ni por los portugueses.

Es sencillamenente, lo que solemos decir: joder por joder.

Saludos a todos.

My translation:

Interesting conversation. Too bad I didn’t see it until now.

I live in Galicia, but I was born in Madrid and speak Castilian and Galician.

In Galicia the street people speak something called Castrapo. This is a language with Galician syntactic structure and intonation but using Spanish words. The author of the piece is correct that Castilian speakers people understand the “TV Galician,” but they don’t understand Castrapo.

Any Galician can understand written Portuguese, but Portuguese phonetics deviates so much from both Galician and Castilian that it is hard for a Galician speaker to understand. When you see it written, you can understand the words you could not understand when it was spoken.

The sad truth is that Galician is a language that is almost dead due to what Galician television has done by creating a fake Galician language using a mix of Spanish and Galician words with Spanish intonation.

Young people do not want to speak Galician anymore. They  only know whatever Galician they were taught in school (Galician is now taught in the schools of the region), and after school they are not exposed to it much anymore. Castrapo is spoken by working class people – sailors and farmers. These same folks refuse to use TV Galician.

Unfortunately, most Castrapo speakers do not speak Spanish very well. Listening to them speak Castillian is painful.

Even those who speak well Castilian commit endless errors of pronunciation, syntax and vocabulary (This implies that Castrapo does use some Galician vocabulary). The Galicians speak some of the worst Castilian in Spain.

The trouble is that a few intellectuals use Galician as a political weapon, and intend, as in Catalonia, to eradicate Castilian in order to create a country that never existed. Look at the example of the silly Galician integrationist grouping that want to go from having a language recognized by Spain and turn it into a dialect of Portuguese which at any rate is not even recognized by the Portuguese themselves.

This is what I have heard about the situation in Galicia. However, what I heard is that the situation of the Galician language is not nearly so dire as portrayed by the author. TV Galician is indeed a fake language invented for TV, so like Spanish that it is intelligible to most Spanish speakers.

I have also heard that Galician is not completely intelligible with Portuguese, not even way down on the southeast border of Galician where it is said to be intelligible with the Tras Os Montes dialect of Portuguese. Galician speakers in this border area say the two languages are indeed close there, but they use Castillian to communicate with Portuguese speakers from across the border because Galician-Portuguese communication is too fraught with errors of understanding.

Galician is indeed in bad shape in the cities, but it is doing well in the countryside. There is indeed a movement for Galician independence that is led by intellectuals, but it does not seem to have much support among the population. The Galician government complains of lack of funding for Galician education and TV. All in all, I would say that Galician is doing pretty well for a non-state language, and I suspect that it will still be vigorous in 60 years or so.


Filed under Dialectology, Europe, Galician, Government, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italic, Italo-Celtic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Language Families, Linguistics, Politics, Portuguese, Regional, Romance, Sociolinguistics, Spain, Spanish

Why The ETA Political Wing Was Banned

Repost from the old site.

I received an interesting email from one Gonzalo Polo (website here), a Spanish nationalist. I am publishing the parts of it that can be published here. I normally don’t post the names of emailers as it is a violation of Netiquette, but he issued a veiled threat to me, so he gets named. If you don’t want me to reveal contents of your mails, don’t threaten me.

I always supported the Basque and even Catalan separatist causes. In the Basque movement, I supported the armed wing called the ETA. This mail points out some less than flattering things about the ETA, so I am running it, and it also tells us some interesting stories about the history of the Iberian Peninsula.

I am posting it to provide another perspective to the National Question in Spain.

I still think that Spain should allow a referendum on independence, and that is really what this whole fight is all about. I understand that Spain will never hold this referendum, which makes me wonder when they crow that only a minority of Basques support separatism. So hold the referendum already. Truth is, I do not think that Spaniards are civilized enough to split up their nation.

Few nations are.

Only the former USSR and Czechoslovakia have broken up peacefully, with Quebec and and the UK showing a willingness at least. Spaniards have always been terribly intolerant as a people, a tradition like the peculiar one of church-burning that is proving hard to break.

At least the intolerance part is traced by Carroll Quigley back to the Arab occupation, said influence of which makes the area from Latin America across the Mediterranean to Pakistan the Peru-Pakistan Axis, as he calls it.

That much of Spain’s industry is in the Basque Region makes separatism supposedly lethal for Spain, but I doubt it. Spain is a mature and wealthy country and I think they could handle separatism just fine, but Spaniards are just too backwards to do it. I include the famously liberty-lovers the French in this backwardsness, and all of Asia, including those supposedly more highly evolved humans in Northeast Asia.

China is utterly insane when it comes to Tibet (as we saw in the past few days) and Taiwan, and in this way they are firmly in a backwards Asian tradition. Burma, Indonesia and India won’t tolerate separatism either, and the result has been horrible massacres and even genocides.

I suggest that a willingness to break up one’s country is the ultimate act of a civilized people, and it is a litmus test for seeing how civilized you are. By that test, most of the world fails except for some Europeans, but that makes sense. Europeans are the only people who will even try to play by the rules of war either.

The Catalans seem to be debating separatism in their media, and there are some interesting debates going on. One of them is revolving around the nature of the ethnic nationalism that Catalan nationalism is. There are good progressive arguments saying that all ethnic nationalism leads to some variety of fascism, since, like the anti-Semitism I discussed previously, the impulse has nowhere to go but to the Right.

Put another way, internationalism is language of the Left (yet note armed separatists are often Leftists) and nationalism is the language of the Right. It was only the stew of 70 years of internationalism that so wore down the nationalist sentiments of the USSR and enabled them to cleave off 15 republics with very little bloodshed.

There were bloody and fascist-like nation-building episodes in many of these new countries, but that’s just the normal nation-building experience, and if we had to deny the legitimacy of every nation that had ever done this, we would have few countries left on the globe.

It’s probable that that same evil Commie internationalism allowed the Czechoslovaks to separate so amicably. You can’t say that 43 years of Goulash Communism didn’t do any good at all.

Nationalism created the Axis in World War 2 and probably led to World War 1 too. All these fetishists of the state that demand states have their precious “monopoly on violence” and that all armed non-state actors surrender all arms immediately or be destroyed as “terrorists” might want to think that one over sometime. Note that the worst enemies of the Axis ultranationalists were the armed partisans, often Communists.

If you lurk around Internet fascist, Nazi or nationalist forums long enough (and I like to do this for a lark) you will notice that these types hate no one worse than Communists. As nationalists are often not members of the towering heights of capital, one wonders what all the fuss is about.

Fascists, and the nationalists who dress up like them once in a while, Halloween-like, hate Commies over the nationalism question. Commies are dubious, at best, about nationalism. The blood drenched soil of ethnic and Lazarus-like nationalism is the essence of fascism. That’s what the whole bloody Commie-fascist fight is all about in a nutshell.

There’s also the fact that fascism is a last-ditch effort of capital to preserve its privileges in the environment of a serious threat by the Left. The seriousness of the Left Threat provokes a deadly anti-Communist reaction in the fascist. Commies are no longer some ludicrous phantasm – they are marching in the streets – and we need to kill as many of them as possible and put the rest in jail.

It’s curious why more don’t support ethnic separatism. Ask an American, if you can get lucky and find one who even understands the concept, and 90% chances are they support the state and oppose the armed separatists everywhere on Earth. Most folks you meet on the Net are the same way.

But go to a separatist region and you will find large numbers who support separatism. It seems we are not empathizing well enough with the national aspirations of our brother humans.

That ethnic nationalism brings out the caveman in anyone is shown how the separatist Catalans are total nationalist pigs when it comes to granting the Occitan speakers their legitimate human rights.

The ETA political wing was banned (although their men were elected in the last elections to the Basque Parliament under another name, and therefore they act as deputies in the Basque Parliament and mayors in some villages) because they used the public money they earned to send it to the ETA, and also because they gathered information about politicians and submitted it to ETA.

They have decided to boycott Spanish elections so they do not present candidates.

The current President of the Basque Parliament (the moderate Basque PNV) and all political parties of Euskadi (including leftist radical but non-violent Basque parties) define the ETA as a terrorist group (the EU and the US also).

In the last general elections of Spain the political wing of ETA asked Basques not to vote. Even considering that in the villages where ETA supporters have more influence, that this means that if you vote you become a target, people who decided not to vote grew 10 per cent since last elections.

ETA murdered a retired socialist politician who walked in the streets along with his wife and daughter a day before the elections. He was a poor man who worked in a highway booth and handed tickets to the drivers. ETA political wing’s major of the village of Arrasate-Mondragon refused to condemn the assassination.

For this reason all the rest of the parties who governed the town in coalition with this party (including radical left parties) determined not to back her position. This means that there will be soon be another mayor in this town formed by a coalition of the rest of the parties.

For your information I would like to highlight that the PNV (the moderate Basque party) is so scared about the ETA that in the last Basque elections, they could not find candidates for some towns. The Spanish socialist and conservative parties found candidates and, for instance, Mrs. Regina Otaola (Otaola is a Basque name and she is 100% Basque) is the current mayor of Lizarra.

All socialist and moderate candidates in the Basque Country have bodyguards. The man who was murdered two days ago had no right to have a bodyguard because he retired from politics so he was an easy target.

I also would like to inform you that the population of the Basque country is diminishing, the reason being that about 1/3 to 1/4 of 100% Basques have determined to run away from their homeland – the reason being that they want their children to live in a non-violent atmosphere so they have moved to other regions of Spain, for instance my brother-in-law Mr. Aguirre Ormaetxea (100% Basque).

For your information, the language spoken in Galicia is not a dialect of Portuguese, although both languages have a common origin. In the 8th century the Arabs invaded the entire Iberian Peninsula except the mountains of the north. Only the mountains of the North of Spain from Galicia to Catalonia were not invaded.

The original Spaniards (a blend of races and peoples united under the Roman Empire and highly sophisticated at that time, as opposed to people from Northern Europe) started to recover territory from North to South.

Little kingdoms such as Portugal, Castilla, Navarra, Leon and Aragon started to fight Arabs. Galicians joined the kingdom of Leon and Portuguese created the kingdom of Portugal.

Catalonia at that time was invaded by the Emperor of the Sacred Roman Empire, a German emperor of the tribe of the Francs who controlled France and Germany under the blessing of the Pope. The Catholic Church maintained the fiction that the Roman Empire was still alive.

Catalans expelled the Francs from the Hispanic Mark (the name of Catalonia at that time that included a province that nowadays belongs to France) and joined the kingdom of Aragon (a big kingdom that nowadays covers the regions of Aragon, Catalonia, Majorca and Valencia). The French Catalans do not have a Catalan department; Catalans have no rights as a minority in France.

The valley of Aran is part of the province of Lerida (Catalonia), although it is located in the Northern part of the Pyrenees Mountains. People from Aran speak an Occitan (Langue d’Oc) dialect similar to the one was spoken in all Provence before the Germanic tribes imposed French (the former Langue d’Oil that was spoken in Norther France).

Occitan is not spoken nowadays in France. The nationalist Catalan parties do not allow the Aranese language to be taught at school, and they force children to learn Catalan instead of their native language.

The Catalan and Spanish languages are spoken in all the Mediterranean coast from the Border of France to the region of Murcia (including the Balearic Islands). Catalan was never spoken in the current region of Aragon except in the border with Catalonia where children are able to learn the Catalan language thanks to the Aragon Government.

In the Regions of Majorca and Valencia, Catalan is freely spoken as well as Castilian. The people of these regions vote PP or PSOE – Spanish conservative or socialist parties. In the last general elections, the winning party was the Socialist Party, and nationalist CIU party obtained only 11 seats. Furthermore, the president of the Catalonian Parliament is also a socialist.

Catalan radical nationalists pretend to create a new country that would include the regions of Catalonia, Valencia and Majorca together with French Catalonia. French Catalans, Valencians and people from Majorca want to remain in Spain and dislike Catalan imperialism.

I would also like to point out that Guernica is a painting the Republican Legitimate Spanish Government asked Picasso (Picasso was born in Andalusia, namely in Malaga) to paint in order to show the world the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Once the painting was finished, it was shown for the first time in the Universal Expo of New York, namely in the Spanish pavilion.

The US government refused to return the painting to Spain once the war was over, and it remained in the Metropolitan until Franco died. I would like to point you out that around one million people died in the Spanish Civil War. Guernica was bombed by the Germans, but many other Spanish towns were also bombed and destroyed by the Russians.

I would like to highlight that neither the US nor the European democracies helped the Republican Government of Spain because they were scared about Hitler so they preferred not to see what it was happening except for Germany (who backed Franco) and Russia (who backed Republicans.)

Once the Civil War was over, many republicans ran away from Spain and stayed for years in concentration camps in France (my grandfather among others).

Many democrats felt that the US and the European democracies were acting in bad faith, so many people (like Hemingway) came to Spain to fight as volunteers with the Republic.

P.S. In a recent poll published by The Economist, you can read that only between 1/4 and 1/3 of Spanish Basques back independence. In the last elections to Spanish parliament Basque PNV party obtained only 300,000 votes in the Basque Country.


Filed under Art, Art History, Basques, Catalans, Economics, Ethnic Nationalism, Europe, European, Europeans, Fascism, Galician, History, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Internationalism, Italic, Language Families, Left, Linguistics, Marxism, Modern, Nationalism, Occitan, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, Romance, Socialism, Spain, Spaniards, Spanish, War, World War 1, World War 2

The Basque Independence Movement

Repost from the old site.

Although it is not a popular cause in the US, this blog strongly supports the armed struggle of ETA, the armed Basque nationalist Red front. The Basque cause is very poorly known in the US and probably in most of the rest of the world, hence, here is a bit of a primer.

The Basque people are probably the last remaining group of the original populations that inhabited Europe before the Indo-European (IE) invasion and conquest about 8000 years ago. The best theory indicates that the IE people probably came out of the southern Ukraine near the Black Sea.

Their first stop was Anatolia, and this is why the Hittite languages (ancient languages of Anatolia, or Turkey) are by far the most divergent languages in the IE language family.

In fact, I subscribe to a controversial theory that renames Indo-European as Indo-Hittite due to this deep split. For those who don’t know about the IE language family, IE, or proto-IE (PIE), was the mother tongue of most of the languages of Europe.

European languages in the IE family include English, German, French, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Welsh, Scots Gaelic, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Romanian, Moldavian, Albanian, Slovenian, Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Lithuanian and Latvian and some lesser-known ones.

A few tongues in Europe are non-IE, such as Finnish, Hungarian, Turkish, Estonian and Basque. Outside of Europe, we have some other IE languages in some pretty distant places, including Kurdish, Persian, Hindi, Urdu, Pashto, Sanskrit and a variety of languages related to them that are not well known by Westerners.

Apparently a divergent group of PIE left the PIE homeland and moved into the area of India, Iran and Afghanistan thousands of years ago.

Before the IE people spread out over Europe 8000 years ago, Europe was home to a variety of peoples who are very poorly known. Almost nothing is known about their civilizations (such as they existed), who they were, what they did, how they lived, what they ate, much less what languages they spoke.

The original inhabitants of Europe at this time weren’t Cro-Magnons, but they weren’t exactly Manhattan metrosexuals with cell phones either. After the IE people spread out across Europe, they apparently displaced, intermarried with, or wiped out almost all of the indigenous people of Europe.

One group that held out for a while were the Etruscans, residents of Italy. We actually have some retained some scraps of the Etruscan language somehow, but it doesn’t seem obviously related to anything else. The only other group that held out was apparently the Basques.

The theory that the Basques are the last remaining original inhabitants of Europe has long been a popular theory based on the fact that the Basque language is unlike any other language in Europe, or, really, in the world. Formally, Basque is considered to be a language isolate – not related to any other language.

However, I believe, based on very controversial theories, that Basque is related to some languages of the Caucasus (such as Chechen), an obscure group of Siberian tongues known as the Ket Family, an obscure language in far northern Pakistan called Burushaski, and also to the vast Sino-Tibetan family, of which Chinese is the most famous member.

Basque seems to me to be closest to various Caucasian languages. The latest genetic research has shown that the Basques have a blood type frequency that is divergent from all other populations in Europe. Interestingly, the closest people with this blood frequency are in the Caucasus Mountains.

In their mountain hideaways, the rugged Basques fought off many intruders and managed to keep a lot of other conquerors out of their hair with a hands-off attitude. Although the Romans conquered the area, they basically left the Basques pretty much alone as too much hassle, a common attitude of many conquerors that came through the region.

The Basques converted to Christianity along with the rest of Europe, and are known for their passionate, conservative Catholicism. With the consolidation of the Spanish nation, the question of how to deal with the Basques came up. For centuries, most governments in Spain and France preferred to pretty much leave the Basques alone.

During the Spanish Civil War in 1936-39, the Basque Region was a hotbed of Communism, Socialism, Anarchism and all varieties of Leftism. It was a major Republican stronghold. The Spanish Anarchists even “ruled” parts of the Basque country for part of this time, probably the only time in history that any humans have ever lived under anarchist “rule”.

The Basques fought very hard against fascism. Picasso’s famous “Guernica” painting is a painting of the Franco-Nazi air raid on the city of Guernica in the Basque Country, a raid that killed 6,000 people and outraged the world. A Basque Communist female fighter named “La Passionara” became quite famous.

The flood of Nazi guns was too much for the Republicans. The Republicans lost the war and fascism, in the persona of Generalissimo Franco, came to Spain. During World War 2, many Basques fought for the resistance against the Nazis, especially in France. The Basque region was known as a major redoubt and rear base for the French resistance.

When Franco came to power, a new chapter of history opened for the Basque struggle. Franco tried to consolidate Spain as no ruler ever had before. He demanded that all regional minorities adopt a “Spanish” mindset, language and loyalty. He ferociously tried to wipe out all vestiges of the Basque, Catalan and Galician languages and cultures.

Catalans speak a Romance language in between Spanish and French and live along the southern coast of Spain by the French border in and around Barcelona. The Romance family is a subfamily of IE that is derived from Latin. Romance includes Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Catalan, Sardinian, Corsican, Romansh (an obscure language in Switzerland) and some lesser-known tongues.

Galicians speak a dialect of Portuguese, believe it or not, and live along the rocky northern coast of Spain by the border with Portugal. Many Galicians are fishermen.

The Basque people resisted Franco for a while, but he put many of them in prison and really hurt the Basque movement. In 1959, a faction broke away from the Basque Nationalist Movement, formed the ETA, and took up arms.

They planted several bombs in Spanish cities that year. In 1968 , the ETA officially adopted armed struggle. The insurgency has been going on for 46 years now, though it is not as strong as it used to be.

Hardly any Americans realize the significant level of support for even the armed insurgency in the Basque country of Spain. As of a few years ago, there were regular street protests and even riots, as young nationalists run amok through the streets, smashing stuff and writing graffiti.

I have seen video footage in the past decade of very militant pro-ETA rallies in the Basqueland with large crowds of supporters milling around.

Many folks you would consider to be regular folks – middle-class people who dress well, drive nice cars and have good jobs – are strong supporters of even the armed Basque movement. It’s quite a shock to see dowdy-looking housewife types and middle-aged office workers with potbellies angrily waving banners supporting the ETA bombers.

Yet this is the reality of popular support for Basque nationalism, even the armed wing, in the Basque Country. Although Batasuna, the political wing of the ETA, was banned recently, another party took its place and garnered around 15-20% of the vote. Total support for complete independence in the Basque Country or Euskara, as they call it, is around 35-40%, or possibly higher, in my opinion.

Note: I just spoke to a German Communist friend of mine about the support level for the independence movement in Basqueland. Here is what he said: “Oh, I think almost all Basques support full independence. And even many Spanish migrants in Basqueland don’t really oppose the ETA or the independence movement.”

Note the presence of Spanish migrants who have moved into the Basque Country, mostly to take jobs. They are really the wild card in any poll about levels of independence support in Basqueland.

What is the struggle about, anyway? Well, a significant number of the Basque people (maybe almost 100% – see above) want independence from Spain.

Possibly a lesser number desire independence from France, but the struggle in French Basqueland is another matter and beyond the scope of this post. The Spanish government has always refused to hold a referendum on independence for Euskara, a key Basque demand.

The Czech Republic split from Slovakia, referendums have been held on independence in Scotland and Quebec, and yet Spain bucks the tide in the civilized world. The economy is surely a stickler. The Basque country holds much of Spain’s heavy industry, and how well Spain would fare economically after Basque succession is largely unknown. But it should at least be a subject of discussion, and Spain has put it out of limits.

As long as Spain refuses to provide a Basque referendum on independence, the Basque struggle, including probably the armed front, will go on. That’s all there is to it. Spain can end the insurgency tomorrow by opening peace talks with the ETA (Spain has never done this) and ultimately agreeing to hold a referendum on Basque independence.

An interesting sidelight to the Basque struggle is the role of women and feminism in the conflict. Some of the toughest ETA cadre have been women, often tougher than the men. And ETA male fighters, though nominally Marxist, have long been known to hold surprisingly conservative, Old World type views on the role of women in Basque society, opinions heavily tinged by conservative Catholicism.

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Are Spanish and Portuguese One Language?

Janie writes:

And Robert, your comment about ”There should be a link to the Spanish-Portuguese study. The rest is just native speakers guessing”, sounds like a weak and unfair attempt on your part to discredit the opinions of others. Just because you have an MA in Linguistics doesn’t make you an infallible expert on language matters. If anything, a person with a PhD in Linguistics would certainly seem more credible to me.

As a previous writer correctly pointed out, sometimes the ‘real’ labs are, as he put it, ‘the streets’. Much of my graduate sociology graduate research was conducted ‘on-the-streets’. When you mingle with the speakers of languages, in this case Portuguese and Spanish, you gain a very different perspective, certainly different than what your academic labs statistics show. For the record, I am a native Spanish speaker from Spain. In Europe, Portuguese and Spaniards have no trouble at all communicating with one another – we consider ourselves brothers, historically, culturally and linguistically. This is fact.

Additionally, I actually studied in New Jersey where there are tons of Spanish and Portuguese speakers. I have many friends who speak these two languages, and I have heard them conversing rather effortlessly with one another all my life. What are you going to tell me, that I’m imagining things? Please. You might be tempted not to post this, but please do the right thing and do post it. Judging from some of the earlier posts, I can assure you that there will be many future responders who will agree with many of the things I have said.

Yes, and many Spanish speakers around me told me flat out that “they can’t understand Portuguese.” On the Net, when I write in Spanish to my Brazilian friends who speak Portuguese, *they can’t really understand me.* I asked them if they speak Spanish, and they said, “Not really.” And in the article the commenter commented on, there are many reports of Spanish and Portuguese speakers not understanding each other very well.

That’s right, I do not believe that it is the typical experience of Spanish and Portuguese speakers in Europe to communicate effortlessly.

I understand that Spanish speakers can’t even understand Fala, and that’s Galician (Portuguese with heavy Spanish influence) with heavy Castillian influence on top of that. Spanish speakers say they “can’t understand a word” of Fala.

On a recent program on Galician TV, a variety of odd forms of Galician or Portuguese spoken in Spain were highlighted. All of these odd forms received subtitles on Galician TV. Brazilian Portuguese speakers told me that they often have a hard time understanding and especially reading European Portuguese. Speakers of the Portuguese dialect closest to Galician report that attempts to speak with Galician speakers on the border with Spain are so difficult that both parties resort to Castillian to be understood. And Ethnologue says that is one language. Portuguese speakers report that they can’t understand Barranquenho, an archaic form of Portuguese full of Castillian spoken on the border with Spain.

My understanding is that even on the border of Spain and Portugal, border villages can’t exactly communicate with each other.

Spaniards can’t even understand other forms of so-called Castillian which are said to be one language.

Spaniards cannot understand either Asturian or hard Extremaduran. In fact, Extremaduran speakers can’t understand Asturian, and some say that that is one language. The Castillian spoken by old Galician women is so odd and full of Galician that most Spaniards cannot understand it. Spaniards can’t even understand Aragonese very well. In fact, on opposite ends of Aragonese, Aragonese speakers can’t even understand each other. Spaniards, especially from the north around the Basque country, can’t understand a word of hard Andalucian. Some Manchengo speakers even say that they are not understand by speakers of Standard Castillian.

Asturian speakers can’t understand Galician, and both are almost Portuguese. Younger speakers of West Asturian Eonavian can’t even understand Galician, and Eonavian is the closest Asturian to Galician.

If Spaniards can’t even understand other forms of so-called Castillian, how the Hell can they understand Portuguese?

When people speaking different languages talk to each other, they can often negotiate a certain meaning by speaking more slowly, adjusting their speech, etc. That doesn’t mean that they are speaking the same language. I meet Italian speakers around here, tourists who are confounded by English. I speak Spanish to them, and we negotiate some sort of a meaning where they can figure out what to order or whatever. So Spanish and Italians are the same language? No.

The intelligibility test for Spanish and Portuguese was very good. The results came back 54% intelligibility. The truth is that with 54% intelligibility in a face to face encounter, you may be able to negotiate some sort of a meaning via the mechanisms I described above. Intelligibility studies produce proper and correct results.

If what you say is true, that Spanish and Portuguese speakers communicate “effortlessly” everywhere they go, then guess what? Spanish and Portuguese are the same language! You believe that?


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An Excerpt From the “Memoirs of Hadrian” by Marguerite Yourcenar

Repost from the old site.

For this post I am going to post a bit from a delightful book I just came across called The Memoirs of Hadrian, by Marguerite Yourcenar, a French novelist. It was translated from French to English in the 1950’s and 60’s by her lesbian live-in partner, Grace Frick. The English translation was published in 1963. Frick’s translation was widely praised.

This is a psychological and historical novel, not an actual memoir, and perhaps that is why it sounds so contemporary. This choice novel, a best seller in France 50 years ago, is just as contemporary as if it had been written yesterday. A film adaptation by John Boorman is due to start shooting in Italy in Spring 2006.

No matter how long ago they lived, the Romans were so much more like us than we ever want to believe. The fictional voice of Hadrian, the third of the five so-called “good Roman emperors”, so eloquent, learned and wise, could be that of a high-ranking military or political official in 2006.

I will intersperse this bit of treasure with my comments, which will be in bold. My comments will often try to relate this ancient events to contemporary events, to show how history lives within all of us, as we are all products of the past and molders of the future, and how thereby the past, present and future tend to merge via human agency, culture, genetics and tradition.

We are where we are and we do what we do in part because of history, whether we like it or not. And what we are and do now creates the future, whether we like that or not.

Hence, as Kurt Vonnegut notes in one of his books, referring to a obscure science fiction short story (I think, The Music of the Spheres by Stuart J. Byrne, but I may be wrong), the past, present and future are all simultaneously occurring right at this very moment.

But I digress…

This section refers to the Simon Bar Kokhba Rebellion (otherwise known as either the Second or Third Roman-Jewish War) amongst the Jews which took place in the Roman colonial province of Judaea (now Israel or Palestine) from 132-135 AD. There is also a passing reference to Jewish heroine Esther and the Jewish holiday of Purim, the celebration of which just passed us by.

Since this blog frequently discusses Israel, Jews, Palestine and the conflict in that region, and a recent post discussed Purim, I figure this excerpt has contemporary relevance, if only to replay the skipping record called “History repeats itself”.

Perhaps the word Judaean is more appropriate than the word Jewish in this context, since the Jewish religion at that time was quite different, in my opinion, despite what Zionist propaganda tells us, from modern rabbinical Judaism. Hence, I will use Judaean instead of Jew when describing this war. This is also a dig at Jewish primordialist volkisch Zionism, which I oppose).

Judaea was still majority-Judaean at this time, even after the failed First Judaean Revolt and the destruction of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem around 65 years prior that left around 950,000 Judaeans dead and many others sold into slavery.

Though this blog supports most anti-colonial rebellions as a general rule, it is interesting to see the Bar Kokhba Revolt through the eyes of a secular Roman. Hadrian felt the Judaeans were fanatics, and clearly they were.

Many Romans also felt that the Christians of that time were also fanatics, and in fact many of them were also. In the Romans’ eyes, all the Romans asked was for the Christians to swear allegiance to Rome and pay their Roman taxes, and the Christians refused to do either, especially the swearing allegiance part. Instead, they preferred to kill themselves.

The Romans thought these suicides were the acts of an insane religious fanatical death cult, in the same way that many of us nowadays feel that Muslim suicide bombers are part of a crazy fanatical religious death cult.

Many Romans were secular, believe it or not, especially the educated ones. They had their Roman gods, of course, but many Romans, especially the ruling classes, didn’t really believe in their own gods very much.

In 130, Hadrian visited the devastated city of Jerusalem, which had still not been rebuilt after the Romans laid it to ruins some 70 years prior. Hadrian felt sorry for the Judaeans and promised to rebuild the city.

But the Judaeans became angry when word got out that Hadrian was going to rebuild the city as a pagan metropolis instead of a Judaean holy city and that he was going to rebuild the Judaeans’ Second Temple as a pagan temple to the Roman god Jupiter. The new city was to be named Aelina Capitolina. The Judaeans regarded the excavation of the Temple to rebuild it as a pagan monument as a religious transgression.

In 131, Hadrian added insult to injury by banning circumcision, which the Judaeans practiced as an essential part of their religion. Hadrian viewed circumcision as primitive, barbaric, body mutilation.

The Jewish wise man Akiva convinced the Judaean religious leadership of the Sanhedrin to rebel against the Romans. A military hero named Simon Bar Kokhba was chosen to be the leader. The name means sun of a star in Aramaic. It is interesting that the Judaeans at that time were speaking Aramaic, not the Hebrew of primordialist Zionist fantasy.

Simon Bar Kokhba was also designated the Judaean Messiah. This designation deeply offended many Christians (who were still mostly converted Jews at this time) since they felt that Christ was the real Messiah. Consequently the Christians would not support the rebellion.

In 132, the rebellion began, and the Judaeans had learned from the two previous rebellions and fought well. The Romans were routed, and for 2 1/2 years a Judaean state called The Era of the Redemption of Israel was formed. Bar Kokhba designated himself Nasi Israel, or ruler of Israel.

The crazy, endless procession of animal sacrifice at the Judaean Temple was restarted, which, in my opinion, is an example of one of the most primitive forms of ethnoreligious barbarism known to mankind (Sorry, Jewish readers!).

From morning to evening, the line of Judaeans with animals to sacrifice would snake away from the Temple and the blood of the slaughtered beasts ran red like a river away from the building!

The Romans gathered up a huge army and fought for three years. In 135, Bar Kokhba was driven to a redoubt at Betar. The fortress of Betar was then overwhelmed and the Judaeans were defeated. 580,000 Judaeans lay dead.

Much later, the name Betar was adopted in the 1920’s by a Jewish proto-fascist organization in the Jabotinskyist tradition. In my opinion, the recrudescence of the Betar decades later became the Kach or Kahane Movement, although the original Betar Movement apparently still exists at a much reduced level, since I visited their website not long ago.

However, just to demonstrate the proto-fascist roots of the Israeli Likud party, let us note that current and former Israeli Likud leaders such as former Prime Ministers Yitzak Shamir and Menachem Begin, current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and former Defense Minister Moshe Arens are all former members of Betar.

The fact that the US media fawned and fawns over such crypto-fascist characters is profoundly disturbing and makes one question the extent to which our media believes in democracy, if such folks are regarded as role models.

Hadrian tried to wipe out the Judaean religion, which he felt was the source of repeated rebellions. He banned the Judaean calendar and Torah Law and had many Judaean scholars executed. He built Roman statues on the ruins of the Temple and burned the Judaeans’ sacred scroll.

Jewish scholarship moved to Babylonia (Iraq) where the Babylonian Talmud was written hundred of years later, from 400-700, laying the foundation for modern rabbinical Judaism. Judaism started to reject radicalism and messianism and became more cautious and conservative. This can be seen in the Talmud’s reference to Bar Kokhba as Ben-Kusiba, which means false prophet.

As the final insult, he renamed Judaea to Syria Palaestina, after the Judaeans’ ancient, now-extinct enemies, the Philistines. This is one silly reason that Jewish Zionists find the geographical term Palestine so infuriating and illegitimate. Do Zionists really get livid about events 1,870 years ago? Zionists do.

It is interesting that hysterical, racist Jewish Zionist promoters of settler-colonialism in Palestine may be entirely wrong about the name Palestine coming from the Roman renaming of Jerusalem as Syria Palaestina, even if ultimately the dispute is just more Zionist verbal subterfuge and sophistry.

For instance, in the 1100’s BC, Egyptians refer to the inhabitants of Palestine as “Peleset” or “sea-people” because around this time, there was a lot of settlement going on in Palestine via Mediterranean seafaring trade merchants. The Akkadian language from the same period refers to the Southern Syrian region as Palashtu.

In fact, most Egyptian and Akkadian references to the region, even during the Judaean period, refer to it as Peleset (Egyptian also refers to it as Deyen, probably a reference to Danaos of myth) or Palashtu, and less commonly as Israel.

Judaeans only started showing up in Palestine en masse around 900 BC. But according to crazy Zionist ethnonationalist volkisch liars, only the Jews have always been there! Go figure!

Following Hadrian’s order, Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina, turned into a Roman pagan city, and Judaeans were forbidden from entering the city. Most modern Jews regard the uprising as a horrible tragedy, and certainly many Judaeans lost their lives.

But at the time, Bar Kokhba was widely regarded as a religious fanatic akin to the way many of us see Osama bin Laden or Pat Robertson, even by many of his own people. As you can see in the text, most Jews outside of Judaea were not much interested in the rebellion, which they tended to view as fanatical and not in their interests.

This text shows another side to the Bar Kokhba rebellion, cleansed of its Zionist primordialist whitewashing, exemplified by Jabotinsky’s proto-fascist Betar above and David Ben-Gurion (the father of Israel) taking his name from one of Bar Kokhba’s generals.

This text comes to me via a friend who got it from a mailing list he is on. He reports that a “cultured Arab” typed the text below out from the novel and sent it to the list. We thank this Arab, whoever he may be, for this bit of manna from heaven.

Now – On to the Romans and the Israelites!

Memoirs of Hadrian

By Marguerite Yourcenar

Translated from the French, New York,1954-1963

Excerpts from pages 233-249 for the years 132-135 AD:

…Jewish affairs were going from bad to worse. The work of construction was continuing in Jerusalem, in spite of the violent opposition of Zealot groups.

[RL: The construction referred to is Hadrian's rebuilding Jerusalem as Aelina Capitolina, a Roman pagan city with a Roman pagan temple built in place of the destroyed Judaean temple. The violent opposition described is that of Judaeans who regarded the construction as a sin.]

A certain number of errors has been committed, not irreparable in themselves but immediately seized upon by fomenters of trouble for their own advantage.

The Tenth Legion Fretensis has a wild boar for its emblem; when its standard was placed at the city gates, as is the custom, the populace, unused to painted or sculptured images (deprived as they have been for centuries by superstition highly unfavorable to the progress of the arts),

[RL: Note that Hadrian regarded the Judaeans as uncivilized, backwards, fanatical barbarians, a view shared by many Romans.]

…mistook that symbol for a swine, the meat of which is forbidden them, and read into that insignificant affair an affront to the customs of Israel.

The festivals of the Jewish New Year, celebrated with a din of trumpets and ram’s horns, give rise every year to brawling and bloodshed; our authorities accordingly forbade the public reading of a certain legendary account devoted to the exploits of a Jewish heroine (Easther) who was said to have become, under an assumed name, the concubine of a king…

…of Persia (Iran), and to have instigated a savage massacre of the enemies of her despised and persecuted race. The rabbis managed to read at night what the governor Tineus Rufus forbade them to read by day; that barbarous story, wherein Persians and Jews rivaled each other in atrocities, roused the nationalistic fervor of the Zealots to frenzy (a feast of Purim).

[RL: Note the Roman view of Purim as a barbaric spectacle of bloodthirsty revenge, a view that, unfortunately, I share. Are the Jews to celebrate this blood-soaked festival, which promotes the notion that Jews and non-Jews are locked in eternal conflict until the end of time, forever? If so, what are the chances of reconciliation between Jews and non-Jews? Zero?]

Finally, this same Tineus Rufus, a man of good judgment in other respects and not uninterested in Israel’s traditions and fables, decided to extend to the Jewish practice of circumcision the same severe penalties of the law which I had recently promulgated against castration (and which was aimed especially at cruelties perpetrated upon young slaves for the sake of exorbitant gain or debauch).

[RL: Note that the Romans put circumcision on a par with castration! I certainly do not agree, being circumcised myself. I regard anti-circumcision activists as ill-advised kooks, and the whole movement has a wide streak of anti-Semitism running through it.

If you are interested in the subject, just search Google and discover all sorts of web pages devoted to the "horrors of circumcision".]

He hoped thus to obliterate one of the marks whereby Israel claims to distinguish itself from the rest of human kind.

I took the less notice of the danger of that measure, when I received word of it, in that many wealthy and enlightened Jews whom one meets in Alexandria (Egypt) and in Rome have ceased to submit their children to a practice which makes them ridiculous in the public baths and gymnasiums and they even arrange to conceal the evidence on themselves.

I was unaware of the extent to which these banker collectors of myrrhine vases differed from the true Israel. As I said, nothing in all that was beyond repair, but the hatred, the mutual contempt, and the rancor were so.

In principle, Judaism has its place among the religions of the empire; in practice, Israel has refused for centuries to be one people among many others, with one god among the gods.

The most primitive Dacians (Bulgarians) know that their Zalmoxis is called Jupiter in Rome; the Phoenician Baal of Mount Casius has been readily identified with the Father who holds Victory in his hands, and whom Wisdom is born; the Egyptians, though so proud of their myths some thousands of years old, are willing to see in Osiris a Bacchus with funeral attributes; harsh Mithra admits himself brother of Apollo.

No people but Israel has the arrogance to confine truth wholly within the narrow limits of a single conception of divine, thereby insulting the manifold nature of Deity, who contains all; no other god has inspired his worshipers with disdain and hatred for those who pray at different altars.

[RL: Here Hadrian hints at an age-old clue to the riddle of anti-Semitism - the chauvinism of the Jews. How did the Jews persevere as a minority for 2000 years amidst frequent oppression? It's the racism, stupid!

How about by preaching racist hatred against all non-Jews, banning most contact with Gentiles other than for business, and even building ghettos for themselves to keep their people from mingling with Gentiles?

How about by saying prayers throughout the day, every day, cursing the Gentiles in every way and wishing for their destruction, and instituting vicious penalties for Jewish women who had sex with Gentile men (like having their noses chopped off)?

Note that as late as 1800, any observant European Jew would refuse to eat or even have tea with any Gentile as a matter of custom. While this sort of behavior is a smart ethnocentric way of ensuring continuity of your race as a minority, it didn't exactly help the Jews to win friends and influence people, and to the extent it yet exists, it still doesn't.

Jewish separation and chauvinism is and was one of the major contributors to anti-Semitism, despite dishonest denials by Jewish scholars who specialize in and propagandize the mystification of anti-Semitism.]

I was only the more anxious to make Jerusalem a city like others, where several races and several beliefs could live in peace; but I was wrong to forget that in any combat between fanaticism and common sense the latter has rarely the upper hand.

[RL: Note here that Hadrian comes across as some sort of a Second Century universalist and multiculturalist!]

The clergy of the ancient city were scandalized by the opening of schools where Greek literature was taught; the rabbi Joshua, a pleasant, learned man with whom I had frequently conversed in Athens…

…but who was trying to excuse himself to his people for his foreign culture and his relations with us, now ordered his disciples not to take up such profane studies unless they could find an hour which was neither day or night…

[RL: Note again the ferocious condemnation by the Judaeans of those Judaeans who had extensive contact with Gentiles and the refusal of the Judaeans to assimilate to larger society in the tiniest way by studying Greek, which they regarded as a sin.]

…since Jewish law must be studied night and day. Ismael, an important member of the Sanhedrin, who supposedly adhered to the side of Rome, let his nephew Ben-Dama die rather than accept the services the Greek surgeon sent to him by Tineus Rufus.

[RL: Wow! Talk about fanaticism! No wonder the Romans were appalled by the Judaeans. The guy let his Judaean son die rather than have a "contaminated" and "unclean" Gentile doctor profane him by operating on his body!]

While here in Tibur means were still being sought to conciliate differences without appearing to yield to demands of fanatics, affairs in the East took a turn for the worse; a Zealot revolt triumphed in Jerusalem. An adventurer born of the very dregs of the people, a fellow named Simon who entitled himself Bar-Kokhba, Son of the Star, played the part of firebrand or incendiary mirror in that revolt.

I could judge this Simon only by hearsay; I have seen him but once face-to-face, the day a centurion brought me his severed head. Yet I am disposed to grant him that degree of genius which must always be present in one who rises so fast and so high in human affairs; such ascendancy is not gained without at least some crude skill.

The Jews of the moderate party were the first to accuse this supposed Son of the Star of deceit and imposture; I believe rather that this untrained mind was of the type which was taken in by its own lies, and that guile in his case went hand with fanaticism.

He paraded as the hero whom the Jewish people had awaited for centuries in order to gratify their ambitions and their hate; this demagogue proclaimed himself Messiah and King of Israel.

The aged Akiba, in a foolish state of exaltation, led the adventurer through the streets of Jerusalem, holding his horse by the bridle; the high priest Eleazar rededicated the temple, said to be defiled from the time that uncircumcised visitors had crossed its threshold.

[RL: Note again the Judaean association of Gentiles with uncleanness, contamination and profaneness. Gypsies also have this view of non-Gypsies, and similarly, they have also played the role of European minority from the East locked into endless conflict with non-Gypsies, as the European Jews from the East were locked into endless conflict with Gentiles].

Stacks of arms hidden underground for nearly twenty years were distributed to the rebels by agents of the Son of the Star; they also had recourse to weapons formerly rejected for our ordnance as defective (and purposely constructed thus by Jewish workers in our arsenals over a period of years).

Zealot groups attacked isolated Roman garrisons and massacred our soldiers with refinements of cruelty that recalled the worst memories of the Jewish revolt under Trajan; Jerusalem finally fell wholly into the hands of the insurgents, and the new quarters of Aelia Capitolina were set burning like a torch.

The first detachments of the Twenty-Second Legion Deiotariana, sent from Egypt with utmost speed under the command of the legate of Syria, Publius Marcellus, were routed by bands ten times their number. The revolt had become war, and war to the bitter end.

Two legions, the Twelfth Fulminata and the Sixth Ferrata, came immediately to reinforce the troops already stationed in Judea; some months later, Julius Severus took charge of the military operations. He had formerly pacified the mountainous regions of Northern Britain…

[RL: This is a reference to the last holdouts of the Celtic Empire, (in this case, Scotland) which once stretched across Europe from one end to the other, already at this time largely destroyed and scattered by Roman conquest.

The most recalcitrant of the Celts were in the far western edges of Europe, in the least habitable and most difficult-to-pacify areas, where to this day, the last holdouts of the Celtic languages Scots Gaelic, Irish Gaelic, Breton, and Welsh fight for survival and the Cornish and Manx languages rise from the dead.]

…and brought with him some small contingents of British auxiliaries accustomed to fighting on difficult terrain.

Our heavily equipped troops and our officers trained to the square or the phalanx formation of pitched battles were hard put to it to adapt themselves to that war of skirmishes and surprise attacks which, even in open country, retained the techniques of street fighting.

Simon, a great man in his way, had divided his followers into hundreds of squadrons posted on mountain ridges or placed in ambush in caverns and abandoned quarries, or even hidden in houses of the teeming suburbs of the cities. Severus was quick to grasp that such an elusive enemy could be exterminated, but not conquered; he resigned himself to a war of attrition.

The peasants, fired by Simon’s enthusiasm, or terrorized by him, made common cause with the Zealots from the start; each rock became a bastion, each vineyard a trench; each tiny farm had to be starved out, or taken by assault. Jerusalem was not recaptured until the third year, when last efforts to negotiate proved futile; what little of the Jewish city had been spared by the destruction under Titus was now wiped out.

Severus closed his eyes for a long time, voluntarily, to the flagrant complicity of the other large cities (which) now become the last fortresses of the enemy; they were later attacked and reconquered in their turn, street by street and ruin by ruin. In those times of trial my place was with the army, and in Judea….

In the spring of the third year of campaign the army laid siege to the citadel of Bethar, an eagle’s nest where Simon and his partisans held out for nearly a year against the slow tortures of hunger, thirst, and despair, and where the Son of the Star saw his followers perish one by one but still would not surrender.

Our army suffered almost as much as the rebels, for the latter, on retiring, had burned the forests, laid waste the fields, slaughtered the cattle, and polluted the wells by throwing our dead therein; these methods from savage times were hideous in a land naturally arid and already consumed to the bone by centuries of folly and fury.

The summer was hot and unhealthy; fever and dysentery decimated our troops, but an admirable discipline continued to rule in those legions, forced to inaction and yet obliged to be constantly on the alert; though sick and harassed, they were sustained by a kind of silent rage in which I, too, began to share….

In my dispatches to the Senate I suppressed the formula that is regulation for the opening of official communications: THE EMPEROR AND THE ARMY ARE WELL. The emperor and the army were, on the contrary, dangerously weary.

[RL: The leaders of Roman military campaigns, by tradition, began their missives and return speeches to the Roman Senate with the phrase, "The army and I are well." In this case, Hadrian left out this characteristic phrase. The fact that he did not say it is attested widely by historians, making it one of the most famous aspects of the Bar Kokhba Revolt.]

At night, after the last conversation with Severus, the last audience with fugitives from the enemy side, the last courier from Rome, the last message from Publius Marcellius or from Rufus, whose receptive tasks were to wipe up outside Jerusalem and to reorganize Gaza, Euphorion would measure my bath water sparingly into a tub of tarred canvas; I would lie down on my bed and try to think.

There is no denying it; that war in Judaea was one of my defeats. The crimes of Simon and the madness of Akiba were not of my making; but I reproached myself for having been blind in Jerusalem, heedless in Alexandria, impatient in Rome.

[RL: Hadrian traveled widely.]

I had not known how to find words that would have prevented, or at least retarded, this outburst of fury in a nation; I had not known in time how to be either supple enough or sufficiently firm.

Surely we had no reason to be unduly disturbed, and still less need to despair, the blunder and the reversal had occurred only in our relations with Israel; everywhere else at this critical hour we were reaping the reward of sixteen years of generosity in the Orient.

Simon had supposed that he could count on a revolt in the Arab world similar to the uprising that had darkened the last years of Trajan’s reign; even more, he had ventured to bank on Parthian (Persian) aid.

He was mistaken, and that error in calculation was causing him slow death in the besieged citadel of Bethar: the Arab tribes were drawing apart from the Jewish communities; the Parthians remained faithful to the treaties.

The synagogues of the great Syrian cities proved undecided or lukewarm, the most ardent among them contenting themselves with sending money in secret to the Zealots; the Jewish population in Alexandria, though naturally so turbulent, remained calm; the abscess in Jewish affairs remained local, confined within the arid region which extends from Jordan to the sea; this ailing finger could safely be cauterized, or amputated.

And nevertheless, in a sense, the evil days which had immediately preceded my reign seemed to begin over again….The evening courier had just informed me that we had reestablished ourselves on the heap of tumbled stones which I called Aelia Capitolina and which the Jews still called Jerusalem; we had burned the Ascalon, and had been forced to mass executions of rebels in Gaza.

[RL: The Ascalon was the Judaeans' sacred scroll.]

If sixteen years of rule by a prince so pacifically inclined were to culminate in the Palestine campaign, then the chances for peace in the world looked dim ahead. I raised myself on my elbow, uneasy on the narrow camp bed.

To be sure, there were some Jews who had escaped the Zealot contagion: even in Jerusalem the Pharisees spat on the ground before Akiba, treating that fanatic like an old fool who threw to the wind the solid advantages of the Roman peace, and shouting to him that grass would grow from his mouth before Israel’s victory would be seen on this earth.

But I preferred even false prophets to those lovers of order at all cost who, though despising us, counted on us to protect them from Simon’s demands upon their gold (placed for safety with Syrian bankers), and upon their farms in Galilee.

I thought of the deserters from his camp who, a few hours back, had been sitting in my tent, humble, conciliatory, servile, but always managing to turn their back to the image of my Genius.

Our best agent, Elias Ben-Abayad, who played the role of informer and spy for Rome, was justly despised by both camps; he was nevertheless the most intelligent man in the group, a liberal mind but a man sick at heart, torn between love for his people and his liking for us and for our culture; he too, however, thought essentially only of Israel.

Joshua Ben-Kisma, who preached appeasement, was but more timid, or more hypocritical (than) Akiba. Even in the rabbi Joshua, who had long been my counselor in Jewish affairs, I had felt irreconcilable differences under that compliance and desire to please, a point where two opposite kinds of thinking meet only to engage in combat.

[RL: We see here the ancient complaint against the Jews of "dual loyalty", which obviously is and was often based on verifiable fact (much more so in the past than today).

The Jews have been ferociously ethnocentric for centuries, to the point of seeing non-Jews as agents of contagion and contamination, and even banning Jews from the tiniest non-business relations with Gentiles.

That this mindset would make most Jews (at least until around 1800 or so, and in some places and/or during certain times afterwards) more loyal to the tribe than to whatever despised state they were minority residents in at the time seems as clear as air.]

Our territories extended over hundreds of leagues and thousands of stadia beyond that dry, hilly horizon, but the rock of Bethar was our frontier; we could level to dust the massive walls of that citadel where Simon in his frenzy was consummating his suicide, but we could not prevent that race from answering us…

I raised my head and moved slightly in order to limber myself. From the top of Simon’s citadel, vague gleams reddened the sky, unexplained manifestations of the nocturnal life of the enemy. The wind was blowing from Egypt; a whirl of dust passed like a specter; the flattened rims of the hills reminded me of the Arabic range of moonlight.

I went slowly back, drawing a fold of my cloak over my mouth, provoked with myself for having devoted to hollow meditations upon the future a night which I could have employed to prepare the work of the next day, or to sleep.

The collapse of Rome, if it were to come about, will concern my successors; in that eight hundred and forty-seventh year of the Roman era my task consisted of stifling the revolt in Judea and bringing back from the Orient, without too great loss, an ailing army. In crossing the (camp’s) esplanade I slipped at times on the blood of some rebels executed the evening before.

I lay down on my bed without undressing, to be awakened two hours later by the trumpets at dawn.

End of the excerpt.

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