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Beautiful & Useful Piedmontese Words and Phrases

Piedmont is a beautiful region in Northern Italy surrounded by mountains and the sea. The capital of Piedmont is Turin, and the region even has its own Romance language, Piedmontese. Also known as Piemontèis or Lenga Piemontèisa, and in Italian, Piemontese, Here are some beautiful and useful Piedmontese words and phrases!

Best views of Turin, Piedmont, Italy: Palazzo Madama

A brief history of the Piedmontese Language

Located to the West of the boot-shaped country, Piemont is one of the twenty Italian regions and the area has played a significant role in shaping the history of Italy.

While Italian is the main language spoken in the Piedmont area, many inhabitants speak Piedmontese as a second language, meaning that there are around two million speakers of the language today.

The word ‘piedmont’ derives from the Latin phrasead pedem montium,’ meaning at the foot of the mountains. This is predominantly thanks to the Piedmont region’s position at the base of the alps. Turin itself is surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountains offering stunning views onto the city and beyond.

Although some scholars class Piedmontese as a dialect (and it has never been officially classed as a language), the difference between a language and dialect is nuanced and complicated in inextricable ways which are too lengthy to discuss in a blog post.

Linguistically speaking, the terms ‘language’ and ‘dialect’ are most used in terms of politics and so Piedmontese can also be thought of as a language in its own right. After all, there’s no clear-cut way of distinguishing where one language cuts off and another begins…

Best views of Turin, Piedmont, Italy: Mole Antonelliana

As a result, close relatives of Piedmontese include the Gallo-Italic languages of Lombard (yes, like the Lombardy region!), Ligurian (just like Liguria), and Emilio-Romagnolo (from the Emilia-Romagna region)

Today, Piedmontese is spoken by over two million people and contains twenty-four characters, based loosely on the Latin alphabet. Piemont is a Romance language and also related to French, Occitan, and Catalan.

The first documentation of Piemontese dates back to the 12th-Century when it was recorded in a very similar fashion to the Occitan language. Since then, the use of the Piedmont language has continued prolifically in literature, science and novels.

Use of Piedmontese language today

Now, there are even over 10,000 Wikipedia articles written in Piedmontese! On the UNESCO list of endangered languages, Piedmontese is classed as ‘definitely endangered’.

One curious grammatical structure which is neither found in Italian nor French, but in Piedmontese, is that of ‘the verbal pronoun’. This part of the language is conjugated in such a way that the pronoun becomes part of the verb itself.

In Piedmontese, you would say something along the lines of ‘I I drink’, rather than just ‘I drink’. There are also several words that exist Piedmontese and cannot be directly translated into Italian by just one word.

If you’re looking for even more inspiration about the boot-shaped country, then be sure to check out our best travel quotes about Italy. And if you need to know more information before heading to the South of Europe, check out our top Italy travel tips.

Itinerario Superga, Strada dei Colli,

Here are fifteen beautiful and useful Piedmontese words and phrases:

Adiù | Hello

Ciào | An equivalent to the Italian ‘ciao’ (informal)

Grassie/ Mersì  | Thanks

Nen/ Pa | No

Arvëdse/ Arvèisse  | Goodbye

Cerea | Good evening/ an equivalent to the French ‘salut’

Italia | Italy

Tòr | Name for Torino’s football team

Ùa / uva | Grapes

Fiamengh (fiamenga) | Very beautiful (feminine version in brackets)

l’has-to? | Why? (singular interrogative question)

Come mai? per qual motivo? | Why? For what reason?

che ora ch’a l’é? | What’s the time?

Im ciamo… | My name is…

Esse un barbis | To be an expert in (literal meaning ‘to be a moustache’)

Beautiful & Useful Piedmontese Words and Phrases. Piedmont , Italy, has its own Romance language, Piedmontese. Also known as Piemontèis or Lenga Piemontèisa.

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Frank Gado

Monday 7th of June 2021

Good heavens! Am meravi Tirin is sourhwest of Milan. Ny parent were from the Monferrato -- my father from Fubine (Fibini0, my mother from Castel Nuovo Belbo (Castel nov belb). Piedmonteis was my fist language.I'm 84 and still peak it--but with fewer and fewer people, ansd less and less often. Though I am A.merican,I feel I am among the last of my Piedmontese nationality.

Dominique C St-Cyr

Thursday 20th of May 2021

The language is called Frula. To include the pronoun with a verb is common in Italian/Spanish, it's a reflexive form. You don't shower. You shower yourself... ect... They are called kingdom languages because these regions weren't Italy or France or Switzerland... They had their own entities. I believe they are about 95 Latin kingdom languages. Lombard is one, Languedoc (for occitane tongue), Catalan... each regions have a distinct dialect as you mentioned. Thank you for shining a light on the Beauty of it all.

Fabrissi

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Dear Sophie, thank you for your promotion of our beautiful language, just allow me to signal some errors:

l’has-to? | is not why but "do you have" Come mai? per qual motivo? is Italian, in Piedmontese it should be noted "Coma mai? për qual motiv?

Celia

Thursday 18th of July 2019

I just made that. Delicious. Does anybody remember the Piemontese for the chamois animal?

Cat Loren

Wednesday 2nd of January 2019

My grandmother from Torino used to call a blue chees and butter spread “brus”. Not sure if spelling. Have you heard of that!

Fabrissi

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Where is Torino?

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