Italian and Sicilian: Language Differences

Make me like a diva! Meet Monica and Irene. They’ve known each other for a while. What, two, three years? Yes! A few years. Yeah a few years. How do you say, “Pleased to meet you?” How would you say, “Where are you from?” How would you say, “Where’s the bathroom?” How do you say, “Would you like to dance with me?” How would you say, “Sorry!”? How would you say, “One language is never enough.” With all these differences, what are some key phrases that are identical? How do you say “Benvenuta”? That would be “Welcome to Sicily.” [How do you say, “I love you”?] Yeah, “I love you” is the same. Most importantly, how would one say That’s good! That’s very good. Thank you!

100 Replies to “Italian and Sicilian: Language Differences

  1. Come fa la tipa siciliana a chiamarsi "aireen"?
    Evidentemente non è stata nemmeno in grado di pronunciare il proprio nome.

  2. I was born in massachusetts but my dads from naro moms family is from auronzo in the north..they spoke plain italian when together but dad speaks in sicilian dialect at home..neither could i pick up..strangely german with its similarities to english works best for me and luckily since its a euro business language im able to communicate with family over in sicily with german. Occasionally ill meet a northerner wholl insist im greek which angers the way yes all the people i know make their own sauce from their own gardens and blindfolded i can tell aunt roses from aunt marys and so england weather is killing me and the climate in sicily is superb.i often joke im genetically programmed for it. Its funny how on a 90 degree day all the other guys remark how im barely sweating compared to them..well if you experience the sicilian sun youd know why..your jeans dry in 20 minutes after a wash! All my arthritic pain left and the food was simple but indescribably delicious..i can only pray that as my dad still had italian citizenship when i was born that i can go back and live there in my retirement..if not then put my ashes in naro soil.

  3. Non vi rendete conto di quanto siete ridicoli… l'italiano è una lingua letteraria, il dialetto siciliano non esiste, bensì, migliaia di dialetti, tra il palermitano e il catanese c'è un'abisso, quindi di cosa parlate…un Siciliano.

  4. Itialian language then you have the hillbillies of italy the Sicilians, different wording short cuts chop the laguages like in the USA the south sound chops the good Amer tougue Cheers

  5. Americans dont know that Sicilian is a very different language from Italian. We use many different words. And because Sicily is a big Island there are 12 different variations of Sicilian languages.

  6. English: "Where ist the bathroom"
    Sicilian: "Unn'è un bagnu"
    In Tunisia we say: "weeno el bano" or "weeni beat el bano"
    A big love to our brothers and sisters from the other side of the sea

  7. ok people, the reason Sicilian have a problem with being called Italian is that they are not treated as italian citizens. which resulted in the mass migration to america, argentina, etc…
    Sicilian were left to fend for themselves by the state…that sentiment only grew worse after WW1 and after WW2 sicily was broken..people kept leaving to survive….people were left with nothing everything was bombed to shit and that sentiment still lingers…when i was a kid i saw the corruption first hand…unfinished bridges and buildings…broken pipelines, no water…money was gone they said…untill undercover journalism exposed politicians doing business with the underworld in stealing the budget meant for infrastructure….that bridge is still unfinished and same with building and that shit still happens to this day…and that was back in the 80's….now with this migrant crisis bs….the people's patience has run out.

  8. The offical standard version of Italian is from Florence. From Great Britain its RP English. From Spain its Castilian. From China its Mandarin, etc. Lots of variations, idioms , slang, accents and dialects live around the standard versions. Even in little Denmark there are definite variations of language depending upon which part of the country you live in. The USA is no exception and Americans do have a something called "Standard English"except everyone in the USA thinks that they do speak Standard English. In this video, if they had spoken with a woman from Sardinia or Italian Tyrol she would probably sound more or less different from both of the women in the video. "Italian" and "Sicilian" are not 2 different languages, in the same sense that Russian is a different language from Spanish., for example.

  9. You have to know the history. Italy has only been a united country since the mid 1800’s. Before that there was no national identity and no national language. Their identity was established by their region or paese. At the time of our great migration to America and other places (1880-1920) Italy had only been a country for a short while and most of the peasant Italians could have cared less. They considered themselves Abbruzze or Napolitano or calabrese or Siciliano, not Italian. The different languages were different. None was ever considered the real Italian until the national government, which most Italians didn’t even recognize or care about decided to make the language of Florence the national language. This meant about as much as the quadratic equation meant to the majority of the southern Italians, who loathed and ignored any form of government anyway.

  10. Lot of butthurt italians in the section comments. Italy as a country was created only in 1860. But the whole of the south (from Abruzzo to Sicily) was already united in 1130 (first as political union between the Kingdom of Naples and the Kingdom of Sicily and then as a single entity known as Kingdom of the Two Sicilies). All the local languages you find in these parts of Italy ARE NOT Italian dialects, but are variations of either the NEAPOLITAN or the SICILIAN language. Abruzzese, Molisano, Pugliese, Lucano and Neapolitan itself belong to the first group. Calabrese, Salentino and Sicilian itself belong to the second group. Now, Neapolitan and Sicilian are LANGUAGES, not dialects of Italian. The same way Catalan is a LANGUAGE and not a dialect of Spanish. Some Neapolitan words are more similiar to Spanish and Catalan than they are to standard Italian (a female child in Italian is "bambina", in Neapolitan is "nenna", in Catalan is "nena", in Spanish is niña). The same goes for Sicilian which unlike Neapolitan also had some Arab influence before 1130. So the video is entirely correct. Saying "language differences between Italian and Sicilian" is not an attempt against the "italianess of Sicilians". Today Sicilians are Italians, everybody knows that. It's just comparing two different languages, as you would Spanish and Catalan, without implying that Catalans aren't Spanish. Sure some Sicilians don't feel Italians and some Catalan don't feel Spanish, but that's a political issue, leave it out of this.

  11. Sicilians are italians and Sicily is one of the regions of Italy. The sicilian (siciliano) is a dialect as the lombardo, romano, napoletano, etc.
    Here in Italy every region has its own dialect.
    Since 1861 every italian speaks italian language and the single dialects are used as a second and informal language in every region.

  12. I’m Sicilian but I just wanted to say Italian and Sicilian dialect/language (whatever you wanna call it) is different. Italian is more Latin and Sicilian is from many different languages and Latin but very similar but different to italian. Sicilian nationality wise are italian ,but my family tells people that they are Sicilian not “I’m italian” ,but yes both are italian ,but culture is a little different. genetically though Sicilians are somewhat different from Italians. 🙂

  13. My guess is that after decades of mass television, radio, inter net, travel, and higher education, Sicilian is a dialect of standard Italian. 50 Years ago, however, they were distinct, but related languages.

  14. Così però date una idea sbagliata agli stranieri che vogliono visitare l'Italia. La Sicilia fa parte dell'Italia e il siciliano è una inflessione regionale dell'italiano. Non esiste un tipo solo di siculo parlato ma ne esistono vari. Il Trapanese è simile al Palermitano ma non è uguale perché non è una lingua standardizzata come l'italiano. Ogni città ha il suo dialetto anche se nelle più grosse questa cosa si è andata a perdere per via delle migrazioni lavorative, permettendo, oggi più di un tempo, la diffusione dell'italiano "corretto".

  15. A lot of people here are saying that Sicilians are Italian.
    Yes, they are now because of political reasons
    However, Sicily had been its own state ruled by many other countries and empires that the people are ethnically different.
    You wouldn't say, everyone in South America except Brazil is 100% Spanish. Just like you wouldn't say all people from Brazil are 100% Portuguese.

    Syracuse and the rest of Sicily were sacked by the Romans in the 2nd Punic War. A thousand years later, it was conquered by Muslims, and shortly after, the Vandals. Oh and Vikings in the middle ages.

    Palermo ( Capital of Sicily ) is the most conquered city in the world. Just to give you an example their blood has been mixed.

  16. Cazzo raga!!la Sicilia si è staccata dal'italia!? Cavolo allora il siciliano non è piu un dialetto ma una lingia? Uau😂😂

  17. Sicilian is not a dialect it’s a language older than Italian and formed the basis of modern Italian

  18. Sicilians are ethnic italians. All italians except for thoose belonging to a linguistic minority are ethnic italians. Sicilians are not a linguistic minority. People who live in sicilian speaking areas are not a linguistic minority. People who live in lombard speaking areas are not a linguistic minority.

  19. To the most italians of the North , sicilians are not even considerd as Italians . Historically Sicily was a kingdom and geographically Sicily is closer to Africa than to Rome.
    I love the harmony in the sicilian language , over the years is less spoken, I hope it won't disappear one day .

  20. Sicilian (sicilianu; Italian: siciliano), also known as Siculo (sìculu) or Calabro-Sicilian,[4] is a Romance language spoken on the island of Sicily and its satellite islands.[4] It is also spoken in southern Calabria (where it is called Southern Calabro),[4][5] specifically in the Province of Reggio Calabria,[6] whose dialect is viewed as being part of the continuum of the Sicilian language.[7] Central Calabria, the southern parts of Apulia (Salentino dialect) and Campania (Cilentano dialect), on the Italian peninsula, are viewed as being part of the broader Far Southern Italian language group (in Italian italiano meridionale estremo).[8]

    Ethnologue (see below for more detail) describes Sicilian as being "distinct enough from Standard Italian to be considered a separate language"[4] and is recognized as a "minority language" by UNESCO.[9][10][11][12] It has been referred to as a language by the Sicilian region.[2] It has the oldest literary tradition of the modern Italian languages. The end!

  21. Every region has it own dialect. So most Italians can speak 2 languages. They learn proper Italian in school and their dialect at home.. problem is when children of Italians come to USA, they have a problem….they speak dialect at home but English at school, so when they meet up with other Italians in America, they are ashamed to speak because they realize they can't "switch " to proper Italian. I am siciliano and went through this…

  22. Italians adopted the dialect of Tuscany. The Sicilans kept their original dialect. If I offend anyone; I'm sorry but I have to tell it like it is. There were many dialects in Italy but Northern Italy chose to adapt the Tuscan traditions and dialect.

  23. It seems the words of Sicilian come from different dialects of Latin, not the same dialects of Latin that Standard Italian derive.

  24. Cicilians and Calabrians are Greeks in blood. Lately DNA test shows that 85%Greek blood runs in their veins What happen to the greeks who live for thousand years in those lands?,they are still there,thats why they say Greco Italiano una faccia una raccia.

  25. I see a lot of confusion in this video. Italy is a country composed of different cultures, it was unified in late 1800s and early 1900s. Before the unification, this country was inhabited by many ethnic groups, each one with a culture, cuisine, habits, and a language with Latin roots. These languages were called vulgar Latins. One of these vulgar Latins was the Florentine which was chosen to became the Italian language. The vast majority of Italians didn't speak any Italian until about 30s-40s, they just spoke their local language which is now wrongly considered to be a dialect of Italian. During 40s Italians started speaking Italian language together with their local one. There isn't such thing as ''Italian and Sicilian'', as if all Italians just spoke Italian while Sicilians were different people, with their separate language. Sicilians go to an Italian school where they study Italian, which is compulsory all over the country's schools. Monica isn't just Italian, she was definetely born in a region of Italy where its inhabitants identify themselves with the name of their area, for example I'm from Veneto, I'm Italian but I'm also Venetian. I've never met Italians who just identify themselves as just Italians. Each one of the local Italian languages are considered from UNESCO to be minority languages in danger, each one of them has a grammar, and these languages are mutually unintelligibile each other, in most cases.

  26. I'm Sicilian. I'm NOT Italian. I'm 6 feet tall, with reddish blonde hair, and hazel eyes. I have a Ph.D., and I'm a retired college professor. Northern Italians think I'm Northern Italian. They tell me what they think of Sicilians.

  27. we're all italians and thats it .even if you are italian from brazil or argentina or france or canada or america or switzerland or uruguay germany we are all italians ,have some pride

  28. The sicilian language was born more time ago that italian so ancient sicilian can't be derived from italian.
    The same we can say to the other minorithy languages ( today almost dead ) that today we call " dialect".

    When the italian language was only a project we all " italians" had own language! Today italian kill his old parents languages, more words, way to say things are dead!!

    tecnologies makes this few years of "italian conquest" the most influential of all the past!!
    if they had not been tecnologies like computer, television, radio, books etc we would have talked again Sicilian!!

    Today Sicilian is dead.
    there are few things that still alive!

    we can say that:

    ancient Sicilian was a language!

    and we can say that modern sicilian is a dialect ( in sense of derivation ) because the ancient language is forgot!! so modern sicilian today use a lot of italian words in sicilian accent!

    for example:
    ancient sicilian: buffettu
    modern sicilian: tavulu
    italian: tavolo

    ancient sicilian: muarra
    modern sicilian: armadiu

    ancient sicilian: abaju
    modern sicilian: lampada

    ancient sicilian:pistiari
    modern sicilian:mangiari

    Sicilian is a dialect Only today because italian become our language and absorb sicilian

    a lot of ancient sicilian words have ben absorbed by italian.

  29. I think it probably is " 'u bagnu" and not "un bagnu", since 'u should be the shortening of lu (wich in italian is il, infact)

  30. Vabbè, ma che vuol dire? Innanzitutto non esiste il dialetto siciliano, ma il palermitano, il catanese, il siracusano, il messinese, e potrei andare avanti all'infinito: questo qual è? E poi, in Italia, ci sono più dialetti che comuni, e quindi, se voleste fare un discorso del genere con tutta l'Italia, dovreste fare decine di migliaia di video. Se poi volessimo parlare anche delle differenze di usi e costumi all'interno dell'Italia stessa, potremmo scriverci un'anciclopedia: basterebbe vedere la varietà della nostra cucina regionale. E queste differenze, secondo me, sono alla base della bellezza dell'Italia, perchè non c'è un solo paesaggio, bello ma monotono, ma qui c'è tutto e di tutto, dai paesaggi alle persone, perchè le diversità fortificano, e l'integrazione unisce.
    Però l'idea che in Italia si parli in tanti modi differenti, per uno straniero, può essere folcloristica. Questo video lo ritengo simpatico, come le sue protagoniste.

  31. Mainland Italians bitching about Sicilian being recognized as the separate language that it is, and blaming the Americans for it, as Europeans typically do. Lmao.

  32. Wow, the comments 🙃😂
    My grandparents are from Bari, they speak Barese, a dialect I believe.
    I love Sicilia and my friend Marco speaks Italian, Arabic, Sicilian and English.
    When he went over words with me, some Sicilian words were closer to Arabic than Italian.
    That's all I got 😂
    I love Italy and Sicilia 💛

  33. In realtà la Siciliana direbbe le stesse cose in italiano a meno che non fosse con la famiglia. Vivo in Sicilia e tutti parlano l'italiano qui.

  34. Sicilian dialect comes (together with old Greek language) straight from hellenic, ancient time. Sicilians should be Proud of this amazing heritage, they should learn and care to keep the dialect alive! To me Sicily is the most beautiful place on Earth and I share my best feelings about the place with all my friends (I am from Poland).

  35. Sono mezza messicana e mezza siciliana nato a Brooklyn, New York, da genitori immigrati. Mi è stato insegnato a parlare spagnolo e siciliano a casa da quando era bambina,anche in inglese (grazie a mamma e papà). All'asilo, ho frequentato un corso ESL per migliorare il mia inglese perché stavo mescolando tre lingue a scuola, e nessuno mi ha capito. Per esempio; la tv è stata forte nella mia classe e ho detto alla mia insegnante di "metterlo in piano"
    Più tardi in 4 grado, ho preso lezioni di italiano per due anni a scuola. La morale della storia è dopo 27 anni passati
    su questo pianeta, sembra tutto uguale a me ora. Capisco bene italiano e siciliano fino a quando un vero siciliano inizia a parlare velocemente, mi perdo nella traduzione. Oh, e non farmi nemmeno iniziare con il linguaggio spanitaliano che ho inventato. Ogni lingua è bella, Ora voglio aggiungere francese, portoghese, arabo e Nahuatl alla mia lista perché riesco a capirli a causa di somiglianze. Oh e spero di scrivere questo in italiano, perché sarebbe stato uno spreco di 2 anni di classe italiano,lol.
    In ogni caso, Viva México, Viva Italia e Viva Sicilia
    No mamen guey, Cin Cin!

  36. A lot of people on here seem to be, angry at Americans but we did not make this video. And we do understand the importance of knowing the difference between location, language, and ethnicity.

  37. I'm Sicilian first we have to say Sicily it is been colonised from different culture as Greeks, Phoenicians, Arabs, Normans, Latins, Bourbons. And other thing to say in Sicily we have different dialects most commons are in a main city for examples people from Catania and Palermo are totally different sounds, and different word they can understand some words but it is totaly different , and many small towns we have the words change a bit some words a total different like for example in my town Caltanissetta we say a bad person "biliciaru" the town close to us just 2 km far way San Cataldo Town they say" Patatiddu" but just some word in a small area the sound will became a bit different but most of the word are similar. But different part of Sicily we speak different dialects in Palermo it is different than Messina , and Messina it is different than Catania and etc, it is impossible know all the dialects I'm always found out new words , Amazing

  38. Seeing this I thought about the Dennis Hopper And Christopher Walken scene from True Romance 😂😂

  39. American of Sicilian-Italian ancestry here. All this pseudo Science about Sicilians, Southern Italians, Central Italians, Northern Italians, etc, etc. Politically, many older Sicilians felt they got screwed over when they first joined Girabaldi's arm to liberate Italy from France. He was from Genoa, or actually in Nice, which was then Italy. The Piedmont region Italians wanted to control Italy so they cut a deal with Germany to attack France and then to end the conflict. The Piedmont faction ceded Nice to France under the condition they leave Italy. I don't remember what deal the Piedmont Italians cut with the Germans so by the time Garibaldi and Southern Italian forces got to Rome, the French were gone and Piedmont and the King congratulated him but they already took power. In the immediate Reunited Italy, the South was seen as a source of Labor the Piedmont leaders did not give the South any autonomy, that is where the Political issues started. Today, they are not as bad Sicily is 5% [8th of the 21 regions) of the total GDP, but it is also home to 5 million people, many of them farmers, so per capita not as high.

    Now in terms of Ethnicity This first paper looks at the DNA of Greeks today vs. Greeks from medeival times (Byzantine civilization). They find continuity. In addition, Figure 2 documents in the lower right, Peoples from the Levant in a Cluster (Syria, Jordan, Lebanese, etc), then a break, then Greeks Cluster, Sicilians cluster next to Greeks and 2 Italian mainland populations, Tuscans and Venetians cluster right next to Sicilians. Moving left, the Mainland Italian samples next closest Cluster are Spainards and French, not Germans, and certainly not Nordic Swedes, Danes and Norwegians. Antiquity
    Related to the post above, here is a peer reviewed academic study indicating modern Greeks are in continuity (DNA wise) with ancient Greeks.

    Finally for all individuals of Italian descent, wherever you come from, here is the most comprehensive study I have read on Genetics of Italian populations. Figures 1 and 2 provide key findings. They are 1) Sicily and Southern Italy form a Cluster, 2)Central Italy forms a cluster, but actually is the most diverse Cluster because one Central Italian Province, Aquila clusters with Southern Italy and Sicily, 3)Northern Italy form a Cluster. Sardinia clusters by itself next to Southern and Central Italy. For those of you who read Genetic Studies, Sardinians are almost exclusively from the Early European Farmers who spread into Southern Europe, then rest of Europe maybe 10,000 years ago from the Levant. Outside of Italy, again Greeks cluster next to Sicily-Southern Italians and Central Italians. Consistent with the paper above, Northern Italians closest cluster outside of Italy are Spaniards and French. As you move left from Southern Italians-Sicily, you see a break then you See Cypriots, then another break before you see a cluster of peoples from the Levant. Starting with Northern Italian cluster, as you move Right you see where other European Populations cluster.

    So Sicilians, like all other Italians are genetically Southern European. Northern Italians may be a little closer to Western Europeans, while Southern Italians and even Central cluster close with Greeks. With all that said, I am an American of Sicilian-Italian ancestry. DNA wise, 89% Italian, 7% Caucus region (unassigned) and trace regions of 2% Scottish_Irish (likely due to Normans bringing forces down from Northern France and British Isles to liberate Sicily from the Saracens, and 2% Middle East (unassigned), probably from the Levant.

  40. this is too funny….. I am 2nd generation Sicilian American but learned proper Italian in college and my grandparents speak a Sicilian dialect to each other…. and therefore cannot understand me… to further confuse everyone here

  41. Sono Siciliana(Catania)e non parlo siciliano, no anzi lo uso quando mi arrabbio😅Ad ogni modo W la Sicilia anche se vivo a Roma!

  42. Sicilians are arabs mixed with French and Greek. Not even close and don't even look Italian. Island mixed genetic defect.

  43. Guys, If you would like to study Napoletano (Neapolitan/Napuletano) We have created a new series on our Youtube Channel that gives lessons on the beautiful Language of Naples (Napoli) The only one on Youtube! Check us out… Thanks for the upload 🙂 Have a great week all!

  44. I'm still learning Italian but the sentence "Would you like to dance with me?"
    Shouldn't it be Ti piacerebbe or vorresti? instead of Vuoi?
    just curious

  45. As a Romanian who's told Italian is my closest language relative, I say it isn't. Sicilian is. Our Roman ancestors were Sicilian goat farmers by trade that retired in Dacia after serving in the Roman army. Of course, Italy fails to admit Sicilian as a different language.

  46. I would like to say something: we Italians all speak Italian but EVERY REGION OF ITALY HAS HIS DIALECT! For example I am Italian and Sicilian (because I live in Sicily, one of the Italian regions) In the video they also had to write the region of origin of the lady on the left. And also for those who write 'this is not Sicilian' I would like to specify that the Sicilian changes depending on whether you live in eastern or western Sicily

  47. Very cool! My mom’s side is from Sicily. I was always told that Sicilian is a bit different than Italian. Unfortunately I never learned.

  48. Sicily is not Italy, different language, different DNA, different features, different traditions, different story, totally different. Sicily will be independent once more!

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