How Many Languages Are Spoken in Rome?

By Robert Palmer

When it comes to languages, Rome is a melting pot of diversity. As the capital city of Italy, Rome is not only home to the Italian language but also embraces a multitude of other languages spoken by its residents and visitors. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of languages in Rome.

Languages in Rome

Italian, being the official language of Italy, naturally takes center stage in Rome. It is the primary language used in government institutions, schools, and everyday conversations. However, due to globalization and migration patterns, many other languages have found their place in the city.

The Roman Dialect

One unique aspect of linguistic diversity in Rome is the presence of the Roman dialect. The dialect, known as “Romanesco,” is a variation of Italian that has its roots in ancient Latin and has evolved over centuries. While it is not considered a separate language, it has distinct features that set it apart from standard Italian.


English has become increasingly prevalent in Rome due to its status as an international language. Many Romans speak English fluently or have basic knowledge of the language, especially those involved in tourism or international business.

Tourist Languages

Rome being a popular tourist destination means that several other languages are also commonly heard throughout the city. These include but are not limited to:

  • Spanish: Due to historical connections between Italy and Spain, Spanish speakers can be found easily.
  • French: As neighboring countries with close cultural ties, French tourists and expatriates contribute significantly to the French-speaking population.
  • German: Germany being one of Italy’s largest tourism markets ensures that German speakers are also well-represented.
  • Mandarin Chinese: The rise of Chinese tourism has led to an increase in Mandarin-speaking locals and businesses catering to this demographic.

Immigrant Languages

Rome, like many cosmopolitan cities, hosts a diverse range of immigrant communities, each bringing their languages and cultures. Some prominent immigrant languages spoken in Rome include:

  • Arabic: Reflecting the significant Arab population, Arabic is widely spoken in certain neighborhoods.
  • Albanian: Due to historical migration patterns from Albania, Albanian is spoken by a substantial community in Rome.
  • Bengali: The Bangladeshi community has brought the Bengali language to Rome.
  • Russian: Russian speakers have been residing in Rome for decades, contributing to the linguistic diversity of the city.

In addition to these languages mentioned above, there are numerous other languages spoken within smaller communities throughout Rome. These include Romanian, Polish, Portuguese, Tagalog, and more.

The Importance of Language Diversity

The rich linguistic tapestry of Rome not only adds vibrancy to the city but also plays a crucial role in promoting cultural understanding and inclusivity. It allows residents and visitors alike to connect with different communities and fosters a sense of unity within diversity. Language diversity also enables businesses to cater to a broader customer base and enhances international relations.

In conclusion, Rome is a city where multiple languages coexist harmoniously. From Italian and Romanesco to English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Albanian, Bengali, Russian and beyond – each language contributes to the vibrant fabric of Rome’s linguistic landscape.

So, the next time you visit Rome, embrace the opportunity to explore its diverse linguistic tapestry and engage with its multilingual residents!