Triestine dialect

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Native toItaly
Language codes
ISO 639-3
A speaker of the Triestine dialect

The Triestine dialect (Italian: triestino, Triestine: triestin) is a dialect of Venetian spoken in the city of Trieste.

Many words in Triestine are taken from other languages. As Trieste borders with Slovenia and was under the Habsburg monarchy for almost six centuries, many of the words are of German and Slovene origin. Due to extensive emigration to the city in the late 18th and 19th centuries, many words also came from other languages, such as Greek and Serbo-Croatian.


After the expansion of the Republic of Venice, from the Middle Ages onwards, Venetian gradually asserted itself as a lingua franca in parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and in the Adriatic Sea, eventually replacing or strongly influencing several coastal languages such as the dialects of Trieste and Istria and also the Dalmatian dialects of Zara (Zadar) and Ragusa (Dubrovnik). In Trieste, this resulted in the gradual replacement of the former Tergestine dialect (related to Friulian within the Rhaetian subgroup of Romance languages) and of the neighbouring Slovene dialects by a Venetian-based language. This phenomenon began to take place first among fishermen and sailors, while the traditional bourgeoisie continued to speak Tergestine until the beginning of the 19th century. By that time, Tergestine was virtually a dead language, and the period of Modern Triestine had begun.


Several prominent authors have used the Triestine dialect, such as Umberto Saba and Virgilio Giotti. Giotti, a prominent Italian dialect poet, is credited as the greatest Triestine dialect poet.[1][2]

Sample vocabulary[edit]

Triestine Venetian Dalmatian Italian English
piròn (from the Greek πιρούνι-piroúni) piròn pirun forchetta fork
carèga (from the Greek καρέκλα-karékla) cadréga katriga sedia chair
scovàze scoàsse škovace immondizia rubbish
Brisiòla Brisiòla bržola braciola di maiale, cotoletta cutlet
mona, crazy person monàda, stupid-crazy act of one person mona, crazy person monàda, stupid-crazy act of the person mona, crazy person monàda, stupid-crazy act of one person
  1. vagina (sost.)
  2. stupido (agg.)
  1. vagina (n)
  2. silly (adj.)
impizàr impissàr accendere to light
lugàniga lugànega luganige salsiccia sausage
spagnoléto spagnoléto španjulet sigaretta cigarette


  1. ^ The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature. "Virgilio Giotti". Oxford Reference. Archived from the original on 14 May 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  2. ^ Modena, Giovanna. "Schönbeck, Virgilio". Enciclopedia Italiana. Archived from the original on 13 August 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2021.