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Endangered Languages
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Distribution of Romance Languages

This section of our domain deals solely with the endangered and unique speeches (languages and/or dialects) of Istria that are classified under the Italic and Slavic branches of the Indo-European Language Tree, and not the widely-spoken national or official languages of the three countries that currently govern over the divided Istria which are:


National / Official Languages


Croatian and Italian


Italian, French, German and Slovenian


Slovenian, Hungarian and Italian

We will include materials in the three official languages solely for general informational purposes and in the context of materials that are relevant to the long-standing linguistic heritage of Istria.

Over time, we will be expanding these sections with additional articles and materials that may show a diversity in the research findings and/or points of view. [See disclaimer.] We invite you to help us develop these pages by sending us articles, books, photographs, and other textual and/or visual materials from reliable sources. To send your contributions or for further information, please write to:

Our primary focus shall be on the languages and/or dialects that have existed in Istria for centuries and which remain in daily use, some of which are presently in danger of extinction within Istria. The following list includes those as well as three Italic languages of the historically-related areas that are now extinguished:

  • Istriot (Istro-Romance / Istrioto), in Rovinj (Rovigno) and Vodnjan (Dignano), formerly in Fažana (Fasana) - seriously endangered;
  • Istro-Romanian (Istrorumeno / Istroromeno / Istrorumunski) in a few remaining towns north and south of Ciceria Mountains - seriously endangered;
  • Istro-Venetian (Istrian), various subdialects throughout Istria;
  • Mugliasano, a variant of Ladin, in Muggia - extinguished [2];
  • Tergestino, a variant of Ladin, in Trieste - extinguished [3];
  • Veklesun (Vegliotto), a variant of Dalmatian, in Island of Krk (Veglia) - extinguished (June 6, 1898) [4] - see Matteo Giulio Bartoli.
  • Cakavian (Cakavski; Cacavo), in Labin (Albona) and Raša (Arsa) valley region;
  • Chakavian (Čakavski; Ciacavo), in balance of Istria (except possibly Buzet, Peroj, etc.)l
  • Kajkavian, in Slovenian Istria;
  • Liburnian, in Lovran (Laurana), Opatija (Abbazia) area;
  • Savrin (Šavrinsko narečje; Savrino), in Slovenian Istria;
  • Stokavian (archaic), in Peroj (Peroi) - [1]
  • [others?].

General topics:

News articles (contemporary):


Other links:

  • European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (Explanatory report) -
  • European Minority Languages -
  • ETHNOLOGUE - Languages of the World - Languages of Europe (Country Index) -
  • Foundation for Endangered Languages -
  • Linguistics -
  • Minority Electronic Services (directory of resources on minority human rights and related problems of the transition period in Eastern and Central Europe) -
  • The Conservation of Endangered Languages -
  • The International Clearing House for Endangered Languages -
  • The Linguist List -
  • UNESCO Red Book of Endangered Languages - Europe -
  • UNESCO - MOST Clearing House - Linguistic Rights -
  • Bertrand Auerbach, Les races et les nationalités en Autriche-Hongrie, Félix Alcan (Paris, 1898) -


  1. There is an oasis of archaic Stokavian dialect being spoken in the town of Peroj that derives from the ten families that were imported there in 1657 from Crmnica, Montenegro. [Goran Filipi, "Entomonimi nell'istrorumeno moderno" in Processi di convergenza e differennziazione nelle lingue dell'Europa medievale e moderna, Forum (1999), footnote 4.]
  2. Muglisano (spoken in Muggia), derived from the Ladin language, was supplanted by Venetian (date?) [Goran Filipi, "Entomonimi nell'istrorumeno moderno" in Processi di convergenza e differennziazione nelle lingue dell'Europa medievale e moderna, Forum (1999), p. 209.]
  3. Tergestino (spoken in Trieste), derived from the Ladin language, was extinguished in the early part of the second half of the 19th century. [Goran Filipi, "Entomonimi nell'istrorumeno moderno" in Processi di convergenza e differennziazione nelle lingue dell'Europa medievale e moderna, Forum (1999), p. 209.]
  4. Veklusun (Vegliotto) was extinguished at the death of its last speaker, Antonio Udaina, b. Burbur, when he died in a dynamite explosion on June 16, 1898.

Disclaimer: The articles and materials provided in our pages for each of the above languages are written by individuals who are not necessarily trained and qualified linguists, researchers or historians. Therefore, we do not endorse the accuracy of their writings or imply that anyone is the final authority on the subject. 

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Created: Friday, July 16, 1999; Last Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Copyright © 1998, USA