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The economic might and relatively advanced development of Tuscany at the time (Late Middle Ages) gave its language weight, though the Venetian language remained widespread in medieval Italian commercial life, and Ligurian (or Genoese) remained in use in maritime trade alongside the Mediterranean.

The increasing political and cultural relevance of Florence during the periods of the rise of the Banco Medici, Humanism, and the Renaissance made its dialect, or rather a refined version of it, a standard in the arts.

These dialects (as they are commonly referred to as) were derived from Vulgar Latin over the course of centuries, evolving naturally unaffected by formal standards and teachings.

These Languages of Italy are not truly "dialects" of Standard Italian, evolving independently (and alongside) of the predecessor of Standard Italian.

Italian is known as the language of music because of its use in musical terminology and opera.

Its influence is also widespread in the arts and in the luxury goods market.

Italian was also one of the many recognised languages in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Italy has always had a distinctive dialect for each city because the cities, until recently, were thought of as city-states. As Tuscan-derived Italian came to be used throughout Italy, features of local speech were naturally adopted, producing various versions of Regional Italian.

Italian has been reported as the fourth or fifth most frequently taught foreign language in the world.

Its development was also influenced by other Italian languages and to some minor extent, by the Germanic languages of the post-Roman invaders.

The geographic distribution of the Italian language in the world: blue indicates where Italian is the main language; large Italian-speaking communities are shown in green dots; light blue indicates areas where the Italian language was used officially during the Italian colonial period. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

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