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Occitan language

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occitan, lenga d'òc
Native to France, Spain, Italy, Monaco
Native speakers 2,000,000  (1999)[1]
Language family
Early forms:
Old Occitan
  • Occitan
Official status
Official language in  Spain (co-official language in the comarca of the Aran Valley)
Regulated by Conselh de la Lenga Occitana/CLO (Occitan Language Council);[2] also: Congrès Permanent de la Lenga Occitana[3]
Language codes
ISO 639-1 oc
ISO 639-2 oci
ISO 639-3 oci
Linguasphere 51-AAA-g & 51-AAA-f
Occitania blanck map.PNG

Occitan (English pronunciation: /ˈɒksɪˌtæn/;[4] French pronunciation: [ɔ'tɑ̃]; Occitan: [utsiˈta]),[5] known also as Lenga d'òc by its native speakers (Occitan: [ˈleŋɡɔ ˈðɔ(k)]; French: Langue d'oc), is a Romance language spoken in southern France, Italy's Occitan Valleys, Monaco, and Catalonia's Val d'Aran: the regions sometimes known unofficially as Occitania.

The Occitan language took a different path from Latin than any of the official languages in the countries mentioned above. It is sometimes called Lenga d'òc (language of "Oc", French: Langue d'oc) because the word for yes is òc, as opposed to oil (oui) or in other languages. Latin had no word for yes, and this is one way to distinguish among Romance languages.


The dialects of Occitan are:

  • Alpine (also named Vivaro-Alpine or Provençal Alpine)
  • Auvergnat
  • Gascon (including Aranese spoken in Val d'Aran, Catalonia, Spain)
  • Languedocien
  • Limousin
  • Provençal

Some of these dialect names were used in the past to name the whole language (Provençal, Limousin, Gascon).


  1. « De fait, le nombre des locuteurs de l’occitan a pu être estimé par l’INED dans un premier temps à 526 000 personnes, puis à 789 000, » ("In fact, the number of occitan speakers was estimated by the French Demographics Institute at 526,000 people, then 789,000") Philippe Martel, "Qui parle occitan ?" in Langues et cité n°10, December 2007.
  2. CLO's statements in Lingüistica Occitana (online review of Occitan linguistics).
  3. Congrès permanent de la langue occitane / Congrès permanent de la lenga occitana - Un nouvel organisme de régulation de l’occitan au service des usagers et des locuteurs
  4. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 7th edition, 2005.
  5. Regional pronunciations: occitan = [u(t)siˈtaⁿ, u(t)siˈtɔ, ukʃiˈtɔ].

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