Tabarkinois spoken by more than 85% of the inhabitants of Carloforte, but it is not recognized as a "language" by the Italian law that protects minority languages. Luckily, Tabarkino does not need protection.  Ancient and unusual, impossible to hear spoken anywhere else in the world apart from the neighboring town of Calasetta, Tabarkino is a language similar to that in use among the Pegliesi settlers of the sixteenth century, ancestors of people from Carloforte, with some Arabic, Sicilian and French influence.

Carloforte was founded by a colony of Pegliesi settlers who had moved to Tabarka, a Tunisian island, around 1540 to engage in coral fishing.  From there, almost two centuries later, they transmigrated to San Pietro Island.

The Tabarkan language is not only ancient and diverse, but on the island of San Pietro it is spoken by everyone, regardless of age and social level.  Even at public meetings of the City Council you can intervene in dialect, and at weddings performed by civil ceremony the bride and groom can (and many do) pronounce the formula for the fateful “I do” in Tabarkino. Furthermore, children are taught Tabarkine lullabies and rhymes at home and in school.  The elementary schools in Carloforte have even created a spelling book for schoolchildren. From a linguistic point of view, Tabarkino has unique spelling rules, vocabulary, and grammar.


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