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My family comes from Torella del Sanio, in the Campobasso province of Molise. I learned standard Italian in school and I have difficulty understanding my family when they speak the dialect.

Is there a name for this dialect, or any way to find out more about its history and how its grammar and vocabulary differ from standard Italian?

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First of all you need to clarify whether your relatives belong to any linguistic minority in Molise (Croatian? Albanese?): in that case that would not be Italian at all. Otherwise, chances are that your relatives speak Molisan dialect, probably Campobassan dialect.

You can read something very basic here and here: it is probably a starting point (since the differences with Italian are very many, I will not summarise them here, please refer to the sources cited at the links above).

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My family is ethnic Italian. Thank you for the links - I'll take a look. – Bill Jul 14 '14 at 1:12

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