This question is prompted by me watching the Gomorra TV series, where (I assume) most of the characters speak Neapolitan. I was curious on how intelligible the dialect (as spoken by the characters there) is to speakers of a more 'standard' Italian. Or, phrased differently: would someone from a different region of Italy need subtitles to understand what the characters were saying?

  • Welcome to Italian.SE!
    – Charo
    Nov 29, 2017 at 8:20
  • I'm from Bologna and I've seen that movie without subtitles... I didn't understand nothing!!
    – Matte.Car
    Nov 29, 2017 at 8:25
  • 2
    @Matte.Car You mean you didn't understand anything, right?
    – Koz Ross
    Nov 29, 2017 at 8:33
  • 1
    @Matte.Car: “I didn't understand nothing!!”, as in “I didn't understand anything” or “There is nothing I didn't understand”?
    – DaG
    Nov 29, 2017 at 8:35
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    @KozRoss: If you mean the TV series rather than the movie, could you please specify so in the question, rather than just in the link? (I don't if there are significant differences among the two, actually.)
    – DaG
    Nov 29, 2017 at 8:49

3 Answers 3


I am from Bergamo (Lombardy) and I find Neapolitan one of the hardest dialects to understand.

If I listen carefully I can get the meaning of most phrases (or, at least, I can deduce it), but I can't understand many of the words. Without subtitles, I can definitely understand Spanish better than Neapolitan.


I tried to watch this trailer and, even if I understand some sentences here and there, I would hate to watch this without subtitles (I grew up in the north east of Italy, near Venice).

I have problems even watching the Sicilian scenes in the Godfather without subtitles (it's a different regional language, but both are really far from my own).

  • I am from Naples, and I understand the trailer, but it is difficult to understand not only because of the dialect, but because the background noise is too loud. Oct 29, 2022 at 15:40
  • I think that they speak neapolitan, at least this neapolitan is credible in that social environnement. But, of course, it doesn't exist only one type of neapolitan, the neapolitan of Eduardo De Filippo is not the neapolitan of La Nuova compagnia di Canto popolare ( a more ancient neapolitan), to make some extreme examples. I didn't see Gomorra, but it is possible that in films neapolitan is watered down to make it more understandable. Oct 29, 2022 at 16:17
  • Anyway, the actors are all really neapolitan and able to speak neapolitan, it is difficult an actor can speak that way without being neapolitan. Oct 29, 2022 at 16:55

I would say that barring good familiarity with the Neapolitan dialect, understanding the TV show Gomorra is very hard even for native speakers.

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