Corsican is a Romance language spoken by about 341,000 people. Most of the speakers live in Corsica, though there some in Paris and Marseilles and also in Bolivia, Canada, Cuba, Italy, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, the USA and Venezuela. Corsican has no official status in Corsica and French is the official language there.
Corsican is closely related to Italian, particularly to the dialect of Tuscany, and there is considerable mutal intelligibility between these languages. Corsican is essentially an oral language and as a result, there is considerable regional variation, particularly between the north and south of Corsica.
Corsican first appeared in writing towards the end of the 19th century though the spelling system wasn't standardised until the 1970s. An orthography proposed by P. Marchetti and D. Geronimi was generally accepted though it isn't always followed. In older Corsican texts there is considerable variation in spelling.
Corsican is used at all levels of education in Corsica. In most cases it is taught as a subject but a few schools use it as a medium of instruction along side French. Corsican courses for adults are widely available throughout Corsica, as well as in some cities on the French mainland.
The regional service of State radio (RCFM) broadcasts several programmes and a number of news bulletins in Corsican every day. One private radio station broadcasts entirely in Corsican and several volunteer stations, such as Radio Calvi Citadelle, Voce Nustrale and Radio Corti Vivu, broadcast programmes in Corsican. The regional TV station, France 3 Corse, broadcasts at least two hours of programmes in Corsican per week.
There is no daily or weekly newspaper entirely in Corsican though some French-language papers do occasionally publish articles in the language. Corsican is also often used for headlines in papers or magazines.
A increasing number of books is published in Corsican annually. There are also a number of Corsican language magazines, often sponsored or produced by political parties or cultural associations, and an increasing number of theatre productions.