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|Originally Southern Europe and parts of Northern Africa; now also most of America. Official languages of half the countries in Africa and parts of Oceania.|
Countries where Romance languages are official (dark orange) or national/secondary (light orange)
The Romance languages (also sometimes called Romanic languages) are a language family in the Indo-European languages. They started from Vulgar Latin (in Latin, "vulgar" is the word for "common" and so "Vulgar Latin" means "Common Latin"). The most spoken Romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian.
They are called "Romance languages" because they originate from Latin, the language spoken by the Western Roman Empire. Their grammatical inflection system has been simplified and lost most of the complex case structure of classical Latin.
The area that the Romance languages are spoken in Europe is mostly the extent of the Western Roman Empire. The Greek language superseded Latin in the Eastern Roman Empire. Latin survived in Romania, whose language, Romanian, is a Romance language. In Moldova it is sometimes called Moldovan.
Demographics[change | change source]
Spanish is spoken mainly in Spain and Latin America. Portuguese is mostly used/spoken in Brazil, Portugal and parts of Africa. French is spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and in some areas of Africa. Romanian is spoken in Romania and Moldova.
List of Romance Languages[change | change source]
Italo-Western Romance[change | change source]
Italo-Dalmatian[change | change source]
Western Romance languages[change | change source]
Gallo-Iberian languages[change | change source]
Iberian Romance languages[change | change source]
Other[change | change source]
Family tree of Romance languages[change | change source]
|Classical Latin||Vulgar Latin|
|Continental Romance||Sardinian dialects|
|Italo-Western Romance||Eastern Romance|
|Western Romance||Italo-Dalmatian||Balkan Romance|