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The Romance languages (also sometimes called Romanic languages) are a language family in the Indo-European languages. They started from Vulgar Latin (In the Latin Language, "vulgar" is the word for "common," so "Vulgar Latin" means "Common Latin"). The biggest Romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian.
|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)
They are called "romance languages" because they originate from Latin, the language spoken by the western Roman Empire. Their grammatical inflection system is simplified; especially they have lost most of the complex case structure of classical Latin.
The area where the Romance languages are spoken in Europe, corresponds well with 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 The Greek language superseded Latin in the Eastern Roman Empire.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 the Moldovan language.
Spanish is the widest used Romance language, then comes Portuguese, and then French.
Spanish is mainly spoken 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 Republic of Moldova.
List of Romance languagesEdit
Western Romance languagesEdit
Iberian Romance languagesEdit
Family tree of Romance languagesEdit
|Classical Latin||Vulgar Latin|
|Continental Romance||Sardinian dialects|
|Italo-Western Romance||Eastern Romance|
|Western Romance||Italo-Dalmatian||Balkan Romance|