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They are a subgroup of the Italic languages in the Indo-European language family. The six most widely spoken Romance languages by number of native speakers are Spanish (489 million), Portuguese (250 million), French (77 million), Italian (67 million), Romanian (24 million), and Catalan (4.1 million).Form ("to sing")LatinNuorese SardinianItalianInfinitivecantārecantare [kanˈtare̞]cantare [kanˈtare]Past participlecantātumcantatu [kanˈtatu]cantato [kanˈtato]Gerundcantandumcantande [kanˈtande̞]cantando [kanˈtando]1SG INDICcantōcanto [ˈkanto̞]canto [ˈkanto]
- What Was Vulgar Latin?
- Fabulare Romanice
- Simplifications of Latin
- Today's Romance Languages and Locations
- Resources and Further Reading
Romans spoke and wrote graffiti in a less polished language than they used in their literature. Even Cicero wrote plainly in personal correspondence. The simplified Latin language of the common (Roman) people is called Vulgar Latinbecause Vulgar is an adjectival form of the Latin for "the crowd." This makes Vulgar Latin the people's language. It was this language that the soldiers took with them and that interacted with native languages and the language of later invaders, particularly the Moors and Germanic invasions, to produce the Romance languages throughout the area that had once been the Roman Empire.
By the 6th century, to speak in the Latin-derived language was to fabulare romanice, according to Milton Mariano Azevedo (from the Spanish and Portuguese Department at the University of California at Berkeley). Romanicewas an adverb suggesting "in the Roman manner" that was shortened to "romance"; whence, Romance languages.
Some of the general changes to Latin were the loss of terminal consonants, diphthongs tended to be reduced to simple vowels, the distinctions between long and short versions of the same vowels were losing significance, and, together with the decline in terminal consonants that provided case endings, led to a loss of inflection. The Romance languages, therefore, needed another way to show the roles of words in sentences, so the relaxed word orderof Latin was replaced with a fairly fixed order. 1. Romanian: One of the changes to Vulgar Latin made in Romania was that an unstressed "o" became "'u," so you may see Rumania (the country) and Rumanian (the language), instead of Romania and Romanian. (Moldova-)Romania is the only country in the Eastern European area that speaks a Romance language. At the time of the Romans, the Dacians may have spoken a Thracian language. The Romans fought the Dacians during the reigns of Trajan who defeated their king, Decebalus. Men from the Roman Province...
Linguists may prefer a list of the Romance languages with more detail and more thoroughness. This comprehensive list gathers the the names, geographic divisions, and national locations of major divisions of some modern Romance languages around the world. Certain romance languages are dead or dying.Azevedo, Milton M. Portuguese: A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge University, 2005.Lewis, M. Paul, editor. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 16th ed., SIL International, 2009.Ostler, Nicholas. Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin. HarperCollins, 2007.
Other Romance Languages. Although they may not be on every romance languages list, the following languages are considered to have romance language roots: Aragonese. Aromanian. Asturian. Arpitan. Catalan. Corsican. Emilian.
- What Are The Romance Languages?
- How Many People Speak A Romance Language?
- Why Are They called Romance Languages?
- Where Do The Romance Languages Come from?
- How Similar Are The Romance Languages?
Deciding what’s a “language” and what’s a “dialect” is a tricky business, because languages really exist on a spectrum, rather than in separate boxes. Therefore, there isn’t full agreement as to exactly how many Romance languages there are. Ethnologuebreaks the Romance languages down into 44 different languages. The most spoken Romance languages are Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian, which combined are spoken by over 90 percent of those who speak a Romance language. The full list of Romance languages is pretty long: Aragonese, Aromanian, Asturian, Arpitan, Catalan, Corsican, Emilian, Extremaduran, Fala, French, Cajun French, Friulian, Galician, Istriot, Italian, Jèrriais, Judeo-Italian, Ladin, Ladino, Ligurian, Lombard, Minderico, Mirandese, Napoletano-Calabrese, Occitan, Picard, Piedmontese, Portuguese, Romagnol, Romanian, Istro Romanian, Megleno Romanian, Romansh, Campidanese Sardinian, Gallurese Sardinian, Logudorese Sardinian, Sassarese Sardinian, Shuadit, Sicili...
Getting an exact count of how many people speak a Romance language is a tad difficult. If you tally together the population of every Romance language, you get 1.2 billion speakers in the world. This doesn’t take into account that there’s overlap in these populations, however. There are many, many multilingual people in Europe, so this inflates the numbers a bit. If you only count the top five languages by user, however, the number is still over 1.1 billion, so it’s a pretty safe bet that about one-seventh of the population alive today speaks a Romance language.
The word “romance” — with both a capital and a lower-case “r” — has a lot of meanings in English. Like me, you might have thought at one point that they were called Romance languages because they’re the most romantic languages. The root of the word “romance,” however, goes back to the Latin rōmānicus, which meant “Roman.” The language of Rome was Latin, and all of the Romance languages are descended from Vulgar Latin, so the name fits.
The one factor that unites all of the Romance languages is that they’re all evolved from Vulgar Latin. Like “Romance,” the word “Vulgar” here doesn’t mean what you’d normally think when you hear “vulgar.” It comes from the Latin vulgus,meaning “common people,” and so Vulgar Latin refers to the many dialects of Latin spoken by regular people. This contrasts with Classical Latin, which was the standardized version of the language that is still used in certain religious and scientific contexts today (though arguably, it’s a dead language). Because of the expansiveness of the Roman Empire, Vulgar Latin was spoken all across Europe in the first few centuries CE. While the governmental empire began to collapse in the 5th century, the language was still spread all around the continent. As the communities started to close off from each other and individual kingdoms sprang up, the languages drifted apart and started sounding more distinct. The languages spread even further apart with the var...
It can be tempting to hope that if you know one Romance language, you’ll basically be able to understand any of the others. But can Romance language speakers really understandeach other more easily than other languages? The answer is yes — but a conditional yes. Depending on which Romance language you learn, you may have an easier or harder time understanding other Romance languages. Part of that has to do with the linguistic “distance” between various languages. Learning Brazilian Portuguese, for example, will prepare you to understand the Portuguese spoken in Portugal, despite there being some differences between the two. French and Spanish are more clearly different, but there’s still enough mutual intelligibility that a French speaker and a Spanish speaker could probably have a rudimentary conversation. We won’t go into exactly how mutually intelligibleeach Romance language pair is here, but it’s very likely that learning one of them will at the very least make learning other Ro...
Spanish is one of the world's most widely spoken languages. It tops our list as one of the most romantic languages because of its passionate, emotive sound. The Spanish language originated from Latin, the language of the Romans. Because of this, Spanish is classified as a Romance language. This classification has little to do with the actual characteristics of the Spanish language, but most Romance languages are indeed considered romantic because of how they sound. Spanish has softer consonants and longer vowels than Germanic and Slavic languages. This helps speakers to make their words flow together more easily. The Spanish language also requires verb conjugations. This means it's easier to create rhymes in Spanish, with so many different sounds to use. This makes it an ideal language for poetry and music. As a descendent of Latin, Spanish also builds upon a long cultural heritage of music, poetry, and art. This also contributes to its overall romantic reputation. Spanish is spoken...
French is often considered to be the most romantic language in the world. It is another Romance language that originated from Latin. French is a very musical language, and its pronunciation contributes to its melody. One pronunciation rule is that speakers should not pronounce the consonant at the end of a word (unless that word is followed by a vowel). This makes the language sound softer. Vowels and consonants are also well-distributed in French. This helps the words to better flow together. Like Spanish, the French language conjugates verbs. This makes French another perfect language for poetry and music. The French language also builds upon a long cultural history of music, poetry, and art. This connection contributes to its romance and allure. Furthermore, the French have a reputation for beautiful, flowery song lyrics. The colonial history of France has helped spread this language throughout the world. This has led to a wide variety of charming and unique accents and dialects....
Amore, tesoro, dolcezza, bellissima, innamorato... Italian is known for its lilting, rhythmic words. It is no surprise that many consider it one of the world's most romantic languages. In fact, the words above were voted to be some of the most romantic words in any language. This is from a survey of 320 translators and interpreters by Today Translations. The survey also revealed their pick for the world's most romantic language: Italian. Italian is widely considered as one of the world's most romantic languages. This is due to the history and culture of the Italian language combined with its easily recognizable rhythm. Italian is another Romance language that evolved from Latin. It has a long history of beautifully written poetry, prose, and opera. The rhythmic distribution of consonants and vowels contributes to Italian's marked lilting sound. Speakers of other languages often say that Italian naturally sounds like singing. "I love you" in Italian: Ti amo(tee am-oh) Ti amo. (I) lov...
No list of romantic languages would be complete without Portuguese. This sultry Latin-based language is mostly spoken in Brazil and Portugal. The Portuguese language uses melodic and expressive intonations and long, drawn-out vowels. The language lends itself perfectly to rhythmic and vocal music. Musical genres like marrabenta, samba, fado, and bossa nova typically use Portuguese lyrics. The Portuguese language has a wide range of vowel sounds that need an unrestricted air flow. This naturally unrestricted air flow is ideal for singing. Portuguese also doesn't have many tricky consonants that can get in the way of singing. Portuguese-speaking countries enjoy tropical geography and exotic cultural and musical traditions. Combine this with the sounds of the language and you've got one of the world's most romantic and alluring languages. Portuguese is spoken by over 215 million people throughout the world. The majority of speakers live in Brazil and Portugal. Portuguese can also be he...
The official Romance languages aren't the only romantic languages, however. The final language on our list takes us on a trip to Asia. Let's take a look at what many consider to be one of the world's most exotic romantic languages: Japanese. The Japanese language contains huge expressive potential and complex levels of politeness. With captivating, simple-yet-beautiful sounds, Japanese pleases the ears and mind. Japanese is considered one of the most useful languages for singing. This is because all Japanese syllables are open, meaning they end with a vowel. This gives the language a light, lyrical sound that is simply enchanting. Japan has a fascinating history, intricate cuisine, and intriguing culture. These all also contribute to the language's allure. With roughly 130 million speakers, Japanese is primarily spoken in Japan. However Japanese speakers can be found throughout the world. As Japan has one of the largest economies in the world, speaking Japanese is useful for busines...
List and classification. The following list of Romance languages is based on books written by recognized scholars, especially Pierre Bec, Jacques Allières, Rebecca Posner, Holtus & Meteltin & Schmitt and M. Metzeltin.
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.
Dec 19, 2017 · Within the classification schemes of the Romance languages, Ethnologists have proposed three main subfamilies, which include Italo-Western, Eastern, and Southern Romance. Italo-Western is the largest category comprising Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and French. Languages of Eastern Europe such as Romanian fall under Eastern Romance.