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Romance languages

Direct descendants of Vulgar Latin / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Romance languages, also known as the Latin[1] or Neo-Latin[2] languages, are the languages that are directly descended from Vulgar Latin.[3] They are the only extant subgroup of the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family.

Quick facts: Romance, Geographic distribution, Linguistic ...
Originated in Old Latium, Southern, Western and Eastern Europe; now also spoken in a majority of the countries of the Americas, in parts of Africa and in parts of Asia and Oceania
Linguistic classificationIndo-European
Early forms
ISO 639-2 / 5roa
Linguasphere51- (phylozone)
Romance languages in Europe
Romance languages across the world
  Majority native language
  Co-official and majority native language
  Official but minority native language
  Cultural or secondary language

The five most widely spoken Romance languages by number of native speakers are Spanish (489 million), Portuguese (240 million),[4] French (80 million), Italian (67 million) and Romanian (24 million), which are all national languages of their respective countries of origin. There are also numerous regional Romance languages. Italian, together with Sardinian, is the least divergent Romance language from Latin, whereas French has changed the most.[5]

There are more than 900 million native speakers of Romance languages found worldwide, mainly in the Americas, Europe, and parts of Africa. Portuguese, French and Spanish also have many non-native speakers and are in widespread use as linguae francae.[6]

The various Romance-speaking peoples, usually those of Latin Europe and Latin America, have sometimes been collectively referred to as Romance peoples, Latin peoples, or Romanic peoples.[7][8][9]

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