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|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
|ISO 639-2 / 5
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
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The Romance languages, also known as the Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the languages that are directly descended from Vulgar Latin. They are the only extant subgroup of the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family.
The five most widely spoken Romance languages by number of native speakers are Spanish (489 million), Portuguese (240 million), 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.
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.
Archaeologists and historians classify as Romance peoples those descendants of the provincial Roman populations who still lived in the de facto, dejure, or the regions of Late Roman Empire that no longer belonged to the once powerful world empire ruled by Rome.
Romanians (a Latin people, cousins of Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Catalans)
At a time during which Europe is rapidly becoming economically and politically integrated, it is easy to forget about the tremendous cultural complexity that characterizes this region of the world... The culture region's ethnic structure is mainly composed of three major groups: Germanic, Slavic, and Romanic, each of which branches into numerous smaller groups.