26 April, 2010

An Overview of Romance Languages

Romance languages - also called Romanic, Latin or Neolatin languages - are spoken by more than 800 million native speakers worldwide. There is a huge number of different languages in this family of languages, but the most widely spoken are:

1. Spanish (Español, Castellano: ~400 million native speakers)
2. Portuguese (Português: ~240 million native speakers)
3. French (Français: ~200 million native speakers)
4. Italian (Italiano: ~70 million native speakers)
5. Romanian (Română: ~24 million native speakers)
6. Catalan (Català, Valencià: ~9.2 million native speakers)

Other Romance languages are:


As I don't want to confuse you by just numerating different languages, I want to tell you something about the classification of the Romance languages. There are six different groups:

1. Iberian Romance languages:
-Spanish (also called Castilian)
-Judaeo-Spanish (language of the Jewish people who left Spain in 1492 after the Alhambra Decree; today spoken in Turkey, Israel and New York)

2. Gallo-Romance languages
-Langues d'oïl (French as we know it today and its various dialects)
-Occitan (Spoken in Southern France, Monaco and bordering regions areas of Italy and Spain)

3. Rhaeto-Romance languages
-Friulian (spoken in Italy)
-Ladin (spoken in Italy)
-Romansh (spoken in France)

4. Italo-Romance languages
-We can divide different varieties in Northern, Central and Southern Italy

5. Sardinian

6. Eastern Romance languages
-Romanian and its varieties

Some of the Romance languages don't exist any more due to different historical reasons. A good example is the Dalmation language which was spoken along the today's Croatian Adria coast.

After introducing the world of Romance languages to you, I hope that you have felt the desire of learning one or more of them, and therefore I'll have the pleasure to give you some advice in my following posts in this blog.

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