Romance languages facts

Romance
Geographic
distribution:
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.
Linguistic classification: Indo-European
  • Italic
    • Romance
Proto-language: Vulgar Latin
Subdivisions:
Western Romance (or Italo-Western)
Eastern Romance
Sardinian
Romance Languages-World-Map.png
Countries where Romance languages are official (dark orange) or national/secondary (light orange)
Map-Romance Language World.png
Romance languages in the world:

BlueFrench
GreenSpanish
OrangePortuguese
YellowItalian
RedRomanian

Lighter colors mean that the language is not official, but important

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, Romanian, and Catalan. They are called "romance languages" because they originate from a language spoken by Romans.

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 The Greek language superseded Latin in the Eastern Roman Empire, but Latin survived in Romania, whose language, Romanian, is a Romance language.

Demographics

Romance-procents
Percentage of speakers of each Romance language, out of the total speakers of all the Romance languages

The Romance language family is one of the biggest in the world, and in total there are almost a billion first and second language speakers.

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 languages

Eastern Romance

Italo-Western Romance

Italo-Dalmatian

Western Romance languages

Gallo-Iberian languages
  • Catalan
  • Occitan
Gallo-Romance languages
Iberian Romance languages
Pyrenean-Mozarabic languages
  • Aragonese

Other

Family tree of Romance languages

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Latin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Classical Latin
 
 
 
Vulgar Latin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Continental Romance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sardinian dialects
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Italo-Western Romance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eastern Romance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Western Romance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Italo-Dalmatian
 
 
 
 
 
Balkan Romance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ibero-Romance
 
 
 
 
 
Gallo-Romance
 
Sicilian
 
Italian
 
Neapolitan
 
Proto-Romanian
 
Albanian words
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Portuguese
 
Spanish
 
French
 
Occitano Romance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Romanian
 
Aromanian
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Occitan
 
Catalan

Romance languages Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.