Romance languages

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Distribution of major language groups. Romance languages are in dark blue.

Indo-European topics

extinct: Anatolian · Paleo-Balkan (Dacian,
Phrygian, Thracian· Tocharian

Asia: Anatolians (Hittites, Luwians)  · Armenians  · Indo-Iranians (Iranians · Indo-Aryans)  · Tocharians  

The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages, Latin languages, Neolatin languages or Neo-Latin languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome. There are more than 800 million native speakers worldwide, mainly in the Americas and Europe, as well as many smaller regions scattered throughout the world. Because of the extreme difficulty and varying methodology of distinguishing among language, variety, and dialect, it is impossible to count the number of Romance languages now in existence, but a restrictive, arbitrary account can place the total at approximately 25. In fact, the number is much larger, and many more existed previously. Nowadays the six most widely spoken standardized Romance languages are Spanish/Castilian (about 500 million), Portuguese (about 240 million), French (about 250 million), Italian, Romanian, and Catalan. Among numerous other Romance languages are Corsican, Emiliano-Romagnolo, Lombard, Occitan, Gascon, Piedmontese, Aromanian, Sardinian, Sicilian, Venetian, Galician, Asturian, Neapolitan and Friulian.


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