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What are Romance Languages derived from?

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2008-02-03 03:52:16
2008-02-03 03:52:16

The Romance languages are primarily derived from Latin, as spoken at the time of the Roman Empire. The vocabulary of the Romance languages is similar to that of Latin. Modern Romance languages have shed many of the grammatical features of Latin and acquired new ones. The reliance on word order (subject-verb-object) is a well known feature of the main Romance languages (and also English). Of course, like in any language, there are features that are derived from other languages. This inter-mixing often happens when two (or more) languages are in close proximity to each other. This is what happened to French and English - English has a vocabulary composed of a tremendous amount of French words. Other romance languages, like Spanish, borrow heavily from English when the speakers of both languages are in proximity, or when an equivalent term in a language is more difficult or wordy than a term in another language (this happens frequently for technical, medical, and other highly-specialized fields). One notable example that is not related to a specialized field is the French word "week-end" - a blatant copy of the English word that means the same thing. The closest French equivalent is "fin de semaine" (although the semantics are not exact).

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