What are the romance languages?

Romance languages have nothing to do with love or affection. This phrase actually refers to a set of related languages that were derived from Latin, the language of the Ancient Romans.

Now here is the catch, the Latin of the elite literati (like the politician, lawyer and philosopher Cicero) that dominates the written classical texts was different from the one used by the populous in their day-to-day life.

Vulgar Latin

The unpolished, simplified Latin of the commoners was called Vulgar Latin. Even Cicero used this version of the language in personal correspondence. In that period the word vulgar was just an adjectival form for the crowd (unlike the meaning it holds today). Simply put vulgar Latin was the language of the masses. The one traders and soldiers took with them, as they travelled to different parts of the world and mingled with people who spoke other native languages. As the empire grew so did the people who spoke Latin.

The birth of the Romance Language

The fall of the Roman Empire at the end of the 5th Century lead to its newly liberated far-flung territories forming their governments and dialects of the spoken tongue giving birth to the earliest Romance languages. Linguists suggest that there are a total of 27 different ones in existence today. The five most prominent of those are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian.

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Hola, buenas noches, adiós amigos, o despacito, son algunas de las muchas famosas palabras en español que muchos conocen. Español or Spanish is a beautiful language, one of the "romance languages" imbued in our culture today, including songs, movies, dances, sports, etc. Who hasn't heard about salsa, flamenco, merengue, tango, Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, Messi, Iniesta or Picasso?

Yes! At least 21 countries have Spanish as their official language, which makes it the second most widely-spoken language in the world. Apart from Spain, twenty countries in Latin America have Spanish as their first language, plus Equatorial Guinea in Africa. A significant number of people from other countries also make use of it.

In total numbers, Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world after Chinese and English and the second most used language amongst businessmen. If you intend to start a business in future, you won't want to lose a big market of prospect clients or buyers who speak Spanish (many of them do not know English). Spanish can be a great asset for a business. In a globalized world, it is no secret that knowing other languages can open many doors for you in the job market. Language proficiency gives you more value as an employee and can bring you a better income. Speaking Spanish is good for your resume as today more and more companies want to make contacts with Spanish speaking countries.

Besides this, Spanish is the third most used language on the Internet and the second most used in the two main social networks in the world: Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the use of Spanish on the internet has experienced a great growth in the last years, and of the 285 languages in which the contents of Wikipedia  are currently published, Spanish occupies the second position in terms of number of visits.

The Spanish language is one of the top three foreign languages opted for by students in India. There is an increased demand for Spanish in the recent years. One of the major reasons behind the increased popularity for the Spanish language in our country is job opportunities, love for Spanish football, dances, movies and music. Also there is a lot of business between India and all the Spanish-speaking countries. Indians are becoming more aware of the importance of this language, since it is more spoken in the world than French or German.

Are you a travel lover? If you like to travel, knowing Spanish will make your travel much easier and safe. A good knowledge of the language will allow you to travel to Spain and Latin America much more confidently and safely. With so many countries where Spanish is spoken, knowing the language will act as a great advantage that will make your travel experience even more wonderful. Besides, many people in other countries know Spanish as their second language.

And last but not the least, Spain, and the countries of Latin America, are countries full of artists, music, sports and fun. Studying Spanish will open one's doors to art, literature, theatre, music or cinema. You will be able to enjoy each work in its original version and feel the real emotion that each of them transmits, without intermediaries, without subtitles, in its purest form.

Learn Spanish, it's a beautiful language, it's not very difficult and it will open many doors in your life!

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In which country are nearly 850 languages spoken the most in the world?

Papua New Guinea has 832 living languages, making it the most linguistically diverse place on earth. Its official languages are Tok Pisin, English, Hiri Motu and Papua New Guinean Sign Language.

It is home to about 8.1 million people according to the preliminary census done in 2016. As one of the world’s most rural countries, only about 18% of the population is located in the urban centers of the independent state. But one of the distinguishing characteristics of the state is its linguistic diversity. It’s known to have about 852 living languages although 12 of them have no known living speakers. Many of the inhabitants live in their own communities. The communities in Papua New Guinea are also quite diverse. It seems that this is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Up until now, the state isn’t fully explored, geographically or culturally. So many more people have no contact with the outside world, and like the communities and the languages, it is believed that many more species of animals and plants in the interior of Papua New Guinea are still undiscovered.

It is astonishing that a state which is only 462,840 square kilometers (178,700 square miles) with 8 million inhabitants can have that many living languages. Compare this to India that has 1.3 billion people living in a land that is 3,287,263 square kilometers (1,269,219 square miles), which officially recognizes 22 languages. However, the people here speak hundreds of languages. Yes, some of them unofficially recognized. On the other hand, some are not native to India.

The “Papuan” languages are the oldest group among the hundreds of languages. The first human settlers introduced languages to the area some 400,000 years ago. They might fall under the umbrella of Papuan languages, however, they do not have similar roots. The languages belong to unrelated families. Plus, in many cases, most of them are language isolates. Austronesian languages landed in the state some 3,500 years ago. It is probable that only one Taiwanese source was the origin of these languages. In the 1800s, German- and English-speaking settlers arrived in Papua New Guinea, which added to the number of languages already spoken in the state.

Papua New Guinea has a tribal society, and this is another reason why languages survive in the state. In each tribe, their unique identity is signified by the language they speak. Each tribe is proud of their own language.

Credit : Day Translations

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How many languages are spoken in the world?


People communicate through language, whether the words are spoken or written down. Today, there are some 7,000 different languages spoken around the globe. Many more languages were spoken in the past, which have now been forgotten. The languages of the most powerful economic and political nations are spoken by millions of people.

  1. Chinese 1.3 billion people are native speakers of one of the family of Chinese languages. Some 880 million people communicate in Mandarin Chinese, a group of dialects (language variations) from northern and southwestern China.
  2. French Spoken by 220 million people worldwide, French is an official language of the United Nations. It is one of the family of Romance languages, which developed from Latin.
  3. Hebrew The holy language of the Jewish faith, Hebrew is spoken by 9 million people around the world. Many religious texts are written in an ancient form of Hebrew, in use from the 12th to the 6th century BCE.
  4. Arabic Some 300 million people communicate with a dialect of Arabic, a family of very old languages closely related to Hebrew. The Qu’ran, the holy book of the Islamic faith, is written in Arabic.
  5. Hindi The family of languages spoken in northern and central India is known as Hindi. As well as 425 million native speakers, there are many Indians who use Hindi as a second language.
  6. Portuguese This Romance language originated in Portugal, but spread to parts of South America in the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, it has 230 million speakers Worldwide.
  7. Japanese Used by 130 million people, the Japanese language can be adapted by the speaker to show respect to someone, according to their age and social status.
  8. Spanish Originating in northern Spain, this romance language has 577 million speakers. It is widely spoken in Central and Southern America. Today, Mexico has the most Spanish speakers.
  9. Bengali Also known as Bangla, this language is India’s second most spoken language. Bengali is also used in other parts of southern Asia, with 230 million native speakers.
  10. Greek This ancient language has used the same alphabet since the 9th century BCE. Today, about 13 million speakers in Greece and Greek communities worldwide keep this language alive.
  11. Latin The language of the Roman Empire, Latin developed into the family of Romance languages, as well as lending its vocabulary to a number of other languages.
  12. Russian With 160 million native speakers and many more using it as a second language, Russian is an important language in Europe and one of six official languages of the United Nations.
  13. English This widely spoken language went global through British colonization. Today, there are 400 million native speakers, and it is the most used language on the Internet.

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Why is Bengali not in the list of classical languages of India?

At present there are 6 languages which are marked as classical language in India.

  • Tamil (declared in 2004)

  • Sanskrit (2005)

  • Kannada (2008)

  • Telugu (2008)

  • Malayalam (2013)

  • Oriya (or Odia) (2014)

The reason why Bengali is not in this list is - Bengali has been derived from Magadhi-Apabhransha which is again derived from Sansrit-Prakrit. Unlike the classic languages which predates bengali and are more of a direct language.

According to information provided by the Ministry of Culture in the Rajya Sabha in February 2014, the guidelines for declaring a language as ‘Classical’ are:

“(i) High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years;

(ii) A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers;

(iii) The literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community;

(iv) The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.”

Bengali does not satisfy all the criteria mentioned above.


Credit : Quora

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