How Many Latin Languages?

Lodestone   Saturday, July 03, 2004, 23:27 GMT
How many Latin languages are there besides Spanish, French, Italian, Castilian, and Basque?
Eastie   Sunday, July 04, 2004, 00:58 GMT
First, I think you mean "Romance languages". Latin refers to the Classical Latin still spoken by the Catholic Church. Romance languages are the languages descended from Vulgar Latin, from which we get Spanish (aka Castilian), Catalan, Portuguese, French, Italian, etc.

Second, Basque is not a Romance language. Though it has been influenced by the neighboring Romance languages through the centuries, its grammatical structure and vocabulary is very non-Latinate and belongs in its very own distinct classification.

Third, it's very difficult to determine an actual number since there are many dialects and subdialects of a given language. The question then becomes, how do you determine what's a language and what's a dialect? For instance, some may consider Portuguese and Galician dialects of the same language, but many people will argue that they are separate languages and should be classified as such. The same controversy occurs with regards to Gascon, Languedocien, and Provençal. Are they individual languages or dialects of Occitan? The argument is a very political one.

If you're still determined to get a rough estimate, check out this link on Romance languages:
Lodestone   Sunday, July 04, 2004, 01:10 GMT
Thanks for your help. Sorry, I did technically mean romance languages. It's just that where I live I have always heard these referred to as "latin" languages, even by native speakers from other countries.
Eastie   Sunday, July 04, 2004, 01:20 GMT
You're welcome. I guess when they say "Latin" languages, they're referring to the languages spoken in the Latin countries. But this definition is very misleading since Basque (or more correctly, Euskara) is spoken in Spain and France.
Damian   Sunday, July 04, 2004, 07:16 GMT
What about ROMANIAN? I believe it is one of the Romance languages. Romania is surrounded by countries using the cyrillic alphabet.

I went to Romania with a school party in 1999 to see a total eclipse of the sun. It is a really beautiful country but so impoverished you wouldn't believe it.
Miquel   Sunday, July 04, 2004, 08:58 GMT

Portuguese (with Galician), Spanish, Catalan, Occitan (Provençal, Gascon, Lengadocian dialecte), French, Rumantsch (Switzerland), Italian, Sardinian, Romanian. These are the nine main romance languages. Dalmatian (now a dead language). You can add, perhaps, Franco-Provençal, Piemontese, etc.
l'amic de las petiòtas lengas   Sunday, July 04, 2004, 09:21 GMT
Corsican, Aroumanian (in Greece), Aragonese, Asturianu.
Dude   Sunday, July 04, 2004, 12:43 GMT
The Italic Languages
These languages comprise Latin itself and the Romance languages.

The number of Romance languages is difficult to define. This is mainly due to the discussions about many of them that are sometimes counted as languages, sometimes as dialects. The undisputed ones are those that have official status in one or more countries (at least regionally). These are:

A number of other idioms are usually considered to be languages of their own, though some linguists may classify them as dialects. These are:

In addition to the languages listed above there are several more idioms that are considered to be languages of their own by some, but are usually seen as dialects.