Did you know that there are many languages similar to Latin? Many of these languages exist in countries all around the world.
Spanish is the most popular language, similar to Latin. And, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, French, and Catalan are also worth mentioning.
Languages Similar To Latin – Here Are 5 Languages!
There are thousands of languages spoken around the world. Some languages are more similar to others, while others are quite different.
Latin is one of the languages that have influenced many languages spoken today.
Some languages similar to Latin include Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and French. These languages share many features with Latin, including grammar and vocabulary.
A knowledge of Latin helps one understand the etymology of words in these languages.
For example, the word “hospital” comes from the Latin word “hospitium”, meaning “guest-friendship”.
Some Latin words have entered into English, such as “agriculture“, “animal“, and “campus“. This shows knowing Latin strengthens your grip on several other languages.
If you’re interested in languages similar to Latin, knowing similarities will help you pick better options. Now, we will explore some languages similar to Latin;
1. Spanish Is Very Close To Latin:
Spanish is the most widely spoken Romance language. It is an official language in 21 countries worldwide.
According to a report, there are approximately 450 million Spanish speakers worldwide. So, if you know Latin, you can easily learn Spanish too.
1.1. Common Vocabularies:
Spanish and Latin share a lot of their vocabularies. Around 60% of all Spanish words have Latin origins.
For example, the Spanish word for ‘table’ is ‘mesa’, which comes from the Latin word ‘mēnsa’.
1.2. Many Grammar Rules Of Spanish And Latin Are the Same:
The grammar rules of Spanish are also similar to those of Latin. They have similar word order: the verb comes second in a sentence in both languages.
For example, the Latin sentence ‘Puella amat puerum’ would be as ‘La chica ama al chico’ in Spanish.
Here the subject (puella) comes first, followed by the verb (amat), and then the object (puerum).
1.3. Both Languages Have Similar Alphabets:
Latin and Spanish languages use the same alphabet. For example, Latin and Spanish share the following letters: a, b, c, d…
So, if you know the Latin alphabet, you know the alphabet of Spanish and its sounds. Therefore, Spanish is much easier for those who already know Latin.
1.4. Spanish And Latin Are Gender Biased Languages:
In Spanish and Latin languages, every noun is either masculine or feminine.
Some languages are not gender-biased. But Latin and Spanish use gender when referring to objects, animals, and even concepts.
For instance, the word for “car” in Spanish is “el coche” ( masculine) and in Latin is “carrus” (masculine). Similarly, every word has its own gender in both languages.
1.5. Gendered Pronouns:
Both languages have gendered pronouns. “He”, “she”, and “it” work as él, Ella, and ello in Spanish.
Pronouns are also gendered in Latin languages. For instance, in Latin, the 3rd person pronoun “he” is “ille”, “she” is “illa” and “it” is “id”.
So, different genders need different pronouns in both cases.
Portuguese is another Romance language closely related to Latin. Portuguese is the second most popular Latin language.
Over 215 million people in 10 countries speak this as native language. This makes it the 8th most spoken language in the world.
Portuguese is mostly spoken in Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau. Some of the similarities between Portuguese and Latin include;
2.1. Common Alphabets:
Portuguese and Latin languages share similar alphabets. Like Latin, in Portuguese, there are 26 letters in the alphabet, including some accented vowels.
For example, in Portuguese, the letter “a” changes voice to make the words “mais” (meaning “more”) or “mal” (meaning “bad”). Like we do to “put” and “but”.
2.2. Presence Of Gendered Words:
They both have gendered words. This means that every noun in Portuguese has a gender, just like in Latin.
For example, the word for “table” (mesa) is female, whereas the word for “chair” (cadeira) is male in Portuguese.
2.3. Adoption Of Latin Words:
Portuguese has adopted many words from Latin, especially in science and technology.
For instance, the word “televisão” (television) has its origin in Latin. The word “tele,” means “far,” and the word “visão,” means “sight.”
2.4. Similar Grammar:
The grammar of both languages is quite similar. For example, both languages use verb tenses i.e., such as the present, past, and future. Also, both languages have subject-verb-object word order.
Such as, “Eu com um bolo” (I ate a cake , Portuguese) and “quæ comedit crustulam” (She eats a cake, Latin). Here both sentences have the same grammar rule.
3. French Has Various Commonalities With Latin:
The French language is a Romance language that developed from the Latin language. It is a sister language to Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
So, if you’re looking for languages similar to Latin, French should be on your list!
Moreover, French is the language of over 220 million people worldwide. This is a huge number, making French one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
Here the good news is if you have a command of Latin, you can easily learn French. This is because these languages have a lot of similarities with French.
Some of the similarities between French and Latin languages include;
3.1. SVO Order Is Same:
Both languages use subject-verb-object word order. This means that the sentence starts with the subject, followed by the verb, and then the object.
Like, in French- “Il aime les pommes.” It means- “He likes apples.” Similarly, in Latin- “Puella pedem lavat.” It means- “The girl washes her foot.” So, the order is the same in them.
3.2. French And Latin Have Detailed Tenses:
These languages have a rich tenses system. They allow speakers to express past, present, and future actions.
This means that you can say things like “I am singing,” “I sang,” or “I will sing.” So both languages are good for talking about actions and events.
3.3. Both Languages Contain Irregular Words:
French and Latin languages have a large number of irregular verbs. This means that the conjugation of some verbs does not follow the regular rules.
For example, the Latin verb “to be” is “sum,” “es,” “est,” while the French verb “to be” is “sommes,” and “c’est.”
3.4. French Has Many Loanwords From Latin:
French has various loanwords from Latin due to the shared history of the two languages. As a result, many words in French sound similar to their Latin counterparts.
For instance, the word “souvenir” in French comes from the Latin word “subvenire,” meaning “to come to the aid of”.
3.5. Both Are Significant European Languages:
Latin was the language of the Roman Empire, while French was the language of the Kingdom of France.
As a result, both languages have significantly impacted European culture and history.
However, Latin is no longer spoken as a native language. But it is still used in the Catholic Church and academia.
4. Italian And Latin Are Similar In Many Ways:
People Living in Italy speak Italian as their first language. Also, people in Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, and other countries speak Italian.
The total number of speakers is around 85 million. Almost all Italian speakers know Latin, as it was the official language of the Roman Empire.
Latin is the oldest language from which a lot of languages are derived, including Italian. So, it is not surprising that there are similarities between the two languages.
Further, Latin has a great influence on the Italian language. Some of the similarities between Latin and Italian include;
4.1. Similar Syntax And Grammar:
The grammar and syntax of Latin and Italian languages are similar. Therefore, when two languages have the same grammar, their sentence rules are also the same.
Both languages have gendered nouns, SVO format, and use prepositions. This is one of the major similarities between Italian and Latin languages.
4.2. Common Borrowed Vocabulary:
A lot of the vocabulary of both languages came from Greek and Etruscan languages.
An example of this one is “Altus” in Latin, which means “high”, and “alto” in Italian, with the same meaning.
So knowing one language will definitely help you understand the other to some extent.
4.3. The Sound Of Italian Is Similar To Latin:
Have you ever heard someone speaking Italian? If yes, you might have noticed that Italian sounds are similar to Latin.
This is because both languages have a lot of vowels and diphthongs. This makes both languages sound musical and flowy.
4.4. Same Latin Alphabet:
Both languages are based on the Latin alphabet. So, the pronunciation of some Italian words is similar to Latin.
For example, the word “Italiano” has pronunciation as “ee-tah-lee-AH-noh” in Italian. And this is similar to how “Italians” sounds in Latin.
So, if you know how to speak Latin, it will be easier to pronounce Italian words correctly.
5. Romanian Is The Closest Living Language To Latin:
Romanian is a language widely spoken in Eastern Europe. People loving languages probably know about it.
Romanian is also a Romance language, which means that it’s related to Latin.
Romanian is the closest living language to Latin. This is because Romanian has kept a lot of features of Latin that other Romance languages have lost.
For example, Romanian has seven cases. Such as nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative, vocative, and locative, just like Latin.
Other languages related to Latin have lost some of these cases over time.
So, if you’re interested in learning a language related to Latin, Romanian might be a good choice for you.
Some similarities between Romanian and Latin are;
5.1. Romanian and Latin languages Use The Same Cases:
Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Ablative, Vocative, and Locative. The use of these cases is very important to form a sentence both in Romanian and Latin languages.
These cases are declensions and show the role of each noun in a sentence.
5.2. Both Languages Have Three Genders:
Every language has words that denote male and female beings. However, not all languages have a third gender.
In Latin, this third gender is neuter. Romanian also has a third gender, called neutru.
The purpose of this third gender is to group all inanimate objects together, regardless of whether they are masculine or feminine.
5.3. These Languages Have Four Moods:
The mood in a language is a category that reflects the speaker’s attitude toward what is being said.
For example, in Latin, there are four moods: indicative, imperative, subjunctive, and infinitive. On the other hand, Romanian also has four moods.
For instance, indicative, imperative, subjunctive, and conditional. Although there is a slight difference, overall, both languages own four basic moods.
5.4. Conjugated Verbs Rule Is The Same:
Verbs in both languages conjugate according to person, number, tense, mood, and voice. This means when you conjugate a verb, you must consider all of these elements.
For example, the verb “to be” in Latin is “sum” conjugated in the first person singular, present indicative mood, and active voice.
In Romanian, the verb “to be” is “sunt” conjugated in the first person singular, present indicative mood, and active voice.
5.5. Same SVO Order:
Both languages use the subject-verb-object word order in simple declarative sentences.
For example, “I am a student” would be “Eu sunt un student” in Romanian and “discipulus sum” in Latin. So, the language is different, but the word order is the same.
These are just some of the similarities between Romanian and Latin.
So if you’re interested in learning a language with close ties to Latin, Romanian might be a good choice.
Some people are curious about learning new languages. They often try to go for those that are uncommon or very few people know about.
If you are the one, you should go for the Latin language. The reason is it is one of the oldest languages in the world.
It has been around for centuries and has a great influence on many other languages these days.
For example, languages similar to Latin include Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and French.
So if you choose to learn Latin, it would be easier for you to understand these languages as well.
Also, learning Latin can help you improve your English vocabulary too. So, what are you waiting for? Just give it a try!
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