Romance LanguagesI stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph. - Shirley Temple
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Romance Languages

French Linguistics
Italian Linguistics

The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European family that includes French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian, as well as regional languages such as Catalan, Provençal, Sardinian and Sicilian. All of these tongues are the modern descendents of Vulgar Latin, the spoken language of the Roman Empire.

If you have studied Latin, you may have noticed that the modern Romance languages are quite different from the Latin used by Caesar, for example. This is because the written language used at the time of Caesar (1st century B.C.) was an archaic form of Latin very different from the Latin spoken on the streets of Rome. For example, in written Latin the word for mouth was "os", while in the spoken language it was "bucca", a word that has survived in the modern Romance languages ("boca", "bouche" etc.)

Latin is notorious for its difficult grammar, and thankfully for us, most of the difficult features of Latin did not survive. Around the time of Caesar, the word "de" was frequently used in place of the genitive case, and over the next several centuries, the genitive died out completely. Another simplification was the loss of the third gender. Latin has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. But the neuter did not survive in the modern languages (except Romanian), and the neuter nouns became masculine for the most part.

In addition to the rapid changes occurring within the language itself, Latin was also subject to influences from the languages spoken by the native populations of the Roman colonies. In Northern Spain for example, the native Basque population could not make an "f" sound, and they substituted an "h". (In Castilian, this "h" sound eventually become silent.) In Gaul, Latin changed as it was learned by the native Basque and Gothic tribes. In Italy, Latin broke into a number of dialects as it came into contact with the other native languages of the penninula, which included Celtic, Greek and Oscan. Romanian is unique among the Romance languages in that it has assimilated a large number of words from Albanian, Hungarian and the Slavic languages.


Romance Languages
English French Spanish Portuguese Italian Romanian
I je yo eu io eu
thou tu tu tu tu tu
she elle ella ela lei, ella ea
he il él ele lui, egli el
we nous nosotros nós noi noi
here ici aqui aqui qui aici
where dónde onde dove unde
what que qué que che ce
who qui quién quem chi cine
not non no não non nu
hand la main la mano a mão la mano mână
English French Spanish Portuguese Italian Romanian
arm le bras la braza o braço il braccio braţ
heart le coeur el corazón o coração il cuore inimă, cord
chest la poitrine el pecho o peito il petto piept
ear l'oreille la oreja a orelha l'orecchio ureche
eye l'oeil el ojo o ôlho l'occhio ochi
nose le nez la nariz o nariz il naso nas
mouth la bouche la boca a bôca la bocca gură
tooth la dent el diente o dente il dente dinte
foot le pied el pie o pé il piede picior
skin la peau la piel a pele la pelle piele
English French Spanish Portuguese Italian Romanian
head la tête la cabeza a cabeça la testa cap
man l'homme el hombre o homem l'uomo bărbat
woman la femme la mujer a mulher la donna femeie
child l'enfant el niño o menino il fanciullo copil
father le père el padre o pai il padre tată
mother la mère la madre a mãe la madre mamă
bird l'oiseau el pájaro o pássaro l'uccello pasăre
fish le poisson el pez o peixe il pesce peşte
water l'eau el agua a água l'aqua apă
English French Spanish Portuguese Italian Romanian
house le maison la casa a casa la casa casă
rain la pluie la lluvia a chuva la pioggia ploaie
sun le soleil el sol o sol il sole soare
moon la lune la luna a lua la luna lună
sky le ciel el cielo o céu il cielo cer
day le jour el día o dia il giorno zi
night la nuit la noche a noite la notte noapte
year l'an el año o ano il anno an
ice la glace el hielo o gêlo il ghiaccio gheaţă
field le champ el campo o campo il campo câmp
English French Spanish Portuguese Italian Romanian
rock le rocher la roca a rocha lo scoglio stâncă
earth la terre la tierra a terra la terra pământ
sea la mer el mar o mar il mare mare
river le fleuve el río o rio il fiume fluviu
snow la neige la nieve a neve la neve zăpadă
world le monde el mundo o mundo il mondo lume
tree l'arbre el arból a árvore l'albero arbore
see voir ver ver vedere vedere
eat manger comer comer mangiare mâncare
drink boire beber beber bere bere
come venir venir vir venire venire
English French Spanish Portuguese Italian Romanian
go aller ir ir andare mergere
one un uno um uno unu
two deux dos dois due doi
three trois tres três tre trei
four quatre cuatro quatro quattro patru
five cinq cinco cinco cinque cinci
English French Spanish Portuguese Italian Romanian

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