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#693539 - Fri Feb 24 2012 01:28 AM Latin America
mountaingoat Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
Posts: 388
Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
Central and South America are called Latin America. I thought Latin was associated with Italy and Rome. How come the descendants of Spain are call Latininos?

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#693630 - Fri Feb 24 2012 07:30 AM Re: Latin America [Re: mountaingoat]
flopsymopsy Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 2743
Loc: Northampton England UK      
Spanish is a Romance language, descended directly from Vulgar Latin. During the Punic Wars (about 260-140BC), Spain was conquered by the Romans who naturally took their language with them. The language acquired characteristics from local languages, such as Basque, and became recognisable as a separate language in the 9th century AD - slightly before Italian became regarded as a separate language from the same Vulgar Latin.

There are strong similarities between Spanish and Italian, it is said that if you know one you can understand the other. Well, I can't speak either of them well but I can read both in a limited fashion (handy for menus!) because I did Latin at school. My teachers said at the time that persisting with Latin would be of value in later life - I'm not sure they meant getting good pizza toppings but it works for me!

So Spanish = Latin = Latino.
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#693647 - Fri Feb 24 2012 08:43 AM Re: Latin America [Re: flopsymopsy]
mountaingoat Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
Posts: 388
Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
Thanks flopsy, I thought it might be something like that.

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#776498 - Tue Mar 06 2012 01:13 PM Re: Latin America [Re: flopsymopsy]
minkpenny Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Fri Feb 28 2003
Posts: 931
Loc: Buenos Aires Argentina       
Quote:
it is said that if you know one you can understand the other.


Well, you can understand some of it. My first language is Spanish. If I put on the Italian channel (RAI), I'll understand a few words or even sentences here and there, but I can't follow a conversation in Italian. Both languages, and also Portuguese, have a lot of similarities, but that doesn't mean that people who speak these languages can understand one another. A month ago I helped two Brazilian tourists and I had a hard time understanding them and it was the same for them with me. We had to speak very slowly and still there were many things we didn't understand.


Edited by minkpenny (Tue Mar 06 2012 01:15 PM)
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#778039 - Sun Mar 11 2012 04:50 PM Re: Latin America [Re: minkpenny]
mountaingoat Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
Posts: 388
Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
Minkpenny, I asked a Spanish person if Portuguese was similar to Spanish and they said they are very different. For some reason I see Portugal and Spain to have a strong link. We don't expect neighbours like France, Germany or Holland to understand each other though.

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#778410 - Tue Mar 13 2012 07:39 AM Re: Latin America [Re: mountaingoat]
JanIQ Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Jul 09 2009
Posts: 587
Loc: Antwerp<br>Belgium
French is a Romance language too, as is Romanian.

One who speaks French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or even Romanian, can probably *read* the other languages quite well, but the spoken language is harder to follow. Add to this that many people speaking a Romance language have a habit of speaking at a high pace, and you'll understand the problem.

German and Dutch are likewise related (Germanic languages). Other Germanic languages are Norwegian, Icelandic, Swedish and Danish.
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#779444 - Fri Mar 16 2012 05:36 PM Re: Latin America [Re: JanIQ]
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11842
Loc: Western Canada
I'd probably call English a Germanic language, too, though it's complicated by the Norman Invasion and the doubling of vocabulary - there tends to be both a Germanic and a Romance version of many words.

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