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why are they called the "Romance Languages"?

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tiddlywinks Donating Member (210 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 05:02 AM
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why are they called the "Romance Languages"?
had a student from Mexico ask me today... didn't reallyhave a good answer for her.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:09 AM
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1. It comes from the latin phrase "romanice loqui" meaning "Speaking Roman"
pronounced "rrrow-mah-NEE-kay LOW-kwee"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_languages#Name

The term "Romance" comes from the Vulgar Latin adverb romanice, derived from Romanicus: for instance, in the expression romanice loqui, "to speak in Roman" (that is, the Latin vernacular), contrasted with latine loqui, "to speak in Latin" (Medieval Latin, the conservative version of the language used in writing and formal contexts or as a lingua franca), and with barbarice loqui, "to speak in Barbarian" (the non-Latin languages of the peoples that conquered the Roman Empire). From this adverb the noun romance originated, which applied initially to anything written romanice, or "in the Roman vernacular".

The word romance with the modern sense of romance novel or love affair has the same origin. In the medieval literature of Western Europe, serious writing was usually in Latin, while popular tales, often focusing on love, were composed in the vernacular and came to be called "romances".
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tiddlywinks Donating Member (210 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-22-08 08:28 PM
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2. thanks! nt
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