Languages derived from Latin

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Warning: This is a work in progress, in case you have stumbled across it in a search or however. So a lot of it will be full of notes written to remind myself to do things. I am pretending to be an absent-minded professor.

Which languages?

French, Spanish, Italian, English, etc. etc. The majority of words in Mediterranean languages have their roots in Latin. The conquered native tribes began to speak Latin with their existing accents, which gradually changed the words they used and their spellings - although the meanings stayed very similar if not identical.


General changes:
  • 'i' at the start of Latin words has become the hard 'j' in English.

Some words almost identical to the Latin:
  • port: Latin: portus
  • art: Latin: ars (plural = artes)

Some words derived from Latin:
  • sinister: the Latin for left-handed is sinister, and such people were considered unlucky or even...well, sinister.
  • verb: the Latin verbum means 'word'.


General changes:
  • Words ending in 'er' in Latin now end in 're' in French.
  • The modern circumflex accent has replaced the latin equivalent's 'vowel + s'. So the Latin 'vester' for 'your' has become the French 'vĂ´tre'.

Some words almost identical to the Latin:
  • arbre: Latin: arbor
  • femme: Latin: femina
  • nom: Latin: nomen
  • sang: Latin: sanguis

Some words derived from Latin:
  • ville: the Latin for house is villa.

A useful exercise when learning latin is to try to work out any modern words that result from the word you are learning. Conversely when coming across an unknown Latin word, try to think of as many words in your language that are similar, so as to arrive at a reasonable guess.

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