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Romance-speaking Europe

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Title: Romance-speaking Europe  
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Subject: Romanians in Spain, Romance languages, Europe, Ethnic groups in Europe, Latin Europe
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Romance-speaking Europe

  Official Romance language
  Co-official Romance language
  Unofficial Romance language
  Unofficial regional Romance language

Latin Europe or Romance-speaking Europe is the area of Europe where Romance languages (i.e., those derived from Latin) are either official, co-official, or significantly used. It is a major linguistic subdivision of Europe alongside Germanic- and Slavic-speaking subdivisions.

The Latin European or Romance European countries are France, Italy, Moldova, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and the Vatican City. Many of these countries are members of the Latin Union. It also includes some regions from other countries, such as Wallonia in Belgium and the French- and Italian-speaking cantons of Switzerland, Luxembourg where French is co-official, as well as communities from other non-Latin European countries. Some Eastern Romance languages like Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian and Istro-Romanian are spread across the entire Balkans in small communities within Slavic-speaking countries, Greece, and western Turkey. The total population of all the Romance speaking areas in Europe is approximately 210,000,000, 42% of the European Union's population.


The spread of the Roman Empire brought with it Vulgar Latin. After the fall of the empire, this started to break up into different dialects, and eventually, whole separate languages, resulting in the Romance languages of today.


Romance Europe
Countries / Territories Romance languages used Religion Area Population GDP (nominal) Comments
Andorra Catalan (official) Roman Catholic 468 85,082 4,510
Belgium Total (out of included areas) French (co-official) Roman Catholic 17,005 4,407,705 514,593
Wallonia French 16,844 3,376,490
Brussels French (co-official) 161 1,031,215
Croatia Total (out of included areas) Roman Catholic (87%) 56,594 4,290,612 63,842
Istria county Italian (co-official)
Istriot (unofficial)
Istro-Romanian (unofficial)
2,820 206,344
(Metropolitan France)
French (official) Roman Catholic 551,695 63,460,000 2,559,850 Exceptions:
  • Alsace-Moselle and French Flanders have mostly Germanic roots; their languages are still used by the frontier workers (more than 40% for some places[1]).
  • Brittany is considered as a "Celtic nation", but in Eastern Brittany only French is spoken today.
  • Pays Basque shows a Basque identity, even if Basque language is spoken by few.
Gibraltar Spanish (unofficial) Roman Catholic 6.8 29,431 1,106 As a British overseas territory, it has a sole official language of English even though the vast majority of the population is bilingual together with Spanish. In addition to this the majority of Gibraltarians speak Llanito (an Andalusian Spanish-based creole unique to Gibraltar) as their vernacular.
Greece Total (out of included areas) Eastern Orthodox
Aromanian (unofficial)
Megleno-Romanian (unofficial)
Guernsey French (unofficial) 78 65,573 2,742 Guernsey and Jersey both have various use of French and Norman language, although admittedly in decline. In the case of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, this includes Guernesais and Sercquais. French was an official language of Alderney of Guernsey until the late 1960s.
Italy Total (out of included areas) Italian (official) Roman Catholic 301,318 60,813,326 2,198,732 Exceptions:
Aosta Valley French (co-official) - - - -
South Tyrol, Trentino, Veneto Ladin (co-official) - - - -
Jersey French (co-official) 116 97,857 5,100 Jersey and Guernsey both have various use of French and Norman language, although admittedly in decline. In the case of Jersey, this includes Jersey Law French and Jèrriais.
Luxembourg French (co-official) Roman Catholic
2,586.4 480,222 59,582
Macedonia Total (out of included areas) Eastern Orthodox
25,713 2,058,539 10,644
Kruševo, Skopje, Bitola, Štip Aromanian (official) 10,000 (est.)
Huma Megleno-Romanian (unofficial) 2,000 (est.)
Malta Italian (unofficial) Roman Catholic
316 452,515 8,941 Although Maltese is a Semitic Language, a good portion of Maltese vocabulary is Romance, having been imported from Italian, Sicilian, and French.[2][3]
Moldova Romanian (official) Eastern Orthodox
33,846 3,559,500 7,003
Monaco French (official)
Monégasque (National language)
1.98 36,371 5,424

including the archipelagos:

(Regionally Co-Official)
Roman Catholic
92,345 km² 10,642,836 $232,000,000,000 -
Romania Romanian
Eastern Orthodox
238,392 km² 22,276,056 $256,900,000,000
San Marino Italian
- 61 km² 29,615 $904,000,000 -
Serbia Total (out of included areas) Romanian
(Regionally Co-Official)
(Regionally Unofficial)
- 28636 km² 60,000 (est.) $64,000,000,000 -
 Vojvodina Romanian
Eastern Orthodox 21,506 km² 29,512 - -
Timočka Krajina Romanian
Eastern Orthodox 7,130 km² 25,000 (est.) - -
Slovenia Total (out of included areas) Italian
(Regionally Official)
- 384.4 km² 78,846 $47,841,000,000 -
Piran Italian
- 44.6 km² 16,758 - -
Izola Italian
- 28.6 km² 14,549 - -
Koper Italian
- 311.2 km² 47,539 - -
Spain Total (out of included areas) Spanish - 505,992 47,190,493 1,479,560 Exceptions:
 Aragon Aragonese
- 47,719 km² 1,277,471 -
 Asturias Asturian
- - - -
 Catalonia Catalan
- - - -
 Valencia Catalan (officially called Valencian)
- - - -
 Balearic Islands Catalan
- - - -
 Galicia Galician
- - - - -
Switzerland Total (out of included areas) Italian
(Regionally Official)
(Regionally Co-Official)
(Regionally Official)
(Regionally Co-Official)
(Regionally Co-Official)
- 27906 km² 3,353,597 $296,200,000,000 -
 Graubünden Italian
Romansh (Co-Official)
- 7,105 km² 187,920 - -
 Berne French
- 5,959 km² 958,897 - -
 Fribourg French
- 1,671 km² 258,252 - -
 Valais French
- 5,224 km² 294,608 - -
 Vaud French
- 3212 km² 657,700 - -
 Neuchâtel French
- 803 km² 168,912 - -
 Geneva French
- 282 km² 433,235 - -
 Jura French
- 838 km² 69,222 - -
 Ticino Italian
- 2,812 km² 324,851 - -
Ukraine Total (out of included areas) Romanian
(Regionally Unofficial)
- 54,184 km² 4,533,853 $364,300,000,000
 Odessa Oblast Romanian
Eastern Orthodox 33,310 km² 2,387,543 - -
 Zakarpattia Oblast Romanian
Eastern Orthodox 12,777 km² 1,241,887 - -
 Chernivtsi Oblast Romanian
Eastern Orthodox 8,097 km² 904,423 - -
Vatican City Latin (official)
Italian (de facto)
- 0.44 km² 821 - -

See also


  1. ^ RGP 1999 (exploitation principale), Fichiers SAPHIR, INSEE Alsace (French) (English)
  2. ^ Much of the Maltese language comes from other European Languages. Retrieved on 2007-11-22.
  3. ^ Malta is sometimes included, as its language relies heavily on Italian imports. Retrieved on 2007-11-22.
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