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Latin
lingua latīna
Rome Colosseum inscription 2.jpg
Latin inscription, in the Colosseum
Pronunciation[laˈtiːna]
Native to
EthnicityLatins
EraVulgar Latin developed into the Romance languages, 6th to 9th centuries; the formal language continued as the scholarly lingua franca of Catholic countries and medieval Europe and as the liturgical language of the Catholic Church.
Language family
Writing systemLatin alphabet 
Official status
Official language in
Regulated by
Language codes
ISO 639-1la
ISO 639-2lat
ISO 639-3lat
Linguasphere51-AAB-aa to 51-AAB-ac
Roman Empire Trajan 117AD.png
Map indicating the greatest extent of the Roman Empire under Emperor Trajan (c. 117 AD) and the area governed by Latin speakers (dark red). Many languages other than Latin were spoken within the empire.
Romance 20c en.png
Range of the Romance languages, the modern descendants of Latin, in Europe.

Latin is a language that was used in Ancient Rome. Short Latin texts have been found from about the 5th century BC and longer texts from about the 3rd century BC.

Classical Latin was used in the 1st century BC and was the official language of the Roman Empire. It was widely used in the western part of the Mediterranean. The languages known as Romance languages developed from the spoken version, called Vulgar Latinview more...