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Topics in Cultural Studies: Latin and Vernacular Languages

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Topics in Cultural Studies: Latin and Vernacular Languages

Topics in Cultural Studies: Latin and Vernacular Languages Spanish is spoken today by more than 300 million people around the world and is one of the most common languages of the modern world. Spanish is used in South America, Europe and in some parts of Africa. The once native language of a region in Spain has evolved to become one of the most common languages today after more than six hundred years. It is one of the Indo-European languages and dates back to more than five thousand years. Latin was one of the major languages to influence the development of Spanish over the years as the Roman Empire spread across Europe. Latin gained popularity in the Spanish peninsula as the people adopted in for ease in communication while also adding to it the elements of local dialect which later developed to be known as Hispanic Latin. The Spanish peninsula was later conquered by Muslims who brought Arabic and Islamic literature with them. After the end of the Muslim rule in Spain, Spanish spread to the newly discovered lands of North America when Columbus set out to discover new sea routes to Asia. The conquests of South America and some African lands helped Spanish spread and evolve while accommodating local dialects of the conquered lands. Though many of the conquered areas of Americas gained independence after some years, the people living in those areas had learnt, developed and spread Spanish to an extent that it became the single most common language in the region along with its other dialects (The History of Spanish Language).
Influence of Latin on Western languages Latin is known to be one of the oldest languages of the world. It is amongst the Indo-European languages which include Greek, Celtic and Germanic. Latin has influenced many languages such as English, Spanish, Dutch and German. The growth of the Roman Empire helped spread Latin across many European lands. Latin later held became the most dominant language in Europe. Latin was not only the official language of the Roman state it was also the official language of the Church. As Christianity spread across many regions so did Latin as most of the Biblical text and religious scriptures had been written in Latin. Schools, government offices and courts within the Roman Empire used Latin as the official language. Trade also helped spread Latin across many other regions of the world where it developed adding elements of local languages and dialects. Latin was later known to the world as the Roman language (Latin and the Vernacular Languages, 1996).

References 1. Latin and the Vernacular Languages. (1996). Retrieved fromhttp://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/firsteuro/lang.html

2. Vernacular Languages. (2005). Retrieved from http://medievalwriting.50megs.com/whyread/vernac.htm

3. The History of the Spanish Language. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.randomhistory.com/1-50/015spanish.html

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