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Latin

Latin
Lingua latīna
Rome Colosseum inscription 2.jpg
Latin inscription, in the Colosseum
Pronunciation [laˈtiːna]
Native to
Ethnicity Latins
Era Vulgar Latin developed into Romance languages, 6th to 9th centuries; the formal language continued as the scholarly lingua franca of Catholic countries medieval Europe and as the liturgical language of the Catholic Church.
Latin alphabet 
Official status
Official language in
Regulated by
Language codes
ISO 639-1 la
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3
Glottolog lati1261
Linguasphere 51-AAB-a
Roman Empire Trajan 117AD.png
Map indicating the greatest extent of the Roman Empire (c. 117 AD) and the area governed by Latin speakers (dark red). Many languages other than Latin were spoken within the empire.
RomanceLanguages.png
Range of the Romance languages, the modern descendants of Latin, in Europe.
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Latin (Latin: lingua latīna, IPA: [ˈlɪŋɡʷa laˈtiːna]) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets.

Latin was originally spoken in Latium, in the Italian Peninsula. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant language, initially in Italy and subsequently throughout the Roman Empire. Vulgar Latin developed into the Romance languages, such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Romanian. Latin, Italian and French have contributed many words to the English language. Latin and Ancient Greek roots are used in theology, biology, and medicine.


Labial Dental Palatal Velar Glottal
plain labial
Plosive voiced b d ɡ ɡʷ
voiceless p t k
Fricative voiced z
voiceless f s h
Nasal m n (ŋ)
Rhotic r
Approximant l j w
Notes
Latin
grapheme
Latin
phone
English examples
⟨c⟩, ⟨k⟩ [k] Always hard as k in sky, never soft as in central, cello, or social
⟨t⟩ [t] As t in stay, never as t in nation
⟨s⟩ [s] As s in say, never as s in rise or issue
⟨g⟩ [ɡ] Always hard as g in good, never soft as g in gem
[ŋ] Before ⟨n⟩, as ng in sing
⟨n⟩ [n] As n in man
[ŋ] Before ⟨c⟩, ⟨x⟩, and ⟨g⟩, as ng in sing
⟨l⟩ [l] When doubled ⟨ll⟩ and before ⟨i⟩, as clear l in link (l exilis)
[ɫ] In all other positions, as dark l in bowl (l pinguis)
⟨qu⟩ [kʷ] Similar to qu in quick, never as qu in antique
⟨u⟩ [w] Sometimes at the beginning of a syllable, or after ⟨g⟩ and ⟨s⟩, as w in wine, never as v in vine
⟨i⟩ [j] Sometimes at the beginning of a syllable, as y in yard, never as j in just
[jj] Doubled between vowels, as y y in toy yacht
⟨x⟩ [ks] A letter representing ⟨c⟩ + ⟨s⟩: as x in English axe, never as x in example
Front Central Back
Close iː ɪ ʊ uː
Mid eː ɛ ɔ oː
Open a aː
Pronunciation of Latin vowels
Latin
grapheme
Latin
phone
modern examples
⟨a⟩ [a] similar to u in cut when short
[aː] similar to a in father when long
⟨e⟩ [ɛ] as e in pet when short
[eː] similar to ey in they when long
⟨i⟩ [ɪ] as i in sit when short
[iː] similar to i in machine when long
⟨o⟩ [ɔ] as o in sort when short
[oː] similar to o in holy when long
⟨u⟩ [ʊ] similar to u in put when short
[uː] similar to u in true when long
⟨y⟩ [ʏ] as in German Stück when short (or as short u or i)
[yː] as in German früh when long (or as long u or i)
Diphthongs classified by beginning sound
Front Back
Close ui /ui̯/
Mid ei /ei̯/
eu/eu̯/
oe /oe̯/
ou /ou̯/
Open ae /ae̯/
au /au̯/
Tense 1st-Person Singular 2nd-Person Singular 3rd-Person Singular 1st-Person Plural 2nd-Person Plural 3rd-Person Plural
Present -ō/m -s -t -mus -tis -nt
Future -bō, -am -bis, -ēs -bit, -et -bimus, -ēmus -bitis, -ētis -bunt, -ent
Imperfect -bam -bās -bat -bāmus -bātis -bant
Perfect -istī -it -imus -istis -ērunt
Future Perfect -erō -eris -erit -erimus -eritis -erint
Pluperfect -eram -erās -erat -erāmus -erātis -erant

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