RE: [OT] Close to latin

From: Carl W. Brown (
Date: Mon Jan 15 2001 - 00:59:20 EST


Because Brazil produces a large number of TV programming and Movies the
Iberian language is being influenced by the Brazilian idioms.

Some Portuguese has even been borrowed from French such as the pronoun for
the third person.

I agree that Romanian is a mixed language that to me seems to be almost
unintelligible to other Romance language speakers. However, Catalan is
another candidate if it were not spoken by a small number of people.


-----Original Message-----
From: Antoine Leca []
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2001 9:43 AM
To: Unicode List
Cc: Unicode List
Subject: Re: [OT] Close to latin

Erland Sommarskog wrote:
> "Carl W. Brown" <> writes:
> > My vote is for Portuguese. Because it was re-latinized it is closer to
> > Latin roots that any other Romance language. Thus it makes a great
> > franca.

I am not sure this is that ideal. I find Brazilian and Iberian accents to be
quite distinct, for example (I am not qualified enough to know if it goes
beyond the differences between US/American and British English, though).

> > Learning French unfortunately is learning two languages, the
> > written and the spoken.

I do not believe anyone here have the idea to propose French as lingua
It was a time for this to be, three centuries ago. This time is now over.
Looks to me like trying to promote Baudot code.

> > Not true with Portuguese.
> You don't know anything about Portoguese phonology, do you? You may
> think spoken French is weird, but Portuguese isn't far behind.

I am a bit biased here, but I believe that spoken French is much less
weird than _written_ French is (is there many languages where spelling
contests is one of the most viewed TV programs?)
That said, I concur with Erland.

> (Besides, the Romance language I've seen being claimed to be closest
> to Latin is Roumanian, but I guess the real answer must be Sard.)

I do not know anything about Sardinian, and I am not sure about what
you are talking about when you write Roumanian (is it Romanian, i.e.
the national language of Romania?).
Also I am not a linguist, so I easily can be wrong. However I would like
to add that:
- Romanian, for obvious geographical reasons, has been highly influenced
  by non-Italic languages; obviously I am biaised on the other side, but
  I do not hear Romanian as being that close to Latin; I believe Italian
  (Toscanian, I mean) is much closer, for example;
- "Latin" is a fuzzy target; furthermore, most if not all Romance
  languages evolved from the spoken Latin, while the language we usually
  describe as Latin refer to the progressively fossilized, written,
  "classical" language;
- a living language, as opposed to a dead one, should evolve (this is
  exactly the problem French is currently having, by the way); trying
  to stick with a past reference is going exactly backwards; Esperanto
  showed us that a fossilized language cannot aim at being lingua franca
  (at least, this is what I learnt from the linguists I read; I welcome
  counter arguments).


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