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History of French Language

If you've ever wondered where French language came from and how it fits in with other languages, here is some basic information.


French (fran├žais) is one of the Romance languages (along with Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian and Catalan). Linguistically, 'romance' has nothing to do with love! It comes from the word 'Roman' which simply means 'from Latin.'


French has its origin in the Latin of the Roman Empire. Its development was influenced by the native Celtic languages of Roman Gaul and by the Germanic language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders.


The French language that exists today has gone through a long and complex evolution. Ancient France was invaded by different ethnic and linguistic groups: Celts, Greeks, Romans, Franks and other Germanic tribes, and Arabs. The name "France" actually comes from the name of the Germanic tribe, the Franks, who entered France during late antiquity and gradually became the dominant people. They adopted the late form of Latin that was spoken in the country at the time, but added many of their own words and changed some of the Latin forms to resemble their own more closely.

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