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By the late Roman Republic (75 BC), Old Latin had been standardised into Classical Latin.

Vulgar Latin was the colloquial form spoken during the same time and attested in inscriptions and the works of comic playwrights like Plautus and Terence.

Latin was used as the language of international communication, scholarship, and science until well into the 18th century, when it began to be supplanted by vernaculars.

Ecclesiastical Latin remains the official language of the Holy See and the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

Vulgar Latin developed into 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. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help: IPA.) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages.

After the Western Roman Empire fell in 476, and Germanic kingdoms took its place, the Germanic people adopted Latin as a language more suitable for legal and other, more formal uses.

The earliest known form of Latin is Old Latin, which was spoken from the Roman Kingdom to the later part of the Roman Republic period.

There are no hard and fast rules of classification; different scholars emphasise different features.The Decline of the Roman Empire meant a deterioration in educational standards that brought about Late Latin, a postclassical stage of the language seen in Christian writings of the time.It was more in line with everyday speech, not only because of a decline in education but also because of a desire to spread the word to the masses.Despite dialectal variation, which is found in any widespread language, the languages of Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy retained a remarkable unity in phonological forms and developments, bolstered by the stabilising influence of their common Christian (Roman Catholic) culture.It was not until the Moorish conquest of Spain in 711 cut off communications between the major Romance regions that the languages began to diverge seriously.

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