• As you know Latin is one of the old languages that served as roots for many of the important modern occidental languages. The list of languages that are based on Latin is quite long: -Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian are 90% latin rooted (they also have some Greek). They are also called romance languages. -English has some Latin and Greek influence, but it is mainly Teuton based. Based on this and taking in count that 95% of the countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean speak Spanish or Portuguese, you have that this area is called Latin America. Latin is used almost as a synonym for Hispanic, but Hispanic refers to Spanish speaking people only. Saying "Latin America" (Latino America) or "Hispanic America" (Hispano America) is used often in an interchangeable way, though. Spain, France and Italy are also Latin based countries, but as they are in Europe are not part of Latin America.
  • The previous answer is wrong in some point. The truth is that "latin america" refers to the countries of the american continent where the official language is a latin language (also said "romance language") that means a language coming from latin (roman language). But the definition of the latin languages wrong. It is pretty much easy to list the main romance languages (the ones widely spoken, with an official status) : Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian and Catalan. Some other are spoken only by a few people, as a traditional language : Occitan (in southern france), sardinian (in island of sardinia, Italy), Corsican (in the island of Corsica, France), Galician (in northern Spain), ... As you could notice, French IS a latin language. This language is latin based, it shares 85% of its vocabulary with Italian and shows very similar gramatical structures. It is also close to spanish. Even if the promonciation in french is a bit different to those languages due to more northern influences. French is abslolutly not a germanic language, as the previous answer said (even if the country have been invaded by the germanic tribe of the franks, these tribe could never impose their langue in the roman Gaul because they were very few and the roman/latin culture was deeply implanted since 500 years. (other germanic tribes invades also Spain (wisigoths and vandals ; they founded the firt spanish kingdoms - vandals founded andalousia (vandalusia)), and Italy (lombardians founded lombardia, other tribes settled in the rest of the peninsula) As the contrary English IS NOT at all a latin language, even if there is some latin rooted words in english (from french words coming from william the conqueror when he invaded Britain after 1066). Basically english is a Germanic language. The most close language to english is frisian (a language linked to dutch) having latin vocabulary doens't a a latin language.- you can find some latin rooted words in all european languages, even in non-european, as japanese. Since centuries, in Europe, the people that speak latin languages are called "latin" (latini in Italian, latinos in spanish) - So the latin countries are : -Italy (+ italian switzerland) -France (+ french belgium and french switzerland) -Spain -Portugal -Romania The origin of the word "latin america" comes frome France, in the nineteen century, in purpose to rename "iberian america" (iberian=spanish+portuguese) and including french speaking countries of america (guyana, haiti, caribean islands) - So the word "latin", that include Spanish, Portuguese and french cultures was used insted of "iberian" that excluded the french-speaking territories. Generally, american people are comfusing all the meaning of the next words, to resume, the real meanings of these words are : Hispanic (hispano) = coming from Spain or related to spanish languages and culture. Iberian (ibero) = Coming from Spain AND Portugal, related to Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures. Latin (latino) = Coming from a latin-based country, related to countries with a latin-based language and culture. (NOT only to latin-america.) - Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Romania + their former colonies in america. Hispanic-american (hispanoamericano) = Coming from a spanish-speaking country of america. Ibero-american (iberoamericano) = Coming from Spanish and portuguese (brazil) speaking countries of America. Latin-America (latinoamericano) = coming from a country of spanish, portuguese of french language in America. The use that is made in some countries in America, using Hispanic and latin as interchangeable is wrong.
  • no reasonable person questions the germanically based nature of Eng and the modern-day speaker's faithfullness to these roots however if one truly commands the language("English") then they may communicate utilizing a latin form or version of it to say that English has been heavily influenced by Latin would be a grand understatement
  • 4-15-2017 Names are not built, they grow. For example there are cities in the southwest named "Yuma". That is because the Spanish explorers noticed the natives had brown skin and they called them smokes, which is humos in Spanish. The English speaking pioneers pronounced that "yumas" and assumed that was the plural of "yuma" so that is what they named the tribe, and they gave the name to some cities too. Much of South America was conquered by people who spoke Spanish or Portuguese, so Americans lumped them all together as "Latin Americans", a term which is also applied to pars of Spain and Portugal. I guess they just got tired of so many places called "Hispaniola". That name was so common that cowboys in Hawaii are still called paniolo.

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