According to what I researched, Vulgar Latin was not standardized like Classical Latin and it was just everyday speech and it evolved into Romance languages that used Vulgar Latin pronounciation. However, according to wiki, it is also known as Colloquial Latin which means it was an informal version of Latin but why is it called that? Was it developed artificially, or is it a reconstruction of the original Latin? source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulgar_Latin#:~:text=Vulgar%20Latin%2C%20also%20known%20as,time%20and%20in%20many%20places. And if it was just an informal version of Classical Latin why did the Romance languages adopt the Vulgar pronounciation but not Classical?

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    You understand Latin was a real language that was spoken by people in the same way English is, right? The Romance languages developed in regions where Latin was spoken as an actual, normal, natural language, and they developed out of the Latin that was spoken there.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Dec 23, 2023 at 20:49
  • My question is why is Vulgar Latin known to be colloquiall version of Classical Latin. Was it a reconstructed version? Commented Dec 23, 2023 at 23:08
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    It's really not clear what you're asking.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 4:25
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    Personally, I think this is a fine question. It's based on a misunderstanding of what "Vulgar Latin" or "Colloquial Latin" means, but explaining that terminology is a reasonable use of this site.
    – Draconis
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 5:11
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    Quite the reverse! Vulgar Latin was the natural mother tongue of many people. Classical Latin was, if not "constructed", at least codified and given a formal structure.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


"Classical Latin" describes the poetry of Vergil and the formal speeches of Cicero, rather than how people actually spoke at any given place and time. The name is generally applied to the literary tradition that tried to imitate Vergil and Cicero (and various others of a similar style and era), but it's fundamentally a literary style.

"Vulgar Latin", by contrast, is used to describe the Latin that was actually spoken in day-to-day life. Which had some notable differences from the style of Cicero, even during Cicero's era! (That's also where the name "Colloquial Latin" comes from: colloqui "to talk to each other".)

Since the Classical literary tradition was trying to imitate Vergil and Cicero (et al), and the works of Vergil and Cicero don't change over the centuries, Classical Latin didn't really evolve or develop over time. Trying to imitate Cicero in the 1500s looks roughly the same as trying to imitate Cicero in the 2000s.

But since Vulgar Latin was the actual spoken language used in daily life, it evolved just like every language does. Thus, it became the Romance languages.

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