Difference Between Latin and Spanish

Main Difference – Latin vs Spanish

Latin and Spanish are two languages that belong to the Indo-European language family. When we are looking at the difference between Latin and Spanish, it is important to notice that Spanish is derived from Latin. In addition, Latin, is considered as a dead language while Spanish is a living language, used in many countries around the world.

What is Latin

Latin is a classical language that belongs to the Indo-European language family. Many languages in the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family have evolved from the Latin language.

If we look at the history of the Latin language, it is one of the languages that was spoken in the area known as Latium, Italy, and Rome was a town in Latium. The earliest known inscriptions in Latin dates back to 6th Century BC and Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan alphabet. Latin became the dominant language as Rome began to spread its influence over the other parts of Italy and then over Europe.

Classical Latin is the modern term used to refer to the Latin language used in written form. When we say we are studying Latin, we are referring to Classical Latin as many of the modern Latin textbooks and courses look at texts written in Classical Latin. Vulgar Latin is the term that identifies the colloquial language spoken by the people at the time. However, some authors like Cicero and Petronius used Vulgar Latin in their work. This is the language that later evolved into Italic/Romance languages like Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc.

Latin began to lose its leading position as the main language of education and religion throughout Europe during the 15th century. It was mainly replaced by  languages that were either evolved from or heavily influenced by Latin. Latin is still used by Roman Catholic Church and Christian clergy. It is also an official language of the Vatican city. In addition, Latin terminology is used in fields like biology, medicine, and theology.

Latin can be called a dead language, due to several reasons. It is no longer the native language of anyone, nor is it used for day to day communication purpose. While Latin language is still studied, it can not be named as a developing language.

When analyzing the structure of Latin, it can be noted that it is a highly inflected language. Latin has three distinct genders, four verb conjugations, seven noun cases, three persons and moods, six tenses, two voices, aspects, and numbers.Difference between latin and spanish-

What is Spanish

Spanish is an italic language, evolved from Latin and it is originated in Castile region of Spain. It is estimated that more than four hundred million people use Spanish as their native language. Spanish is the national official language of  Spain, Equatorial Guinea, and in 19 countries in the Americas. Spanish is also one of the six official languages of the United States and is used as an official language in many international organizations like the European Union.

In Spain, there are two main dialects of Spanish: Andalusian and Castilian. Many other dialects can be observed  in regions such as South America. Spanish is classified as a macrolanguage  due to this vast geographical distribution and variety of dialects. Spanish Vocabulary has been influenced by  Basque, Arabian Occitan, French, Italian, and Sardinian, etc.

When talking about the grammatical structure of Spanish it can be  considered as a relatively inflected language consisting of Two genders, voices and aspects three tenses, moods, persons, etc.latin vs spanish

Difference Between Latin and Spanish


Latin originated in Latium,Italy.

Spanish originated in Castile, Spain.


Latin is older than Spanish.

Spanish is derived from Vulgar Latin.


Latin alphabet is derived from Etruscan alphabet.

Spanish alphabet uses Latin script.

Native Language

Spanish is  the native language of hundreds of million people.

Latin is not used as a native language anymore.


Latin can be considered as a dead language since it is not used in day to day life, and is not developing like other modern languages.

Spanish is a modern language.


Latin is a highly inflected language.

Spanish is a relatively inflected language.


About the Author: de Silva

N. de Silva is a graduate, specializing in Sociology. She also works as a part time language educator. With an immense love for language, literature, and psychology she aspires to be a writer who can blend in subject material with linguistic mastery