LANGUAGES OF THE ROMANCE GROUP
This large and important language group, vying with the Germanic for first place in number of speakers and cultural importance among the Indo-European families, is characterized by descent from a common and almost fully known ancestor, Latin, in its Classical and Vulgar varieties. Of the five national languages of this group (French, Spanish, Protuguese, Italian, Roumanian) the first four are numerically and culturally of somewhat comparable importance, each within it own sphere.
French, the native tongue of nearly 60,000,000 people in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and Haiti, is also an extremely widespread cultural and secondary tongue (it has been estimated that perhaps 50,000,000 additional people throughout the world can be reached with it), and a language of colonization second only to English in importance (the colonial populations under French rule amount to over 80,000,000 people).
Spanish, the national tongue of Spain (over 25,000,000) and the official tongue of the Spanish colonies (about 1,000,000), is also the primary language of Mexico, most of Central America and the Antilles, and of South America outside of Brazil and the Guianas. The total number of Spanish speakers in the Western Hemisphere is over 80,000,000.
Portuguese serves Portugal (about 7,000,000) and the Portuguese colonies (nearly 10,000,000). As the national tongue of Brazil (44,000,000), Portuguese reaches a total population of over 60,000,000.
Italian, the national tongue of Italy (45,000,000), is usable in Italy's colonial empire (Dodecanese, Libya, Italian