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It has nothing to do with the Romans: why is it called Latin America?

America as a part of the world consists of North and South. This division is quite clear geographically. The narrow isthmus in Panama clearly separates North and South America.

However, the Latin American name does not have a purely geographical framework and is not entirely clear. Latin is not spoken here. The ancient Romans had nothing to do with this region.

So why Latin America?

What explains why it is called a separate region even though it includes many different countries?

many names

As soon as they searched for the continent, it was officially discovered by Columbus.

This part of the world probably got its common name from one of its pioneers, Amerigo Vespucci.

But the British also called open lands in the West Indies for a long time, as Columbus was initially looking for a way to the East Indies. Today, the name West Indies is mostly associated with the Caribbean islands.

Later, America became known as the New World. This was the opposition of the Old World, which included, above all, Europe. The name America gave to the New World was more of a literal and metaphorical nature. After all, all the immigrants who could not find their destiny in the Old World went there.

The concept of Mesoamerica is also common. This is how the regions of this continent were marked, where in the pre-Columbian era the advanced ancient civilizations of the native Indians already existed. Mesoamerica includes parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

The borders of the Caribbean are more or less clear.

And how did the concept of Latin America come about?

everything in the south

Latin America is not a geographical concept.

Yes, it is traditionally believed that Latin America begins just beyond the southern border of the United States and covers the rest of the Americas from Mexico to the south.

Latin America

But at the same time, Latin America does not include, for example, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados and others, although they are in the south.

Latin America is the name given to countries where the majority of the population does not speak English or its dialects. Thus the opposition was born: Anglo-America and Latin America.

The first includes the United States, Canada, and a number of other countries such as Guyana, where English is the official language.

Languages ​​other than English are mostly spoken in Latin America. First of all, it’s Spanish. But Latin America also includes Portuguese-speaking Brazil and a few countries where French is the official language.

Why Latin?

First, Spanish, French, Portuguese belong to a Romance group. They contain many roots and rules originally formed in Latin in ancient Rome.

Therefore, there is a significant similarity in pronunciation, rules and meanings of words between these three languages.

But in addition to this, Catholicism prevailed in Latin America. And Catholics traditionally pray in Latin. Therefore, regardless of their mother tongue, they at least know Latin prayers.

Hence the division was born: Anglo-America, with a large predominance of Protestants and other denominations, and in English.

And Latin America with Catholicism and Romance languages.

Source: GSM Info



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