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15 Most Populous Countries that Speak a Romance Language

Can you name the most populous countries where a majority of the residents are native speakers of a language derived from Latin?
Population estimates: August 2022, Worldometers
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: August 18, 2022
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First submittedNovember 27, 2017
Times taken70,126
Average score73.3%
Rating4.57
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Population
Country
216 m
Brazil
132 m
Mexico
67.9 m
France
60.3 m
Italy
52.0 m
Colombia
46.8 m
Spain
46.1 m
Argentina
33.9 m
Peru
Population
Country
28.3 m
Venezuela
19.5 m
Chile
19.0 m
Romania
18.6 m
Guatemala
18.2 m
Ecuador
12.0 m
Bolivia
11.7 m
Haiti
+135
Level 73
Dec 3, 2017
Poor Portugal is responsible for the language that makes the top of the list even though it does not make the top 15 itself.
+31
Level 56
Dec 11, 2017
rip
+50
Level 43
Dec 11, 2017
yeh, we are only 10 million people :)
+4
Level 31
Dec 31, 2017
Lol I thought that too
+1
Level 66
Jan 16, 2019
yup exactly what I was gonna say
+2
Level 25
Jul 1, 2020
I tried it three times thinking there must be a typo, before I realised it's actually quite small.
+1
Level 60
Nov 23, 2020
I always forget this, and it weirds me out that Spain has so many more people than Portugal.
+35
Level 73
Dec 11, 2017
Oh, for crying out loud. I got so focused on remembering all of Latin America I forgot friggin' SPAIN.
+3
Level 56
Dec 11, 2017
Me too - very frustrating!
+3
Level 59
Dec 11, 2017
Yep, and me.
+1
Level 27
Mar 29, 2020
Yep, same.
+19
Level 62
Dec 11, 2017
What about Angola, Mozambique, Niger, DRC, etc?
+20
Level 66
Dec 11, 2017
I think in those countries is Portuguese an official language, but most people have their tribal languages as their first language
+15
Level 57
Dec 11, 2017
In Niger and DRC the official language if French. Nonetheless, tribal languages are the first language of most people there too.
+29
Level 74
Dec 11, 2017
True, although they are no more "tribal" than Italian and French.
+2
Level 77
Mar 7, 2020
Many people in those countries speak a Romance language (e.g. French, Portuguese) but have a tribal language as their native tongue (which is what this quiz is about).
+4
Level 61
Jun 29, 2020
but if that is the reasoning, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia have their indigenous languages too. In Peru, Quechua is an official language
+7
Level 67
Jun 29, 2020
I don't think the reasoning is as simple as whether there are more native languages than the Romance language, but how many people in a given country speak the Romance language as a native tongue. Yes, Peru has Quechua, but most of Peru's residents speak the Romance language (i.e., Spanish) as their first language. That is not the case in many of the African countries cited in the comments.
+3
Level 71
Aug 23, 2022
Can we maybe introduce some actual statistics into this? I’ll give one example; Portuguese is the sole official language in Angola and it’s last census indicated that 71% of the population speak Portuguese at home (I make this 18.3m, although the quiz requires the total population). Speaking a language at home is usually the determining factor with regards to first language. I can’t therefore see a valid reason to exclude Angola, and this is the first country I looked up. I suspect there would be more if I had the time to look them all up.
+1
Level 58
Jun 29, 2020
It may be an official language, but a majority of the people there do not speak Spanish or French or Portuguese as a native language.
+5
Level 56
Dec 11, 2017
I could not think of the last one for the life of me, and then was shocked to see it was Romania--for about half a second, until I looked at the word "Romania." Oh. Duh.
+3
Level 61
Dec 11, 2017
Foi um quiz muito bom! I loved the quiz. And although I speak English as a first language, I love romantic languages... Favorite is Portuguese.. the Jjjjjj of French and the beauty of the other latin languages like Spanish, Italian, Ladino, Romanian. Lots of African countries speak as well as Philippines has a good number who speak romantic language.
+8
Level 59
Dec 12, 2017
They're called Romance languages, not romantic languages (there's a world of difference in meaning!) :-)
+2
Level 66
Jan 16, 2019
Maybe he misspelled romanic, that can be used instead of romance.

ps there is a world of difference between romance (languages) and romance aswell...

+4
Level 76
Jun 29, 2020
I thought he meant that the Romance languages sound romantic when spoken. In the movies the Casanovas always seem to quote French, Italian, or Spanish when wooing the ladies. Pepe le Pew is a prime example. :)
+1
Level 71
Aug 23, 2022
I’d argue that most of them are speaking English, but in a thick French accent. Not sure how a skunk ended up with a French accent, but oh well…
+11
Level 64
Dec 12, 2017
I kept wondering if Switzerland was the last slot on the list, thinking that surely there were at least 11m Swiss and that French, Italian, and Romansh speakers comprised at least half of them. Nope, wrong on both counts: population is only 8m, and German speakers are the majority. The More You Know!
+1
Level 37
Feb 21, 2018
Either way, Switzerland still wouldn't have qualified for this quiz if it had a high enough population because the language most of the people speak is not a romance language.
+20
Level 66
Mar 3, 2020
He just said that
+2
Level 28
Feb 21, 2018
I forgot France. Please send help.
+1
Level 87
Jun 26, 2018
The Who Speaks Spanish Quiz
+5
Level 75
Mar 10, 2021
And French, Portuguese, Romanian, Italian.
+2
Level 61
Oct 25, 2018
Shouldn't Canada be here. They speak French in Quebec and they have like 35 million people
+6
Level 66
Jan 16, 2019
Apparently it is not the majority. That is what the quiz asks for
+2
Level 83
Aug 23, 2022
As of 2022: "French is the mother tongue of approximately 7.2 million Canadians, or about 20.6 per cent of the Canadian population." Total population estimate for 2022 is 38.6 million.
+1
Level 33
Jan 7, 2020
official first language of Mozambique is Portuguese and they have 29 mil, incorrect quiz, sorry.
+9
Level 82
Jan 7, 2020
Wikipedia says the last census in 2017 found that about 47.3% of Mozambicans speak Portuguese though it is the most widely spoken language. And only 16.6% are native speakers of Portuguese, which the quiz asks for.
+6
Level 58
Jan 8, 2020
It is the official language, but it is not the first language of most of the citizens.
+4
Level 33
Jan 7, 2020
also Cameroon where 83% speak French and 17% speak English, their population is 24 million, which means nearly 20 million speak French. and the list goes on and on and on
+8
Level 66
Mar 3, 2020
It think they "can" speak french, that doesnt mean it is their 1st language. Often I believe it is used as a lingua franca, the language they speak when two people have different first languages.
+2
Level 51
Jan 7, 2020
Why are Cameron Algeria and DRC not on this?
+6
Level 58
Jan 8, 2020
The number of native speakers is not high enough. A country can use a language as its official language without the majority of its people having it as a native language. 82% of the people in Cameroon do not speak French as native speakers, and few of them would be better at French than at their own language.
+1
Level 53
Jan 7, 2020
Algeria is most likely not on here because most of Algeria speaks Berber dialects as their first language, not French. It's probably the same deal for some of the other countries that have French and Portuguese as their languages such as Angola, Mozambique, and the DRC.
+3
Level 81
Mar 6, 2020
Most speak Arabic as first language
+20
Level ∞
Mar 6, 2020
Next person who asks why DRC, Mozambique, or other African countries are not included gets permabanned.
+8
Level 75
Mar 8, 2020
The problem is that there are different definitions of what constitutes a "native language". Wikipedia lists five:

Based on origin: the language(s) one learned first (the language(s) in which one has established the first long-lasting verbal contacts);

Based on internal identification: the language(s) one identifies with/as a speaker of;

Based on external identification: the language(s) one is identified with/as a speaker of, by others;

Based on competence: the language(s) one knows best:

Based on function: the language(s) one uses most.

Under some of these definitions, some African countries, including at least Angola, would qualify.

+9
Level 76
Jun 29, 2020
I'll miss reading your comments, Jerry.
+3
Level 79
Mar 6, 2020
Majority of Belgians are native Dutch speakers so Belgium does not fit the description of a country "where a majority of the residents are native speakers of a language derived from Latin".
+2
Level ∞
Mar 6, 2020
Sorry about that. The Wikipedia article on Languages of Belgium had a confusing map. This has been fixed.
+2
Level 69
Mar 6, 2020
I wonder which states are missing at all (not just top15). There are several American countries, Portugal, Andorra, San Marino, Vatican, Monaco, and Cape Verde. That's it?!
+2
Level 75
Aug 2, 2020
Also Moldova, Sao Tomé, Mauritius, Seychelles. But yeah I think that's all.
+2
Level 82
Mar 7, 2020
So Haiti has overtaken Cuba as the most populous Caribbean nation this year, tripped me up.
+4
Level 60
Mar 17, 2020
Angola is surely missing. A clear majority of people speak Portuguese.
+5
Level ∞
Mar 17, 2020
Permabanned.
+4
Level 60
Mar 18, 2020
Haha.

If you need a reference you can check the official report of the angolan 2014 census.

http://www.embajadadeangola.com/pdf/Publicacao%20Resultados%20Definitivos%20Censo%20Geral%202014_Versao%2022032016_DEFINITIVA%2018H17.pdf

Section 7.1.10 (p. 51) shows that 71% of Angolans speak Portuguese at home. The same census show that Angola has 25.8 million inhabitants.

+2
Level 58
Jun 11, 2021
It’s asking for native speakers, not how many people speak it.
+2
Level 50
Apr 6, 2020
Almost forgot Romania
+2
Level 58
May 6, 2020
why aren't cameroon angola and drc there ???
+4
Level 58
May 6, 2020
that was a joke pls don't attack me
+1
Level 73
Jun 29, 2020
I really did not expect Haiti to have a larger population than Cuba even though Cuba is four times larger in terms of area. This quiz's source gives Haiti a population that is larger than Cuba by only 75,000 people.
+2
Level 53
Jun 29, 2020
Interesting quiz... although the title and the actual question don't quite match up...
+2
Level 44
Jun 29, 2020
RIP Portugal!
+3
Level 55
Jun 29, 2020
Angola?
+1
Level 52
Jun 29, 2020
bruh i missed colombia but got peru and venezuela, what was i thinking
+4
Level 46
Jun 29, 2020
France, Italy and Spain: Are you Latin?

Romania: Da.

+2
Level 84
Jun 29, 2020
hm. I thought the Dominican Republic had more people than Haiti. I guess not. Close, though.
+3
Level 72
Jun 29, 2020
It's the other way around for their capitals (metro areas, that is). Still, pretty damn close in both cases.
+3
Level 61
Jun 29, 2020
What about DRC? Nearly 33 Million French speakers!
+4
Level 60
Jun 29, 2020
That's not the majority of the country's population. And I think most of them aren't native speakers.
+4
Level 52
Jun 29, 2020
What about DR Congo? It has a population of 84.07 million and they speak French.
+2
Level 52
Jul 1, 2020
Yh I was thinking the same with Senegal and Ivory Coast, who knows.
+1
Level 78
Jun 29, 2020
What about UK? ;)
+3
Level 55
Nov 6, 2020
English is a Germanic Language.
+1
Level 62
Jun 30, 2020
0:25

Nice idea, thanks!

+2
Level 52
Jul 1, 2020
Senegal speak French and hv a 16 mil population?
+1
Level 91
Nov 23, 2021
The majority speak Wolof.
+2
Level 50
Sep 10, 2021
...I actually forgot mexico. why.
+1
Level 64
Jan 26, 2022
i forgot about romania
+1
Level 37
Aug 23, 2022
Romania is sneaky indeed
+1
Level 45
May 3, 2022
Almost forgot France... got it in the last seconds
+1
Level 53
May 16, 2022
what about D.R. Congo???
+2
Level 59
Aug 24, 2022
A majority of people in D.R. Congo speak French, but not as a native language. It is their second or third language, Kikongo and Lingala are much more common as first language.
+1
Level 37
Aug 23, 2022
This is a perfect look on how big Brazil is, compared to their former colonial power
+1
Level 41
Aug 24, 2022
i tried all of latinamerica and i forgot romania T-T
+1
Level 48
Aug 25, 2022
I don't have access to Ethnologue to see if the data has been updated, but in 2016 48% of Angolans spoke Portuguese as a native language (if you count languages spoken at home then Angola passed the threshold a long time ago) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angolan_Portuguese. Most people in other African countries don't speak romance languages natively, but Angola is different.
+1
Level 33
Aug 25, 2022
confuse,,,

why brazil in the list

but not portugal

+1
Level 48
Aug 25, 2022
Because Portugal's population is too small to be in the top 15.
+2
Level 72
Aug 25, 2022
Why not add Dominican Republic and make the quiz symmetrical?
+1
Level 44
Sep 4, 2022
missed ecuador