African Romance


  • Language: African Romance
  • Alternate names: African Latin
  • Language code: xlata
  • Language family: Indo-European, Italic, Romance
  • Number of speakers: Extinct
  • Script: Latin script


African Romance speaking areas AD 600.

African Romance is an extinct Romance language that is supposed to have been spoken in the Roman province of Africa during the later Roman and early Byzantine Empires, prior to the annexation of the region by the Umayyad Caliphate in 696.

Little or nothing is known about this language, but it is presumed that African Romance evolved from Latin as it was spoken in North Africa and was subsequently supplanted by Arabic after the Muslim conquest.

The 12th century Moroccan geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi who, describing Gafsa in southern Tunisia, noted that: 'Its inhabitants are Berberised, and most of them speak the African Latin tongue (al-latini al-afriqi).'