French (Français) is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco.French is the fourth-most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union. French is a descendant of the spoken Latin language of the Roman Empire, as are languages such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Lombard, Catalan, Sicilian and Sardinian. French is an official language in 29 countries. French is a Romance language that evolved out of the Gallo-Romance dialects spoken in northern France. French is written with the 26 letters of the basic Latin script, with four diacritics appearing on vowels and the cedilla appearing in. French spelling, like English spelling, tends to preserve obsolete pronunciation rules. The majority of French words derive from Vulgar Latin or were constructed from Latin or Greek roots. In many cases a single etymological root appears in French in a "popular" or native form, inherited from Vulgar Latin, and a learned form, borrowed later from Classical Latin.