Latin is an ancient Italic language originally spoken by the Italic Latins in Latium and Ancient Rome. Along with most European languages, it is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Influenced by the Etruscan language and using the Greek alphabet as a basis, it took form as what is recognizable as Latin in the Italian peninsula. Modern Romance languages are continuations of dialectal forms of the language. Additionally many students, scholars, and some members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and it is still taught in some primary, secondary and post-secondary educational institutions around the world.
Latin is still used in the creation of new words in modern languages of many different families, including English, and largely in biological taxonomy. Latin and its derivative Romance languages are the only surviving languages of the Italic language family. Other languages of the Italic branch were attested in the inscriptions of early Italy, but were assimilated to Latin during the Roman Republic.