History of the term Vlach

History Of The Term Vlach

History of the term Vlach

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Vlach ( or ) is a Slavic-derived term (originally borrowed from Germanic *Walha), which is used to designate the Romance speaking peoples of South-Eastern Europe: Romanians, Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians and Istro-Romanians.

While historically, it was used to refer to all Latin-speaking people of the Balkans, practically the remnants of romanized Illyrians, Thracians and Dacians, nowadays, this term is only rarely used to refer to the Romanians, but is instead used to refer to the other Eastern Romanic peoples, living outside Romania.

Origins of the word

  • See also: History of the term Walha

The Slavic term in turn derives from Germanic: it originates with *Walha by which the early Germanic tribes called their Celtic neighbours, possibly derived from the name of the tribe which was known to the Romans as Volcae (in the writings of Julius Caesar) and to the Greeks as OuĆ³lkai (Strabo and Ptolemy).Ringe, Don. "." Language Log, January 2009.

As the Celts of Gaul were Romanized, the word changed its meaning to "Romanic people", as it is still kept in the name of the Walloons of Belgium, and in the German exonyms:
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