The area of Gaul,
which corresponds to modern day France and Belgium, was conquered by Julius
Caesar in 52 B.C. Additional Roman conquests spread the use of Latin to
many new lands and people. In addition, the Church adopted the use of Latin
in Christian territories held by Romans. However, people in regions far
away from Rome introduced their own idioms and expressions and, eventually,
new languages were born. Those new languages are called the Romance languages.
By 700 A.D. the inhabitants of Gaul spoke a
modified Latin different from the pure Latin spoken by the Church and administration
officials. The modified Latin spoken by Gauls became the new official language
of the region and evolved into Modern French. Below is an account of the
milestones in the evolution of the French language.