Latin script is used as the standard method of writing in most Western and Central European languages, as well as in many languages in other parts of the world. Latin script is the basis for the largest number of alphabets of any writing system and is the most widely adopted writing system in the world, Latin script is also the basis of the International Phonetic Alphabet. The 26 most widespread letters are the contained in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. The script is either called Roman script or Latin script, in reference to its origin in ancient Rome, in the context of transliteration, the term romanization or romanisation is often found. Unicode uses the term Latin as does the International Organization for Standardization, the numeral system is called the Roman numeral system, and the collection of the elements, Roman numerals. The numbers 1,2,3. are Latin/Roman script numbers for the Hindu–Arabic numeral system, the Latin alphabet spread, along with Latin, from the Italian Peninsula to the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea with the expansion of the Roman Empire. The Latin script also came into use for writing the West Slavic languages and several South Slavic languages, the speakers of East Slavic languages generally adopted Cyrillic along with Orthodox Christianity. The Serbian language uses both scripts, with Cyrillic predominating in official communication and Latin elsewhere, as determined by the Law on Official Use of the Language and Alphabet. As late as 1500, the Latin script was limited primarily to the languages spoken in Western, Northern, the Orthodox Christian Slavs of Eastern and Southeastern Europe mostly used Cyrillic, and the Greek alphabet was in use by Greek-speakers around the eastern Mediterranean. The Arabic script was widespread within Islam, both among Arabs and non-Arab nations like the Iranians, Indonesians, Malays, and Turkic peoples, most of the rest of Asia used a variety of Brahmic alphabets or the Chinese script. It is used for many Austronesian languages, including the languages of the Philippines, Latin letters served as the basis for the forms of the Cherokee syllabary developed by Sequoyah, however, the sound values are completely different. In the late 19th century, the Romanians returned to the Latin alphabet, under French rule and Portuguese missionary influence, a Latin alphabet was devised for the Vietnamese language, which had previously used Chinese characters. In 1928, as part of Mustafa Kemal Atatürks reforms, the new Republic of Turkey adopted a Latin alphabet for the Turkish language, kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Iranian-speaking Tajikistan, and the breakaway region of Transnistria kept the Cyrillic alphabet, chiefly due to their close ties with Russia. In the 1930s and 1940s, the majority of Kurds replaced the Arabic script with two Latin alphabets, although the only official Kurdish government uses an Arabic alphabet for public documents, the Latin Kurdish alphabet remains widely used throughout the region by the majority of Kurdish-speakers. In 2015, the Kazakh government announced that the Latin alphabet would replace Cyrillic as the system for the Kazakh language by 2025. In the course of its use, the Latin alphabet was adapted for use in new languages, sometimes representing phonemes not found in languages that were written with the Roman characters. These new forms are given a place in the alphabet by defining an alphabetical order or collation sequence, a digraph is a pair of letters used to write one sound or a combination of sounds that does not correspond to the written letters in sequence. Examples are ⟨ch⟩, ⟨ng⟩, ⟨rh⟩, ⟨sh⟩ in English, a trigraph is made up of three letters, like the German ⟨sch⟩, the Breton ⟨c’h⟩ or the Milanese ⟨oeu⟩
Image: A Specimen by William Caslon
The distribution of the Latin script. The dark green areas show the countries where the Latin script is the sole main script. Light green shows countries where Latin co-exists with other scripts. Latin-script alphabets are sometimes extensively used in areas coloured grey due to the use of unofficial second languages, such as French in Algeria and English in Egypt, and to Latin transliteration of the official script, such as pinyin in China.