Romance languages are the languages derived from Latin, such as French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. The word romance has its origins in Latin. Romanici Loqui meant to speak in Roman, referring to the local dialect in Rome as opposed to the more formal dialect of Latin itself. Across Western Europe during medieval times, serious writing such as religious doctrine, scientific research, and nonfiction news accounts were usually written in Latin, while popular folklore was written in local dialects (vernacular). The folklore consisted of stories, plays, and writings that were often centered on love. Later, books of fiction came to be known as romance novels.