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I understand that the alphabet for the English language is not strictly English as languages such as French, Dutch and many more use the same alphabet, with few additions in other languages. Is Roman alphabet the common term to refer to this set of symbols for writing texts?

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Rather roman alphabet, singular. –  Gorpik Jun 14 '12 at 12:01

2 Answers 2

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The term for the name of the script is Latin, at least according to Unicode.

U+0041 ‭ A  LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A
U+0042 ‭ B  LATIN CAPITAL LETTER B
U+0043 ‭ C  LATIN CAPITAL LETTER C
U+0066 ‭ f  LATIN SMALL LETTER F
U+0067 ‭ g  LATIN SMALL LETTER G
U+0068 ‭ h  LATIN SMALL LETTER H

U+00DE ‭ Þ  LATIN CAPITAL LETTER THORN
U+00DF ‭ ß  LATIN SMALL LETTER SHARP S
U+00E0 ‭ à  LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH GRAVE 
U+01BF ‭ ƿ  LATIN LETTER WYNN
U+021D ‭ ȝ  LATIN SMALL LETTER YOGH

Contrast those with non-Latin letters, like these:

U+0393 ‭ Γ  GREEK CAPITAL LETTER GAMMA
U+0394 ‭ Δ  GREEK CAPITAL LETTER DELTA
U+03B4 ‭ δ  GREEK SMALL LETTER DELTA
U+03B5 ‭ ε  GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON
U+03B6 ‭ ζ  GREEK SMALL LETTER ZETA

U+0416 ‭ Ж  CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER ZHE
U+0417 ‭ З  CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER ZE
U+0418 ‭ И  CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER I

Any code point with the Unicode character property Script=Latin is deemed a Latin letter — presuming it is a letter. There are a few Latin code points that count as numbers, too, like

U+2180 ‭ ↀ  ROMAN NUMERAL ONE THOUSAND C D
U+2181 ‭ ↁ  ROMAN NUMERAL FIVE THOUSAND
U+2182 ‭ ↂ  ROMAN NUMERAL TEN THOUSAND

Bringhurst in Elements of Typographic Style talks about how the Latin alphabet is not the ASCII alphabet, but contains in fact hundreds more glyphs, or sorts as a typesetter might say. Most of these we only use in English when writing an unassimilated loan words, or someone’s name, if at all.

U+00E6 ‭ æ  LATIN SMALL LETTER AE
U+00E7 ‭ ç  LATIN SMALL LETTER C WITH CEDILLA
U+00F0 ‭ ð  LATIN SMALL LETTER ETH
U+00F1 ‭ ñ  LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH TILDE
U+00F8 ‭ ø  LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH STROKE

And it gets weirder, because as more world languages have adopted the Latin alphabet, they often have reason to add new letters to it for their own needs.

U+01A6 ‭ Ʀ  LATIN LETTER YR
U+0238 ‭ ȸ  LATIN SMALL LETTER DB DIGRAPH
U+0242 ‭ ɂ  LATIN SMALL LETTER GLOTTAL STOP
U+0259 ‭ ə  LATIN SMALL LETTER SCHWA
U+1D24 ‭ ᴤ  LATIN LETTER VOICED LARYNGEAL SPIRANT
U+1D79 ‭ ᵹ  LATIN SMALL LETTER INSULAR G
U+0298 ‭ ʘ  LATIN LETTER BILABIAL CLICK
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Yes Latin is what the OP wants. Roman is a style of lettering, as opposed for example to Italic, a different style of lettering.... Now in Cyrillic text, do we still say Roman and Italic for these two styles? Or is there some other way, like upright and slanted or something? –  GEdgar Jun 14 '12 at 14:36
    
@GEdgar There is some ambiguity in the term Roman in that it can be used to mean both the Latin alphabet as used by the Romans and the modern upright text. –  Mark Beadles Jun 14 '12 at 14:38
    
@Gedgar In Russian, Roman type is прямой шрифт 'pryamoj shrift' literally "upright type" and Italic type is курсивный шрифт 'kursivnij shfit' literally "cursive type" –  Mark Beadles Jun 14 '12 at 14:42
    
Until the Unicode consortium needed to come up with names for all those characters, I'm not sure anybody would have classified some of those as "Latin". –  Colin Fine Jun 14 '12 at 16:18
    
That's strange - the noun for putting a different text into the Latin alphabet is "romanization". –  Andrew Grimm Jan 14 '13 at 6:58

"Roman" is a type of lettering based on the letter-forms adopted in Ancient (Imperial) Rome:

Example from Ancient Rome  [Image credit: Me]

The name is commonly used for the writing of a number of languages, as you suggest.

Different languages may have different alphabets. For example, Welsh includes DD and LL as entities separate from D and L, as well as a few other digraphs, and does not include K, Q or Z. However the letter-forms are called "Roman", as illustrated here.

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Right, those are roman as opposed to italic (𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑐), script (𝓈𝒸𝓇𝒾𝓅𝓉), or blackletter (𝔟𝔩𝔞𝔠𝔨𝔩𝔢𝔱𝔱𝔢𝔯) letterforms of the Latin alphabet. This is as opposed to the Greek (ελληνικά) alphabet, for example. –  tchrist Jun 14 '12 at 12:33
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Roman can be used both to indicate an upright typeface and as a synonym for the term Latin Alphabet. –  Fisher Jun 14 '12 at 12:59
    
It's always a good idea to include a link to where you got that information. Otherwise it's plagiarism –  Java D Nov 20 '13 at 12:57
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@JavaD Or original research or common knowledge gained in time immemorial, as here. However, I've included a corroborative link. –  Andrew Leach Nov 20 '13 at 13:25
    
@AndrewLeach..now you changed image after i mentioned for your image to be plagiarized.. –  Java D Nov 20 '13 at 18:13

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