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Well, I can't really understand everything I hear in Latin, but when it comes to reading I understand almost everything :)    The pronunciation not so much, but then again I've never been good with other accents and understanding everything I hear.  I think most Spanish, Portuguese (European), french and Italian speakers can understand some Latin, but some languages seem to be more closer to Latin than others.  In my opinion Italian seems to be the closest one. 

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Since Latin was spoken here in Italy, most of Latin words are almost the same of Italian ones (the only thing that is different is the suffix because in Latin there are declinations and in Italian not) so if i read a Latin text i can recognize them and i can guess the meaning of a phrase. In addiction to this, a lot of Latin words are used in daily conversation like "Idem" that means "me too/same for me",  we use it really often :) We most use Latin words in political/religious ambit, but really there is a long list of words and idioms that we use daily (and sometimes we don't even know!) so maybe for Italian people is easier to understand latin without learning it, but still there are words that are different so it's not so easy in the end. :D

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I remember taking a Latin course in high school and it was very difficult.  That said, taking other languages afterwards but significantly easier, so it really did help a lot in the long run.  To this day I know what certain words mean only because I can trace them back to their original Latin phrases.  I would like to see the whole list of languages that derive from Latin, I am sure that it is pretty long and may include some that we might not think of.

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