Yes, in Vulgar Latin and a lot of Church Latin, they used either «ille» or «ipse», for example, «ille homo», the man. Luigi Miraglia, possibly the most fluent speaker living, and who does lectures in Latin available on Youtube, uses definite articles when speaking. But it's OK to not use them, the classical norm is always without, but feel free to use them if you already speak a Romance language and it feels more natural to you; to each their own, or «suum cuique»!
See this tip from Duo:
I thought that if the v is between two vowels (or at the start of a word like vir) it's read "v", otherwise it's read u or w (because of what you said with the letter giving birth to two sounds) Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I stand by what I've said. I'd be really glad to find out how to pronounce these words!!