Romanian: A Descendant of Vulgar Latin

Known as the prevailing Eastern Romance language, Romanian has evolved through a variety of linguistic influences over the years. It was originally developed from dialects of Vulgar Latin. As it came into contact with other cultures and their languages, such as Slavic, German, Turkish, and others, it continued to adapt and supplement its lexicon. This also influenced its shift from using the Cyrillic alphabet to the Latin alphabet.

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3 interesting facts about the Romanian language


Romanian is also closely linked to the Turkish, Albanian, and Hungarian languages through its Latin roots.


Romanian is classified into 4 dialects: Daco-Romanian, Aromanian, Istro-Romanian, and Megleno-Romanian.


It is estimated that 34 million people speak Romanian around the world; of these, 30 million speak it as their first language.

Origin of the language

Also known as Daco-Romanian, the Romanian language traces its origins to Vulgar Latin as it was spoken in the provinces of Dacia, now present-day Bulgaria and Romania. The language began during the Roman Empire’s reign over the region. The earliest records of Romanian texts, legal documents, and religious texts date from the 16th century.

Romanian is the official language of Romania and the Republic of Moldovia. It is also spoken in other communities scattered across countries such as Serbia, Bulgaria, and Hungary, among others.

History of the language

Unlike other Romance languages, the Romanian language evolved independently in the Middle Ages although it was heavily influenced by Old Church Slavonic, Slavic dialects, Hungarian, Greek, and Turkish.

The Romanian language was modernized and standardized in the 19th century, resulting in the formation of the present-day Romanian literary language. This period coincided with increased sentiments of national identity among Romanians, leading to a cultural revival known as the National Awakening. This triggered major developments and the promotion of the language and its literature.

Learning the language

It takes about 580 hours to learn Romanian as an English speaker.

How to say 10 popular words and phrases in the Romanian language

A quick introduction to learning the Romanian language can start with some of these words and phrases.

Romanian language for beginners

Ten basic words to start learning in Romanian:

Hello= Salut

Goodbye= La revedere

Merry Christmas=Crăciun fericit!

Yes= Da


Please= Te rog

Good morning= Buna dimineata

Good afternoon= Bună ziua

Friend= Prieten

Good night= Noapte bună

lang orbit original

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

Elie Wiesel

Writer, political activist and teacher

I don't run away from challenges because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet.

Nadia Comăneci

Olympic gold medalist

Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come - even if it came in a living room - or to someone with a humble living.

Stefan Hell

Physicist and Nobel Prize winner

Fun facts about the Romanian language

The Romanian alphabet

The Romanian alphabet has a total of 31 letters which resemble the letters of the English alphabet but are pronounced differently.

The “Diacritics”

Romanian has 5 unique letters, also known as the Diacritics, that have difficult pronunciations. These letters are ă, ș, ț, â and î.

The longest word

The longest word in Romanian ispneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcaniconioză which has 44 letters and refers to a lung disease caused by inhaling sand dust.


As a Romance language, Romanian shares similarities with Portuguese, French, Spanish, and Italian. Of these, it shares the closest similarities with Italian.

Native English speakers might find Romanian fairly easy to learn. It’s classified as a Category I language by the FSI which is the group of the easiest languages to learn.

Although this language was exposed to Slavic languages, only 10% of Romanian vocabulary can be traced back to Slavic roots. Romanian has a much more diverse background, having developed itself from a blend of Bulgarian, Turkish, and German influences.

Romanian is the closest living language to Latin, making it a good stepping stone for anyone interested in learning Latin.

Romanian is the official language of Romania although a few other minor languages are spoken in the country, such as Romani and Hungarian.

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