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Romanian: A descendant of Vulgar Latin

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10 facts about the Romanian language

01

Romanian belongs to the group of Balkan Romance languages and is predominantly spoken in Romania and Moldova.

02

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

03

Romanian is one of the official languages of the European Union and the official language of Romania and Moldova.

04

Romanian is classified into 4 dialects: Dacoromanian, Aromanian,  Istroromanian and Meglenoromanian.

05

Romanian grammar and phonology resemble  Slavic languages more closely than they do Romance languages.

06

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

07

In Romanian, the labial consonants ”b”, ”m” and ”p” are used instead of velar consonants ”k” and ”g.”

08

In Romanian, nouns have singular and plural forms and are also used in both direct and oblique cases.

09

Romanian is a descendant of Vulgar Latin, or Colloquial Latin, which was commonly spoken throughout the Roman territories in Europe at that time.

10

The oldest script of Romanian writing found was written in the Romanian Cyrillic alphabet in 1521.

Romania

Origin of the language

The Romanian language emerged in Dacia, which later became Romania.

Romania

History of the language

It is believed that Romanian originated in the 2nd century.

Romania

Learning the language

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

Romanian language diversity

Romanian is the official language of Romania and the Republic of Moldova.

When Romania occupied the area south of the Danube river, the Latin and Balkan languages influenced the Romanian dialects. Romanian is now classified into 4 different dialects: Dacoromanian, Aromanian, Istroromanian and Meglenoromanian.

Dacoromanian is the standard form of the language that is spoken in Romania and Moldova whereas the others are regional variants. Aromanian is spoken across some communities in Greece, Albania, Serbia and Kosovo. Istroromanian and Meglenoromanian, on the other hand, are almost extinct but are still spoken in some regions in Istria and Northern Greece, respectively.

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Did you know?

Romanian is written in the Latin morphological case differentiation.

Nearly 72% of Romanian words are derived from a Latin root and 15% from a Slavic root.

The popular song “Dragostea din tei” by the music group O-zone is in Romanian.

Unlike most languages, Romanian has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter.

The verbs usually precede the object in Romanian sentences.

Romanian officially switched from the Cyrillic alphabet to the Latin alphabet in 1989.

Romanian language for beginners

Ten basic words to start learning in Romanian:

True: adevărat
New: nou
Hello: Salut
Come: vino
Love: dragoste
Good: bun
Bye: Pa
Good morning: Buna Dimineata
Sad: Trist
Thank you: Mulțumesc

Quotes

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

Only Romanian survived in Eastern Europe

Out of all the Romance languages, Romanian is the only language that prevailed in the area of Europe occupied by Hungarians and Bulgarians.

Romanian is easy to speak and write

Since Romanian is a language that is phonetic, the words are pronounced and spelled in the same manner.

Easy to understand with knowledge of other Romance languages

Romanian has several words that are closely related to words in French, Italian and Spanish. For example, pardon is a French word that has been incorporated into the Romanian language.

Influence of Slavic languages

Romanian has heavily been influenced by the Slavic languages. As a result, Romanian vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation resemble that of Slavic languages.

The longest word

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

Taught as a foreign language

Some European countries teach Romanian as a first language, and a total of 43 countries teach Romanian as a second language.

Romanian is similar to some Romance languages

Lexically, Romanian is the closest to Italian, followed by French, Sardinian, Catalan, Portuguese and Spanish.

Vowels are also words

In Romanian, almost all of the vowels are also independent words with their own meanings. 

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 Romanian alphabet

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

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