- an Eastern Romance language, spoken by about 28 million people,
most of them in Romania, Moldova (where it is the official language)
and neighbouring countries.
- The Romanian territory was inhabited in ancient times by the
Dacians, who spoke an Indo-European language, the Dacian language
about which there is very little knowledge. There is a theory that it
was fairly close to Latin, however there are no proof available to
support this claim. After the Roman conquest,
Dacia was transformed in a Roman province and Vulgar Latin was used
for administration and commerce.
- The grammar is roughly similar to that of Latin, keeping
declensions and the neuter gender, unlike any other Romance language.
- All dialects of Romanian are believed to have been unified in a
common language until sometime between the 7th and the 10th century,
before the Slavonic languages interfered with Romanian. Aromanian has
very few Slavonic words. Also, the variations in the Daco-Romanian
dialect (spoken throughout Romania) are very small, which is quite
remarkable, because until the Modern Era there was almost no
connection between the Romanians in various regions. The use of this
uniform Daco-Romanian dialect extends well beyond the borders of the
Romanian state: a Romanian-speaker from Moldova speaks the same
language as a Romanian-speaker from Banat in Vojvodina.
- Most words in Romanian vocabulary (about 75%) are of Latin origin,
but the language also contains many words borrowed from its Slavonic
neighbours and also from French, Italian, German, Hungarian, Turkish
- Romanian is spoken mostly in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary,
Serbia and Montenegro, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece, but there are
also Romanian language speakers in countries like Canada, United
States, Germany, Israel, Australia and New Zealand, mainly due to
immigration after the World War II.
- Another peculiarity of Romanian is that it is the only Romance
language that has the definite article attached to the end of the noun
(as in Swedish) instead of being a separate word in front. They were
formed as in other Romance languages from the Latin demonstrative
- Romanian has the same four groups of verbs as Latin and unlike
English, it has no sequence of tenses nor strict rules regarding their
use, but it does has many alternatives (for example, it has six
different types of future tense).
- The oldest written text in Romanian is a letter from 1521 ("Neacşu
of Cāmpulung's letter"). It is written using the Cyrillic alphabet,
like all early Romanian writings (because the usual language for
religious services was old Slavonian).
- The Romanian alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet, and has five
additional letters (these are not diacriticals, but letters in their
own right). Initially, there were as many as 12 additional letters,
but some of them disappeared in subsequent reforms. Also, until the
early 20th century, a short vowel marker was used.