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  • Romance language spoken spoken by about 28 million people, most of them in Romania, Moldova (where it is the official language) and neighbouring countries (Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece). Romanian speakers can also be found in countries such as Canada, United States, Germany, Israel, Australia and New Zealand, mainly due to immigration after the World War II.
  • Four principal dialects may be distinguished: Daco-Romanian, the basis of the standard language, spoken in Romania and Moldova in several regional variants; Aromanian, or Macedo-Romanian, spoken in scattered communities in Greece, Serbia and Montenegro, Albania, and Bulgaria; Megleno-Romanian, a nearly extinct dialect of northern Greece; and Istro-Romanian, also nearly extinct, spoken on the Istrian Peninsula of Croatia.
  • 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 when Slavonic languages interfered with Romanian. Aromanian has very few Slavonic words.
  • 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 the Vojvodina.
  • Moldavian is a form of Daco-Romanian spoken in Moldova and is written in the Cyrillic alphabet.
  • The first known text in Daco-Romanian dates from 1521, and the earliest inscription in Aromanian is dated 1731.
  • Most Romanian words (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 and English.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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