- 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
- The grammar is roughly similar to that of
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
but the language also contains many words borrowed from its Slavonic neighbours and also from
- Another peculiarity of Romanian is that it is the only Romance
language that has the definite article attached to the end of the noun
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.