Romanian - interesting facts
Romanian is the mother tongue of 24 million people (about 0.4% of the world's population) and ranks 49th among the world's most spoken languages.
Limba română is the official language of Romania and Moldova, as well as Vojvodina (as one of the official languages) – an autonomous district in northern Serbia. It is also recognized as a language of national minorities in Ukraine and Hungary.
Romanian belongs to the group of Romance languages, namely the Eastern Romanesque subgroup (in many respects Romanian is similar to other languages of the Balkan Peninsula, i.e. Bulgarian, Albanian and Greek). Like other Romance languages, this language is derived from folk Latin. Its history in the medieval period is poorly known and documented. The first document confirming the existence of this language dates back only to the beginning of the 16th century (Neacșu's letter of 1521). Interestingly, Romanian was originally written in Cyrillic. It was not until 1860 that the Latin alphabet was officially sanctioned. The Cyrillic alphabet is valid only in Transnistria, an autonomous region of Moldova (this language variant is referred to as Moldovan).
The Romanian language does not show much dialectal diversity, and its variants differ only at phonetics. There are two main groups of dialects: northern and southern. The Bucharest-based Academia Română regulates the Romanian language.
In lexical terms, Romanian has the greatest convergence with Italian (both languages have more than 75% common vocabulary).
Although there are many similarities between limba română and other Romance languages, it is worth noting that about 14% of Romanian words are derived from Slavic languages. Examples include da (yes), duh (spirit) and nevastă (wife). In the past, the Romanian lexis contained an even greater number of borrowings from Slavic languages. Still, in the 19th century, as part of the re-romanization process, a significant part of the vocabulary derived from non-Romanic languages was eliminated.
The longest word in the Romanian language is the 44-letter noun pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcaniconioză, which means silica - a variation of pneumonia.
A very interesting word is the noun acioaiei (amalgam). This eight-letter word contains only one consonant.
Unlike other Romance languages, in Romanian, the article is appended at the end of the noun.
Romanian is one of the official languages of the EU.
A romanesque language with Slavic influences
Romanian is a Romance language, meaning it is derived from Latin, as are other Romance languages such as French, Italian and Spanish. However, he is not a typical representative of this group, as he experienced strong influences from Slavic languages, mainly Bulgarian and Serbian.
The Romanian alphabet is a Latin alphabet variant consisting of 31 letters. This alphabet includes all 26 letters used in the English alphabet plus five additional special characters: Ă, Â, Î, Ș, and Ț. The special characters represent specific sounds in the Romanian language that do not exist in English. It's worth noting that while Â and Î represent the same sound, they are used in different linguistic contexts; Â is used inside a word while Î is used at the beginning or end. This alphabet fully suits the specific phonetics of Romanian, ensuring a mostly phonetic spelling system.
Romanian literature offers a rich tapestry of cultural expression with centuries of history. Initially heavily influenced by the Orthodox Christian Church, the earliest Romanian texts are religious manuscripts from the 15th and 16th centuries. Romanian literature blossomed during the 19th-century cultural revival, with renowned authors like Mihai Eminescu, often considered the country's national poet. In the 20th century, the Romanian literary scene became remarkably diverse, with figures such as philosopher and essayist Emil Cioran, playwright Eugène Ionesco, and poet Anna Blandiana. Modern Romanian literature covers a broad spectrum from social critique to the avant-garde, and it continues to evolve, reflecting the dynamic nature of contemporary Romanian society.
Turkish influences on Romanian
In addition to the influence of Slavic languages, the Romanian language also feels the influence of the Turkish language, which has transformed vocabulary and grammar due to centuries of Ottoman dominance in the Balkans. Examples of such words are "basm" (fairy tale) or "mahala" (district).
Your Essential Romanian
|Vă rog (vuh rohg)
|Îmi pare rău (îmî pare rău)
|Bună ziua (bună zi-wă)
|Bună seara (bună se-ără)
|Noapte bună (no-apt-e bună)
|La revedere (la re-ve-der-e)
|how are you?
|Ce faci? (če fač)
|Mulțumesc, bine (mul-tzu-mesk, bin-e)
|My name is...
|Mă numesc (mă nu-mesk)
|I don't understand
|Nu înțeleg (nu în-tse-leg)
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