Romania is a beautiful country located in the central and eastern Europe. Over the past years, the development and the progress in the country were remarkable. After it left behind the dark years of the dictatorship, with great efforts and step by step, managed to grow and become a state that has nothing to envy from the ones of the western Europe. The economy was stabilized, the democracy was entrenched, the cities are between the safest in Europe and the touristic locations attract more and more people every year.
Literally, the visitor is able to find everything in this country, from beautiful mountains and landscapes, for winter sports, breath-taking lakes and waterfalls, mysterious forests and medieval castles till long sand beaches by the Black Sea where someone can spend his summer holidays feeling like nothing is missing! Since we mentioned the touristic attractions, many of us thought to visit this wonderful country. But, what about the language? How difficult is to learn some of the basics in order to help us a bit to communicate with the local for our necessary needs? We will try below to adduce some elements which have to do with the history and structure of the Romanian Language.
Origin of Romanian language
Romanian, which also is called Daco-Romanian or Moldavian is a member of the Indo-European language family. It is spoken by 19,7 million people in Romania and almost 3 million people in Moldova where the Cyrillic alphabet was used until the breakaway of the state from the former Soviet Union when the alphabet was replaced by the Latin one. Romanian language has a large diaspora, they are spoken in many countries like USA, Australia, Israel, Canada, it’s neighbours Hungary Serbia and Bulgaria and so many others. The total number of speakers worldwide is estimated at 26,3 million.
Romanian language developed around in the 4th-6th century from Vulgar Latin. Of course, due to the adjacency with Slavic countries, they adopted many features from them like the religion, the culture and of course the language. Also, big influence for Romanian were Hungarian, Turkish and Greek.
Dialects and sound system
As in any other country’s language, in Romanian there are a lot of dialects spoken in the different regions of this quite big country. Some of them are Banat in the western of the country, Moldavian which was influenced by Russian and written in the beginning in Cyrillic alphabet, Muntenian or Wallachian and of course Transylvanian.
The sound system of Romanian is characterized by a large inventory of vowels and diphthongs and a simple system of consonants.
Grammar of Romanian language
As far as the grammar concerned, there are three reasons that Romanian has maintained more elements from the Latin one than the other Romance languages:
1)The fact that this region was isolated, in the Balkan, far from the where the other Romance languages were spoken.
2)There are many similarities, grammatically, with the Dacian language which was spoken in that area.
3)The grammatical structure was similar with the one that was used in the languages which were spoken nearby.
The Romanian grammar contains three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter and each one of these is only partially predictable from the shape of the noun. Also, there two numbers, singular and plural and five cases, nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and vocative. This is characteristic that doesn’t exist in the other Romance languages. One more unique characteristic compared with the other Romance languages, is that in the Romanian the definite article is attached to the end of the noun. Regarding the verbs, there are 3-5 conjugations (depending on the analysis), 3 simple tenses (present, past, future) and 3 voices ( active, passive and reflexive).
In Romanian the word order usually is subject-verb-object with possible variations of course. One thing that isn’t happening in the most languages, is that the adjective usually follows the noun.
Vocabulary of Romanian language
The biggest percentage of the Romanian vocabulary comes mostly from Latin. However, 40% of it has many elements which were borrowed by the Slavic one. In addition, there have been many borrowings from Greek, Turkish and English. As far as the writing concerned, a spelling system was adopted in the 18th century which was based on Italian. To sum up, Romanian language is a very beautiful, a unique language, in which, if someone dedicates some of his time and will, he will be able to learn it quite easily.