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Did you know that about Romanian?
- Romanian is the fifth language among the Romance languages, after Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian, and is spoken by 24 million native Romanians and 4 million non-native Romanians. It is an official language in Romania (about 20 million speakers), the Republic of Moldova (2.5 million speakers), including Transnistria (the so-called Transnistrian Republic), and in Vojvodina in Serbia
- Romanian, known by its own name limbă română - pronounced approximately [limbö romünö] - belongs to the eastern group of Romance languages. The literary language is based on the so-called Dacoromance dialect group, which is considered by some linguists to be the original Romance language, while the three other main dialect groups (Aromanian, Istro-Romanian and Meglenoromance) are more recently considered to be separate Eastern Romance languages. Romance is the language that has been furthest removed from the former Roman Empire, and is therefore more innovative in some features and older in others than Romance languages. Phonetically, it is closely related to Italian. Its vocabulary has been subject to many foreign influences - mainly Slavic, Turkish and Hungarian - but it has preserved words from Latin that have no trace in any other Romance language.
- Emergence. There is no consensus among experts on exactly when and where it formed, and there are two different theories. According to the Daconian continuity theory, since Transylvania belonged to the Roman Empire as Dacia between 106 and 271, some scholars believe that Romanian is a continuation of the Latin dialects spoken in the area. Other linguists believe that Romanian originated in the area south of the Danube and spread from there from the 10th century onwards. A third theory is that Romanian has many similarities with dialects from southern Italy and is therefore a possible descendant of dialects that were relatively late in their migration from southern Italy to the Balkans.
- Romanians used the ecclesiastical Slavonic language as their written language until the early 16th century. Romanian writing was also based on the ecclesiastical Slavonic script: the Romanian language was also written in Cyrillic letters until the mid-19th century, when the Latin alphabet was adopted in 1860. The Romanian vocabulary is made up of a large number of Slavic words, and many everyday terms are also referred to by Slavic words.
- Find out more about the history of Romanian here.
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