General Information About Romanian

Romanian is the official language of the country; it is spoken by about 90% of the population. It belongs to the Romance branch of the Indo-European language family.

As a derivative of Latin, it has 77% lexical similarity with Italian, 75% with French and 71% with Spanish. In addition, the language contains around 3,800 words of Slavic origin.

There are approximately 28 million speakers of Romanian. The language is also spoken in Moldova and a province of Serbia, although there are slight differences. The language evolved from a Latin derivative and it was probably one of the first to split away from it. Due to relative isolation of the geography it kept a relatively uniform structure. Influence from other Romance languages only started in the 18th Century.

Because of the nature of the language, it is relatively easy to pick up for a native or fluent speaker of one of the Romance languages. In the reverse case, Romanians going to Spain and Italy find it easy to communicate at a basic level quite quickly and reach working fluency in a short time.

The Romanian alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet, and has five additional letters. It is as follows:

A, a (a); Ă, ă (ă); Â, â (â din a); B, b (be), C, c (ce); D, d (de), E, e (e); F, f (fe / ef); G, g (ghe / ge); H, h (ha / haş); I, i (i); Î, î (î din i); J, j (je), K, k (ka de la kilogram), L, l (le / el); M, m (me / em); N, n (ne / en); O, o (o); P, p (pe); Q (chiu); R, r, (re / er); S, s (se / es); Ș ș (șe); T, t (te); Ț ț (țe); U, u (u); V, v (ve); W (dublu ve); X, x (ics); Y (i grec); Z, z (ze / zet).

K, Q, W and Y are not part of the native alphabet. They were officially introduced in the Romanian alphabet in 1982 and are mostly used to write loanwords from other languages like kilogram, quasar, watt, and yoga.

Minority languages

Hungarian is spoken by 7% of the population, mainly in Transylvania. There is a population of German speakers who make up around 1.5% of the national population. In localities where a given ethnic minority makes up more than 20% of the population, that minority's language can be used in the public administration and justice system, while native-language education and signage is also provided.