Romanian (limba română) is the official language of Romania. The name Romania, and its derivatives, come from the Latin word ‘Romanus’, a legacy of Roman rulers who took control of ancient Dacia in 106 A.D. Romanian retains a number of features of old Latin and also contains many words taken from the surrounding Slavic languages, as well as from French, Old Church Slavonic, German, Greek and Turkish.
Romanian first appeared in writing during the 16th century mainly in religious texts and other documents. The earliest known text in Romanian dates from 1521.
Interesting Facts About Romania and the Romanian Language
- Romania is unique in that it is the only Eastern Block country that speaks a Romance language
- The most famous novels, inspired by Romania, are “The Castle in the Carpathians” by Jules Verne, and “Dracula” by Bram Stoker.
- Romania is the ninth largest wine producer in the world
- The modern jet engine was invented by the Bucharest-born
inventor Henri Coanda in 1910.
- The statue of Dacian king Decebal, carved in the rocky bank of the Danube river, is the tallest rock sculpture in Europe (135 feet tall).
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Where Is Romanian Spoken?
Romanian is spoken by around 24 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania and Moldova, and by another 4 million people as a second language. It has official status in Romania, the Republic of Moldova, the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in Serbia, and in the autonomous Mount Athos in Greece.
Romanian speakers are scattered across many other countries, notably Australia, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Bulgaria, the United States, Canada, Argentina, Israel, Russia, Portugal, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.