Is Romania a Slavic or Latin culture

A brief history of the Romanian language

Before you get into the grammar, we would like to briefly present the most important facts about the origin and spread of Romanian.

Spread of Romanian
Romanian is spoken by around 30 million people, most of whom live in Romania and the Republic of Moldova. Romanian is the only official language in Romania, although there are also some minorities who speak other languages. These ethnic minorities speak Hungarian, German, Romani, Turkish, Serbian or Bulgarian as their mother tongue.

The Romanians, on the other hand, are a minority in many other countries, for example in the neighboring countries of Ukraine, Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary. Native Romanian speakers have also emigrated to many European countries and overseas.

Romanian - a Romance language
Like most European languages, Romanian belongs to the Indo-European language family.

As the name Romanian already suggests, it belongs to the subgroup of Romance languages, as it has developed from the "mother tongue" Latin, similar to Italian, Portuguese or French. So if you already have knowledge of another Romance language or Latin, this will certainly bring you advantages in learning.

How similar the Romance languages ​​are in some cases can be seen in the following table:

1, 2, 3 - in the Romance languages
























But how did Romanian develop from Latin?
The province of Dacia, today's Romania, was part of the Roman Empire from 107 AD to 271 AD and was "Romanized" in this relatively short period of 165 years, ie the population adopted the language and the cultural renewals of the Romans.

However, it should not be forgotten that the Roman soldiers and governors spoke by no means classical Latin, but a colloquial and therefore simplified version, vulgar Latin. Why Latin "prevailed" despite the relatively short period of occupation and not, as in Germany or England, for example, did not leave any traces in the language except for a few place names, has not yet been clearly clarified.

Slavic influences on Romanian
Romanian is not only one of the Romance languages, but also part of the so-called Balkan languages, as it has of course been in close contact with the languages ​​of the neighboring countries for centuries and has adopted so many characteristics from them.

As in the rest of Southeastern Europe, the cultural languages ​​in Romania were not Latin, but Greek and Church Slavonic. This means that access to education could only take place through these languages ​​and, for example, services were held in Church Slavonic and not in Romanian. For this reason, Romanian was written in the Cyrillic script well into the 19th century.

In the course of the national movement in the 19th century, the Romance origin of the language was more emphasized and the Latin script was introduced as a symbol of cultural identity. However, you had to add a few special characters to the Latin alphabet, which we will introduce to you in the chapter on the alphabet.

In Moldova, which belonged to the territory of the former Soviet Union, the Cyrillic script was only abandoned at the end of the Soviet era.

Romanian can therefore also be described as a language with two kinds of relationship: Romanian is a Romance language by origin, but it has developed in close contact with the non-Romance Balkan languages.