ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Romanian National Language – Romanian Language History and Origins

Updated on September 7, 2014

Romanian Is a Latin Language

The national Romanian language is named Romanian, and is one of the five major Latin languages, along with Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian. The Romanian natives call their language română, and is the official language, spoken by 91% of the Romanians as their first language. Other languages are Hungarian, Roma, Ukrainian, and German. Romanian is often spelled Rumanian or Roumanian, although the correct modern spelling is the former.

Romanian in Europe

Map with the Romanian language distribution in Balkans
Map with the Romanian language distribution in Balkans | Source

History and Origins of Romanian Language

Is Romanian A Slavic or a Latin Language?

Romanian is a Latin language, or Romance, developed in the first millennia from Latin, the language spoken by Romans.

In 106 AD, when the Roman empire defeated the Dacians, the local inhabitants of the present Romania, they transformed Dacia into a Roman province. The Romans colonized this province heavily because of its natural resources, leading to an intense Romanization of the Dacian territory. There is very little evidence of what the ancient Dacian language sounded.
The language has further evolved, suffering transformation under other subsequent occupations. Some of the occupants' heritage include influences from Slavic languages, (Russian, Bulgarian, Polish), Greek, Hungarian and Turkish.

Contrary to a popular belief among Western World, Romanian is not a Slavic language. However, many times, for the Westerner listener, the sound of Romanian language is very similar to the Slavic languages. Romanian has been strongly influenced by the many Slavic nations which surrounds it, and given the history, and the location within a sea of Slavic people, is almost a miracle that Romanians haven't been assimilated, but rather they assimilated the numerous Slavic migratory people.

The Slavic influences, although not determinant, are important. For instance the word "yes" in Romanian is "da", a Slavic word, or the word "to love", in Romanian is "a iubi", which is also a Slavic word.

Pimsleur Romanian Level 1 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Romanian with Pimsleur Language Programs (Comprehensive)
Pimsleur Romanian Level 1 CD: Learn to Speak and Understand Romanian with Pimsleur Language Programs (Comprehensive)

Pimsleur method is a great language learning method. Completely portable, as a CD or audiobook, includes 15 hours of Romanian language practice.

The course focuses on teaching you, you will find that repetition is used a lot as a training tool, but this is actually the best method for retention of the vocabulary.


Romanian Language Words

Usual Romanian Words

The colors
white=alb; black=negru; gray=gri; red=roşu; orange=portocaliu, oranj; green=verde; blue=albastru; brown=cafeniu, maro; yellow=galben; purple=violet

The numbers
one=unu; two=doi; three=trei; four=patru; five=cinci; six=şase; seven=şapte; eight=opt; nine=nouă; ten=zece.

Romanian Language Usual Words:
yes=da; no=nu
hello=bună; goodbye=la revedere;
good (m)=bun; bad (m)=rău;
hot=fierbinte; cold=rece; warm (m)=cald;
fast (m)=rapid; slow (m)=lent, încet;
clean (m)=curat; dirty (m)=murdar;
large=mare; small (m)=mic;
more=mai mult; less=mai puţin

Free Android App - Learn Romanian

Learn Romanian - Free WordPower
Learn Romanian - Free WordPower

Free Android App featuring:

Receive daily words from the most frequently used Romanian words and phrases

Listen proper pronunciation of the words from a native speaker

Record your pronunciations and play them back to compare and improve

Build your own dictionary of Romanian words to help you improve your Romanian language skills

Use flash cards test and improve your Romanian


Romanian Language Pronunciation Guide

One of the most difficult tasks for an English native is the pronunciation. Most of the sounds in Romanian are identical to the English ones, however there are sounds that don't have an equivalence, and the sounds sequence and combination will prove quite different.

The reading though should prove easier to learn than learning to read in English, since all the letters have only one way to be read and pronounced.

a - like 'a' in "father"
e - like 'a' in "bait,", or 'e' in "exit"
i - like the 'ee' in "beet
o - like 'o' in "chlorine"
u - like 'oo' in "broom"
ă - like 'a' in "about
â, î - no English equivalent, close to ă but with the mouth almost closed, and the tongue more retracted in the back. Or an ee as in sheep, but with the tongue retracted.

b - like b in bone
c - like k in kayak, or if it's followed by i, (ci), or e, (ce), is pronounced ch like cheese
d - kike d in door
f - like f in fan
g - like g in go
ge - if g it's followed by e or i is pronounced like the j in Jenifer
gh - g followed by h is closer to the g in good, but slightly different, no English equivalent exists
h - like h in home
j - like the s in measure or the j in the French bonjour
k - like the k in sky, it is not actually used in Romanian, but rather in imported words
l - like the l in long
m - like the m in mother
n - like the n in nanny
p - like the p in Spain
q - like k in sky, but is not actually a used letter in Romanian, but only in imported words
r - like the Spanish or Italian r, no English equivalent
s - like s in Spain
ş - like sh in show
t - like t in tone
ţ - like tz in blitz
v - like v in van
w - like v in van, but only used for loanwords from other languages
x - like x in box
y - like ee in sheet, but only used in loanwords
z - like z in zebra

Listen to Romanian words spoken by natives online: Forvo - Romanian Pronunciation guide

Take a look at the video below if you want to hear a native speaking Romanian.

Romanian Language on Youtube

Romanian Language Resources


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Ottawa Ontario

      Katharine, thanks for the comment. Romanian is my mother tongue, but English is almost my first language. I also speak fluently French, (with a Canadian accent), and I also speak a bit Russian. Languages are fascinating, I used to love to learn to speak new languages.

    • Sparrowlet profile image

      Katharine L Sparrow 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I love languages, but have never tried learning Romanian. I think it sounds lovely! Thanks for the interesting background info and the little tutorial of pronunciation. Well done.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)