Issue 2 |

Romanian: The forgotten Romance language

by on February 12, 2015

Introduction

Romanian (or limba română in the language itself) is a Latin-derived language related closely to languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. It has the distinction of being the only Romance language still spoken in eastern Europe, with official status in Romania, Moldova, and parts of Serbia and Greece; it is also recognised in Hungary as a minority language and spoken in Ukraine, Albania, and Macedonia. Despite its approximately 24 million speakers (according to Ethnologue), however, Romanian is very often left out of Romance language degree programmes entirely—eclipsed by its more well-known counterparts of French and Spanish in particular. There has recently been somewhat of a movement among organisers of Romance language degree programmes and university administrators in general to give Romanian the recognition it deserves as a language that is both relevant and fascinating. The Ohio State University, Duke University, and University College London are three well-known institutions that have decided to offer a Romanian minor; Romanian courses as part of a Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies; and a Bachelor’s Degree in Romanian and East European Studies respectively. But what exactly makes it so unique? And why should it be considered important?

 

 

The Romance-language speaking world, with Romanian-speaking areas highlighted in red (Source)

Differences between Romanian and other Romance languages

Romanian is unlike any of its linguistic relatives in that it has evolved in an area in southeastern Europe that is predominated by Slavic—rather than other Romance—languages. The three most prominent European-language families are the Romance, Slavic, and Germanic families—all of which also belong to the much larger Indo-European language family. Some well-known Slavic languages include Russian, Polish, Czech, and Bulgarian; and as a result of these languages’ influence on Romanian, it looks and sounds unique in many ways. Romanian is also a member of what is referred to as the Balkan Sprachbund—a group of mutually influential languages that will be discussed later in more detail—and has been influenced due to geographic proximity by Hungarian (a Uralic language). It is so different from the other members of its Romance language family to such an extent that Friedrich Diez (the first Romance philologist) declared in 1836 that it was “only a semi-Romance language”. And while that statement is considered by most modern linguists to be untrue, the reasoning behind it makes perfect sense: Romanian has many unique qualities that can indeed cause it to appear unlike any other Latin-derived language. To illustrate this point, the following example compares the verb “to speak” in Romanian to five Romance languages of western Europe:

Romanian – a vorbi
Spanish – hablar
French – parler
Italian – parlare
Portuguese – falar
Catalan – parlar

In this example, both hablar and falar come from the Latin fabulare—meaning ‘to talk’ or ‘to speak’. The initial “f” became an “h” in Spanish, as is common in that language, but the origin of both words remains the same. On the other hand, parler, parlare, and parlar  all come from another Latin verb, parabolare, which carries basically the same meaning. The English words “parable” and “fable” were derived from these same two Latin forms. The Romanian a vorbi, however, has somewhat uncertain origins but has been suggested to have come from the Slavic word dvorĭba—meaning “court”, as in “court of law”.

The vocabulary of Romanian is often found to be one of its more difficult aspects by learners, especially those who are used to the vocabularies and lexicons of other Romance languages. To further illustrate this point, a few more examples:

Words for “without”
Romanian – fără
Spanish – sin
French – sans
Italian – senza
Portuguese – sem
Catalan – sense
Latin – sine

Words for “man”
Romanian – bărbat
Spanish – hombre
French – homme
Italian – uomo
Portuguese – homem
Catalan – home
Latin – homo

Words for “friend”
Romanian – prieten
Spanish – amigo
French – ami
Italian – amico
Portuguese – amigo
Catalan – amic
Latin – amicus

In addition to these superficial differences in basic vocabulary, Romanian also differs from other Romance languages in terms of grammar. For example, Romanian definite articles are placed after nouns (a construction that would read as “book the” as opposed to “the book” in English). This is due to the influence of languages such as Macedonian, Bulgarian, Albanian, and Serbian that are spoken in neighbouring countries. Interestingly, it has maintained a pared down version of the case system used in Latin —a feature that has long since died out in all other Romance languages. In a grammatical case system, endings or forms of words are changed in order to reflect their role in a sentence as a subject, direct object, indirect object, etc. In the Latin sentence, “Puella puerum amat,” meaning, ‘The girl loves the boy,’ for example, the world puella is in the nominative (subject) case, whereas the word puerum is in the accusative (direct object) case. In the sentence, “Puer puellam amat,” meaning, ‘The boy loves the girl,’ however, the roles are reversed and the meaning is changed completely. Romanian has also maintained use of a third gender—neuter—for its nouns, as in Latin, but this is no longer the case in any of Romanian’s modern relatives—all of which have only the masculine and feminine genders for nouns.

Similarities to other Romance languages

Despite its many unique aspects, Romanian is still a Romance language at its core. Although borrowings from Hungarian and Slavic languages are relatively common in its lexicon (for example, the Romanian word da meaning “yes”, the verb a iubi meaning “to love”, the noun dragoste meaning “love”, and the noun nevastă meaning “wife”), the majority of its vocabulary is still Latin-derived. Many basic vocabulary items and phrases such as bine (“well”), bun (“good”), cu plăcere (“you’re welcome”—literally, “with pleasure”), nu (“no”), încântat (“pleased to meet you”—literally, “enchanted”, as in the Spanish encantado and the French enchanté), and pardon (“excuse me”) fit in very well with their counterparts in the other Romance languages. Pronouns, numbers, verb tenses, and verb conjugations are also very clearly Latin-derived.

The Balkan Sprachbund

Romanian, as was briefly mentioned earlier, is a member of what linguists refer to as the Balkan Sprachbund (a German word literally meaning ‘language league’). This is a group of languages that includes Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian (Slavic), Greek (Hellenic), Albanian (an Indo-European language which occupies the Albanian sub-family by itself), and Romani (Indo-Aryan)—which share certain notable similarities simply due to the geographic proximity of the countries where they are spoken. Over time, they have influenced one another despite belonging to separate language families, specifically, the Romance, Slavic, and Hellenic families (and despite not belonging to the Balkan Sprachbund, Hungarian—a member of the Uralic language family—has also influenced Romanian). Thus, it may look and sound very different at first from its western European linguistic relatives, but a closer look reveals that the majority of its structure, grammar, and lexicon do come from Latin. It is very much a Romance language, albeit a heavily-influenced one.

Romanian in popular culture

It is a well-known fact that the popular literary character of Dracula—the inspiration for countless films and novels—has its origins in Romanian folk legends dating back hundreds of years. In addition, several Romanian films have achieved critical acclaim in recent years, receiving high ratings and winning awards at the Cannes Film Festival. For example, “4 Luni, 3 Saptamâni si 2 Zile” (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days – directed by Cristian Mungiu, 2007) and “A Fost Sau N-a Fost” (12:08 East of Bucharest – directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, 2006).  

And finally, YouTube sensation in 2014 saw a man waving his arms to what is commonly known as the “numa numa” or “mai ya hee” song. The song, “Dragostea din tei”, is actually a song sung in Romanian by the Moldovan band, O-Zone. Most people are unaware of this, but both the band and the song achieved worldwide recognition because of the language in which it was sung—and less so because of the strange video! One of the most enjoyable aspects of learning this language for me has been the ability to watch the “numa numa” video and actually understand what is being said!

What makes Romanian important

It is often said that Romanian is not a practical language to learn, due largely to its relatively small number of speakers. Furthermore, many who are unfamiliar with the language assume that it must be Slavic in nature—a dialect of Russian, perhaps. Both of these assumptions, however, are misunderstandings. Romanian is considered a “critical language” by the United States government, meaning that while there is significant demand for Romanian speakers and those who are knowledgeable about the language, they come in short supply. The term is also used to designate a language that has been deemed important to American diplomacy, with the reasoning that knowledge of certain languages and cultures can be beneficial to fostering relationships with the countries to which they are spoken. In addition, Romania is a beautiful country and one that is worth visiting in order to experience its welcoming people, pristine landscapes, and rich cultural and historical heritage. From a purely linguistic standpoint, Romanian is a fascinating language; it has been said many times before that a solid foundation in Romanian would make learning Spanish, French, and the other more well-known Romance languages far easier. There are many reasons, thus, to focus on learning Romanian; and perhaps in the future this beautiful and often misunderstood language will stand more prominently among its more commonly-spoken counterparts.

62 Responses to “Romanian”

  1. Dragos Rugescu

    Romanian being “influenced” by all the neighbouring languages is a highly simplistic way to look at the whole picture. The Balkan Sprachbund consists of languages that share similarities in spite of their own language families. Thus, Bulgarian and Serbian share features with Romanian that they do not share with Russian for example.

    It is highly likely that the Balkan Sprachbund represents in part remanent linguistic features from prior affinity groups such as Thracian/Dacian/Illyrian which constitute the backbone of all the Balkan populations of today, rather than some magical influence of every single neighbouring languages over Romanian without it giving back anything. Whatever the linguistic fragmentation of today, the peoples in the Balkans are highly similar in customs implying heavy admixture and fewer common origins than the resulting identities of today.

    Reply
  2. GetBeGet

    If travel over all balcanic contries, even over Greecks islands, over central europeean contries, over nord parts of Romania, over the east untill the Dnieper river, will meet romanian traces. Everywhere the people wearing traditional dresses very similar to the romanian people. Everywhere plenty of the romanian words. In Italy, mostly over central part of the Italy, as well in NE of Italy, in Friuli region, you will meet people similar as Carpatian Romanian people, speaking italian with a lot of romnian words. If travel over Romansh Helvetia, you meet people speaking a kind of latin but very similar to Romanian language, mostly as romanien spikers from Carpatian montins. In Italy, South of the Rome, in Ciociaria, in the vilages Italians speeks: sorame e maritata con frateto = “sora-me e maritata cu frate-tu” in very romanian vilages language. The italian Furlanes, from Friuli montains if meets they speeks salutation as:” Ce faci?” and answering “Ghini facu”, the same as Romanian vilagers in Carpatian montins and the arumanian from Pindu montains in Greece.
    No, the explanations of the some leangvistes, are made from the office, from the librery not from the places, where the reality it is other. They learned in the scool thet Romanien language belong to Italian group and stop. No, it is not true. The History of the Europ don’t start with the Greecks and with the Roman Imperia. Bifore of this was someting very important, and the Greeks and Romans not start theyr existance directly from the neant. Before of this Greecks and Romans, was the protohistory of the Europe and from this time untill at present still exist the peoples which conserved their culture, their traditions. The Bulgarians arheologist descovered the tomb of the Geties king Dromichetes, and other kurgans tombs and they found the same as in the etruscians tombs, but older and riciest. And the actual historian still speaks thet Etruscians origin are unknown, even the same with Bulgarian where descovered in Rep. of Moldova. Not yet was opened the kurgans from Romania, where this are more numerouses.
    Sorry for my English speach. I was everywhere, I saw the reality, I meet a lot of people which are considering the present History science as lagging behind.

    Reply
  3. The Romance character of Romanian language is given by romanization process.Just like in Italy in Dacia were spoken many dialects of Thracian.The unity of the language in today Romania is due to one lingua franca, Latin or popular Latin brought in former Dacia by Roman legionaries and colonists and spread by migration over Carpathians.

    Reply
    • Totally wrong. There was no romanization process. Only 20% of Dacia was conquered by Romans and only for 164 years. Russia was in Bassarabia (Republic of Moldova) more that 200 years and have used way much more sophisticated social instruments and direct killing to russificate the territory. And failed. More than 75% still speak Romanian. Same did Hungarians in Transilvania for 800 years and failed except small regions. It is an absolut stupid theory. Dacia and Roma were speaking almost the same language.

    • RongoRongo

      The teories about romanisation are no more true .. Roman people was in fact a many kind of the etnicaly, diferent peoples, latium people was a part of them, romans legioners was mostly mercenaries from diferent etnical grups. But mostly number of them were by thracian origin. Antic population of te Italy Pen. was mainly thracians and partly greeks. The thracians languages was the ruths of the spoken language by roman people. The latin and greek languages were learned by the patricians child with the teachers, wich were sclaves. The latin language was oficial language of the Roman Impery, but was not the language spoken by the habitants. The roman citizens spok in “latina vulgaris”, which was something very similary with the thracians dialectes. In Dacia was colonised not patricians, but plebeis, mostly fresh citizens of the Roman Impery. Was something like today USA, in the new contries included in the partnership with americans, Washinghton authorities wil sent mostly new citizens of the USA, as you can observ, between american military personal most of them are latino or fresh citizens originated from Europe. The romans bring in Dacia some modernisations, some news, but nothing more. Even, the romans were best constructors of the antiquity, they don’t leave in occupied Dacia some spectacular buildings, as viaductes, amphiteaters, palaces, streets, etc. As the Geto-dacians were mostly sheferds or farmers, theyrs vilages or “dava” being very far from the romans castros, it is very dificult to beleef that the roman plebeeies replaced the dacian language with their own language which was not very latin.

  4. Correction: just like in Italy were spoken many dialects and even more languages in Dacia were spoken many dialects of Thracian language

    Reply
  5. A vorbi as verb, and vorba as noun, most likely come from verba -as in verba volant, not from a slavic word.

    Reply
    • AltAdrian

      Are you some linguist? If not, let them comment, while you read some book about this topic.

    • RongoRongo

      SE DESTEAPTA ROMANII ! INCET DAR SIGUR. OR CEAR FACE ADVERSARII DACISMULUI, DOVEZILE DACISTILOR SUNT MULTE SI LA VEDERE. CAND VOR FI SI BANI SI PASIUNE PENTRU SAPATURILE ARHEOLOGICE (CA IN BULGARIA, DE EXEMPLU!), EUROPENII VOR AFLA ADEVARATA LOR ORIGINE, LOCUL UNDE S-A FOLOSIT ROATA SI ARCUL CU SAGETI PENTRU PRIMA DATA IN ISTORIA POST ULTIMA GLACIATIUNE. ROMANISTII AU DREPTATE NUMAI PARTIAL: COLONISTII ROMANI AU ADUS UNELE NOUTATI IN DACIA. UNELE NOUTATI ERAU DEJA VECHI, CACI DUPA INFRANGEREA ROMANILOR PE TIMPUL IMPARATULUI DOMITIAN, IMPERIUL ROMAN A PLATIT ZECI DE ANI TRIBUT REGELUI DAC IAR ACESTA CEREA SI SPECIALISTI IN CONSTRUCTII, SPECIALISTI IN MINERIT, IN ARME SI FORTIFICATII. TOTUSI ESTE IMPOSIBIL DE CREZUT CA ROMANII, NISTE COLONISTI CETATENI AI IMPERIULUI DAR DE DIVERSE ETNII SUPUSE IMPERIULUI, AR FI PUTUT SA-I INVETE PE DACI LIMBA LATINA, MAI ALES CA DACII ERAU TARANI SI PASTORI, LOCUIAU IN SATE SI DAVE RASPANDITE PE O ARIE MARE DEPARTE DE CASTRELE ROMANILOR, CARE ERAU DOAR CATEVA. DE PE URMA OCUPATIEI ROMANE NU AU RAMAS URMELE UNOR CONSTRUCTII SPECTACULOASE, DESI ROMANII ERAU NISTE MARI CONSTRUCTORI AI ANTICHITATII, ORI CEI CE AU FOST PE LA NOI NU PREA AU DAT DOVADA CA ERAU MARI CONSTRUCTORI. ASTA DOVEDESTE CA ERAU NISTE CETATENI ROMANI DE PRIN PENNSULA BALCANICA DE ASTAZI, NISTE STRAMOSI AI AROMANILOR , NISTE TRACI SAU ILIRI, CARE ERAU CAM LA ACEIASI CU DACII. BINEINTELES CA TOTI VORBEAU DIALECTE TRACICE, CARE DUPA CUM ZIC SCRIITORII ANTICI, NU PREA ERAU DIFERITE INTRE ELE, TRACII VORBEAU ACEEASI LIMBA.

    • If considering the verb “hovorit” in Slovak, which means “to talk” as well as the romanian archaic form “a vorovi”, also a Slavic connection is possible.

    • ?

  6. Lavinia

    Btw :) the Romanian “Prieten” is same with Sanskrit “Priyatam” and Romanian “Dusman” (<Enemy) is same with Sanskrit "Dushman"

    Reply
    • Yes,however the borrowings of those words were obviously from different languages.”Prieten” most probably is a borrowing from one of the south slavic languages (Serbian : prijatelj,Bulgarian : приятел) meanwhile dusman (Ottoman Turkish and Persian : دشمن ‎došman) got into Romanian during contact with Turks,who themselves got the term from Persian language.Notice Persian is in the Indo branch together with Sankskrit and other Indic languages.
      Very ironically Turks associated with ”enemy or foe” meanwhile Orthodox Slavs were your brethren or allies throughout your history.

  7. tiberien

    The differences in the words are not so big as you say. For example “friend” is also called “amic” in romanian (from latin amicus), “man” – ” bărbat” (from latin “barbatus” – man with beard) is also called in rural areas “om” (from latin “homo”) and “to speak” – “a vorbi” is from latin “verba” and means “to say words”. There are a lot of synonyms for romanian words and many times one of them is from latin and the other ones from other languages (dacian, slavic, hungarian). :)

    Reply
    • ”amic”, I think, was later brought in language, around the 19th century, when Latinists and Bonjurists influenced things

  8. As per your refer in “Macedonian” language There is not “Macedonian” language… Macedonia was, is and will be an area of Greece so Greek language is spoken!

    Reply
    • @Greg I’ve been to Macedonia and the people spoke Macedonian which is similar to Serbian and some words were similar to Bulgarian. So there is a Macedonian language :) if you buy a travel guide with sentences and words – they will be in Macedonian and not in Greece. If years and years ago a part of Macedonia was Greece territory than this is a different story. But you cannot say because of that that the Macedonian language doesn’t exist :)

  9. Some new documents discovered in the library of Vatican reveal the fact that actually the Latin language is a vulgar version of Thracian language(the Thracians were the ancestors of the Dacians, the ancestors of the Romanian people). The oldest writings from this planet were discovered on Romanian ground at Tartaria (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C4%83rt%C4%83ria_tablets).

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  10. friend: prieten but mate: amic
    male: barbat but man: om

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  11. Excellent article about my mother tongue. Thank you for sharing it.

    Reply
  12. I’m afraid that the author needs to carry on her training. As a French speaker: please find someone from Toulouse University in France. They identified Romanian to be one of the most Latin languages next to Occitane and Catalane. Not: French, Spanish or Italian!
    Next: studying history and understanding how DNA works, will be an opening eye to Romanian language – beside the rest of a typical study of a foreing language. Latins were a tribe that evolved from previous populations moving from East Europe (where Dacians/Thracians were) towards West. History has shown that Romans ‘found’ that Romanians’ ancestors the Dacians spoke a variant of their own language. There are many Roman emperors that were very proud to mention that they had Thracian or Dacian ancestry – as these were great fighters. So, a lot of work!
    Anyway, best of luck ! Don’t forget that Romanians are just as proud of their past as any other European, Asian, African or Native Americans, so eventually you’ll have to get this right :-D

    Reply
    • Excellent comment. Thank you Elisabeth.

    • Only the people speaking roumanian language, can understand how beautyfull it is this language.The musicality of this language it is realy, most beatyfull then in other latin languages. For example Eminescu, “Calin nebunul” :
      Te treci codrii de arama, de departe vezi albind
      Si-auzi mandra glasuire a padurii de argint

      Elisabeth Elphinstone, thank you, for you comment!

  13. Dan Lazar

    the author may need to edit his/her research status a bit…Romanian language is probably the closest to the Latin dialect and modern day Italian…also has flavors of French, Spanish & Portugese…Romanian ancestors are Dacians & Thracians…the Romans settled there and left their mark during their quest thruout Europe…Romania is the only Latin country in the former Eastern Block who compile mostly of Slavic languages..

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  14. well…i’ve learned spanish in three weeks, italian in two weeks, i understand french easily…and they are saying that our language sounds like chineese. :)))))

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  15. I am surprised to learn that the definite article comes after the noun in Romanian. As far as I have learnt, this not true.

    Reply
    • It does come after the noun. Not as a separate word, mind you, but in the form of a suffix.

    • You need to study more then. They definitely go after the noun as a suffix.

  16. It is after, you should verify your sources

    Reply
  17. Ana-Maria

    What about Turkish? It had a.super major.influence on the Romanian language…. A lot of words come from Turkish… Cearsaf,chiftele,torba….in my opinion you did a lousy research!

    Reply
    • Ana-Maria, in roumanian language are very little turkish inlfluence.Even in Eastern Roumanian Dobrogea, where still leave turkish etnics, the influence are non significant. Romanian language received some words by Greek influence as Romanian and Geeks are both cresian ortodox people. Greeks influenced even turk language, Some people leaving in center of the Buchares, they have not any idea about roumanian vilage speakers.Mostly consider the word “bre” as turkish, but in Turkey are not used at all this word, which came in Roumanien language from Greeks, the word “re” the same contents as Roumanian used “bre”. Long time before was used old words as “geamlyk” which it is Turkish, but received from Greeks, used inside of the orthodox monastiries. Aswell “ciulama”, “sarma”, “cioban”, “ciorap”, wery old words in Roumanien, used before the tuch wits the Turks, were received from Persian language, through Armenians refugees living in Moldova and Transilvania. The word “cioban” sheferd was present even in the Rome as “casio ciobanorum” sheferds chease.
      The Turkish influence in Roumanian language was unsignifiant. Many are considering that the “ciubuc” is Turkish words, but in Turkish das not exist this word. This is word received in Roumanian language and relations during fanariots rullers. Was as the tradition, to give to Greeks servants of the fanariot prince palace some extra pay, in view for tabacos in narghilea. Was a kind of coruption. If to solve some, than must give for narghilea, named by Roumanien as “ciubuc”(ivory pipe from narghilea used to smoke). The tobaco used for narghilea was expensiv, imported from Persia.

    • Dear Getu,all of the words she mentioned such as corap,torba,sarmale choban are direct borrowings from Turkish.Some of the vocabulary that got into Romanian from Turkish might have its final Persian roots,but this is due to the fact that Ottoman Turkish was also influenced by Persian.The Word ”sarmale” btw is etmymologically Turkish coming from the turkish verb ”sarmak”(to fold,to wrap) which means they got nothing to do with do with Persians or Armenians.In order to prove your claim you have to show evidence and facts you know that.Ethnocentrism has nothing to do with reality.You got many borrowings from Hungarian too,as a a matter of fact.

    • Also Getu,before I forgot,yes the Word ciubuc (Turkish chubuk) does exist in Turkish.Have a look :

      https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%A7ubuk

    • Terry N

      The Turks never established themselves in Wallacia or Moldova like they did south of Danube.
      But there were many Wallachians who fought for the Turks and also for the Austrians. These Wallachians never paid taxes and latter on they migrated to Walachia and Moldova. That’s how some Turkish words penetrated in Romanian language.

  18. The Romanian “fără” – “without” comes from Latin “foras” meaning outside, leaving apart.

    Reply
    • Alex Alex

      Yes , like italian word fuori ,meaning outside , and for example, the romanian word inauntru , meaning inside , like italian word dentro.

  19. and a vorbi-vorbire from latin verba

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  20. There is a nonsense comparison between, “amico”, “amigo” etc and “prieten”. “Amic” is also a word in Romanian which means the very exact same thing as “prieten”. Romanians use “prieten” or “amic” at their own will.

    Reply
  21. why is frogotten language they are 20 milions people who are still speaking :|

    Reply
  22. Sami Amarneh

    I am Jordanian who graduated from Romania and did my PHD their as well. When I speak Romanian, I feel an additional energy of life is feeding me. It is the language of love and Romance! May God bless Romania and Romanian People!!!

    Reply
    • Sami Amarneh, thank you for nice comment. I, was in you contry, as I, was a seaman. Very frendly and polite, educated people, I have many friends in Akkaba and in Aman. They help me to visit the famous Petra. Long time before I carry on my ship equipments for oil raffinery which Roumanien were bilt in Jordanien.. Was so beatyfull time.

    • Florenta

      Thank you, you are sooo lovely, yours beautiful words just made my day!:)

  23. ‘barbat’ comes from the Latin ‘barbatus’ (with beard), but we also use ‘om’, coming from the Latin ‘homo’ etc… careful :D

    Reply
    • Yes,also la barba in spanish means beard,that’s how I recognised the word when I first saw it in restrooms while I was in Bucharest.Interesting allegory you use for a single Word which means ”male” :-) Loved the idea.

  24. Don’t mislead people with the little knowledge you have! Come back after ten years and then maybe you will know more!

    Reply
  25. Filip Cristian

    I am not going to fill you with a lot of comments as all the previous commentators but you have a few things wrong. Romanian is the mother of latin. It is more ancient, as they have found clay tablets with ancient Dacian language written on them which indicates not only that it predates latin, but that Romans of the time immigrated from current Black Sea via Gibraltar to Rome/Italy speaking a vulgar dacian which later became Latin of today. An easy example historically of this is whenever Romans attempted to take over Dacia for its gold rich mines and minerals & wood and resources (also beautiful women as one Roman account indicates) they did not use a page” a translator that is. The two groups, Dacians and Romans were able to communicate with eachother at ease as they both spoke the same language. Romanian of that time being Dacian, being the mother of Latin. As a matter of fact, the reason Latin words sound incomplete to this day is because of that very reason, that Latin was a vulgarity derived from the Indo European Dacian language. Also to point out few things you mentioned the verb “a vorbi” whichh essentialy means to speak. Well just to let you know, A fabula in romanian is also a verb coming from fabula. or amic can also mean friend. Also amor in romanian can also mean “sexual intimacy between two people” Many of the words that you wrote from Spanish /French/Italian/Portuguese are easily detectable in Romanian and any Romanian person that has never come into contact with any of these other languages will recognize that word and what it means. Also a study done by Andrei Roxin a historian, was able to bring shed some new light on the origins of the Romanian people’s as well as their language as being one of the original Indo-European languages spoken. Dacia and Thrace were realistically one and the same as far as identity goes. Also when Russia attempted to colonize eastern europe and well..failed.. they also tried to tell Bulgarians and Serbians that there is a link between their languages and that Russian is their mother language, which was another lie of the time. Bulgarian and Romanian are actually more related than we’d think. Also genetically they’ve shown that virtually all Western Europeans come from the Black Sea area which indicates they’re all Romanian/Bulgarian. And Romanians with Bulgarians were the closest individuals genetically speaking. That’s not all as they were able to also pinpoint that the genetic “switch” for blonde hair and blue eyes also occured 4,500BC around the Black Sea west shore area. Romanians and Bulgarians are basically Europe’s parents by genes and language as they all come from the Thracian Indo European Tribes which shared a bond both by blood, culture, dances, rituals, religion,cuisine and most importantly genetics.

    Reply
    • Claus Röser

      Dear Filip Cristian. There is a lot of guesswork and unproven theories in what you write. The clay tablets you refer to are indeed considered (by some archaeologists) to be the oldest writing in the world, but since the markings on the tablets bear little resemblance to any modern written language, we have no way of knowing if there is any connection with modern Romanian or latin for that matter. Moreover, as far as I know, there is no evidence to suggest that latin is derived from Romanian rather than vice versa, as is generally accepted. Especially when we consider that Romanian language obviously has so many Slavic influcences, it is difficult to understand why the other latin languages, latin included, do not have these, presuming that Romanian was the root language. Also, as you point out, Romanians are genetically closer to Bulgarians and to other Slavic-speaking peoples of the area they inhabit than they are to Italians. Accordingly, it is difficult to explain how the proto-Romanians would have given their language to a different people whom they never conquered (as far as we know) while their close relatives somehow spoke a rather different, Slavic language. Finally, language influences do not always need conquests, but only a dominant culture. In this sense, centuries of Roman dominance could have rubbed off on Romanian the way German has done on the Scandinavian languages for instance. The point of all this is that we don’t know most of these things for sure and that if we want facts, a critical eye usually goes a longer way than national pride.

  26. “AMIC” is also a word for friend.

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  27. Terry N

    I believe that Romanian is a Romanic language of the Volsci
    Since the Old Church Slavonic was imposed on the people of the Balkans (by the Wallachian Rulers of the Bulgarians) the Romanians/Valacians adopted some Slavic words.

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  28. Christian Mancas

    Dear Clara, please understand that, although you are basically right (i.e. Romanian is definitely a Latin language), you miss one very important point: except for most of the basic core vocabulary (e.g. mother, father, church, God, etc.), for which there are only Latin origin words, Romanian has for almost every other English word at least two if not more (especially regional) words, out of which the first one is always Latin and the other equivalents come from Slavonic or German or Turkish languages. Moreover, all these equivalents were latinezed! Perhaps the only intriguing related aspect is that, in poetry, Slavonic equivalents of Latin words are perceived as giving an older flavor than their Latin counterparts, although they were added to the language at least 1,000 years later…

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    • Alex Alex

      Clara Miller-Broomfield , i understand your interest in Romanian language is based on true enthusiasm about this beautiful and ancient language , and your intentions were good when you decided to write the article above. My advice is to study this further. You must understand that this is one of the oldest languages spoken in Europe , and is probably the most latin of all the Romance languages. This language has more than one word to describe one object , or sitaution, etc. Always one of this words will be latin based , even if that word is not the main word used in the modern spoken version of the language.

  29. Interesting article, however one significant error: Romani is not in any way a member of the Balkan Sprachbund. It is extremely different, for all that some dialects (including my own — I am a native Romani speaker and my ancestors came to western Europe from Romania centuries ago) have a number of loanwords from the Balkans — my dialect also has loans from Persian, Armenian, German and French, but we don’t call it a middle-eastern or west-european language! It is and always has been an Indian language, closely related to Hindi and Punjabi.

    An example — here’s a paragraph from one of the traditional stories of my tribe. See how much you can understand from Balkan languages. There is ONE Slavic loanword in the paragraph, the rest is entirely Indian in vocabulary and grammar:

    Yek khamnesko divès, me pirava sos perdal e phuvia kana me dikhliom dui gàdje – me jindiom te yek akale gàdjender o sheromeskro e gavengrender avelias – tala aveliom trashadi kana dikhliom te o vaver avelias o Phuro Beng kokero! Tha e dui ràkrena sos pokonyes tha loshales pensar!

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  30. There are a lot of influences from Turkish as well (due to the long Ottoman presence): ciorba, cioban (in general words in ci), visine (and words with s, sh), castane and many more.

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  31. ROMANIAN LANGUAGE does not derive from LATIN like the rest: italian, spanish, french, portuguese!!!! Big Mistake!
    Romanian language and Latin language derive from the same old Tracian language, that was spoken in most of Europe; the civilised part of Europe! The old language came with great culture, history, medicine, religion etc… the most important “pillars” of the old Europe was the well known Rome and Dacia that was distorted and erased from history;one way was by using the Damnatio Memoriae method…(etc)…
    http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/05/romans-didnt-like-theyd-erase-history-damnatio-memoriae/

    etc…

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  32. I strongly believe that the Romanians as suggested their name are the Romans themselves, not some people Romanized like is the case of other Latin Languages.
    They did have a heavy influence in all Europe, Western and Eastern which is not recognized as such since History in Europe is heavily politicized.
    The Romanians are described as the Kings and Lords of the Slavs.
    They are reported by medieval sources ti be the Volsci, a Roman independent tribe who moved/expelled from Rome.
    This changes a lot of things. Doesn’t it?

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  33. To all Romanians, please do not call us Dacians anymore. Dacia existed because the Roman Empire conquered a part of our ancient lands after the Trajan – Decebal wars between 101-102 AD and 105-106 AD. Before that there was no Dacia, and we were never Dacians. Please remember this. We were always the Getae people. Look deep down into our language and find the expression “get beget” and think about what it means. Search your hearts and consider why our language is so different that all the others, yet so similar to all. Also, please remember the love and the light of our traditions. There we can find who we truly were, who we truly are. Yes, school is pushing to believe that we are the children of Dacians and Romans, yet we are not. Dacia was a Roman province, but for a short period of time. Who was living and working those lands before that? We were still. And it does not matter where we go, where we travel, the core of our ancestors is there with us. Sending a lot of good wishes to everyone reading this.

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  34. “Romanian has also maintained use of a third gender—neuter—for its nouns, as in Latin, but this is no longer the case in any of Romanian’s modern relatives—all of which have only the masculine and feminine genders for nouns.”

    Actually, German still has three genders for its nouns. ‘Das Mädchen’ is of neutral gender but means, ‘the girl’, for example. They do not use postpositions for indefinite articles, but those articles DO change form depending on the case, similar to the change in postpositions in Romanian. So, as in Latin & Romanian, the words in a German sentence have specific forms based on their role (cases) within the sentence and even if the words were out of ‘normal’ order–which would be strange sounding–the meaning would still be clear.

    Love the article and the comments. I am American, but my wife hails from Transylvania (she also grew up speaking Hungarian) and she’s a whiz at picking up the other Romance languages.

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    • The love and the light of the infinite Creator goes to you.

  35. The bigger question is why people still speak this mix of a language and not switch to something else?

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