In every language, there are certain words and phrases that are required to get by. My top four words in any language are “hello”, “sorry”, “please” and “thank you” as I think that these words will get you further than any others. Here are 15 beautiful and useful Romanian words and phrases, as well as a history of the Romanian language (which is actually a Romance language related to Latin, French, Italian and Spanish!)
History of the Romanian Language
Despite its location as a country nestled in Eastern Europe, the Romanian language is a Romance language most closely related to French, Italian, Latin and Spanish. In fact, it’s the only Romance language spoken in Eastern Europe (but that’s not to say that Romanian hasn’t, at least in part, been influenced by its Slavic language speaking neighbours.)
Today, the language is spoken by 24-26 million people, primarily based in Romania and Moldova. Romanian is a direct descendant of the Vulgar Latin language, the primary language of the Roman empire around 2000 years ago. The existence of a Romance language in Romania can be traced back to the Dacians, who also lived around two millennia ago.
Known as Dacia in the Roman period, the land was actually taken over by the Romans from the year 106 AD and they had much impact on the land, as well as the people. As a result, the Romanian language is estimated to be around 1700 years old.
However, particularly interesting to note is that prior to 1860, Romanian was written in the Romanian Cyrillic alphabet (which was in turn based on the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet). In the late 19th-Century, changing fashions meant a trend towards the Latin alphabet and the Cyrillic alphabet was replaced with the Latin alphabet.
Here are fifteen beautiful and useful Romanian words and phrases:
Salut! | Hello (informal)
Ciao | Bye (informal)
Mersi! | Thanks (informal)
Te rog (informal)/ Vă rog (formal) | Please
Îmi pare rău! | Sorry
Scuze! | Excuse me
Noroc! | Cheers (for drinking- the word can also be said to say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’)
da/nu | yes/no
poate | maybe
Nu vorbesc românește. | I don’t speak any Romanian
Mă numesc … | My name is…
Unde este toaleta? | Where’s the toilet?
Călătoresc singur(ă) | I am travelling on my own/ I’m travelling solo (the a on the end in brackets is to be used if you’re a female)
Voia este în tine | Where there’s a will, there’s a way
A freca menta | Wasting time (literally translated as ‘rubbing the mint’)