Romanian language: All you need to know about Romanian Start studying abroad

EU abbreviation: RO


Romanian is a member of the Romance language family and is related to French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian. It is written using the Latin script and is read from left to right. The alphabet used for writing in Romanian is the Latin alphabet with the addition of a, â, î, s and t. It has been so since the 19th century although it used to be based on the Cyrillic alphabet. The letters k, q, w and y were not included in the Romanian alphabet until 1982 and are mostly used in foreign words such as ‘kilogram’ or ‘yoga’.

'Torna, torna, fratre,' which means ‘go back, go back, brother’ is known to be the first example of Romanian. It appeared in a 6th century Byzantine chronicle. Romanian language is also called Daco-Romanian, a name suggesting its origin - an area called ‘Dacia.’ Dacia was invaded by the Romans in AD 102 and again in 105, and soon became a Roman province. The inhabitants of that province adopted and adapted the Roman language of Latin, thus giving birth to an early form of the Romanian language we know today.


Description: Neacsu Lupu (Neacsu's letter is the oldest surviving document written in Romanian)

Date: between 29 June 1521 and 30 June 1521

Author: Unknown



Romanian is an official language in Romania, Moldova and Vojvodina, and is recognised as a minority language in Hungary and Serbia. There are about 24 million native Romanian speakers, mainly in Romania and Moldova. Another 4 million people speak it in countries such as Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.


Mihai Eminescu was born on 15 January 1850 and died on 15 June 1889. He is often seen as the most influential Romanian Romantic novelist, poet and journalist. Eminescu worked as an editor for the newspaper Timpul (The Time) and the official newspaper of the Conservative Party from 1880 until 1918. He published his first poem at 16 and travelled to Vienna at 19, where he studied for three years. His manuscripts include 46 volumes and about 14,000 pages. His most famous works are Oda (în metru antic) (Ode (in Ancient Meter)), Luceafarul (The Vesper) and the five Letters (Epistles/Satires). The Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga considers Eminescu the godfather of the modern Romanian language.


Description: Portrait of Mihai Eminescu - photograph taken by Jan Tomas (1841-1912) in Prague

Date: 1 January 1869

Author: Jan Tomas


Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia was born in 1431 and died in 1476/77. He was a member of the House of Draculeti and is also referred to as Dracula. After his death, he was called Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Tepes in Romanian. Vlad II Dracul was Vlad III’s father and belonged to the Order of the Dragon, which was created to defend Christianity in Eastern Europe. Vlad III ruled from 1456 to 1462 during the period of the early Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. In Romania and in Europe, he is celebrated as a folk hero for protecting the Romanian population. He was also feared by enemies across Europe for his excessive cruelty and his practice of impaling his enemies.


Description: Vlad Tepes

Date: 16th century

Author: Unknown





Romanian cuisine has been influenced by several culinary traditions, such as the Ottoman, German, Serb, Bulgarian and Hungarian cuisine. Pork is commonly used in Romanian cuisine, as well as beef – lamb or fish are less frequently used. Wine has a long tradition in Romania as it has been the preferred drink for the last two millennia. Romania is the world's ninth largest wine producer. Plums are another popular product, of which Romania is the world's second largest grower. Plums are usually used in either the famous tuica (a once-refined plum brandy) or palinca (a twice-or-more-refined plum brandy). Popular Romanian dishes include Sarmale, which is a slowly-cooked mixture of pork, beef, and lamb, with onions, and rice, wrapped in cabbage leaves, and then placed in a pot with tomato paste, and pork cuts. It is served with corn meal (mamaliga). Other popular dishes include Caltabos/chisca (cooked sausage made of minced pork organs and rice, stuffed in a pig casing); Mititei (mici) (grilled minced-meat rolls); Tochitura (Romanian-style stew); Ardei umpluti (stuffed bell peppers); Cozonac (a kind of Stollen); and Gogosi (doughnuts).


Description: Mici

Date: 4 May 2007

Author: Julienbzh35



Romania counts 25 architectural gems which have been included by UNESCO in the World Cultural Heritage for their natural, scenic and monumental appeal. These include the defensive system of Dacian fortresses in the Orastie Mountains, the fortified churches of Transylvania, the wooden churches of Maramures, the historic centre of Sighisoara, the Hurezu monastery and the painted monasteries of Bucovina. The latter are amongst the most picturesque treasures of Romania. Their exterior walls were painted in the 15th and 16th century with intricate frescoes featuring saints and prophets, scenes from the life of Jesus, and images of angels and demons. These are masterpieces of Byzantine art and represent complete cycles of religious murals.


Description: Moldovita monastery

Date: 1 January 2000

Author: Petr Sporer


  • It is traditional to bring flowers, chocolates, or liquor if you are invited to a Romanian's home.
  • The Scarisoara glacier is Europe’s second largest underground glacier. It is 3,500 years old and its volume is 75,000 cubic meters.
  • In 1889, Timisoara was the first city of Europe to have electric street lighting.
  • Romania’s 10-bani note was issued in 1917 and was the smallest paper money ever printed (2.74 x 3.79 cm).


Description: Pestera Scarisoara - Sala Biserica

Date: 13 September 2006

Author: Szajci



There are various schools in Romania and abroad that offer Romanian language courses. Search for Romanian language courses now.