language fact file

Spoken in: Romania and Moldova.

Number of native speakers: 25 million.

Learn some: Greet people at any time of day with ‘bună!’ Another useful phrase in a shop or at the market is ‘cât costă?’, which means ‘how much does it cost?’.

Fast facts:

  • Romanian is the only Romance language in Eastern Europe, meaning it derives from Latin. Speakers of other Romance languages can therefore pick it up relatively easily, compared to other Eastern European languages. It is also the only Romance language to retain the neuter gender of Latin (ie not masculine or feminine).
  • However, as Romania is isolated from the block of Romance languages in Western Europe, it has influences from Slavic languages (20%) and others including Turkish, Hungarian and Greek (5%). This makes it a very rich and interesting language.
  • Although Romanian has two main plural forms, the way you make a plural can change depending on the grammatical case you’re using, the declension of the word (ie how it changes according to its function in a sentence) or irregularities. There could be up to 30 different plural forms but the exact number is not on record!