Which family does Romanian belong to?
Română, limba română is a Romance language, spoken primarily in Romania and Moldova; it is the easternmost of the Romance languages, the continuation of Latin which entered the region with the conquests of Trajan, in the early II century AD. Although Roman domination was relatively short (at the end of the III century the Romans had already left the region), the Latin language imposed its long-term influence on local dialects, while also absorbing elements from them and from neighboring languages. On the other side, the isolation of Romanian with respect to all other Romance languages allowed it to keep many archaic features of Latin, which are not attested elsewhere.
In the course of its history Romanian was enriched by elements, especially lexical, absorbed by the various languages with which it came into contact (Turkish, Greek, Serbian, Russian, Bulgarian, Polish, Hungarian, Albanian), but the morphological and syntactic structure of the language is still basically very close to that of the other Romance languages.
Who speaks Romanian?
Today four lexical varieties of Romanian are spoken: the Dacoromanian, which is the far most important group, spoken by nearly the entire population; the Macedo-Romanian, spoken by about 400,000 people mainly in the regions of the Greek Macedonia, Bulgaria and Albania; the Meglenitic or Megleno-Romanian, spoken by about 15,000 people in the Meglena valley, North-West of Thessaloniki; the Istro-Rumanian, spoken by about 25,000 people in the Eastern part of Istria, which received significant influences from Italian and Slavic languages.
What are the main linguistic features of Romanian?
The main features common to all dialects are (in phonology):
1 .- Retention of Latin ŭ (Latin furca, "fork" , Romanian furcă);
2 .- Reduction of unstressed a into ă (ë);
3 .- Diphthongs from e and o into ea and oa (Latin coxa, "thigh", Romanian coapsă);
4.- The passage of an, am into în, îm (Latin manus, "hand", Romanian mînă);
5.- The passage of x (cs) to pt and of ct to pt;
6.- The Rhotacism of intervocalic l and n (Latin gula, "throat", Romanian gură);
7 .- The development of a postponed article (frate-le, the brother);
8 .- The formation of a periphrastic future with the verb meaning "will”.
Where does Romanian come from?
The first written record of a Romance language spoken in the Middle Ages in the Balkans was written by the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes Confessor in the VI century about a military expedition against the Avars from 587, when a Vlach muleteer accompanying the Byzantine army noticed that the load was falling from one of the animals and shouted to a companion Torna, torna fratre ("return, return brother!").
The oldest written text in Romanian is a letter from late June 1521, in which Neacşu of Câmpulung wrote to the mayor of Braşov about an imminent attack of the Turks. It was written using the Cyrillic alphabet, like most early Romanian writings. The earliest writing in Latin script was a late XVI century Transylvanian text, written with the Hungarian orthographic conventions.