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Definition: Romanian language from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Member of the Romance branch of the Indo-European language family, spoken in Romania, Macedonia, Albania, and parts of northern Greece. It has been strongly influenced by the Slavonic languages and by Greek. The Cyrillic alphabet was used until the 19th century, when a variant of the Roman alphabet was adopted.


Summary Article: Romanian language
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languages). It is spoken by about 22 million people in Romania, where it is the official language, by 3 million people in Moldova, and by perhaps another 1 million persons scattered in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, and Hungary. At the present time Romanian is written in the Roman alphabet, to which have been added the symbols ă, â, î, ş, and ţ. In Moldova under Soviet rule, however, Cyrillic characters were used for Romanian. A distinctive feature of Romanian is the attachment of the definite article to the noun as a suffix, as in omul (literally, “man-the”). The oldest surviving Romanian texts are from the 16th cent., and there are four major dialects of the language.

  • See J. E. Augerot; F. D. Popescu, Modern Romanian (1971);.
  • E. Vasiliu; S. Golopentia-Ertescu, Transformational Syntax of Romanian (1973).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

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