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Romanian language

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limba română
Native to

Romania, Moldova, Transnistria (Disputed region)
Minority in:

Israel, Serbia, Ukraine, Hungary, diaspora in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and other parts of Western Europe
Native speakers 24 million  (2007)[1]
Second language: 4 million[2]
Language family
Early forms:
  • Romanian
Writing system Latin (Romanian alphabet)
Romanian Braille
Official status
Official language in

 Moldova [3]

 European Union
Recognised minority language in  Hungary
Regulated by Academia Română
Academy of Sciences of Moldova
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ro
ISO 639-2 rum (B)
ron (T)
ISO 639-3 ron

51-AAD-c (varieties:

51-AAD-ca to -ck)
Map Roumanophone World.png
Blue: region where Romanian is the dominant language. Green: areas with a notable minority of Romanian speakers.

The Romanian language is a Romance language, meaning it comes from Latin like French, Spanish and Italian. It has 66% Latin-based words and 20% Slavic-based words. The rest are newer and come from Dacian, Turkish, Greek or English. There are about 28 million speakers: 24 million who speak it as their mother tongue and 4 million who have learned it as their second language.

Romanian is also the most spoken language in Moldova, which is northeast of Romania. In Moldova, they refer to Romanian as Moldavian. However, there are certain differences, such as the dialect and a Moldavian accent.


  1. Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
  2. Latin Union
  3. The constitution of the Republic of Moldova refers to the country's language as Moldovan rather than Romanian, though in practice it is often called "Romanian". The introduction of the law concerning the functioning of the languages (September 1989), still effective in the Republic of Moldova according to the Constitution, asserts the linguistic identity between the Romanian language and the Moldovan language.