Romanian Alphabet and Language

and writing system
Short history made by students from ,,Aurel
The History of the
Romanian Language
Romania is unique in that it is the only Eastern Block country
that speaks a Romance language. Alexandru Niculescu, in his
book Outline History of the Romanian Language says, "Romanian
is the only Romance language which has developed in the
Eastern part of Latin Europe" (16). The history of Romanian can
be traced through different periods of outside influence on the
language. The first period is the Dacian period. The Dacians
were the first known civilization to live in the area where
Romania is now situated. The second period is the Romanization
following the Roman conquest of the Dacians. After the
Romanization was a period of Slavic influence on the Proto
Romanian of that time, followed by a Re-Latinization movement
during the 19th Century. Romanian reflects the turbulent
history of its native speakers. It illustrates the story of a
nation of survivors.
Artifacts about writing
system discovered in Romania
• The Tărtăria tablets are
three tablets, discovered in 1961
by archaeologistNicolae
Vlassa at a Neolithic site in the
village of Tărtăria (about 30 km
/19 mi) from Alba Iulia),
in Romania.The tablets, dated to
around 5300 BC, bear incised
symbols - the Vinča symbols and have been the subject of
considerable controversy
among archaeologists, some of
whom claim that the symbols
represent the earliest known
tablets form of writing in the world.
Tărtăria tablets
Monument of tablets in the
village of Tărtăria (about 30 km
(19 mi) from Alba Iulia.
,,Tablets from Tartaria, dated 5300 – 4700 BC,
incited the Anglo-Saxon world (Colin Renfrew,
Marija Gimbutas) and created hot debates around
the globe.’’
Prof. Dr. Maria-Luminita Rolle, University of
Edinburgh, Academic Consultant European
Sinaia lead plates
• The Sinaia lead plates are a set
of lead plates written in an unknown
language or constructed language.
They are alleged to be a chronicle of
the Dacians(Romanian ancestors). The
plates were written in the Greek
alphabet with a few other character
additions, the connection with the
Dacian civilization being quite obvious
from the names of Dacian kings and
• They also include text written in some
unknown scripts that do not resemble
any known written alphabet. In
addition to the text, the plates also
contain many complex illustrations,
including those of armies, kings,
cities, temples and buildings.
Romanian Alphabet and Language
The Romanian language is a Romance
language, derived from Latin,
introduced during the Roman
occupation of the Balkans.
Romanian language contains features
reflecting continued contact with
Romans until the decline of the
Roman Empire and influx of Slavic
peoples in the 6th century. From
this time separate Northern and
Southern dialects formed. The two
principle northern dialects are
Daco-Romania spoken in modern
Romania and the Republic of
spoken in a few villages in the
Istria peninsular of Croatia.
Letter from Neacsu of
- oldest written text in Romanian-
The oldest written text in
Romanian is a letter from 1521,
in which Neacsu of Câmpulung
wrote to the mayor of Brasov
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
16th century Transylvanian text
which was written with the
Hungarian alphabet conventions.
Neacșu's letter is the oldest
surviving document written in
Romanian Cyrillic alphabet
• The Romanian Cyrillic alphabet was used to write the Romanian
language before 1860–1862, when it was officially replaced by a
Latin-based Romanian alphabet.Cyrillic remained in occasional use
until circa 1920 (mostly in Bassarabia). It is not the same as
the Russian-based Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet used in the Moldavian
ASSR since 1926, and then in the Moldavian SSR between 1940 and
1989 (except 1941-44).
• The Romanian Cyrillic alphabet was close to the contemporary
version of the Early Cyrillic alphabet of the Old Church
Slavonicliturgical language.
Transitional alphabet
• Between its discarding and the full adoption of the Latin
alphabet, a so-called transitional alphabet was in place for a
few years (it combined Cyrillic and Latin letters, and included
some of the Latin letters with diacritics which came to be
used in Romanian spelling).
Latin alphabet
• Starting with the 1830s and ending with
the official adoption of the Latin alphabet,
there were no regulations for writing
Romanian, and various alphabets using
Cyrillic and Latin letters, besides the midtransitional version in the table above,
were used, sometimes two or more of them
in a single book. The following table shows
some of the many alphabets used in print.
The Romanian alphabet is a modification of
the classical Latin alphabet and consists of 31
A, a
Î, î
î / î din i
Ă, ă
J, j
je / jî
Â, â
î / î din a
K, k
ca / capa
B, b
be / bî
L, l
el / le / lî
C, c
ce / cî
M, m
D, d
de / dî
E, e
Ș, ș
șe / șî
T, t
te / tî
Ț, ț
țe / țî
em / me / mî
U, u
N, n
en / ne / nî
V, v
ve / vî
O, o
W, w
F, f
ef / fe / fî
P, p
pe / pî
dublu ve / dublu
G, g
ge / ghe / gî
Q, q
kü / chiu
X, x
H, h
haș / ha / hî
R, r
er / re / rî
Y, y
igrec / i grec
I, i
S, s
es / se / sî
Z, z
ze / zet / zed / zî
• Romanian does not use accents. In the sense
of diacritics as being signs added to letters to alter their
pronunciation or to make distinction between words, the
Romanian alphabet does not have diacritics. There are,
however, five special letters in the Romanian alphabet
(associated with four different sounds), formed by
modifying other Latin letters; strictly speaking they are
not diacritics, but are generally referred to as such.
• Ă ă — a with breve – for the sound /ə/
• Â â — a with circumflex – for the sound /ɨ/
• Î î — i with circumflex – for the sound /ɨ/
• Ș ș — s with comma – for the sound /ʃ/
• Ț ț — t with comma – for the sound /t͡s/
• The letter â is used exclusively in the middle of words;
its majuscule version appears only in all-capitals
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