Romanian is the official language of Romania, but other languages, particularly Hungarian are also frequently spoken in Romania. Most of modern Romania speaks English, so you’re unlikely to encounter a language barrier, but older people in rural areas are much less likely to speak English. Other European languages are also widely understood in Romania. The Roma people of Romania (and Europe) speak Romani.
Is Romanian a Romance Language?
Romanian is indeed a Romance language, descended from Latin. As such, it has much in common with Italian, French and Spanish, and all of the Romance Languages.
The Romanian language also takes influences from its neighbours and their Slavic tongues. Neighbouring Bulgaria, Ukraine, Macedonia and Serbia are all Slavic-speaking countries.
Next door Hungary, speaks Hungarian, a Uralic (non-Indo-European) language influences elements of Romanian language. In parts of Romania Hungarian is still widely spoken due to border shifts throughout history.
Romania’s location on the eastern edge of southern Europe makes the country something of a gateway to the East. Romania has been a crossroads between Western Europe, the Slavic regions, non-Indo-European Hungary, and Turkey, a trans-continental country joining Europe with Asia.
Romania also has largest population in Europe of nomadic Roma people (formerly known as gypsies or gipsies) adding to the diversity and complexity of language and culture in Romania. It is thought that the Roma people originally migrated from India. Romani is an Indio-Aryan language with grammar and vocabulary related to Sanskrit. Romani has been spoken exclusively spoken in Europe since the Middle Ages.
This diversity and fascinating history within Romania are stand out features of your Romania vacation.