Romanian Alphabet

What is Romania?

Romania is a country located in the southeastern region of Europe. The capital city of Bucharest hosts one of the large communist Soviet-era buildings called the government building, which has hundreds of windows. Romanian has many different regions, with the most well-known being the northern region of Transylvania. Bran Castle is an idealistic medieval castle located in Transylvania which was said to be the home of Vlad Tepes, who is associated with the famous legend of Dracula. Many people from the Transylvanian region had unusually long canine teeth historically, which provide the archetype of the vampire that we know today.

What is the Romanian Alphabet?

The Romanian alphabet is closely related to the Latin alphabet and is commonly used to write the characters of the Romanian language, the dominant language in the country. The alphabet consists of many of the same letters as in English, with the addition of five accents (Ă, Â, Î, Ș, and Ț) which help to shape the sound of various words.

With many of the sounds being the same, the most confusing question that baffles most Romanian speakers in both domestic and foreign contexts is the difference between î and â ("uh"). Without denotation, these letters are not only identical in pronunciation but also their function. Therefore, the differentiation between them is only when written, to show the Latin origin of a word.

Until a spelling reform occurred in 1904, the letters were used to denote different sounds, but many of the rules had changed when entering the 20th century. In 1953, the Romanian Academy was forced to adopt the rules of the soviet union, which had dominated many of the eastern European countries, changing their legislature and politics entirely. To make things easier, the â was completely removed, and only the I version of the sound remained. Unfortunately, this had completely clashed with some of the Cyrillic-Latin translations of the soviet union and was added back in 1963 for a short time. Finally, in 1993 during the collapse of the soviet union, it was formally reintroduced.

What is the History of the Romanian Alphabet?

Although the sounds had been used earlier, the letters Y, Q, and W were only formally inducted into the Romanian alphabet in 1982. Before this, the sounds were extremely similar in some words - but the new letters needed to be added for direct translation from western languages, mainly from English. Words such as quasar, watt, and yacht could not previously be written without the use and addition of English letters into the Romanian alphabet.

The letter "K" is also rarely used in the language, as "C" serves the same purpose as the "K" "C" and "S" sound that is found in English, with "ch" being the one that resembles the closest phonetic sound similarity. The most probable addition to this letter was to denote certain words such as "kilogram". Other words that were imported into the language from its English counterpart are "broker" and "karate", which had no previous congruence.

Romanian Alphabet