Romania in a Nutshell

Romania (Romanian: România) is a nation on the western shores of the Black Sea, north of the Balkan Peninsula except for Dobruja. It is a nation of great natural beauty and diversity, as well as a rich cultural heritage that includes ethnic, linguistic, and confessional communities from all over the world. Romania captivates tourists with its stunning mountain landscapes and untouched rural areas, as well as its ancient cities and bustling capital. Significant progress has been made, especially since it entered the European Union in 2007. It can, however, surprise some of its visitors who are accustomed to Western Europe. It has six cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one geological UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Romania is a vast country with a lot of contrasts: some cities are genuinely modern, while others seem to have been transported back in time. Although it shares major cultural similarities with other Balkan states, it is distinguished by its strong Latin heritage, which is expressed in every aspect of Romanian society, from culture to language. The Carpathian Mountains, wine, medieval fortresses, Dacia automobiles, Dracula, stuffed cabbage leaves (sarmale), the Black Sea, sunflower fields, painted monasteries, and the Danube Delta are all popular in Romania.

It is surrounded by Bulgaria to the south, Serbia to the southwest, Hungary to the northwest, Moldova to the northeast, and Ukraine to the north and east. While its southern regions are commonly associated with Southeastern Europe (the Balkans), Transylvania, its largest territory, is located in Central Europe.

Since the Communist era, the country has enjoyed higher living standards, with foreign investment on the rise.

Romanian, limba română, is the country's official language. It is a Romance language related to Latin and Italian. It was formalized in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Slavic words account for 10% of Romanian vocabulary, while Turkish, Hungarian, and German words account for less than 5%.

Romanian minorities speak Hungarian, German, Turkish, and Romany (the language of the Roma, or Gypsies). Russian and Ukrainian can also be heard in the Danube Delta. French used to be the second most widely spoken language in Romania, as it was needed in all schools; however, it has been largely replaced by English. A well-educated Romanian with a university degree can normally speak English as well as another European language, such as French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Russian. However, once you get off the beaten path, Romanian is the only language you'll be able to use to get details. That won't be a problem if you teach them some common words and have them write the answers.

Transylvania has a sizable Hungarian minority (17.9 percent of the population according to the 2011 census), and many people speak Hungarian on a regular basis. Harghita, Covasna, and Mures are counties where Hungarian is commonly spoken and ethnic Hungarians make up the majority of the population. There are villages or towns with a Hungarian majority or plurality in Cluj, Bihor, Satu Mare, Brasov, Sibiu, and other Transylvanian counties.

While some can speak Russian as a result of Romania's history as a member of the Eastern Bloc, you should not depend on it. Just about 4% of Romanians understand Russian, and only about 2% are fluent. The chances of meeting one are slim, since the Ceaușescu regime and subsequent leaders made learning the language optional rather than compulsory, and English has largely supplanted Russian as the second language of choice among younger people.

Most educated Romanians may be able to understand other Romance languages spoken in the country, such as French, Spanish, and Italian. Other Romanians can understand some Spanish and Italian as a result of popular Italian and Latin American TV soap operas.

Written on 08/22/2017 - 01:21 by Shawn Blake

Last modified on 04/25/2021 - 11:55

Art & Museums
A Natural History museum, it is one of the oldest research institutions in the field of biodiversity and public education. Originally established as the National Museum of Natural History on 3 November 1834, it was renamed in 1933 after the biologist Grigore Antipa who had administrated the museum...
Art & Museums
The ornate, domed, circular building is the city's main concert hall, hosting also the George Enescu annual international music festival. Designed in neoclassical style with some more romantic touches by the french architect Albert Galleron, built on a property that had belonged to the Văcărescu...
Art & Museums
An ethnographic open-air museum located in the Herăstrău Park from Bucuresti, showcasing traditional Romanian village life. It was created in 1936 by Dimitrie Gusti, Victor Ion Popa, and Henri H. Stahl. It extends to over 100,000 m2, and contains 272 authentic peasant farms and houses from all over...
A large park around the Herăstrău Lake in Bucharest, one of the lakes formed by the Colentina River. Scattered across the park are an open-air theatre, a yacht club, a sports club, the Herăstrău Hotel and the Diplomatic Club wich features a golf course. It is divided into two zones: a rustic or...
An impressive building on Arsenal Hill in Bucharest, it houses the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies of Romania.The building has about 1,000 rooms, of which 440 offices, over 30 halls and salons, four restaurants, three libraries, two underground car parks, and a concert hall. The largest building...

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