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Learn the Romanian Alphabet from A to Z!

Learning to speak a new language is exciting; learning to write a new language is even more exciting! It will open new worlds for you. So, dig into these tips and advice for learning how to master the Romanian alphabet easily - at RomanianPod101 we make it easy, fun and relevant for you!

Starting anything from scratch can be challenging, especially if you learn how to write in a language completely different from your own. It is really like navigating through a territory that is completely unknown to you.

However, this need not be a big hurdle or a problem! At RomanianPod101, we introduce you to Romanian writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Romanian alphabet completely from the start.

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Introduction to Romanian Writing

Introduction

Romanian is written using the Latin alphabet plus five additional letters with diacritics specific for the Romanian alphabet, Ă, Â, Î, Ș, and Ț, which have their own sounds and sometimes pose difficulties even for Romanians, especially in the written language. K, Q, W and Y are used to write loan words, proper foreign names and international neologisms like karate, Qatar, Washington, watt, Yahoo.  The rule in Romanian is to pronounce the foreign words as closely to the original as possible.

The Romanian language has 7 vowels and 22 consonants. On the other hand, we also use foreign vowels like ö and ü in foreign fords like bleu (the French word for “blue”) or  Bruxelles. Other sounds like ci and ce are created by using two letters. These sounds are also used in the Italian language and are some of the sounds that make the two language sound very similar. For example, cinema (”cinema” in English), and cercetare (”research” in English).

The Origin of the Romanian Writing System

The oldest known text written in a Romanian language similar is a letter from Neacşu of Câmpulung to the mayor of Braşov written in in the 16th century. However there is evidence that attests to a translation of the Bible in Romanian made at the beginning of the 12th century.

As we mentioned during the previous lesson, the language spoken by the Thraco-Dacians was Dacian and it came in contact with many different other languages throughout the time. Few documents have been found from that era. They are subjects of research and archaeological studies. Later on, in the middle ages, Romanian regions (states at that time) were preoccupied  by wars and political problems for many centuries. This is the reason why the first documents that have been found are related to religion, politics and administration.

The first book was printed by Deacon Coresi in the middle of 16th century. He was the first editor who published a total of about 35 titles, and hundreds of copies were printed and distributed in all Romanian territories. This facilitated the linguistic unity of the Romanian people and the emergence of Romania’s literary language.

The Cyrillic alphabet was used in Romania as a writing system between the XIV and XV centuries. The transition back to the Latin alphabet was a slow process and that took place until the middle of XIX century. Romanian writers and politicians contributed to the linguistic unity and transition to Latin alphabet. Mihail Kogălniceanu, Alecu Russo, Vasile Alecsandri. Bogdan Petriceicu Hașdeu are some of them.

The first writer who made the Romanian language a true object of art was Mihai Eminescu. He is considered the greatest Romanian writer, publicist, and poet.

The book that was used as the basis of the first Romanian dictionary was Etymologicum Magnum Romaniae written by one of the greatest Romanian savants, Bogdan Petriceicu Hașdeu. The book was an enormous project and an unaccomplished dream as it was impossible to finish,  but it was enough to put the basics of Romanian grammar together.

The Romanian Alphabet

The Romanian Alphabet is a modification of the Latin alphabet, and it is composed of thirty-one letters. In ancient times the letters had just one basic form, similar to our uppercase or lowercase, depending on styles of writing. During the Middle Ages, people began to alternate two different styles of writing. One is called Majusculă, which means “uppercase.” Majusculă was proper to use for the initial letters in titles of certain words. The other one is the Minusculă, which is “lowercase,” and people used it for the rest of the text. In the following table, we will show you all the letters of the Romanian alphabet, including their uppercase form, lowercase form, and pronunciation.

Romanian Alphabet Chart

Alphabet We write Romanian using the Latin alphabet of the Roman Empire plus five additional letters with diacritics specific for the Romanian alphabet Ă, Â, Î, Ș, and Ț which have their own sounds and sometimes pose difficulties even for Romanians especially in the written language. Q, W, Y and K are used to write foreign words, names and international neologisms like: Qatar, Washington, watt, Yahoo, karate. The rule in Romanian language is to pronounce the foreign words as close to the original.

The standard Romanian language has 7 vowels and 20 consonants. On the other hand, Romanian also uses foreign vowels like ö and ü in foreign fords like bleu (the French word for blue) or Bruxelles. Other sounds like ci and ce are created by using two letters. These sounds are also used in the Italian language and are part of the sounds that make the two language sound very similar. The Romanian Alphabet is a modification of the Latin alphabet, and it is composed of thirty-one letters. In ancient times, the letters had just one basic form, similar to our uppercase or lowercase, three depending on our styles of writing. During the Middle Ages, people began to alternate two different styles while writing. One is called Majuscula, which means “uppercase.” Majuscula was proper to use for the initial letters in titles of certain words. The other one is the Minuscula, which is “lowercase,” and people used it for the rest of the text. In the following table, we show you all the letters of the Romanian alphabet, including their uppercase form, lowercase form, and pronunciation.

Upper Case Lower Case Pronunciation English Example

A

a

[a]

“barbarian”

Ă

ă

[ə]

“father”

Â

â

[ɨ]

no English equivalent

B

b

[b]

“Baltic”

C

c

[k]

“scanner”

[k’]

“keen”

[t∫]

“charter”

D

d

[d]

“deer”

E

e

[e]

“effect”

[je]

“yes”

F

f

[f]

“favour”

G

g

[g]

“gastronomic”

[g’]

“get”or “gift”

[ dʒ]

“job”

H

h

[h]

“ha!”

[mute]

I

i

[i]

“individual”

Î

î

[ɨ]

no English equivalent

J

j

[ ʒ]

“treasure”

K

k

[k]

“keen” (used for loan words and foreign names)

L

l

[l]

“life”

M

m

[m]

“mother”

N

n

[n]

“Nordic”

O

o

[o]

“opera”

P

p

[p]

“picture”

Q

q

[k]

“Qatar” (used for loan words and foreign names)

R

r

[r]

rolled r as in the food name tortillas

S

s

[s]

“salmon”

Ș

ș

[ʃ]

“shopping”

T

t

[t]

“stone”

Ț

ț

[ts]

“pizza”

U

u

[u]

“group”

V

v

[v]

“vision”

W

w

[v]

“Wagner” (used for loan words and foreign names)

[w]

“William” (used for loan words and foreign names)

X

x

[ks]

“six”

[gz]

“exercise”

Y

y

[j]

“New York” (used for loan words and foreign names)

Z

z

[z]

“zipper”

The letters  and Πare phonetically identically but their position inside the word is different.  is used when the sound is in the middle of the word.

For example: râu (”river”)

Î is used at the beginning of the word.

For example: încapator (”spacious”)

When a prefix is added, in this cases the letter Î remains the same even if its position is in the middle of the word.

For example: neîncapator (”not spacious”)”

Why is Learning the Romanian Alphabet Important?

AlphabetA language’s alphabet is its building blocks. Trying to learn how to write in Romanian without first learning its alphabet is a bit like trying to build a brick house without touching the individual bricks! It is impossible to do a good job that way. So don’t believe language schools and methods that try to teach you otherwise. You will regret it later.

Also, once you start recognizing symbols and words, you will be encouraged by your own progress and motivated to learn even faster. Even just learning the basics of the alphabet will allow you to start recognizing simple Romanian words, and it will feel great!

Furthermore, knowing the alphabet even helps with pronunciation, as learning the individual letters of any language will start uncovering nuances and intricacies that are not always apparent when you’re simply listening to the words.

Completely mastering the Romanian alphabet, no matter how long it takes, will give you an excellent head start in learning how to write and read the language. It will offer you a solid foundation on which to build the other language skills, so set a goal to learn the alphabet so well that you’re able to recite it in your sleep!

Read on for helpful tips and secrets to learning the Romanian alphabet quickly and effectively.

How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Romanian

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Romanian!

If you want to master the Romanian language and become fluent, get this Romanian eBook!
You need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Romanian learning beginners!

FREE Romanian eBook

Download your FREE Romanian practice sheets PDF today and learn the Romanian language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you a bundle of PDF cheat sheet including Survival Phrases, Romantic Lines, Learning Tips… — absolutely FREE!

3 Reasons to Learn Romanian Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Romanian lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Romanian through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve download the Romanian lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Romanian using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Romanian Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Romanian lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Romanian lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Romanian using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Romanian at RomanianPod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

Secrets to Learning the Romanian Alphabet Fast

SecretWith a language, like with anything you have to learn from scratch, having a few mnemonic devices handy are key to learning it fast. A mnemonic device is basically any method or technique that helps you to retain or commit something to memory more easily.

Here are a few mnemonic devices to memorize the Romanian alphabet so you can speed up learning how to write in Romanian.

① Find and Learn an Alphabet Song or Poem in Romanian

Can you still remember your childhood alphabet song in your own language? The best way to commit it to memory so you can recite it is still your mom or first teacher’s way - with music, a song and/or a poem! Find a recording and learn to sing the song, or recite the poem along as best as you can. Ask your RomanianPod101 teacher to help you understand exactly what you are singing or saying, and soon you’ll have reciting the alphabet under your belt! Repeat it out loud as often as possible.

However, you still need to learn how to write it.

② Study a Few Letters At a Time

Remember when you were young and learning to write for the first time? You didn’t start with words or sentences; you started with letters, one at a time!

Decide on tackling only a few letters each week, and then don’t move on from these till you are completely familiar with them. Don’t take on too many at once, or you may become discouraged. Also, remember to ask your teacher at RomanianPod101 if you have questions!

Learn to incidentally spot the letters in books, road signs (If you’re living in the country), magazines, on TV, anywhere you encounter written Romanian. Remember to write them out!

③ Write Out the Letters of the Alphabet By Hand

Make it a goal to write out your week’s letters at least once a day, and commit to this goal. You can also do it every time you have a free moment. Get yourself a special notebook for this purpose that you can carry with you anywhere you go. Sitting on the train or bus? Waiting for someone somewhere? Whip out your notebook and write the Romanian alphabet, or the letters you are learning. Aim for about 20 repetitions, while silently saying the letter in your head as you write it out. This way, you will soon be able to form and write words all by yourself! Exciting, isn’t it?

Writing something down with a pen also seems to engrave it in the brain in a way that nothing else does. As an added benefit, it gives you the satisfaction of seeing a new language in your own writing!

Once you’ve mastered the whole alphabet, commit to writing it out in its entirety at least once a day, for at least one month. More repetitions are obviously better.

④ Involve Your Whole Body

Research has shown that the more senses and actions we use to learn something, the quicker the new information sticks in the memory and becomes habitual. To apply this principle while learning the Romanian alphabet, write out huge letters by tracing them in the soil, or with chalk on the floor. Now, while saying the letter out loud, walk on the lines you have just traced. In this way, you ‘write’ the letter by moving your whole body!

Having fun just makes it even easier to learn something, so why not ‘write’ the letters out with dance steps while moving to your favorite Romanian music!

This is a simple trick that seems silly, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you will commit intricate letters to memory this way. It really works!

⑤ Use Associations To Memorize Letters

This technique would involve saying the Romanian letter out loud, and then thinking of a word in your own language that sounds the same as the letter. That would then create a phonic association that should make it easier for you to remember the letter. Better even if the association is something you can draw or picture.

If the script of the new alphabet is very different from your own, look at it closely, and see if you can find an image that the letter reminds you of

⑥ Now Have Fun Trying To Write Words!

Try to write words from your own language in Romanian, and ask your friendly RomanianPod101 teachers for feedback! Or post them on the forum and see if anyone can read them. You will be so pleased with yourself when you start writing words that are readable and recognizable by native speakers.

Related Lessons

How to Say Hello in Romanian
Do you know how to say hello in Romanian? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Romanian. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
How to Introduce Yourself in Romanian
Can you introduce yourself in Romanian? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Romanian Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Top Romanian Phrases
How good is your Romanian? Care to put it to the test? Here’s the deal! We’ve come up with this must-know Romanian Phrases List. Learn the top 25 Romanian phrases, hear the native pronunciation and put your Romanian to the test. Did you know them all? If not, review the list and master these easy phrases!
How to Say Thank You in Romanian
Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Romanian. It’s one of the most important Romanian phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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