Q: Is the Romanian language a Latin or Slavic language?
It is Latin, but Slavic had a great influence.
In the 19th century around 40% of the words were of a Slavic origin and 30% of Latin origin. However, we abandoned those words and latinized the language, borrowing from French many words.
Now, only 20% of the vocabulary is Slavic.
The grammar and the most important words were always Latin though, as Slavs came later in this area. Still, the impact is great, preffixes and suffixes being a Slavic characteristic.
Q: Why is Romanian the only Romance language in its area?
After the Roman withdrawal, the population still spoke a sort of vulgar Latin, from which, as the case with all the rest of the Romance languages, Romanian language eventually evolved.
There is a sort of similarity between Spanish and Romanian, beyond the common Latin origin – a lot of invaders passed over the territory. But the essential Latin features were kept – while in the rest of the surrounding regions the Latin language was lost.
Due to the geography, Romanians were able to resist assimilation both Slavic and Hungarian.
Q: What are some key characteristics of Romanian people?
You have to consider that Romania from its history has regions that have some differences.
Most Romanians are inventive, funny, usually traditionalistic and religious, quite intelligent.
Some say that the quality of the rural people rises with both the altitude and latitude, but depends. Anyway, this is a good reason to walk in mountains!
Romania is the only Latin country with Orthodox Christianity as its national faith.
Romanian are passionate people like Italians, Spanish people, or Brazilians but crime rate is among the lowest in the world. You are much safer on Romanian streets than in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy or USA.
Q: What are some of the most surreal places in Romania, besides mountains?
Hollow caverns filled with a perpetually ignited natural gas from shallow shale beds. It keeps burning day and night, like the large flaming pits in the US or the perpetually burning oil fields in Iraq.
It’s a place which looks like a Lunar landscape, except the craters there spits mud. There are rare places on Earth which looks like this.
The Danube Delta
The Danube river flows through many countries until in Romania. Here finally leaves its stream and spills into the Black Sea in a beautiful delta, home to many species of birds and animals.
On the way to Danube delta, you can visit also Măcin Mountains National Park.
There’s a cemetery in Romania that faces death with a smile. Each tombstone has colorful naive paintings and a poem-like text that describes in a humorous way the life of the person buried there.
The monasteries were built in the 1400’s and 1500’s. All painted inside, some outside. The art is stunning. The religious topics vary: from the Church Calendar to the Last Supper to the Tree of Jesse to the Day of Judgement. And more.
You will not have understood Romania’s history and arts without visiting at least one of these sites (UNESCO heritage).