Romanian (obsolete spellings: Rumanian or Roumanian; autonym: limba română [ˈlimba roˈmɨnə] (listen), or românește, lit. 'in Romanian') is an Eastern Romance language spoken by approximately 22–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania and Moldova, and by another 4 million people as a second language. According to another estimate, there are about 34 million people worldwide who can speak Romanian, of whom 30 million speak it as a native language.[need quotation to verify] It is an official and national language of both Romania and Moldova and is one of the official languages of the European Union.
лимба ромынэ (in Moldovan Cyrillic)
|Native to||Romania, Moldova|
|23.6–24 million (2016)|
Second language: 4 million
L1+L2 speakers: 28 million
|Latin (Romanian alphabet)|
Official language in
Serbia (in Vojvodina)
|Regulated by||Romanian Academy|
Academy of Sciences of Moldova
Blue: region where Romanian is the dominant language. Cyan: areas with a notable minority of Romanian speakers.
Distribution of the Romanian language in Romania, Moldova and surroundings
|Eastern Romance languages|
Vulgar Latin language|
Romanian is a part of the Eastern Romance sub-branch of Romance languages, a linguistic group that evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin which separated from the Western Romance languages in the course of the period from the 5th to the 8th centuries. To distinguish it within the Eastern Romance languages, in comparative linguistics it is called Daco-Romanian as opposed to its closest relatives, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian and Istro-Romanian. Romanian is also known as Moldovan in Moldova, although the Constitutional Court of Moldova ruled in 2013 that "the official language of the republic is Romanian".
Numerous immigrant Romanian speakers live scattered across many other regions and countries worldwide, with large populations in Italy, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.