Similarities and Differences between Romanian and French, Spanish, Italian

Just like Spanish, French and Italian, the Romanian language is an Indo-European language pertaining to the Romance languages class. Moreover, the fact of having been spoken for centuries on the same geographical platform but subject to various historical contexts definitely accounts for its major similarities, but also differences with these other three languages.

Romanian, as well as Spanish, French and Italian, all trace their origins in the Vulgar Latin in terms of grammar structure. Should we take the common denominator of Italian, as probably the most similar language to Latin, it has been argued that its lexical similarity to French could be of 89%, to Spanish of 78% and to Romanian of 77%. This is surely one of the reasons why many words of these four languages can easily be assumed by speakers of Romanian, Spanish, French or Italian alike.

On the other hand, what does make the Romanian language different from Spanish, French and Italian are the linguistic influences that have interfered with its Latin structure as a consequence of the various invasions it has been exposed throughout the centuries. We can thus think of the older influences of Slavic, Hungarian and Greek origin, but also of the later ones of Neo-Greek and Turkish origins. By far, the greatest influence on the Romanian recent structure is represented by the Slavic vocabulary, as opposed to Spanish, French, and Italian that continued to be influenced way back by the Medieval Latin.

To conclude, any Romance language speaker can certainly expect to have a distinct advantage in their endeavour to learn Romanian due to its common Latin structure and basic vocabulary. However, the Romanian original characteristics have the potential of being a great challenge for Spanish, French, Italian and non-Romance languages speakers alike.

Come to the Romanian Course organized by Crystal Mind and you will discover a whole new world!

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