Learning Romanian sucks a little without diacritics :(
I have always found learning Romanian a little frustrating because most Romanians don't type with diacritics online. Of course it's important for understanding and learning pronunciation when you are just learning, if you learn a lot by reading online. Also, I love the way they look, so it just makes me sad. Anyone else? Has anyone found solutions for this?
I also hate it. But generally when Romanians write me, they kinda feel the obligation to write with diacritics or they excuse themselves when they don't have them on the phone.
With time and practice with the language, you won't be bothered by them anymore. :) One of my practice activities was to get the lyrics of any song in Romanian and add the right diacritics to it, by listening to the song. When you're in a good level, you don't need to listen to the song, just add the diacritics and then listen to it, in order to see if you did it right. :)
Mult noroc! :)
What's also annoying is that, at some point, people found it natural and useful to use digraphs for some sounds (e.g. sh - ș, tz - ț, ah - ă in final positions), but this is now frowned upon and considered inesthetic. I think it's because it evolved as chat speak and it was associated with other unnecessary/annoying/l33t writing rules (like replacing every "c" with a "k").
Nowadays, the average speaker would prefer something like "sapte nopti" over "shapte noptzi", even though using digraphs is far better than simply omitting diacritics, because:
- there are no Romanian words containing "sh" or "tz" (or at least I can't think of any right now), so they don't introduce any ambiguity
- they solve a bunch of ambiguities generated by words which differ only by diacritics (e.g. nas - naș (godfather - nose), rată - rață (rate - duck) etc.)
- arguably, their pronunciation is intuitive for Romanians as well as speakers of some other languages (English, for example), making them easier to read.
They don't want to switch to RO-PRO. See the comparison between EN-US and RO-PRO on my Kickstarter: Romanian Cherry G83-6104 / G83-6105 Keyboard campaign/
I think it's a nice idea, but I don't believe it will catch on. First of all, a lot of written messages today come from a touch screen device which can easily change layouts, yet people still don't bother with that.
Secondly, having a matching physical layout becomes impractical for anyone who uses more than one language and I assume the majority of Romanians occasionally use English as well.
Good luck with it, anyway.
It sure is disturbing for many people. I am a romanian and I don't write with diacritics unless I'm on my phone. That's because it's usually far easier to type on a english keyboard than on a romanian one. However, I get your frutration as you want to learn the language and need to find people who write as correct as possible. That's why my recommendation is to find people who don't write in slangs as much on the internet and who use complete words as much as possible. Those are the ones who will be able to help you learn the language a lot better than those who use "internet language" if you get why I mean. Just as we see english people making silly mistakes like "your cute" instead of "you're cute" we see many romanian people being lazy with writing complete words or no diacritics ever. Aren't the duolingo courses with diacritics tho?
As a native Romanian I can say that we don't really use the diacritics that much. I tried the Romanian course but it has many bugs yet. But if you really want to learn Romanian I say you should try another app as well. Succes si noroc in invatarea limbii romane! ( Succes şi noroc în învăţarea limbii române) :))