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My Experiences With The English For Romanian Speakers Course, So Far..

Today I grew tired of waiting for Romanian to come out and tried the English for Romanian speakers course, and discovered Romanian is not the easiest. here are some tips-

-They don't use a seperate word for the. For example, A woman drinks would be O femeie bea, but The woman drinks is Femeia bea. So thats confusing.

-They are one of the few (or none, I am not really sure) languages that use this accent- Ăă- and this- Șș. Also can anyone clarify why Duolingo bolds these?

So yeah, this is my expieriance so far, and I will add more tips in the future. Oh come great Romanian course!

UPDATE Today is August 6th (August already? ugh) soo I found this on Wikipedia- not sure if it is completely correct, though.

20% inherited Latin 11.5% Slavic, including Old Slavic, Slavonic, Bulgarian, Serbian, Ukrainian and Russian 3.60% Turkish 2.17% Hungarian 2.40% Modern Greek 43% recent Romance borrowings (mainly French: 38.40%)

This is apparently what languages make up Romanian! So if you know any of these, you might consider Romanian, or if you want to learn one of these, then take Romanian!


The Romanian language did not originally include letters K, Q, W and Y until more loanwords came around. Some examples are kilogram, watt and yoga, so often there will be little to none of these letters in a Romanian lesson.

August 6, 2014

43 de comentarii


Welcome to our course! Have a lingot for your courage! :-)

  • Some of the Romanian users are also upset with your ”the”, because they are not sure when they have to use it and when not to. So you can say we are even. Indeed the suffixes we use instead of the article ”the” change depending on the gender, number and case of the noun.
  • It seems there are other languages that use the letters ă/Ă, see here. I think the reason why some letters appear to be bold (but they are not) is that the font that Duolingo uses in general does not include these letters, so they are added from a different font, see here. The official correct form of the letters is with a comma underneath (ș/Ș/ț/Ț), but most of the fonts have the letters with a cedilla underneath (ş/Ş/ţ/Ţ). In our course we accept both of them because different users use different keyboards, but we also accept normal letters instead of diacritics (a/A instead of ă/Ă and â/Â, i/I instead of î/Î, s/S instead of ș/Ș/ş/Ş and t/T instead of ț/Ț/ţ/Ţ) because native speakers would understand the meaning of a text even when it's written only with normal characters.

Good luck with your learning!
If you have questions feel free to ask them in the sentence discussions.
I look forward to your next tips and I hope other users like you will share here their own thoughts about this experience.


Thank you so much! It would make semse that Romanian speakers would be annoyed with our the, since they are not used to it, just like I am having trouble with your the! Romanian was actually the first time I saw those accents. Now I understand why they apparently look bold- at first I thought they were there because that course hadn't been released yet and that signified that? The first time I heard about Romanian was probably Kindergarten, when my mother and I were in a library- or maybe in a house, I'm not quite sure- but I saw a book called The Romance Languages Of The World. I said, "Mommy, what are the Romance Languages?" And she replied, "Well, the main ones are French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian." I knew what the others were, but the word Romanian stood out to me- the way the syllables blended together, ro-man-i-an. Priginally, I believed that the term Romance languages meant that you would charm people by speaking it to them. Thank you again!


”I believed that the term Romance languages meant that you would charm people by speaking it to them.”

Haha, what a nice thought!
Kids can make pretty amazing connections when it comes to new words. :-)

So I see you already started learning French and a little Spanish.
Are you giving priority to Romanian before Italian and Portuguese?
If you don't mind me asking where are you from and what languages did you study before discovering Duolingo?


I was born in the Western US, and until 3rd Grade we were forced to study Spanish since it was so practical here... But in 3rd Grade we were given a choice between the two, and I chose French :) I have heard that Italian is similar to Romanian, but which Romance language do you think is the closest? I may start studying Italian on this soon to help me with my Romanian skills. Thanks!


I think Romanian and French are the most related ones (just like you said in the update of the original message).
I only know French and Spanish (and I understand a little Portuguese), but I never really had a connection with Italian.
But now, all of them are on my ”to do” list here on Duo (so far, I only finished the Spanish tree for English speakers). And after I finish another tree using English, I will start to combine the languages and do the trees for French<->Spanish for example. It's definitely fun to be able to concentrate and quickly figure out the answer in the requested language, when you use multiple trees it gets more interesting. :-)


I do find many French similarities-mersi, salut, and femeie, although I just find that it looks less like French and more like Italian or even Spanish. On the Romanian course description, though, they say it has many linguistic similarities. I know enough Spanish to be able to survive-maybe- and although I need to go a little deeper, I have done one lesson of Italian, Portuguese and Dutch.

  • 1059

Romanian is more similar to Italian, both written and spoken. Romanian words are spelled just like they're written, unlike French or Portuguese.

If you know how to read Italian texts, learning to read Romanian is going to be pretty fast.


(I don't have any more space to reply to your last comment so I reply to this one.)

Because I heard a lot of users saying the Dutch course is such a good one, I wanted to get some inspiration from their success and see what ideas I could adapt when creating the course that teaches Romanian. So I started doing their Dutch->English tree. I have absolutely no previous knowledge of German or Dutch, so now I can see for myself how it feels like to learn a completely new language. And I like it! :) I write down in a notebook the new words and little grammar explanations and rules and I do a lot of practice before moving on to a new lesson/skill.


@fantomitzah, here's some advice for the EN>RO course: - What makes the Dutch class great is that their Tips & Notes sections are very well-made. Instead of long explanations about the grammar, they sum up the rules so that they show how the words change, depending on its word class. For example:

> Adjectives

> Dutch adjectives are usually made by adding an -e to the end of the word. Klein becomes kleine, lang becomes lange. It is placed between the article and the noun: de lange kat (the long cat), het kleine meisje (the little girl).

> However, things get a bit complicated with the article een. The -e rule is then only still true for nouns which have the definite article de. Example: -Het kleine meisje - Een klein meisje -De lange kat - Een lange kat

The plural always gets the -e: -De kleine meisjes -De lange katten "

  • Like with the German class, the declensions should be presented in separate lessons (one for the accusative, one for the dative, one for the vocative, etc.)
  • Isn't there a way the Duo team updates their font so that it covers the whole Unicode range? Those bold, ugly ășț make me crazy.
  • For the TTS, maybe ask Cluj University if Duolingo can use their system.
  • Maybe add a few words that are specific to Romanian. The Dutch added words like klempen = clogs, which are typical wooden shoes. Maybe time to introduce the Pálinka :)


I hear for the first time about the Cluj Univerity's TTS. It looks promising. A quick correction: pálinka is a Hungarian term. In Romanian is pălincă or rather țuică.


The best words in Romanian :))


Sadly, I have lost motivation for the course! Any more tips :)? How is the course going? I know the other contributor returned from holiday, right, or is he still away?


Yes, he returned. :) And we're working.


Yay! Good Luck with the course :)


Dear contributors, dear Romanian aficionados! :-)

I'm writing to seek some update on the progress (if any) of the EN>RO course! The last update in the Incubator dates back to 4 months ago and my eagerness to learn the language has remained unaltered! On this last update you guys said you were looking for contributors, but interested people like SebastianMolin still don't appear in the list of contributors. Is Duolingo staff responsible for choosing who contributes, or do they leave you the freedom to choose your co-contributors? RO>EN has graduated from beta, but is it still requiring a lot of work from you guys, in terms of users' suggestions? I suppose Duo staff expects you to polish the RO>EN course before actively engaging in the EN>RO course.

I know that the Incubator's remaining days calculator is completely unreliable because it's based on the number of words completed, and that this number is highly dependent on the list of words chosen for the course (Hungarian has been going up and down for the past weeks). However Romanian has been stuck at 6% for the last two months (to the extent that some redditers declared both this course and English to Polish as being officially "in Incubator limbo" ). Even Esperanto, which was added 2 months ago, already boasts an impressive 35%.

So I would like to know, if possible (I know it can be difficult to estimate), the status of this course. If the Incubator's estimation were to be accurate, I'd totally understand if you guys are having trouble at finding time to develop the course (it takes a time, and after all you're doing it for free! -for which you're absolutely awesome btw :) ), but if it gets too difficult to the point that the course development comes to a stalemate, it might be beneficial for everyone to notify Duolingo staff that you unfortunately can't deliver, and to pass the torch to others.

I'm eager to hear your opinions!

Thank you again for the awesome work, we're indebted to you!

Best regards,


Hi, it is true that Romanian has borrowings from Slavic, Turkish, Hungarian languages. But this does not mean it is easier to learn Romanian if you know any of these. That is because because the backbone of Romanian is Latin and its derivatives, so grammar and structure is Romance. Therefore the other languages only add flavor to Romanian but do not change its core. This is because in the XIX Century Romanian received a complete overhaul with heavy borrowings from French, THE LANGUAGE at that time :-)

As for learning Romanian, my advice would be to supplement the Duolingo activity with some immersion into Romanian with translations, watching movies, listening radio and music and others like that. And one more hint, do not try to focus too much on grammar early on as Romanian grammar is rather difficult even for natives. Grammar can be a real enthusiasm killer. First try to get a feel of the language, learn about our culture and people and so on.


Hi! I'm so sorry I haven't responded to this earlier. You're right about that it wouldn't be that easy to learn if you knew the backbone, judging by the small amount of borrowings. I would love to watch some shows, movies, music, etc. in Romanian, but I haven't had any good sources yet. I'll keep on looking, though! Thank you so much for replying to this, I appreciate it so much :) Good luck with the course!


I am really curious: why do you want to learn Romanian? I mean it's a question that's been bugging be ever since I saw the Romanian for English speakers course and the positive feedback it's received.


It's a mysterious Romance language and it sounds cool. And then there's a girl.


Oh, yeah... It's always about love :))


Really? I've always thought it must sound very weird for the ones who are not native, but it's nice to know :)).


I don't actually really know why, but it always just sounded so interesting to me, and the fact that it is the most overlooked of the main Romance languages interested me too.


I couldn't agree more.


Hi, apart from the more personal reasons LotigiousOX has given, there are also practical ones. Learning a "fringe" language give you some edge. I mean, there is no edge after learning English or Spanish, because there are so many people knowing them. But with a language like Romanian, not known by many (except natives) one can have some practical advantages.


Well yes, but I do not see the point in learning a language that is practically socially useless. Except maybe for personal reasons, that is.

I mean, I do not want to offend anyone. Perhaps for someone who didn't have to learn/ speak it on a daily basis it is much more interesting, and it is somehow surprising (but also refreshing) to see that some are fond of it in a way.


I don't understand the concept of "socially useless" :-) The same point you have made can be made of any language but the most widely used in the world. Still I believe that learning a less spoken language can bring advantages when it comes to employment and business. Besides, expats feel very good in Romania. :-)


It's so cool that you want to learn romanian! More people should give it a try, i mean it's a beautiful language and a beautiful country,don't listen to all those people that say that our country is full of gypsies and thieves.We have a great history and a lot of awesome places to visit.Also people are really nice friendly and helpful here.Yes,it might be difficult to learn because of the way it's spelled and because we have different accents all over the country i mean in Moldova you speak with a russian accent and in Transylvania you speak with a sort of 'idontknowhowtocallit' accent.However,if you ever need any help with something in romanian you know where to find me. Good luck! :D


Thank you so so so so much!


Glad I can help ! :)


buna i am from Romania it is a wonder full country, people should give it a go because it helps with french in school i am the best in french i will give you an example:rouge (french for red) in Romanian it means lipstick. so it can help a lot with french you should give it a go


Are you fluent in English and Romanian? Just wondering, but if you have time theres always a Romanian course in the works... :) But if you're too busy thats fine. I am just soooo obsessed with learning the language :)


I'm obsessed myself! My obsession is trying to get into the course to contribute. Now I'm simply awaiting the answer from the other moderators! I hope and pray that I can get accepted soon. Are you still interested in Romanian?


Of course! It hasn't moved once in the past 2 months :(


Unfortunately not :( However, I have still hope left that it will go live some when....


yes i am fluent in romanian and english


Do you have books or something in Romanian, or do you learn it using Internet only?


I haven't been working on it a lot lately, but I haven't found any good books so I learn it using mainly the Internet.


Some rambling thoughts after a few years of study. The post has become very long. Please do not feel obliged to read it.

Romanian is a wonderful language.

The EN>RO and RO>EN trees have both been very helpful. They complement each other. Some things are covered in the RO>EN tree that do not appear to be covered in the EN>RO one (eg the pluperfect) so it is definitely worth doing both.

Outside of Duolingo my favourite learning resource is "Learn Romanian with Nico". This was initially presented on Youtube but there is also a book with the same name. It is moderately expensive but it provides a very clear explanation of grammar and includes some very useful summary tables. I have no financial interest in the book and this is a bona fide recommendation.

I have been looking for Romanian channels on Youtube for some time. At first they were difficult to find but, once a few suitable channels have been liked and subscribed, the Youtube recommendation algorithm eventually starts presenting other suggestions that are well worth viewing. In particular, I have enjoyed historical documentaries but I have also watched news and magazine programs on contemporary science and culture. I have particularly enjoyed the documentaries and other programs created by Daniel Roxin. It is well worth watching his documentaries about pre-Roman Dacia. He covers some prehistoric cultures (eg Cucuteni), and early historic figures, especially Burebista and Decebalus. He also discusses Geto-Dacian philosophy and religion, particularly the culture of Zalmoxis. The Geto-Dacian and Thracian culture appear to have strongly influenced Greek and Roman cultures. Pre-Roman Dacia was certainly not the disorganised barbaric one portrayed by the Roman spin-doctors who were trying to justify their invasion (to take control of the gold mines in the Carpathians---follow the money!). Daniel Roxin's documentaries have also provided insight into certain aspects of the language that I found surprising when I first started to learn it. In a previous post someone has provided estimated proportions of Romanian words that have origin in other languages. Naturally, these include words of "Latin" origin (hence inclusion of teh language in the Romance group) and this is conventionally portrayed as an injection of words following the Trajan conquests. Some sources note the apparent paucity of words that can be identified as pre-Roman (that is, from the pre-existing Geto-Dacian culture). As Daniel Roxin points out, the origin of the Romans themselves is shrouded in mystery. It is said that Rome was founded by fugitives (fleeing the law) from the rump of Europe into the Italian peninsula. Thsi is even embraced in Rome's own foundation myths. It is also said that the proto-Romans adopted the language of the local Latini tribe. They also assumed some of the customs of the Etruscans (also of mysterious origin), and stole the women from the Sabine tribe (who were originally annoyed but subsequently became part of the Roman "project" to establish a new power base outside of the culture from which they had fled). One theory outlined by Daniel Roxin (and others) is that these proto-Romans actually came from regions that spoke Dacian, and that Latin is actually derived from Dacian (or is a sister language to it) rather than Dacians acquiring Latin following conquest by Rome. This would provide a plausible explanation why there are apparently so few words of Dacian origin in Romanian---the original Dacian words ARE (or are closely related to) the Latin ones. Dacia was quickly colonised by people from the Roman empire (not just from the Italian peninsula) following Trajan's wars and it is suggested that the settlers integrated quickly because they spoke the same (or a very similar) language to the local population, who were also quickly assimilated. This would also explain why Romanian grammar is relatively difficult; it is because it is a highly inflected language, like Latin. The allegedly difficult grammar (difficulty is subjective and relative so that it is not particularly helpful to make the claim) is actually one of the things that makes the language so beautiful and so effective at conveying complex ideas so succinctly, with relatively little ambiguity (like Latin, which was, of course, the original lingua franca of of science for centuries for this reason).

Learning the language against a background of having learned French at school is both helpful and confusing. It is helpful in the sense that there are similarities in the way certain ideas are expressed. It is confusing largely because of the differences in spelling. In my experience, this confusion can be attributed more to the French spelling than the Romanian one. Written French is hopelessly non-phonetic. Comparing written French words with written Romanian ones can be confusing. However, as Romanian orthography is very phonetic, the similarities between the languages begin to establish themselves based on the sounds that the words make rather than how they are written. This makes it important to become comfortable with the Romanian alphabet (including those with diacritics) and with making the correct sound when reading aloud. It is the sound that will draw attention to other romance languages rather than the spellings. Many language teachers also note that learning the sound is important in its own right as this helps in the learning process. As others have noted, many people argue that learning the spoken language is more important than learning how it is written.

Anyway, that's enough late-night rambling. This seems a very civilized corner of the forums and I hope that noone will mind my long post. There is, of course, no requirement to read it.

Thank you for creating these courses. I would love it if there were new trees increasing the links between the other Romance languages, eg FR>RO and RO>FR or IT>RO and RO>IT. That would really help with pulling together the similarities with the better known romance languages that tend to be chosen for inclusion in school curricula.


Thank you for your post, I enjoyed reading it! I've also gained a greater appreciation for Romanian grammar in studying the language :)

Învață limba engleză în numai 5 minute pe zi. Gratuit.