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Romance language spoken mainly in Romania and Moldova. The name Romanian is usually identified with Daco-Romanian, one of the four major dialects of Balkan Romance. Other dialects are Aromanian (Macedo-Romanian), spoken in scattered communities in Greece, Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria; the nearly extinct Megleno-Romanian, spoken in northern Greece; and Istro-Romanian, spoken on Croatia's Istrian Peninsula. The earliest known continuous text in Romanian dates from 1521. Romanian's phonology, grammar, and vocabulary reflect its relative isolation from other Romance languages and its close contact with the Slavic languages. Written in the Cyrillic alphabet until the 19th century, Romanian now uses the Latin alphabet.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Romanian language, visit Britannica.com.
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