Which Romance language sounds more Slavic?

Nea Mitru   Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:44 am GMT
<<How would a Romanian pronounce the final English -ing? >>

I don't know Portuguese but in Russian the final consonants are always unvoiced. For example Gorbachev is pronounced Gorbachyof (with the stress falling on "yo"). Thus many words have the same pronunciation: bog (god) and bok (rib), bez (without) and bes (devil), porog (threshold) and porok (vice). This devoicing is not a pan-Slavic but a Russian phenomenon. For example "porog" (threshold) also exists in Romanian (prag - the "g" is voiced).
So -ing is pronounced in Romanian exactly as in English.
ravinescu   Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:34 am GMT
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Quote from: Ovid
Looking at that dictionary, I realize that Slavic has of course had a significant impact on Romanian, but that still doesn't prove Romanian was predominantly Slavic in culture or language.
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Of course it does not prove that, because the romanian language was a new language, built on vulgar latin, with a strong slavic influence. When it comes to the civilization (culture), though, the romanian civilization is similar to the civilization of the surrounding countries, not the latin or western romance ones. This is not to say that the romanian civilization is slavic, but it is more similar to the slavic civilizations than to the western romance civilizations. This is absolutely normal, because the romanian civilization developed locally from scratch, it was a completely new civilization, not a continuation of the roman civilization, which was completely destroyed shorthly after the romans left Dacia. The romanian language is a continuation of the latin language, but the romanian civilization/culture is not related to the roman civilization/culture.


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Quote from: Ovid
I don’t care if it’s 90% Slavic words (which is far from the case, even before the “purge”), it still has the primarily Latin-derived core that comprises the most often used words in day-to-day conversation, such as basic grammar [...]. It is this important core that determines the character of a language, and it’s hard to express many things without at least some Latin-based words (not counting the reintroduced French ones).
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You probably didn't read my previous messages, which are on the pages 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25 of the current discussion. Your long list of words of latin origin is useless as an argument, because nobody said there were no words of genuine latin origin before the process of reromanization from the 19th century. That was not my point, because I always said romanian is a romance language, just read what I have written previously. My point is that the romanian people and civilization are not "latin", only the language is descending from latin. Romanians as a people are very mixed genetically, and the truly "latin" (italian) contribution is minimal, much less than this is encountered in the western romance countries (colonized for many centuries and where the roman colonists, mostly of italian origin, never leaved, even after the roman empire disintegrated). With regard to civilization, the romanian one looks like a balkan civilization, anyone can visit Romania to see this in real life. Again, what can be expected from a province that was colonized by the romans only for 170 years, after which many colonists leaved alongside the retreating army and administration? Almost sure all the persons that could perpetuate a roman civilization left also, because what else to do, try to civilize the "barbarians" (goths, sarmatians, free dacians) that invaded the abandoned province? All the remnants of the roman civilization in Dacia were quickly destroyed and nobody created again anything that could resemble roman civilization. After all, could anyone create anything important without having an alphabet with which to write the language? It would take probably 1000 years before the romanian language could be written for the first time, and not with the latin alphabet, but with the cyrillic one. The romanian civilization developed outside of the roman influences, more so because the roman empire collapsed in 476 AD and the byzantine empire from the east was a greek empire, not a roman one. That's why there are byzantine influences in the romanian civilization, but not roman influences.


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Quote from: Ovid
However, this has led some Romanians to make the claim that it comes from or is closest to Classical Latin, which can’t be true, as all Romance languages came from some variant of Vulgar or colloquial Latin, especially in remote corners of the empire.
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The origin of romanian from Classical Latin was invented in the 19th century as a tool of propaganda, because this would imply subliminally that the majority of the colonists arrived in Dacia were educated people from noble roman families. It was nothing but a shameful lie, and it was debunked shortly thereafter by some rational members of the same Transylvanian School that invented the lie in the first place.


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Quote from: Ovid
The reason why many other Romance language speakers have trouble understanding Romanian, aside from the Slavic words of course, is that even many of the Latin derived words come from more obscure or altered words that aren’t found in the other languages, or their meanings or forms have changed somewhat, leading to false cognates- for example zbura (to fly- from exvolare), pământ- (ground/earth- from pavimentum), spăla (to wash- from experlavare), [...]
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That's a point that needs a little discussion. As I said, from the 19th century on, there is always a bias toward latin when analyzing the romanian language. Even if they are specialists and they should be as objective as possible, the romanian linguists always had this latin bias, and that's why when a word is of unknown origin, it is more customary than not to assign it a latin origin. Sometimes the etymology proposed for a word is not convincing, but it is given anyway, more so if it's presumed to be latin. There are many etymologies that are based on latin words that are not attested as being present in classical latin, because they are not encountered in the written texts. These etymologies have an asterisk (*) before the presumed latin word from which is possibly derived the romanian word. Examples of this situation are the words "zbura" [to fly] and "spăla" [to wash], presumably originating from the latin words *exvolare and *expellavare, which as the asterisk points out, are not present in any known latin text, but are presumed to have been present in the language.

http://dexonline.ro/definitie/zbura
ZBURÁ, zbor, vb. I. 1. Intranz. (Despre păsări și insecte) A plana şi a se mișca în aer cu ajutorul aripilor. ♦ A pleca în zbor, a-şi lua zborul. ♦ (Despre lucruri) A pluti în aer (purtat de vânt); a trece prin aer cu viteză (fiind zvârlit sau lansat cu putere). [...] – Lat. *exvŏlāre.

http://dexonline.ro/definitie/spala
SPĂLÁ, spăl, vb. I. 1. Tranz. şi refl. A (se) curăţa folosind apă, săpun, detergenţi etc. [...] – Lat. *expellavare (= ex-per-lavare).

I'm not saying these etymologies (and many others with an *) are wrong, but it is far from 100% sure they are right. However, when counting the words and computing the percentage of words of latin origin, such etymologies are considered 100% correct, even though there is no certitude in this assumption. So again, all those big percentages of latin origin words in romanian are to be taken with a grain of salt, because some have not been proven beyond any doubt.
ravinescu   Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:36 am GMT
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Quote from: Ovid
And yes, I realize that a lot of Slavic words were thrown out or reduced to archaisms, but isn’t gândi an exception? I’ve heard that cugeta (from cogitare) was used more in older times.
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No, the word "gînd" [thought] is not an exception, because it is not of slavic origin, but of hungarian (magyar) origin, at least that is what DEX says.

http://dexonline.ro/definitie/gand
GÂND, gânduri, s.n. 1. Proces de gândire sau rezultatul procesului de gândire; idee, cuget, cugetare. [...] – Din magh. gond.

We cannot know what words were used in the very old times, because the first document written in romanian is from 1521. The word "cuget" was a synonym of "gînd", and if you read "Letopiseţul Ţării Moldovei" [Chronicle of the Moldavian Country] written around 1740 by Ion Neculce, you will find both of them. But today "cuget" and its derived verb "cugeta" are not used anymore, they have been replaced long ago by "gînd / gîndi", which are much easier to pronounce.


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Quote from: Ovid
Anyway, I wonder how many of the new French imports were actually present in Roman Dacia in some form or another, since that’s the main argument the reformists probably tried to use (resurrection).
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But think a little. If they wanted to ressurect old words, presumably present in the very old romanian, why they'd choose to take them from french, and not from latin? The answer is very simple. There was a rift between the romanian intellectuals from Transylvania (ruled by Hungary at that time) and those from Wallachia + Moldavia. The first favored taking words from latin and italian, the latter favored taking words from french. This was because the first were mainly roman catholic (some of them also being priests) and the latter were influenced by the russians, who had adopted french as the language used by the nobility. In those times Wallachia and Moldavia were occupied for various time periods by the russians because of the recurring wars between the tsarist empire and the ottoman empire. These russian-turkish wars had also the result of Romania becoming an independent state in 1877, after hundreds of years of being under turkish rule as a vassal (dependent) protectorate. The russian officers, administrators and diplomats stationed in Wallachia and Moldavia spoke french, and so the romanian intellectuals were influenced to embrace the french culture as a mean toward modernization (occidentalization) of the society. The choice between french and latin-italian linguistic imports was a no-brainer, because french culture was at that time the most prestigious culture in the world and the french language was used in international affairs. That does not mean the imports from latin or italian were stopped, but they were greatly reduced in favor of french imports. This trend continued well into the 20th century, when Romania was a true francophone country, with an important percentage of the educated population knowing the french language. Nowadays, after 1990, Romania is a francophone country in name only, the level of french language proficiency having decreased sharply in favor of english.


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Quote from: Ovid
To my surprise, several of the names of the months were apparently taken from Slavic (themselves of course originally from Latin) but Relatinized.
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Not several, but all, and not apparently, but surely they were taken from slavic, where they had entered from greek.

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Numele lunilor care se întrebuinţează astăzi la români (cu unele mici modificări) au pătruns în limbă în aceeaşi epocă [sec. 14-15], din slavă (acolo veniseră din greacă, ceea ce explică aspectul lor fonetic) : ianuar(ie), fevruar(ie), mart(ie), april(ie), mai, iunie, iulie, avgust, septemvrie, octomvrie, noemvrie, dechemvrie. Termenul "calendar" a venit în acelaşi timp şi are aceeaşi origine.

G.Ivănescu: Istoria Limbii Române (editura Junimea, 2000) - pagina 504

English translation:
The name of the months that are used today (with some little moddifications) by the romanians entered the language in the same epoch [14th-15th century], from the slavic language (where they had a greek origin that explains their phonologic aspect) : ianuar(ie), fevruar(ie), mart(ie), april(ie), mai, iunie, iulie, avgust, septemvrie, octomvrie, noemvrie, dechemvrie. The word "calendar" was introduced at the same time and has the same origin.

G.Ivănescu: The History of the Romanian Language (Junimea Publishing House, 2000) - page 504
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In the old romanian language the names of the months were: gerar, făurar, mărţişor, prier, florar, cireşar, cuptor, gustar, răpciune, brumărel, brumar, undrea. They were replaced with the ones mentioned above (ianuarie, fevruarie, avgust, etc.). The current names are the same, with some little modifications: ianuarie, februarie, martie, aprilie, mai, iunie, iulie, august, septembrie, octombrie, noiembrie, decembrie.


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Quote from: Ovid
This sounds a little far-fetched and is probably not true, but who knows, seeing as it’s one of the most common words in a language, you would think it wouldn’t have a foreign origin. I’m sure you’re going to respond to this by saying that Slavs weren’t really “foreign” but became an essential part of the Romanian ethnos. Whatever, we can’t really go back in time to the Dark Ages and prove this definitively.
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DENIAL is a common way for the romanians (affected by propaganda) to deal with the slavic contribution to the romanian ethnogenesis, like is the case in the quote above. At first Ovid inserts the word "whatever", which signals understatement of the subject, like it is something minor, unimportant. It's exactly the same manner in which slavic contribution was handled in the textbooks published in the greater part of the last 200 years. Slavs were always lumped with the other migratory peoples and mentioned very briefly.

Ovid implies that the contribution of the slavs is not proved "definitively", which is of course completely wrong. Anyway, in the early times (10 -13 century AD) vlachs always appeared alongside the slavs, and the names of the vlach rulers are mostly slavic. So, to say, like Ovid, that the contribution of the slavs to the romanian ethnogenesis is not "proved definitively" is nothing more than flat out denial, a defensive psychological reaction that allows romanians to continue to say firmly that they are descending only from romans and dacians, like they were taught (or more precisely brainwashed) in school and by the mass-media. Well, the romanization of the dacians is also not proved definitively (the period of roman presence was short and many of the dacians were killed or forced to leave the province), but no one says today that the dacian romanization has not taken place. However, the contribution of the slavs is called in question, because it is not "proved definitively". Obvious double standard, very common when romanians talk about the genesis of the romanian people.
ravinescu   Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:39 am GMT
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Quote from: Ovid
Not actually being raised in Romania for the most part and not being taught the supposedly propagandistic education, I can see that ravinescu has some logical points (looking through older literature such as poetry from Eminescu, I do see a lot of older words not in use today, many probably not of Latin origin) and won’t flip out like some people, but at the same time, I just can’t agree with everything he says.
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For the greater part of the last 200 years the history taught in school was not "supposedly" propagandistic, but outright propagandistic. Nowadays the textbooks present the genesis of romanians as being the result of three major layers (strata) :

- the substratum (dacian)
- the stratum (roman)
- the adstratum/superstratum (slavic)

It will take some time for this to seep into the collective mind of romanians, affected by almost 200 years of propaganda, which has not stopped, but has adapted and is more subtle. There seems to be no end in view for the magic percentage of 80% associated with the "latinity" of romanians.

I provide below links to two pages from a romanian history textbook used for children that are 14-15 years old, pages that deal specifically with the formation of the romanian people.

http://i46.tinypic.com/5ppox4.jpg

http://i45.tinypic.com/sg7kfd.jpg

Sorin Oane, Maria Ochescu : Istorie. Manual pentru clasa a VIII-a (editura Humanitas Educaţional, 2005) - pag. 40 - 41
Sorin Oane, Maria Ochescu : History. Textbook for the 8th grade of primary school (Humanitas Educaţional Publishing House, 2005) - pag. 40 - 41

I will also provide a link to an archive with the two images in case the above links are no longer valid.

http://www.mediafire.com/?n5zkxzmwkn2

On the second page there are some graphic representations (2 tables and a pie chart), meant for easy understanding of the concepts written in the first page. The slavs are mentioned as the adstratum, but their contribution is as always downplayed by using the trick with the percentage of the romanian words of latin origin. It is normal that when someone sees the first table ("Neolatin european ethno-linguistic entities" - substratum, stratum, adstratum) he will ask himself how important was each genetic contribution (dacian, roman, slavic) in the formation of the romanian people. The answer is not offered directly, but indirectly, sneaky, by using the famous vocabulary percentages. Now let's analyze the pie chart and the table used to display the origin of the words that compose the romanian language. It must be said that from the 19th century on, the vocabulary is not analyzed in its entirety, because that would not give the desired big percentages for words of latin origin. So, instead it is used the "basic stock of romanian words" ("fondul principal de cuvinte" - in romanian). This basic stock of words is perfect to induce subliminally an idea about the genetic percentage of the three main contributors to the ethnogenesis: dacians, romans and slavs. It contains some 1400 romanian words selected using the criteria of : age (oldness), semantic richness, capability of derivation.

The composition* of this basic stock of romanian words (established by the romanian linguists) is the following:

66% => latin
20% => slavic
3.6% => unknown origin
2.6% => international origin
1.9 %=> magyar
1% => greek
1% => albanian
0.6%=> turkish
0.1%=> french

*the source for the percentages seen above is "Encyclopedia of the romanian language (editura Univers Enciclopedic, 2001) - page 214".

The pie chart from the history texbook gives an overview of the basic stock of romanian words that is different from the one estblished by the linguists. The pie chart is unfortunately displayed slanted, not as seen straight from above (that would have allowed a more precise estimation of the percentages), so I'm guessing the percentages are close to the ones below:

65% => latin
15% => slavic
12% => other languages
8% => dacian

A big problem is the presence of the dacian language. The schoolchildren are let to believe that the romanian linguists know which romanian words are derived from the dacian language, which is not true. It is assumed that the words of unknown origin are actually derived from dacian words, but this is not proven scientifically, because except for some names of persons, places and plants, nothing is known about the dacian language. The linguists always say "words of unknown origin", not "words of dacian origin". Moreover, the percentage (established by the linguists) of words having an unknown origin (presumably dacian, bot not sure) is 3.6%, not 8% as can be deduced from the pie chart. So the pie chart from the textbook is obviously flawed.

But 65% of words having latin origin is not enough for the romanian (subtle) propagandists that write history textbooks. They need more, they need the magic percentage of 80%, because the romanian "latinity" cannot be below 80%, that would be a shame. So what they do in order to set the things "straight" ? They enlist Mihai Eminescu, the national poet of Romania, who lived in the 19th century (1850 - 1889) and contributed greatly to the creation of the modern literary language. Who could add more weight to propaganda if not the national poet? If anyone has a doubt about Eminescu being used for latinist propaganda, it shouldn't have it, because in the table are presented only the counts and percentages of words having latin or slavic origin, so there is a race only between latin and slavic words. Why do that? Of course, for attaining the magic percentage of 80%, that could later on be transferred from linguistics to genetics in the minds of the children. But there's an obvious problem, Eminescu used also many words of other origins, and this shows in the table, as the counted "latin" words are having a percentage of 46.60% and the "slavic" words a percentage of 18.81%. This isn't good at all from a propagandistic point of view. So there must be another trick to show how much the "latinity" of romanians surpasses their "slavicity". And of course it is, evrika, the frequency of using those words must be compared, because what's a number, if it has not a frequency attached to it? And voilŕ, the magic percentage is at last here, 83% frequency of usage of latin words and only a measly 6.93% of frequency for the slavic words. The propagandists are cheering, there is another generation of brainwashed children that will leave school repeating like robots the magic percentage, 80% latin, of the romanian genes, of course, the transfer between linguistics and genetics being already made. As for the slavs (6.93%) and the unmentioned dacians (7.07% at most) they can consider themselves lucky for not being thrown out of the history textbook, like used to do the proud "Rome-anians" from the 19th century...
ravinescu   Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:42 am GMT
However, things are not so simple when speaking about the romanian language. The studies done on various texts written in romanian do not show identical results when analyzing the origin of the words. This is why, although there is a specific romanian obsession with such statistics, they are close to useless, aside for using them as a propaganda material (for which they were intended in the first place, even if this is not recognized). Such a statistics study will show today a high percentage of english words if someone would analyze the language used by the romanians on the internet forums. Is this representative for the romanian language as a whole, or only for the language of those that participate in the forum discussions? Of course, it is the latter assumption that is true, because not all the romanians have computers and internet and not all participate in online discussions.

This shows the big flaw in the conclusion that results from studying the language used by Mihai Eminescu. The language used by him was not the language used by the majority of the romanian population from that time. Today the language from the poems of Eminescu is closer to the everyday language, but this is only because the literary language was taught via the textbooks, the school becoming mandatory in the 19th century and of course in the 20th century. In the 19th century probably more than 80% of the romanian population lived in rural areas and most of it was illiterate. Eminescu lived almost all his life in cities (including Bucharest), so in his literary work he used mostly the urban (city) language of that time, spoken by a minority of at most 20% of the population. Aside from that, Eminescu was influenced (like almost all intellectuals from the 19th century) by the heavy latinist propaganda of that time, a thing that is easy to be seen in the words he used when writing his work.

So, as much Eminescu can be considered representative for the romanian literature, he cannot be considered representative for the romanian language spoken in his time. This is easy to see when reading the works of Ion Creangă (1837-1889) that actually was a good friend of Eminescu. Ion Creangă had chosen to use in his works the language spoken by the rural population. The language from Ion Creangă's works is very different from that used by Mihai Eminescu, although both Eminescu and Creangă were born and raised in Moldavia (Moldova), no more than 50 km apart. No one tried to analyze the origin of the words used by Ion Creangă, more likely because the results could not be used for latinist propaganda purposes.

But that's not all. Even if the latinist propagandists consider Eminescu as being one of their best "weapons", they forgot to take into account his genealogy. The real name of Eminescu was Eminovici, and anyone can see in his name the two slavic suffixes [ov] and [ici] (written as [ič] in serbo-croatian and czech or [icz] in polish). Let's see what George Călinescu, a great literary critic and a biographer of Mihai Eminescu said in 1932, when he published a biography of the poet:

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După mamă, însă, Eminescu pare indiscutabil rus. Căci moşul acesteia era un muscal, de nu cumva cazac, anume Alexa Potlov, fugit din Rusia pentru pricini politice şi aşezat pe malul Siretului în apropiere de satul Sarafineşti, unde în straie ţărăneşti şi sub numele de Donţu, se îndeletnicea cu prisaca. Mama poetului, Raluca, ţinea pe soţul ei de rutean şi aceasta devine credibil cînd aflăm că urmaşii, în viaţă încă [la apariţia biografiei], ai lui Eminescu, vorbesc ruteneşte.

George Călinescu: Viaţa lui Mihai Eminescu

English translation:
Considered after his mother's [genetic lineage], Eminescu seems to be undeniably russian. That's because the grandfather of his mother was a moskal [old name of the russians], if not even a cossack, namely Alexa Potlov, who fled Russia for political reasons and settled on the bank of the Siret river, close to the village of Sarafineşti, where he was raising bees dressed up as a peasant and using the [borrowed] name of Donţu. The mother of the poet thought her husband was ruthenian [rusyn - eastern slav, ukrainian or russian], which is credible because the relatives of Eminescu that are still living [when the biography was published] speak ruthenian.

George Călinescu: The life of Mihai Eminescu
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So, both parents of Eminescu had slavic ancestry. Of course that Eminescu had also romanian ancestors, because on his mother's side only one grandparent was russian, the other three were most surely romanians. This was probably the case also on his father's side. The Eminovici family in which was born Mihai Eminescu was however fully romanian, and the language spoken in their house was romanian. This little parenthese about the genealogy of the romanian national poet shows that he, like all the other romanians, has a mixed genetic heritage, that included also slavs. But of course the genealogy of Eminescu is not taught in schools, and his real name (Eminovici) is rarely if ever mentioned, just as it is not mentioned on the Wikipedia article in english (although the articles in romanian, french, spanish, italian, etc. do mention it).
ravinescu   Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:44 am GMT
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Quote from: Ovid
Oh, and I thought the use of î instead of â was just communist era orthography used for a certain agenda due to Russian influence at the time.
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You are a victim of the linguistic propaganda, you just demonstrated it once again with the sentences quoted above. This just shows not only how effective and enduring was the latinist propaganda, but also that the romanians (even those that are living abroad) are very credulous. Many romanians are taking for granted all that comes from the mouth of the authorities (who actually have a long history of propaganda, so it's not like it is not known they are lying through their teeth on every occasion). These authorities treat romanians like a flock of sheeps, who goes only where the "shepherd" decides. And unfortunately that works wonders, many romanians just follow the decisions of the authorities without asking themselves questions about how necessary, good or efficient are those decisons. This has happened also with regard to the orthographical (spelling) change from 1993, that presumably overturned decisions taken by the communists in 1953 under the soviet influence. However, this is not at all the case, as I already said. Actually it is the classic example of romanian propaganda that was used in order to attain a hidden goal. I will explain briefly what it is all about and what was the hidden goal.

At the beginning of the 19th century it was decided by the romanian intellectuals from Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldavia to switch romanian writing from the cyrillic alphabet to the latin alphabet. However, things did not go smoothly, as it should have been, because of the latinist propagandists that had another thing in mind. The change of the alphabet was only the beginning of their intended journey toward their actual goal, that of creating a latin identity for the romanian people. So, the latinists, grouped under the umbrella of a socio-cultural movement named Transylvanian School ("Şcoala Ardeleană" - in romanian) were not happy with a simple transliteration from cyrillic to latin alphabet, they actually wanted to change the language, so as to be as close to latin as possible. Remember that the last speakers of latin on the present-day romanian territory lived in the 3rd century AD, so the romanian language from the 19th century AD was not at all close to latin, which was normal and happened also with the other romance languages. But this has not stopped the romanian latinists from trying to do some "plastic surgery" on the romanian language, to make it more latin-like.

It actually is possible to see today a text that was written in parallel with latin and cyrillic script, in order to compare the two types of writing and decide which was better. For this we can use Google Books to look at a dictionary published in 1825 by a of collective of authors who were members of the Transylvanian School. The dictionary is named "Lesicon Românescu - Lătinescu - Ungurescu - Nemţescu" [Romanian - Latin - Hungarian - German - Lexicon].

In order to understand the romanian language written in cyrillic letters, one must learn the romanian cyrillic alphabet (a slightly modified version of the cyrillic alpabet used to write old church slavonic).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_Cyrillic_alphabet

The romanian-latin-hungarian-german dictionary written by the Transylvanian School is available as a free download (62 MB) or it can be read online at the address below.

http://tinyurl.com/lesicon-romanescu
(shortened URL to the dictionary available on Google Books)

It is easy to see that the romanian language written with the cyrillic alphabet is very much similar to the language used today, whereas the romanian language written with the latin alphabet is very strange and clearly different from the language spoken now in Romania.

For example we can compare the following fragments:

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Version written with latin alphabet
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Intra Nepotu si Unchiu
Nepotu. Pe Romŕni si numele, si faptura, inpreunŕ cu tote plecarile loru quele firesci ii vedesce a fi viţe de Romanii quei vechi, quari ore quandu preste totŕ lumea domnea dopň cumu si in Istoria pentru inceputul' Romŕnilor in Dacia limpede se adeveresce: de aquésta nu am indoelŕ. Ma (darč) de unde se trage inceputul' ţesiturei linbei, quare astadi atŕt in gura Romŕnilor se aude precum si in scripturile lor se vede nu escu (sůnt) fňrŕ indoelŕ.


Version written with cyrillic alphabet (transliterated by me)
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Întră Nepotu şi Unchiu
Nepotu. Pe români şi numele, şi făptura înpreună cu toate plecările loru cele fireşti îi vedeşte a fi viţe de Romanii cei vechi carii oare cîndu preste toată lumea domnea, după cumu şi în Istoria pentru începutul Românilor în Dacia limpede se adevereşte: de aceasta nu am îndoială. Ma (dară) de unde se trage începutul ţesiturei linbei care astăzi atît în gura Românilor se aude precum şi în scripturile lor se vede nu escu (sînt) fără îndoială.
########################################

The version written in cyrillic alphabet is much more close to the language of today than the version written with the latin alphabet. This is because the latinist version was actually not the true romanian language of that time, but a language heavily modified in order to look more latin. We also see in the latinist version the complete lack of the letter Ş, that designates an essential sound of the romanian language. What was on the mind of latinists who excluded the Ş sound from romanian? Did they believe they could get away with that? Also, the latinists used "quele" instead of "cele" ; "quei" instead of "cei" ; "dopň" instead of "după" ; "aquesta" instead of "aceasta" ; "quare" instead of "care", etc.. They also used "sunt" instead of "sînt". These words used by the latinists were latin ("sunt"), italian ("dopo") or were indeed romanian, but modified in order to be written like in latin or italian (quele, quei, aquesta, quare). There are many more examples in the text that demonstrate the will of the latinists to transform romanian into a strange latino-italian dialect.

The linguistic innovations of the latinists (based mainly in Transylvania) were not received well in Wallachia and Moldavia. This caused fiery disputes between the latinists and those that wanted a true romanian language, not a latino-italian dialect. Add to this the founding of the Romanian Academy as a latinist hotbed and you get a mess that lasted for almost 100 years, time in which anyone could write in romanian as he wanted, because there were no clear rules.

The big problem for the latinists was that the population (including the transylvanian one) did not understand the latino-italian dialect and hated it. The population wanted its romanian language, not an artificial language invented by some hotheads that dreamt of being romans. Little by little the latinists understood they were fighting a losing battle, because no artificial language has ever replaced a natural language. But they were not ready to give up, unless some concessions were made for them. Two of those concessions were: to write  instead of Î in the middle of the words and to use "sunt" instead of "sînt". At last, after a very long and nonsensical linguistic struggle, the ortographical reform from 1904 could offer for the romanian language a writing that was comparable with the writing in cyrillic alphabet from 100 years ago. But this new writing was not the best one. Actually it was illogical, because it used two letters (Î and Â) for the same sound (Î = close central unrounded vowel = barred I). The choice between the letters Î and  was based on the location of the sound inside the word (Î letter at the beginning or end of the word and  letter inside the word). This was completely non-standard for the romanian language, where all the other sounds were being written with a single letter, regardless of the position of the sound in the word. The 1904 ortography was also exhibitionistic and deceitful, because it used "sunt" (a latin word that never before existed in romanian) instead of "sînt" (the romanian word used by the population when speaking).
ravinescu   Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:48 am GMT
A little parenthese about the "sînt" / "sunt" debate. As anyone can see, they differ by a single letter, so it may not seem like a big deal. But actually it is a very big deal, because that letter is the difference between an easy pronounciation and a more difficult pronounciation. To see that difference just imagine being forced to use in english "I um" instead of "I am". The latinists want to force the romanians to pronunce "Eu sunt" instead of "Eu sînt" and this is exactly like "I um" compared with "I am". Both "Eu sînt" and "I am" are from the natural language (romanian or english), so their pronounciation has evolved like that in order to be as easy as possible. Both "Eu sunt" and "I um" are artificial constructs for romanian or english, constructs that are not intended to be easy to pronunce. Of course the english linguists will never replace "I am" with "I um", because it would be stupid to replace an easy to pronounce word with another one, more harder to pronounce. It must also be said that "U" was not kept in the modern romance languages for the verbs derived from the latin "esse" [to be], except for french "Je suis", where actually the "U" is more like a "IU". The romanian is the only modern romance language where "U" is present four times in the conjugations of the verb "a fi" ("sunt, suntem, sunteţi, sunt"), more than in latin, which has three instances of "U" in conjugations of the verb "esse" ("sum, sumus, sunt"). But of course this is not the true romanian, this is the one modified by the latinists. The true romanian has not a single "U" in the conjugations of the verb "a fi" [to be], who are: "sînt, sîntem, sînteţi, sînt". This demonstrates that the romanian language followed naturally the same evolutionary path as the other modern romance languages, a path toward the easiest pronunciation. Only the artificially altered language uses the path of a more difficult pronunciation, doing this only for exhibitionistic purposes, even if it clearly hurts the efficiency of the spoken language.

Now back to the romanian orthographic (spelling) reforms. In 1932, an orthographic reform was put into effect by some renowned linguists, who wanted the romanian language to be logical (Î used everywhere, except for the word "român" and its derivatives) and truthful ("sînt" used instead of "sunt"). But after only two months, the Romanian Academy (a hotbed of latinists, remember) overturned the reform and reestablished the orthography from 1904, citing some pathetic reasons having to do with the "national feeling". But it was not over. The communist came to full power in 1947, after overthrowing the monarchy and establishing a republic. One of their objectives was a massive literacy campaign, because most of the population at that time was illiterate. For that they did an orthographic reform in 1953 in order to simplify the writing, which actually was the reform from 1932 reloaded. Romania was not an exception, the Soviet Union and China also had orthographical reforms meant to simplify the language, probably other communist countries also had such a reform in those years. So from 1953, the romanian language gained full consistency (Î was used everywhere, including in the word "român" and its derivatives) and was again genuine by using the romanian word "sînt" instead of the neologism "sunt". In 1964, however, the communists made a concession and stated that in the word "român" (written "romîn" between 1953-1964) and its derivatives must be used  instead of Î (the two letters designate the same sound and are pronounced identically). This was it until 1989.

Immediately after the communist regime was overthrown, in 1990, the president of the Romanian Academy (Mihai Drăgănescu, himself a former communist) began to push for a new orthographical reform, in which the changes made by the communists were to be overturned. One could ask why a former communist like Mihai Drăgănescu (an engineer by formation specialized in EEE) would want to overturn the orthographical changes made by the linguists in 1932 and put into effect in 1953. Of course he said this was a "communist orthography", apparently forgetting that he himself was a former communist. The true reason was another. After 1990 there was a wave of popular discontent with persons that benefitted from the communist regime in order to gain positions for which they were not qualified. A place that had such persons was the Romanian Academy, who functioned also as a place for the old communists to retire with a good indemnization paid by the state. A press campaign against the former communists sheltered by the Academy was beginning to take shape.

So the president of the Romanian Academy had in 1990 a big problem on his hands and he needed to do something fast, otherwise the public opinion could also ask for his resignation. He had two possibilities. The first one was to initiate a "purge", by throwing out from the Academy the members who were admitted because the communist regime wanted so. But these were the friends of Mihai Drăgănescu, himself a former communist, so this possibility was a no-no. Then there was another possibility, by creating a diversion and offering another "bone" to the crowd that wanted an Academy without former communist politicians. He discovered that by returning the ortography to its pre-1953 rules he could present the Academy as an anti-communist institution. He pursued aggressively this diversion that would allow him to "save" the seats of all the former communists who were members of the Academy. At first, in order to gain some legitimacy, he asked the linguists if a reform of the orthography was necessary. The vast majority of the romanian and non-romanian linguists warned him not to do such a stupidity, not to complicate the writing and pronounciation of the language. But he didn't care, because he was on a mission of saving his former communist colleagues and friends from a public humiliation. The easiness of writing and speaking in the romanian language was of no interest for him, his communist buddies were much more important.

Mihai Drăgănescu gathered all the academicians in a session in 1993 and of course they voted for the modification of the orthography, because by doing that the institution gained an anti-communist image, erasing the older image of collaborationism with the communist regime. And this worked, the population and the press were suckered to think that a new anti-communist Academy was born, on the ashes of the old communist one. But with the same people, of course, as if every former collaborationist with the communist regime was purified and now it had a completely new soul, an anti-communist one. This is how propaganda works. And this is how a language is suffering at the hands of the propagandists who pursue their own petty interests.

Of course, I have presented the short story of the romanian orthographic turmoil in the last 200 years.
There is a longer and juicier story told on the Softpedia forum :

http://forum.softpedia.com/index.php?showtopic=454379
(debate in romanian about using Î/Â and sînt/sunt)

==================================
Quote from: Ovid
They should have kept it for rîu and rîde though. But who knows what it was meant to look like before the mid 19th century as Cyrillic was used then.
==================================


The inconsistency and stupidity of the 1993 orthographical reform can be seen by anyone, even by those that support it. Of course they should have kept "rîu" (from the latin "rivus") and "rîde" (from the latin "risus") and "sîn" (from the latin "sinus") and "rîpă" (from the latin "ripa") and many more others. But this is just to say that the reform from 1993 should have never been done, because it makes a mess from the romanian language. Only 30% of instances of Î inside the romanian words derive from a latin A, the other 70% derive from other latin letters, not to say about letters from words of non-latin origin. It is the peak of linguistic stupidity to make an orthographic reform in order to have a single sound written with two different letters, depending on the position of the sound inside the word. And it is the peak of exhibitionism to replace a living romanian word ("sînt") with a dead foreign word ("sunt") and then brag about how "close to latin is the romanian language": Look world, romanian uses "sunt", just like latin! Of course it does, stupid, because you added it on purpose... As if the non-romanian are a bunch of idiots that believe anything that the romanian propagandists say. No, the true idiots are the romanian propagandists who complicate the spoken and written language for exhibitionistic purposes.


==================================
Quote from: Ovid
I mean cîine just looks ridiculous, come on.
==================================


You are clearly under a strong propaganda influence, that makes you to think some words look ridiculous and some other non-ridiculous, so the romanian spelling should use the "non-ridiculous" version. There are no ridiculous-looking and non-ridiculous-looking words, this is only in your mind because you were brainwashed by the propagandists. You apply an obvious double standard when judging the appearance of the romanian words. You say that "cîine" does not look all right, because this word derives from the latin "canis". But, by using the same reasoning you must surely say that "înger" also looks ridiculous, because he is derived from the latin "angelus", right? Oh, you actually accept "înger", but not "cîine"? Then you just discovered a nice double standard in your thinking. What about "încă" (from the latin "unquam") ; "încînta" (from the french "enchanter") ; "încuraja" (from the french "encourager") ; "îngădui" (from the hungarian "engedni") ; "îngust" (from the latin "angustus"), etc. Why not write these words with  (ânger, âncă, âncânta, âncuraja, ângădui, ângust), why use Î at the beginning of these words? Once again the stupidity of the rule that states Î should be written Î at the beginning/end of the words and  inside the words is obvious. But this rule has not finished to look stupid. Just think about how a letter in the same position could be written as Î or as  in related words. For example "omorî" [to kill] and "omorât" [killed], or "hotărî" [to decide] and "hotărât" [decided]. It's stupid, but in the propagandistic mind that invented the rule they look more "latin", even though "omorî" and "hotărî" are not of latin origin... So, apparently it's not a problem for something to be stupid, as long as it looks latin.

In conclusion, the so-called orthographic (spelling) reform from 1993 has complicated the speech and writing of the romanian language, so it should be disregarded by all those that want to speak or write in romanian. Some will say it's not possible, because it's the official orthography. To which I answer that the "official orthography" is only recommended, not mandatory, because the Romanian Academy cannot issue laws, only the Parliament does it. I also ask those that want to follow the "official" spelling: If stupidity was recommended, not mandatory, who would voluntarily choose to be stupid?

This story about the spelling reform from 1993 is reminiscent of a well-known romanian saying: "A-şi fura singur căciula" [To steal oneself's own cap]. This is exactly the image of the romanian propagandists, they think they can fool anyone with their tricks (including the linguistic ones), when actually they only fool themselves. The romanian propagandists have "stolen" their own brains, and now they cannot think like humans anymore.
ravinescu   Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:50 am GMT
==================================
Quote from: Radovan P
1. First of all, you Franco and Ravenescu need to know that Slavic people are very proud and they fought and still fight till the last drop of blood for their identity and existence. To say that the ones who in the ancient time predominantly (or hundreds of thousands of them, or whatever) have lived on the actual Romanian territories have abandoned their mother tongue and have chosen to speak a Latin language, it is not only absurd; it is effectively insulting. That is upsetting me, as a Serbian very much!
==================================


You can easily spot a romanian propagandist even if he is disguised as something else, for example as a serbian. The brainless style of writing (copyrighted by the romanian propaganda) is what is blowing their (poorly framed) cover. The poverty, pompousness and agrressiveness of their vocabulary is also relevant : "pride", "insulting", "upsetting", etc. On the page 22 of this discussion, "iulian" said : "Do you even know the pride a romanian feels to be romanian and how badly you have insulted us?" Anyone can see the same discourse and vocabulary in the message posted by "Radovan P". These two posters are clones, or they have installed in their brain the same version of the software "Romanian Propagandist 101".


==================================
Quote from: Radovan P
2. Secondly, who is that "famous" historian Djuvara, what you ravenescu permanently cited? There are a lot of other better known historians than this one who contradicts Djuvara at any time and not only in words...What big and important works has this historian done?
==================================


About the works of Neagu Djuvara, why don't you ask the French Ministry of Culture, who just awarded him the decoration "Ordre des Arts et des Letters" [Order of Art and Letters]?

http://tinyurl.com/djuvara-decoration
(article in romanian about the event)

http://tinyurl.com/djuvara-fr-embassy
(article on the official site of the french embassy in Romania)


And about the "lot of other better known historians than this one", why don't you provide some quotes? You cannot expect to be trusted without any relevant proof that supports what you are saying. But if you want to be perceived as a propagandistic troll, there is no problem, it's your personal choice.


==================================
Quote from: Radovan P
3. You speak about a nation melting pot in the former Dacia; show me a country today whose past was not a melting pot of at least 3-4 nations; I suggest Franco to take Spain to begin with...and finsih up with Hungary and Austria.
==================================


The modern nations are former and/or current ethnic melting pots. But in Romania there is an aggressive official propaganda that says it was not a melting pot, only a joyful mix of italian romans and dacians, whose descendants are living isolated on a latin island from 275 AD on.


==================================
Quote from: Radovan P
4. Blond, dark hairy, red hairy, brown hairy is today more or less in every nation, verey easy to find. Go to Germany and you will be amazed by how many brunet people you will see; in Austria, Switzerland even more.
==================================


Priceless humor, courtesy of the romanian propagandists! Hey "Radovan", you must cut the time spent on "those" sites (you know which ones), because lately your english is suffering from "naughtiness". Just search "dark hairy" with Google and see what results you are getting. You probably meant "dark haired", but a propagandist who does not make a fool of himself is not a true one...


==================================
Quote from: Radovan P
5. You asked yourself why Romanians have used in the far past the Slavonic alphabet but never questioned why for example Germany and other Germanic nations have given up the Gothic alphabet and switched to Latin one? Unlike the Germans, the Romanians adopted the alphabet of their forefathers when they became more literate and improved their laic culture. You should know that the alphabet is not automatically giving the nature and character of a language.
==================================


Wait a minute! You were supposed to be a serbian patriot, not a romanian patriot! What are you doing, you are confusing the roles! Oh, now I understand, you are doing actually the magic tricks taught by your propaganda masters. You know, from 80% latin words to 80% latin genes. The audience would never figure out that you support the romanian propaganda disguised as a serbian. Unfortunately for you, the Antimoon audience is not gullible, so your old tricks are at best laughable. Try to switch from a career of propagandist to one of stand-up comedian, your are apparently capable of making the audience laugh at your involuntary humor.


==================================
Quote from: Radovan P
6. This was supposed to be a linguistic forum and not a place where you and some other trolls like you... very disrespectful and impolite individuals are filling this forum with your interminable dejects.
==================================


Of course, the biggest troll on the forum is protesting against trolls. Ludicrous but predictable, what to expect from the romanian propagandists except for aggravated trollism...


==================================
Quote from: nicolae
i looked it up in that dictionary and another religious term is boteza, to baptise from batizare, so i doubt the early romanians were pagans until tey came under bulgarian church influence like someone was saying earlier in this thread.
==================================

There is a very interesting article in romanian about this subject: "Creştinismul românesc în preajma Anului O Mie: în căutarea identităţii" [Romanian christianity around the year One Thousand: in search of the identity]. Prepare yourself for some surprises after visiting the page linked below.

http://tinyurl.com/ro-christianity-1000AD
(shortened URL to an article about the early romanian christianity)


==================================
Quote from: anonymous
The Serbs, for example, have this word borrowed from Latin as well, but they preserved the original sens: "to punish", isn't it Radovan?
==================================


You ask too much from him. His knowledge of serbian is probably limited to some words learned while watching serbian television in Romania. But his choice of nicknames (Joshua P, Radovan P) is interesting. The final P is probably for "Propagandist", just like in Romania the articles that are in fact advertorials must have somewhere an encircled P, meaning "Publicitate" [Advertising].


==================================
Quote from: Outsider
How would a Romanian pronounce the final English -ing?
==================================


It is pronounced just like it is written (-ing), but romanians pronunce it with more emphasis. In romanian there are some borrowed words from english that finish in -ing, for example "marketing", where the final "-ing" is pronounced as it is written (a generic feature of the romanian language). But there are also english words that were adapted for the romanian writing, like "trening" (plural "treninguri"), which designates a tracksuit (jacket and pants used when doing sports), and has the origin in the english word "training".
Outsider   Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:45 pm GMT
@ Nea Mitru

In Brazilian Portuguese, the final obstruent devoicing is absent, but in Continental Portuguese and Catalan, they apparently have it.
The final obstruent devoicing is a feature common in many languages.

@ ravinescu

What do you mean with more emphasis?

Is it

a) ɪŋk/iŋk
b) ɪŋg/iŋg
c) ɪŋ/iŋ

To read those, you need IPA support.
Outsider   Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:47 pm GMT
In English, it's (c) while in Russian, Polish and Portuguese, it's (a).
Radovan P.   Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:28 am GMT
@ravenescu
I adressed you a question, clear question and because you are not able to answer, you change the topic, you moron?

"Wait a minute! You were supposed to be a serbian patriot, not a romanian patriot! What are you doing, you are confusing the roles! Oh, now I understand, you are doing actually the magic tricks taught by your propaganda masters. You know, from 80% latin words to 80% latin genes. The audience would never figure out that you support the romanian propaganda disguised as a serbian!"

I am Serbien you govno yedno ! I have now idea who that Joshua is , some!

It is clear to me that you are a fucking hungarian idiot who hates Romanians as you hates the Serbiens, because you dream about the big Hungary. I would always chose Romanians ahead of you, wild mongols and peecko smrdlyeeva!

Everybody who is not agreeing with you or any other hungarian whore, is called propagandist, govedo...

Who do you think you convice here that you are telling the truth? Day by day, within interminable interventions you just show everybody how sick you are. You found here a bunch of (in history) ignorant people and keep suffocating them with your bullshit. You show no respect of langauges and of anybody here, dumb!

To come here and insist to say that your are the only one who is telling the truth, is not just stupid; it is ill!

I never pretended to speak English perfectly, that's everything you could say, (just inusults), instead of answering legitmate questions?

Ako te pojebem u guzicu majki ćeš na grobu govoriti kako ti je lepo bilo
Radovan   Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:39 pm GMT
I regret every bad word I have said here, above...

I am sorry guys, I lost my control....

Obviously, I cannot take easy the insults and I have to confess that I don't like Hungarians. Throughout their history they always behave as whore; two faces, not honest ,nor trustful....

They always asked for help from the powers of the moment (Germany, Austria, USA) to take/occupy territories what they never deserve to have and which are not belonging to them.

When we were bombed by Americans they wanted to take away from us Voijvodina. Unlike the Romanians (who helped us with oil supply during this war), the ravenescus nation did agitate the spirits in Woijvodina where a Hungarian minority live. They hit us right when we were down; this are the Hungarians...and by seing this ravinescu how insistent is he to prove absurdities and nonesense it just reminded me what an ugly character these Hungarians have - 80% of them are like that, I am not afraid to say that...
Galerius   Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:15 pm GMT
Ok, I realize you didn’t deny that it was a Romance language, but the reason I wrote that long list of basic words in the other post was because I’m tired of some people here who have a very limited knowledge about the history of Romanian saying, “you just had a few Latin words and then added 99% of your modern Latin vocabulary from French”. By “few”, they make it sound like we had maybe 20 or 30 obscure Latin words that are barely used and we used that as a pretext for Relatinizing our language. They, trying to imagine the seemingly incompatible concept of a Romance language in eastern Europe, just heard of the academics doing the relatinization in the 1850s and by extrapolation think that the entire language was done this way, thus making it completely artificial, which is of course false. Instead of researching a little more, they have an agenda and just cherry pick the argument that this is the case because it is more convenient for them, and don’t look further into it. I don’t profess to have the greatest knowledge of this matter either, seeing as you’ve schooled me in regards to the orthography.

To figure out what Romanian words would have looked like in the early Middle Ages, maybe one can look at some Aromanian equivalents of Romanian words of Slavic or non-Latin origin. For example cat (Ro. pisică) is cătushe, probably from cattus, friend (Ro. prieten) is ospit or sots, from hospes and socius (meaning guest and ally in Latin), to find is afla (Ro. găsi, with a cognate meaning find out), and snow is neao (most commonly zapadă in Ro. but nea or omăt are also used). Interestingly, their word for to speak (Ro. vorbi), is zbura, which means to fly in Romanian. Cuvânt (word) in Romanian is from conventus, which sounds like it means “with wind”, but is actually from convenio.

Also since these other non Daco-Romanian languages tend to have considerably less Slavic influence, and since it’s generally agreed that they split apart around 1000 AD or so (Istro-Romanian probably later), the Slavic influence on Daco-Romanian must have come relatively late and probably wasn’t that ingrained early in their history (6th-7th centuries like some say). This kind of ties in to the migration vs. continuity debate, often brought up by Hungarians, about whether the Romanians were originally a population south of the Danube within the empire, like the Aromanians, that migrated north around the 11-12th century into the former province of Dacia, which presumably had been largely abandoned by the retreating Romans and its remaining population assimilated by invading peoples, or whether they were always there in continuity. The first Byzantine mention of Vlachs was around the 9th century or so, and some hints of a language even before (torna, torna, fratre). I’ve heard that some Romanian words developed from Late or Medieval Latin, meaning they had to have been from south of the Danube (which was kept as part of the Empire for much longer than the abandoned Dacia, well into the Byzantine period), and couldn’t have come from an isolated population. (However, keep in mind Greek was made the official language of Byzantium by the early 7th century.) On the other hand, it was just a river: people still could have maintained contact across it, and there isn’t much evidence for a migration. Some say if there was one, it was of a similar people who were evacuated south of the Danube, so in a way they “came back” or added to the remaining one to the north. Also, there is a lack of old Germanic words from the Gothic and Gepid occupations, or of Hunnic, Avar, or Cuman/Petcheneg words during the invasions, but a considerable amount of Bulgarian ones, who had an empire that was ruled along with Vlachs in the south. If migration were the case, then the similarities to some Albanian words might not be from a common Paleo-Balkan (Dacian-Thracian-Illyrian) substratum, but from actual close coexistence with the Albanians’ ancestors in the southwest Balkans. There are also a few words dealing with Christianity and religion from Latin in Romanian, such as biserică (church), from basilica, and this is perplexing as it didn’t become tolerated until 313 under Constantine and not official until 385 under Theodosius, both dates which were after the Roman legion’s withdrawal in 272. Despite this, interestingly there is evidence of Christian inscriptions in Latin in Dacia the 4th-6th centuries. However, that’s getting kind of off topic, so let’s just stick with the language discussion.

The idea of Romanian Latinity or connection to ancient Rome in some way actually started quite before the 19th century, and even came partly from outside the country. I read in a book (actually written by a Hungarian historian who managed to stay quite objective) that Italian humanists in the 1400s like Flavio Biondo, Bracciolini, and Antonio Bonfini, who actually worked with Matthias Corvinus, the half-Romanian king of Hungary, on writing a history of Hungary, remarked on their travels throughout Eastern Europe the similarities of Romanian and Italian, with some even going as far as saying that Romanian was a type of flawed or “half”-Italian. They also noted that the people called themselves some derivation of Romanus. Poles also referred to Italians as Wlochs, similar to Vlachs, an old name for Romanians. However, these are foreign judgments and interpretations, so it is hard to know what they really considered themselves at the time. Though I heard even in the late Middle Ages, there were old legends and stories about a distant origin “de la Rîm”, if not actual awareness among most of the population.

Anyway here’s the trump card. To really determine the character of Romanian before the importation of many French derived words, one needs to look at the earliest surviving written document in the language: Neacşu’s Letter, dating from 1512. Despite a Slavic opening and the occasional words, it is mostly similar to modern Romanian and 175 words out of 190 are of Latin origin, not counting repeats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neacsu's_Letter

Take that, slavinescu!

I know that Eminescu was originally of Russian background and called Eminovici, and I heard he was actually of Tartar descent to be more accurate, but he was still an important cultural figure in our history because he considered himself Romanian. And I didn’t know he was that pro-Latinist anyway. Wasn’t he dissing all the politicians and academics who tried changing the language and culture around through French influence and spending their youths in debauchery in Paris and such, like in Scrisoarea IIIa? Oh and about the months, that dictionary says mai and a few others do come straight from Latin magis and so on, but this was probably directly borrowed. Interesting how a month was once called cuptor, which means oven and others were based off natural things like frost and flowers. After checking it looks like most of these were still in some way derived from Latin, thank God. I was a little scared there for a second. Lol jk.

Of course Romanian culture is definitely a mix of mainly eastern Euro/Balkan and other influences due to its location, and this makes sense. But how do you measure the “Latinity” of a culture anyway? Is it the stereotypical quickness to anger and using lots of gestures while talking fast and loudly, or being a “romantic and fiery lover” or whatever? I think all the Romance countries derived a lot from their original Latin roots (Romanian obviously much more so than the others), and languages and cultures evolve and change over time; you don’t see Spaniards and French wearing togas or whatnot. They all have their own unique, distinguishable cultures that they are proud of. I think one of the major factors preserving the Latin culture in Western Europe was of course the Roman Catholic Church and the constant interactions between them. I must agree that the Romanian academics went a little too far in trying to create an overly artificial connection to ancient Rome at the cost of the existing culture. It’s one thing to acknowledge that a part of your past and language comes from there, but to make it the sole focus of your culture isn’t fair. I guess it’s that we never had the glorious history of empire and conquest that the western Romance countries did, so they had to look back to a better time or “golden age” in the distant past, in which we weren’t really the same people we are today.
Penetra   Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:39 pm GMT
@Outsider:

It's really not comparable, because in any variety of Portuguese (and I assume the same to be true of Catalan) the only final consonants are 'r', 's' and 'l'. Final 's' is either voiced when linked with the following vowel, or has the same character as the following consonant. To wit:

Ŕs onze da manhă: /az őnzi dɐ mɐ̃ɲɐ̃ /
Ŕs duas da tarde: /aʒ duɐʒ dɐ tardɨ/
Ŕs tręs da tarde: /aʃ treʃ dɐ tardɨ /

So I don't think that has any parallel with the Russian situation.
James T. Kirk   Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:07 am GMT
1st @ Ravinescu you retard, stop posting you must have 1000 post on this forum , you " all-knowing" freak!!

2nd This forum was about romance languages in general not a debate about the romanian ethnogenesis and language. They are a romance culture , leave them alone.

3rd @ Franco you do not understand the notion of an United Europe where all nations must work together and promote tolerance. All nations of Europe have something good to bring and all nations have their bad sides.