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Romanian (obsolete spellings: Rumanian or Roumanian; autonym: limba română [ˈlimba roˈmɨnə] (listen), or românește, lit. 'in Romanian') is the official and main language of Romania and the Republic of Moldova. As a minority language it is spoken by stable communities in the countries surrounding Romania (Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Ukraine), and by the large Romanian diaspora. In total, it is spoken by 28–29 million people as an L1+L2 language, of whom 23–24 millions are native speakers. In Europe, Romanian is rated as a medium level language, occupying the tenth position among thirty-seven official languages.
|Native to||Romania, Moldova|
|Region||Central Europe, Southeastern Europe, and Eastern Europe|
|23.6–24 million (2016)|
Official language in
Blue: region where Romanian is the dominant language. Cyan: areas with a notable minority of Romanian speakers.
Distribution of the Romanian language in Romania, Moldova and surroundings
Romanian is part of the Eastern Romance sub-branch of Romance languages, a linguistic group that evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin which separated from the Western Romance languages in the course of the period from the 5th to the 8th centuries. To distinguish it within the Eastern Romance languages, in comparative linguistics it is called Daco-Romanian as opposed to its closest relatives, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian, and Istro-Romanian. Romanian is also known as Moldovan in Moldova, although the Constitutional Court of Moldova ruled in 2013 that "the official language of the republic is Romanian".