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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
Sibiu (Hungarian Nagyszeben, German Hermannstadt): European Capital
of Culture in 2007, and a
gem within the heart of the beauty-blessed Romanian-speaking region
What is here meant by “Romanian” may also be termed “Romanian proper” or “Daco-Romanian.” The extent of applicability of “Romanian proper” is debatable considering the controversial status of Moldovan. “Daco-Romanian” is based on today’s language area which more or less coincides with the Roman colony of Dacia and the region in which Dacian was spoken prior to Romanization. Both names, “Romanian proper” and “Daco-Romanian,” exclude the following Romanian offshoot enclaves that some consider Romanian
dialects (Romanian graiuri) and others consider separate languages: Aromanian (limba armãneascã, used in Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria and Romania), Megleno-Romanian
(vlăheşte, used in Macedonia, Greece and a few enclaves in Romania), and Istro-Romanian
(limba istroromână, used in Northern Croatia).
What we mean
by “Romanian” here is essentially the group of Romance-derived language varieties used at
the lower reaches of the Danube (Romanian Dunărea) and on the shores of the
Black Sea (Romanian Marea Neagră). Moldovan (Romanian (limba) moldovenească) is usually considered a part of
the continuum of Moldavian dialects (Romanian graiul moldovenesc)
parts of Northern Romania, all of Moldova (Romanian Republica Moldova) as well as adjacent areas and scattered
enclaves in Bessarabia in today’s Ukraine. However, there is a faction in Moldova
(a former Soviet republic) that for political
Moldovan a separate language, and Moldovan is still written with the
Cyrillic alphabet in the breakaway republic Transnistria (Russian Приднестровье, Ukrainian Придністров’я), while
Moldova proper now uses the Roman alphabet as used in Romania (Romanian România).
Romanian is used
in the afore-mentioned regions as well as in adjacent areas in Serbia’s Autonomous
of Vojvodina (Romanian Voievodina)and Timok Valley (Serbian Тимочка Крајина, Timočka Krajina, Romanian Timocul or Valea Timocului), in and around Hungary’s town of Gyula (Romanian Giula) and in Bulgaria’s border town of Vidin (Видин). In Ukraine, the highest concentrations of Romanian speakers are located in Chernivtsi
Oblast (Ukrainian Чернівецька область, Romanian Regiunea Cernăuţi) and Odessa Oblast (Ukrainian Одеська область, Одещина, Romanian Regiunea Odessa). Outside this region, there are Daco-Romanian speaker communities in numerous
countries, most notably in Canada, France and Germany, Israel, Italy, Portugal,
Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Probably the largest
community of Romanian speakers is found in Israel—an estimated half million, which makes Romanian second only after Russian as a non-official language of that country.
As a non-native
language, Romanian is used in Romania’s and Moldova’s linguistic minority communities, particularly in the large communities of
of Hungarian and Romany (“Gypsy”), and also by significant numbers of speakers of Armenian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Tatar, Turkish, Ukrainian and Yiddish. Among the most significant minority languages of Moldova are Gagauz, Russian, Ukrainian and Yiddish, all of which are officially recognized, and furthermore Bulgarian.
Romanian is very complex in that it is derived from Dacian Latin and has various
substrata and adstrata of other regional languages, probably including one of
Dacian, a now extinct Indo-European language that was probably closely related
to the likewise extinct Thracian language. In addition to features shared by
languages of various groups in the greater Balkans region, Romanian has been significantly influenced by Slavic languages of the
region. Influences from other Romance languages
are significant also, especially owing to traditional interest in and use of
Italian and French in Romanian-speaking society. There is some Turkish influence
as well, due to Ottoman colonialism, and to some degree also Greek influence. Not insignificant either are Hungarian and German influences in some northwestern
dialects of Romanian.
Among numerous special
features of this group of Eastern Romance language varieties is full labialization of /gw/ and /kw/, as in Latin lingua > limba ‘tongue’, and quattuor > patru ‘four’.
literature can be traced back to the 16th century. Following the era of Greek literary influences under Ottoman rule in the 18th
century, Romanian writers began to turn westward, first toward European Illuminism and
in the 19th-century national awakening period toward Western
Europe, especially toward Romance-speaking Europe,
while using much homegrown material. In the 20th century, Romanian writers came to be influenced by Soviet and Soviet-dictated
newly acquired membership in the European Union and its
great wealth of natural beauty and cultural interest that attracts tourism, the importance of Romanian as a foreign language is likely to increase.
Genealogy: Indo-European > Romance > East > Romanian