This is the Romanian alphabet compared with the English (or French) one:
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
If you see differences between the letters and the picture, you are not using ISO8859-2 (or Latin2) character set. This page is made for it. (Latin2 is obsolete, Romanian language is not supported in Latin2. Latin10 is better in this case, UTF-8 even better).
A, a - is basically the same as
in any other Latin language. It is different from English, where it will
be pronounced like “ei” in Romanian.
Ă, ă - doesn't have correspondent in English or in an other language. The sound is close to “e” from seven, (sevăn), farmer (farmăr), daughter (dotăr), brother (bradăr), etc. In between the brackets is the Romanian pronunciation for those words. The capital letter has no much use unless one write with capitals only. Just two words start with ă: ăsta - this one (masculine) and ăla - that one (masculine), but acesta or celălalt is used for the same meaning. This letter, typographically it is called a breve. It is character no. 103 (hexadecimal) in Unicode (or 102 as capital letter).
Â, â - doesn't have correspondent in English. It cannot be explain. You have to ask a Romanian how this is pronounced. In Russian language this sound is represented by: ы. The Russians replace this letter in their transcriptions with “y”. In Turkish is represented by “dot less i”: ı. The capital letter has no use, unless one write only with capital letters... Typographically it is called a circumflex. It is character no. E2 (hexadecimal) in Unicode (or C2 as capital letter).
B, b - is the same as in any language.
C, c - is the same as C, c and/or K, k. It is pronounced different in “ce”, “ci”, “che”, “chi”. See after.
D, d - is the same as in any language. Some time the English “th” sounds as “d”.
E, e - is basically the same as in any other Latin language. The English one will be “i”.
F, f - is the same as in any language, as well as the sound “ph” from English or French. Also similar with Dutch or German “v”. Doesn't make ligatures with i, l or c.
G, g - is the same as in many languages. Exception: Dutch, Flemish, German, etc. The pronunciation is changed in “ge”, “gi”, “ghe”, “ghi”. See after.
H, h - it is quiet different. It is similar with “j” from Spanish, or with “g” from Flemish. It cannot follow an other consonant or be preceded by one, exception is “che”, “chi”, “ghe”, “ghi” and words which start with “hr”. It is similar with the hard “h” from French (the one they pronounce...).
I, i - is basically the same as in any other Latin language. Different from English, which would be “ai” in Romanian.
Î, î - the same sound as Â, â (see above). It is used if it is the first or the last character in a word. Otherwise â is used (“întâi” - first). If a word is composed by two words and the second started with î, then it is not changed in â after concatenation (“reîncadrări” - re-framing). Those are the new rules. Before only î was used. Â was used only in the words from the family of the word Romanian (român). I do not apply the new rules because I am stubborn. But for official documents I would have to. Typographically it is called i circumflex. It is character no. EE (hexadecimal) in Unicode (or CE as capital letter).
J, j - it is not a semi-vowel! It is a consonant. The sound is close to “ge”, and not as “i”.
K, k - we have this letter in the alphabet just for kg and km or for the kilo- prefix. It is the newest letter introduced in the Romanian alphabet. We use “c” instead (in this way: ka=ca, ke=che, ki=chi, ko=co, ku=cu).
L, l - is the same as in any language.
M, m - is the same as in any language.
N, n - is the same as in any language. It can't precede “p” or “b”, “m” has to be used instead: “înpreună” is wrong, “împreună” is used instead (with the meaning of together). One exception is allowed: “Istanbul”.
O, o - is basically the same as in any other Latin language.
P, p - is the same as in any language. It can't be follow by “h”.
Q, q - is a new letter in the Romanian alphabet. There are no Romanian words containg it.
R, r - is close to any other language, but still different. The Spanish “r” is the closest one.
S, s - is the same as in any language. Sound also the same as in “ce” or “ss”. It is never read as “z”! It can't be follow by “h”.
Ș, ș - in English it sound as “sh”. In French it sound as “ch”. In Portuguese sound as “x”. In German sounds as “sch”. There are not glyphs to show it how is in reality. Over here I use a character from iso8859-2 charset which reproduce a Turk letter. The Romanian one is with a comma under and not with a cedilla! Iso8859-16 have support for it. Typographically it is called s comma below (and not s cedilla). It is character no. 219 (hexadecimal) in Unicode (or 218 as capital letter) and not character no. 15F (hexadecimal) (or 15E as capital letter). See here if you have good Unicode support.
T, t - is the same as in any language. Some times the English “d” sound also as “t”. It can't be follow by “h”.
Ț, ț - in English or French it sound as “ts”. In Dutch is the “t” in the words finishing with “atie”. In German sound as “tz” or as “c” alone. There are not characters to show it how is in reality. Over here I use a character from iso8859-2 charset which reproduce a Turk letter. The Romanian one is with a comma under and not with a cedilla! Iso8859-16 have support for it. Typographically it is called t comma below (and not t cedilla). It is character no. 21B (hexadecimal) in Unicode (or 21A as capital letter) and not character no. 163 (hexadecimal) (or 162 as capital letter). See here if you have good Unicode support.
U, u - is quit similar as in any other Latin language. In fact is as the “ou” in French or as “oe” in Dutch. It is not read as “iu”. The English “w” will be transcripted to “u”, since this one is the closest sound.
V, v - is basically the same as in any other language. Similar with “w” from Dutch or German.
W, w - is a new letter in the Romanian alphabet. There are no Romanian words containg it.
X, x - it is a composition of “c” (or “k” if you wish) and “s” or “g” and “z”. Therefore it is pronounced sometimes as “cs” (“ks”) and sometime as “gz”. It is not very used. One of the most Romanian famous poet was writing his name without “x”, but with it's components: Alecsandri. This letter is also new to Romanian language, it was introduced before “k”.
Y, y - is a new letter in the Romanian alphabet. There are no Romanian words containg it.
Z, z - is the same as in any language. But not close to the Italian “pizza” or so.
Besides this we have few combinations that we read a bit different:
The letters we do not have in the alphabet but already some people consider it as part of it:
Since Romanian is phonetic, we don't use double letters. There are few exceptions:
|a kid||= un copil,||the kid||= copilul,||some kids||= niște copii,||the kids||= copiii.|
|a tree||= un copac,||the tree||= copacul,||some trees||= niște copaci,||the trees||= copacii.|
|a son||= un fiu,||the son||= fiul,||some sons||= niște fii,||the sons||= fiii.|
|a house||= o casă,||the house||= casa,||some houses||= niște case,||the houses||= casele.|
Diphthongs (two vowels in a row in a same syllable):
ai - as the French “aille” or as the English “I”.
au - normal (not as “o”), as the French “aou” and the Dutch “aoe”.
ea - we read it as “ia”. (Last “a” from Maria.)
ei - we read it as “iei”.
eu - we read it as “ieu” or as “io”.
ia - normal
ie - normal
ii - normal (a longer i)
io - normal
iu - normal
oa - we read it as “wa”
oi - normal
ou - normal
iau - normal
Just for fun, see how we spell in Romanian the English alphabet:
A = ei, B = bi, C = si, D = di, E = i, F = ef, G = gi, H = eici, I = ai, J = gei, K = chei, L = el, M = em, N = en, O = o, P = pi, Q = chiu, R = ar, S = es, T = ti, U = iu, V = vi, W = dabăl iu, X = ecs, Z = zet.
Beside the letters we use “-” (dash) to connect two words if the first one finish with a vowel and the second one starts with a vowel, then the vowel from the second word is replaced with “-” and the words get together. For some pairs of words the separate variant it is no longer correct. This is very common in the cases when it is a reflexive verb at the past tens. Examples: “se au” changes into: “s-au”, “mă am” changes into “m-am”. It is not allowed to split the word at the end of a line in the place where this dash is. Also we make use of the apostrophe: “'” in the cases when a letter or a group of letters are accidentally missing. Example: “acu'” instead of “acum” (now) or “'neața” instead of “bună dimineața” (good morning). The apostrophe can be also in the middle of the word. We don't use the symbols: “&” (which we call “and” but doesn't mean “and” in Romanian, which is “și”), “#” (which is called “diez” (something from music) and doesn't have nothing to do with numbers, we use “nr.” for it), “@” (a with monkey tail), etc. The quotations are made as the doubled quotation in German (the first ones down and the last ones up: „example“) and/or as the doubled quotation in French (if two quotations are embedded): „example «example»“. Some people claim that the closing quotations should be ” rather than “.
In Romanian we don't use initials instead of names. At school and in the army we have a custom (coming from Russian, I think) to put the initial of the father given name in between the family (last) name and the given (first) name. For instance my name in the army was: Ciobîcă M. Ionel Mugurel, because my father's given name is Mihai. His name in the army was: Ciobîcă I. Mihai, because my grand father's given name is Ion. If the given name was Gheorghe the initial will be “Gh.” and not “G.”! You noticed that the last name is the first and the first name is the last. That is why I prefer to say family name and given name instead of last name and first name. If somebody have more that one given name, then in the birth certificate they are linked with a dash. In mine is Ionel-Mugurel. Here in Holland they don't believe me that I have two given names. They registered me at the town hall as Ionel-mugurel (one name, one initial only). The family name they took as Ciobica, because the international birth certificate was written on a typewriter without Romanian letters! Otherwise my family name will be (over here): Ciob?c?.
0 - zero
1 - unu (M), o or una (F), unu (N). First - întîi (M), întîia (F), întîi (N). The first - primul (M), prima (F), primul (N).
2 - doi (M), două (F), două (N). The second - al doilea (M), a doua (F), al doilea (N).
3 - trei. The third - al treilea (M), a treia (F), al treilea (N).
4 - patru. The forth - al patrulea, a patra.
5 - cinci. The fifth - al cincilea, a cincea.
6 - șase. The sixth - al șaselea, a șasea.
7 - șapte. The seventh - al șaptelea, a șaptea.
8 - opt. The eight - al optulea, a opta.
9 - nouă. The ninth - al nouălea, a noua.
10 - zece. The tenth - al zecelea, a zecea.
11 - unsprezece (unșpe). The nth - al nlea, a na.
12 - doisprezece (doișpe)
13 - treisprezece (treișpe)
14 - patrusprezece (paisprezece, paișpe)
15 - cincisprezece (cinșpe)
16 - șasesprezece (șaisprezece, șaișpe)
17 - șaptesprezece (șaptișpe)
18 - optsprezece (optîșpe)
19 - nouăsprezece (nouășpe)
20 - douăzeci
21 - douăzeci și unu
30 - treizeci
40 - patruzeci
50 - cincizeci
60 - șaizeci
70 - șaptezeci
80 - optzeci
90 - nouăzeci
99 - nouăzeci și nouă
100 - o sută
1000 - o mie
10 000 - zece mii
100 000 - o sută de mii
1 000 000 - un milion
1 000 000 000 - un miliard (un bilion)
1 000 000 000 000 - un trilion (un biliard)
0,1 - o zecime
0,01 - o sutime
0,001 - o miime
0,0001 - o zecime de miime
1 234 567 890,123 45 - un miliard, două sute treizeci și patru de milioane, cinci sute șaizeci și șapte de mii, opt sute nouăzeci virgulă o sută douăzeci și trei de miimi și patruzeci și cinci de sutimi de miimi
Of course we use comma for the decimal dot as in most languages (only in English the dot is used, I think).
Before the numbers was written with a dot for each group of three digits, like that: “1.234.567.890,123.45”. Now we use a small space instead “1 234 567 890,123 45”.
Days of the week (we don't use capitals for it):
Monday - luni
Tuesday - marți
Wednesday - miercuri
Thursday - joi
Friday - vineri
Saturday - sîmbătă
Sunday - duminică
Months of the year(we don't use capitals for it):
January - ianuarie
February - februarie
Mars - martie
April - aprilie
May - mai
June - iunie
July - iulie
August - august
September - septembrie
October - octombrie
November - noiembrie
December - decembrie
find my CV here.