Talk:Romanian alphabet

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Spelling reform[edit]

The claim that "the communists also crippled the language" by a spelling reform is obviously biased. It is also linguistically naïve. Please remove it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:40, June 29, 2004‎


I agree and made appropriate changes. I don't know Romanian, but I do know a good deal about linguistics and language policy. Someone who actually knows Romanian ought to take a look. But "crippled the language" - c'mon! I know everybody hates Ceaucescu, but far, far, far more radical language reforms in Dutch were undertaken by quite democratically elected governments without "crippling the language". Diderot 14:52, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Actually, all vowel changed into the 'ɨ' in some cases, especially before "n", not just i or a.

a: romanus -> român
e: ventus -> vânt
i: rivus -> râu
o: fontana -> fântâna
u: aduncum -> adânc

Note : These vowels (â,ê,î,ô,û) were used before Romanian independence and were used so as to prove Romanian's latin origin and thus gain support from France. 18.18, 05 Aug 2017 (EEST / GMT + 3).

Initially, these words were written etymologically, like "vênt", but it was then simplificated to the current rule: at the beginning/end of words it should be used "î" and in the middle "â". It would be an aproximation of the etymological rule and for some cases it would be wrong:

  • a: angelus -> înger
  • i: rivus -> râu

The communists wanted to increase the productivity by eliminating a letter thus making the spelling easier, so everywhere was used "î", including in the word "romîn" (Romanian), which made some confusions abroad, since most people didn't knew that Romînia should be pronounced Romania, so in the 60s there was made an exception for Romania and derivates.

After the communism ended, the Academy thought that everything the communists did was wrong and reverted to the pre-WWII rule.

Bogdan | Talk 16:26, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)


The Romanian consonants 'c' and 'g' undergo a "softening" process like Italian in which 'c' is pronounced /t͡ʃ/ before 'i' or 'e', and 'g' is also pronounced /dʒ/ before 'e' and 'i'. Modified_by_a_romanian.


The comma below and cedilla is more of an arbitrary distinction for political purposes than an actual distinction. I can produce scans of the children's book mentioned in the article that uses both arbitrarily. If it were generally considered a matter of correctness, the book would have been sure to get it right. --Prosfilaes 06:09, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

As a subnote: the typographers on were disdainful of the concept of comma below as a "real" diacitic; they considered it just a degenerate form of cedilla below that was easier to do in cheap publishing, since the comma doesn't attach and so you could use an s/t and a comma instead of having a seperate piece of lead for s/t with cedilla. --Prosfilaes 06:22, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The academy's choice of the comma below is possibly due to Turkish use of the cedilla below.

It has nothing to do with that. Turkish alphabet was created only in 1928, while S-comma was in use in the Romanian alphabet almost a hundred years earlier. Bogdan | Talk 12:26, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Can you cite or better yet quote something? I think more detail on this would be useful for the article, but we don't have a lot of hard information. The fact that none of the typographers specializing in international typography had heard of this before leaves me somewhat sceptical that this was a clear decision made a hundred years ago. My 1944 US War Department Guide to Romanian clearly uses cedillas, so it's obvious the rest of the world didn't get the memo. --Prosfilaes 22:44, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I don't know exactly, I'll have to search for it. However, in a 1884 print, I see that it was used a comma, but fused to the body of the letter. (pic)
Also on that image can be noticed that there was no distinction between the ă and â sounds, but it was used rather etymologically, like in ănger (angel), nowadays spelt înger. Bogdan | Talk 23:42, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Suggest merging[edit]

I suggest to merge Special Romanian Unicode characters into Romanian alphabet because both articles discuss about the history of S-comma and T-comma, and that the character encoding problem is also mentioned in Romanian alphabet article. --Hello World! 16:01, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Should not be merged. -- Bonaparte talk 17:31, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
What is your opinion? --Hello World! 12:32, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
No reason to merge. You're free though to delete any, you have my support if propose to deletion the right one. (talk) 02:45, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Linking Jupiter[edit]

Actually, "domine deus" is the Latin translation of Greek "kurios ho theos", i.e. "the Lord God". I'm not sure which is the connection with Jupiter. bogdan 13:07, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Hm. You might be right. I think I got the info from reading Xenopol a while back. Dahn 13:48, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Phonetic alphabet[edit]

How are diacritics expressed in the phonetic alphabet? Andreas 13:39, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

The NATO one? They are not expressed at all (since they are not used). Dahn 14:41, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
BTW, doesn't Q also have a name in the NATO alphabet? I recall it sounding like 'chiubec', but that's just from memory and loose information. [guest]
You mean Quebec.   Andreas   (T) 23:23, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
The phonemes are found in specific literature, look biography.

It appears that in the Romanian phonetic alphabet diacritics are not transmitted at all. In telegrams I know from personal experience that they are not transmitted, and that punctuation marks are transmitted as words ("stop" is used for the period at the end of a sentence). In the Romanian phonetic alphabets I found on the internet letter Ţ appears to be transmitted using the word "ţară" (country), but there is no mention of the other four letters with diacritics. Possibly, in the quite rare cases when a diacritic can change the meaning of a word and cannot be inferred from the context -- such as in "paturi" (beds) and "pături" (blankets) -- the diacritic is read aloud as a separate word, but this is just my personal opinion. — AdiJapan  15:32, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

ŭ - the letter did not have a majuscule version[edit]

What if a text was in all-capitals?   Andreas   (T) 14:13, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Maybe "the letter was not normally found capitalized", but then, the article makesit clear that it was never at the beginning of a word anyway, so I cut the statement. Circeus 16:18, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
the letter is removed of the romanian alphabet. Please merge it to an "obsolete romanian alphabet" and keep this aticle as light as possible.

Latin-like spelling[edit]

A sample

Maybe, this article should write about the attempts of using a closer to Latin spelling and alphabet in the 19th century.

are unu băiaţellu frmosu ca unu ângerullu
are un băieţel frumos ca un înger

bogdan 21:29, 26 July 2006 (UTC):Please remove un-copyrighted-image"A sample" and use typeing instead. This is not a test-page188.25.52.56 (talk) 02:45, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Cool. We could reference Maiorescu's verdict on such attempts as well. Do you have more info on their actual influence? Al l that I know is that Junimea thought they were damn funny. Dahn 00:18, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


Was q replaced with c like in Spanish? (quanto>>>cuanto)?Cameron Nedland 00:48, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

To clarify: Q was never present in the language, it is only present in loanwords (same as K). The C is used for the sound, and it would be pointless to have Q, K and C representing the same sound. » byeee 00:01, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

The q letter was introduced in the romanian alphabet, recently. It reads as k -kappa (talk) 02:45, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Acute accent[edit]

The acute accent seems to be liberally used in romanian newspapers for the situations where confusion is possible. Eg: copii = children, cópii = copies. Anyone knows if there's a norm for that? 10:43, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Added to the article. Can someone find some citations for this practice? VasileGaburici (talk) 05:45, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Keyboard layout[edit]

№ 1: I don't think the QWERTZ layout is ‘official’. In any case, I've added a ‘citation needed’ tag.

№ 2: I think the ‘official’ SR 13392:2004 standards should be mentioned, as they are increasingly common as default romanian layout in various operating systems (Linux and Microsoft Vista).

№ 3: I don't think the JLG layout is relevant. Does anyone here use it? 09:37, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the reference to JLG -- 11:36, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

The claim that Romanian does not use diacritics[edit]

It seems to meet the letter of the definition of diacritics, but smells funny to me. I think we need some experts, and by that I don't mean just native Romanian speakers, but certified scholars in this matter, to weigh in on the subject. VasileGaburici (talk) 13:21, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

The page on Breve for instance indicates that it is a diacritic, even though it may have uses other than changing the length of a vowel. When the breve is employed for these other purposes (as is the case in Romanian) it is still called a diacritic. VasileGaburici (talk) 13:26, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I share the same doubts. As far as I understand, it's a question of precisely how the diacritics are defined. In any case, the reality is that in Romanian everyone, including linguists, calls those marks "diacritics". On the other hand, the letters ă, î, â, ş, ţ are considered to be distinct letters, as opposed to mere letter+diacritic combinations, in contrast, for example, with the breve and the macron used in Latin or the accents used in French.
In any case, the present wording is at least too categorical where it goes "the Romanian alphabet does not have diacritics", since there are specialists (George Pruteanu is one of them) who say it does. I hope someone can shed some more light on this. — AdiJapan 17:11, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Î versus Â[edit]

I reinserted this sentence: "Some publications, such as România literară, magazine of the Writers' Union of Romania, and publishing houses such as Polirom allow authors to choose either spelling norm." It had been deleted by Ayceman without explanation. Here's why I reinserted it:

  • România literară, including its most recent issues, contains quite a few articles written in the "old" spelling. Check for instance the latest issue: [1]. I counted 10 articles out of 31 written with î and sînt (in fact 10 and a half, since one article contains text by various authors and has a mixed spelling).
  • The latest books published by Polirom also include works spelled with î and sînt. Examples: Maigret la ministru, Ultima comandă, Garda albă, Anumite fete (all published in 2009).

AdiJapan 06:13, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Interesting to point out that the official spelling reform of 1993 appears not to address the matter of sunt/sint! Also I have noticed (and never did before) that young children from decent literate families are now tending to pronounce sunt more like soooont - an example of spelling leading pronounciation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:50, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
The documents of the 1993 spelling reform do in fact explicitly address the question of sunt, see here. But because our article here is about the alphabet, only the part â/î is relevant. A separate article on the 1993 spelling reform would have to discuss both aspects, along with the political circumstances that led to the reform.
Yes, sometimes the spelling has an influence on the pronunciation. There are many such examples, in Romanian as well as in other languages. In fact, that is how the pronunciation sunt appeared in the first place, about a century ago, when the spelling sûnt (originally pronounced sînt) came to be mistakenly read sunt. Those speakers might have thought it was the correct pronunciation, partly because it seemed to be supported by etymology (while in fact it's not). The pronunciation sunt survived the Communist period in a rather small number of families and reemerged after in the 1990's. Now, as you mention, it is reinforced by the new spelling, so it's no surprise that young children change their pronunciation after they learn to write. Still the pronunciation sînt is the most frequent though. But again, this discussion is not really relevant here. — AdiJapan 10:02, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

thanks for above comments - i did not know the reform addressed the question of sint/sant/sunt - thanks again —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Creating an official Wikipedia Romanian alphabet standard[edit]

I need help. Currently I'm in the middle of a vast reworking/rewriting project involving the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture article. Although I'm very interested in the history of this time period, I am quite ignorant of Romanian language and spelling/text conventions. I mean, I wouldn't know correct Romanian if it was biting me in the butt.... However, as part of the reworking of this article, I am attempting to standardize the spelling throughout the article - for instance, when I started working on this, there was about a half-a-dozen different ways that the name Ștefan Cucoș was being spelled in various references throughout the text. Well, I found this article about Romanian alphabet, and have used its recommendations as a rule to go by in standardizing the spellings of Romanian names and words in references and text in the article I'm working on.

Well, so far so good, right?

But then, after making these changes, I saved the file and looked at it, and: lo-and-behold: many of the links to Wikipedia articles that I'd corrected no longer worked - they acted as if I was linking to nonexistent articles. For instance, I changed the text in the link embedded in the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture article for Iași County. As you can see, that is a dead link - due to the fact that there is no article with that spelling (keep in mind, that if you're reading this later, the link may actually work, because I'm going to do a workaround fix for these). However, if I was to use the incorrect spelling of Iaşi County, then voila! it now works. So what's up with that?

I have a couple of ways I can do a workaround for this: one is to make these links in the article look like this: [[Iaşi County|Iași County]], where the first link has the incorrect text, but works - and the second corrected text part is what will show in the Cucuteni article, but which won't successfully link to the county article.

The other workaround would be to create separate Redirect pages that will automatically link various spellings of the word to the correct page. In the case of "Iaşi County" (which has the incorrect, cedilla styled Unicode 3.0 spelling), there already is a redirect page from "Iasi County" (which is just a regular "s"), so it would be simple just to add another redirect page for "Iași County" (which has the correct, comma styled Unicode 5.2 spelling). I don't really mind doing this, but I'm still not completely satisfied with this option.

And so this brings me to my proposal: is it at all possible that the Wikipedia:WikiProject Romania editors - and those who have posted here to this article - could attempt to maintain an official spelling standard for articles that use Romanian language? The optimal situation (in my opinion) would be that articles that have Romanian words within the title maintain a standard spelling convention. I myself don't care one way or another what this standard would be - I'm completely non-invested in any of the discussions above about which style is linguistically or politically correct, since I do not speak Romanian it makes very little difference to me how it's spelled, so long as there's a standard that is adhered to here in the English pages of Wikipedia in order to avoid such awkward and inconsistent situations as the one I've outlined above in my own experience.

So - I put it to you, my fellow editors - shall we create some kind of WikiProject Romania subcommittee to establish a standard convention of Romanian spelling - and then have the authority to insist that article titles (at the very least) that contain Romanian words adhere to this standard? I for one would be quite willing to volunteer to help with this, but I do not have the expertise to make the call as to which style should be the officially-sanctioned spelling convention.

Please respond here if you are interested or wish to comment. --Saukkomies talk 22:16, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Hello, Saukkomies. You are right that the correct romanian diacritics for "sh" and "tz" are the ones with comma (Ș, ș, Ț, ț). However, at Wikipedia we are still using the old diacritics (Ş, ş, Ţ, ţ) because many users still do not have an operating system capable of displaying and/or typing the new diacritics correctly. Allmost all romanian websites (newspapers, government, etc) still use the old diacritics (some of them don't use diacritics at all). Someday we will make the switch to the correct diacritics (in as well as in, but now it's too soon. For more details, see Romanian alphabet#Unicode and HTML; if you understand romanian, you may also read ro:Wikipedia:Diacriticele vechi şi noi and [2] for more details. Razvan Socol (talk) 19:24, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply Rsocol. After I'd posted that rant I got to reading some more about this business, and I came to the same conclusion that you outlined: the time is not yet right to try to force a standardized Romanian alphabet ont Wikipedia. So, what I decided to do was to go through all the links in the article I'm working on, and I'm writing them in Unicode 5.3 Romanian text, but then I'm creating "Redirect" pages to the other Wikipedia sites, using the older Unicode 2.0 Romanian text titles that they have. I'm not sure about the deal with other peoples' browsers not being able to read some of the text in the article I'm writing, though. What's the consensus with that, if any? --Saukkomies talk 00:54, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

what about the history[edit]

interesting article, but personaly i am more interested in how the alphabet evolved to become what it is today. so what kind did the dacians used, the protoromanians, how did the cyrillic became no.1 and there were some greek alphabet "times" in early modern history i think. i invite wikipedians to expand!thx!--Prometeu (talk) 14:55, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

POV in the "Î versus Â" section[edit]

It's nothing too serious, but two sentences in the section strike me as biased against the "Î" side of the debate. The fact that they're both unsourced as well doesn't help, so I'm removing them as they're not essential to the section.

  • "The reason for using both of them is historical, denoting the language's Latin origin, although statistically only few of the words written today with â actually derive from Latin words having an a in the corresponding position."

The first part of this sentence is ok, but the second part implies that the reform has 'failed' its purpose, while ignoring that the strict "Î" spelling was also etymologically inaccurate, even moreso regarding common, day-to-day words. Also, you can't include a statistic without sourcing it, else it's just a weasel word.

  • "The new rules (as they are strictly applied according to position in a word rather than a word's origin) have created spellings which no longer clearly reflect the Latin origins of certain words:for example rîu ("river") became râu after 1993."

Again, this whole sentence seems to want to point out the failings of the reform, and again ignoring that the issue was already there to begin with, just for different words.

Please, don't add them back without giving good reasons and/or sources in the discussion page. Reject 666 6 (talk) 03:30, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

The issue was not there to begin with because "î" (and written Romanian in general) was not supposed to be etymological accurate, Romanian is almost entirely phonetically written, slapping etymological spelling in case of one letter (that's not even 100% correct) on top of that can only confuse things. I am not for, or against, I just explained why your argument is flawed, I also think that the example was clear and accurate, showing one problem with the current spelling, I don't think it implies anything more than what it says. man with one red shoe 06:16, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
The main arguments invoked by the proponents of the 1993 reform were these two: that letter â helps in revealing the Latin origin of Romanian, and that letter î was generalized in 1953 under the Soviet influence. Both arguments are not just purely sentimental, but utterly flawed. The first argument fails because the Romanian spelling is not supposed to be etymological, so it simply doesn't matter if a letter makes the language look more Latin or less Latin (there are etymological traces in the Romanian spelling, such as the use of letter x, but otherwise it's an overwhelmingly phonemic orthography). The second argument is historically false: newspapers and other works had already been published before the arrival of Communism in Romania as well as before the Communists took power in Russia (I'm looking at the cover of an issue of Viața Romînească published in March 1914). Moreover, the necessity of the Romanian orthography to be phonemic had been convincingly demonstrated by Titu Maiorescu as early as in 1866. The only reason for an opposing attitude was that a phonemic orthography doesn't show to what degree Romanian is related to Latin. As such, Reject's removal of those sentences is itself POV pushing.
In fact the description given here for the letters â and î is too detailed for an article on the alphabet. There should be a separate article on the Romanian orthography, with all its complicated history. In that article, the 1993 reform should make a consistent section, in which for example the real political purpose of the Romanian Academy for the reform as well as the amazingly unscientific decision process should be documented. — AdiJapan 11:20, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not trying to take sides regarding the article, so I will not argue and/or point out errors you made in your preceding paragraph. I actually like your revision more than what I wrote or what was before, so if that's not a sign of good will I don't know what is. Sorry if I offended anybody, but I'm sure you'd agree that one should bring up the issue of possible POV for discussion if the issue might exist. Peace! Reject 666 6 (talk) 19:48, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Value of <h> - Keyboard layout[edit]

The list "Letters and their pronunciation" gives [h] as in house. No, it mostly sounds like [x] in loch.

That keyboard - what is that? with exclusively German ß, exclusively Polish barred L, exclusively Serbo-croatian barred D?` Never saw such like in România. Nuremberg Oct. 2011 Ángel García (talk) 16:14, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

The pronunciation of î and â[edit]

To the user 188 who keeps adding a claim about the difference in pronunciation of î and â:

All linguistic sources agree that the two letters represent the same sound. There is no exception and no controversy on this subject in the literature. No linguist has ever said that "more academic research remains to be done" to check whether the two letters represent distinct or identical sounds. As such, our article cannot contain such a claim. If you think otherwise, please cite your sources. I'm willing to bet you won't find any.

The fact that there are two letters for this sound has historic reasons. Originally, there used to be 4 or 5 letters for it (â, ê, î, û, and sometimes ô) and their choice depended on etymology. In the 1904 spelling reform, that number dropped to two. For about a decade around 1960, it dropped to one, then rose back to two. After the 1993 reform, the usage rules of the two letters changed dramatically and so did their distribution. But this evolution pertains entirely to spelling convention and has never reflected changes in language phonology.

What you may have noticed is the fact that when this sound (however we write it) is followed by [n] in the same syllable, it becomes nasal, that is, a word like însă and one like îl begin with slightly different vowels. But those vowels are different only phonetically. They are allophones of the same phoneme /ɨ/. And since the Romanian spelling is largely phonemic, we can safely say that letters î and â represent the same phoneme. Besides, there are words spelled with â where it represents either a nasal or an oral /ɨ/, for example când and bâtă, and also there are words spelled with î where it can be either nasal or oral, such as încă and își. So the two letters don't even reflect an allophonic difference.

By the way, the word înimă does not exist. Please contribute only to subjects you have at least some basic knowledge in. — AdiJapan 02:22, 3 November 2014 (UTC)


"zz in "pizza" but with considerable emphasis on the "ss""

hmm what? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

X only used in foreign borrowings?[edit]

IS X only used in foreign borrowings?Alexlatham96 (talk)