Romanian, limba română, is the country’s official language. It is a Romance language related to Latin and Italian. It was formalized in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Slavic words account for 10% of Romanian vocabulary, whereas Turkish, Hungarian, and German words account for less than 5%.
Romanian minorities speak Hungarian, German, Turkish, and Romany (the language of the Roma, or Gypsies). Russian and Ukrainian may also be heard in the Danube Delta. French used to be the second most widely spoken language in Romania, since it was required in all schools; however, it has been mostly supplanted by English. A highly-educated Romanian with a university degree can typically speak English as well as another European language, such as French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Russian. However, once you go off the beaten path, Romanian is the only language you’ll be able to use to get information. That won’t be an issue if you teach them some simple terms and have them write the responses.
Transylvania has a sizable Hungarian minority (6.5 percent of the population according to the 2011 census), and many individuals speak Hungarian on a daily basis. Harghita, Covasna, and Mures are counties where Hungarian is widely spoken and ethnic Hungarians make up the bulk of the population. There are villages or towns with a Hungarian majority or plurality in Cluj, Bihor, Satu Mare, Brasov, Sibiu, and other Transylvanian counties.
Although some may speak Russian as a result of Romania’s history as a member of the Eastern Bloc, you should not rely on it. Only around 7% of Romanians comprehend Russian, and only about 4% are proficient. The chances of this happening are extremely slim, since the Ceauşescu government and succeeding leaders made studying the language voluntary rather than mandatory, and English has largely replaced Russian as the second language of choice among younger people.
Most educated Romanians may be able to understand other Romance languages spoken in the country, such as French, Spanish, and Italian. Other Romanians may comprehend some Spanish and Italian as a result of popular Italian and Latin American TV soap operas.