Around 24 million people speak Romanian around the world, mostly the inhabitants of Romania and Moldova. Whether you plan to travel to Romania or just want to speak to a Romanian friend in their native language, learning Romanian may be easier when you already speak another Romance language, such as Spanish. For starters, learn to pronounce the Romanian alphabet, after which you will be able to spell almost any word. From there, you can start having conversations with people and increase your vocabulary. Noroc! (Good luck!).
Method 1 of 3: Pronounce the Romanian Alphabet
Step 1. Start with the Romanian vowels
In Romanian there are 7 vowels in total, of which you probably have the least amount of difficulty with the letters a, e, o and u and therefore the sounds of these vowels are a good starting point. Pay attention to the position of your lips and your tongue, as it will be useful to pronounce the exclusively Romanian sounds.
- The A sounds like the A in Spanish. When making this sound, your lips should be kept open and not rounded, and the tongue should be resting on the bottom of your mouth.
- The E also sounds like the E in Spanish. The lips are slightly parted, less than to pronounce the A, and the tongue is slightly up and stretched towards the front of your mouth.
- The O also sounds like the O in Spanish. The lips should be rounded when pronouncing this sound.
- The U also sounds like the U in Spanish. The lips should be rounded.
the letter e is pronounced ye at the beginning of the personal pronouns eu (I), ea (she), el (he), ele (them) and ele (them). Use the same pronunciation for the e at the beginning of the forms of the verb "to be": e, eşti, eram, erai, era, eraţi and erau.
Step 2. Practice exclusively Romanian vowel sounds
In addition to i, the Romanian alphabet has 2 additional vowels: ă and î or â (they both produce the same sound).
- The letter i produces a sound similar to that of this vowel in Spanish.
- The Ă, also called a schwa or a short A, produces a very short a sound.
- The Â and the Î, which are also known as A circumflex and I circumflex, have exactly the same pronunciation. Usually the î is used at the beginning of a word and the â is used in the middle. Although there is no equivalent in the Spanish language, its sound resembles that of the u in the word rue in French.
Step 3. Move on to the Romanian consonants
For the most part, Romanian consonants have the same sound in Romanian as they do in Spanish and other Romance languages. Also, there are 2 consonants that are exclusive to Romanian: ţ and ş.
- The ş produces a sh sound that resembles this consonant combination in English (for example, the word she or "she").
- The ţ produces a ts sound that resembles the zz in the Italian word "pizza".
- Generally, the letter g sounds like the G at the beginning of Spanish words, but if it precedes the letter e, it sounds like the g in the general English word.
- The letter j always produces a zh sound that resembles the s in some English words, such as pleasure.
- The letters k, q, w and y are foreign and therefore are pronounced as the foreign or imported word would be pronounced in its original language.
- The letter h is silent if it is between the letters c or g and e or i, as in the combinations che, chi, ghe, and ghi.
even though h is silent from time to time, Romanian is mostly a phonetic language. Words are usually spelled exactly as they sound.
Step 4. Memorize groups of letters that together make a unique sound
When found together, some combinations of Romanian letters produce a different sound than the individual letters that make up the group. These sounds are not particularly complicated but you just have to remember that these letters produce a different sound when combined.
- Ce and ci are pronounced with a ch sound similar to that found in Spanish.
- Ge and gi are pronounced similar to the English words gem or gin.
- Che and chi are pronounced with a k sound similar to that of the word "kit."
- Ghe and ghi are pronounced similar to the sound "gue" or "gui" in Spanish.
Method 2 of 3: Have Basic Conversations
Step 1. Greet others by saying "salut" in most situations
The most common way to say "hello" in Romanian is Salut! Also, this word is a common greeting in French and its pronunciation is the same.
A more formal way of saying "hello" is Bună ziua, which literally means "good morning." Notice that the word bună resembles "bueno" in Spanish or bene in Italian
Step 2. Keep asking Ce mai faceţi?. This phrase means "How are you?" in Romanian. It is a more formal version to use when speaking with people who are older than you or who are in a position of authority. In more informal situations, would you ask Ce mai faci?.
In case the other person asks you first, you could answer mulțumesc, bine, which means "fine, thank you." 
Step 3. Introduce yourself using the phrase numele meu e
Once you've generally greeted each other, you could say numele meu e, which means "my name is," and then say your name.
- In case you are talking to someone who is older than you or who is in a position of authority, should you say Cum vă numiți?, which is the formal way of asking someone what their name is.
- You can also introduce yourself using the phrase mă numesc and then say your name.
if someone introduces himself to you in Romanian, you could reply încântat, which essentially means "delighted". You may notice a similarity between this word and the word in Spanish.
Step 4. Incorporate polite words and phrases to watch your manners
By nature, native speakers will be friendlier and more patient with you if you are courteous. You should always say vă rog ("please") and mulțumesc ("thank you") when asking questions or engaging in conversation. Here are some other polite words and phrases you may need:
- Pardon! ("sorry", "excuse me", also used to get someone's attention)
- Mersi ("thank you", pronounced just like merci in French)
- Cu plăcere ("you're welcome" or "a pleasure", an answer to "thank you")
- Scuzați-mă! ("sorry")
Step 5. Explain how well you understand Romanian
Native speakers may quickly start talking to you in Romanian once you have a basic conversation, especially if you are in Romania. If you want to keep practicing, you could encourage them to speak to you in Romanian, although you should still be able to tell them when you don't understand what they are saying.
- Nu înțeleg means "I don't understand". Nu in Romanian is "no" (da means "yes"), so this sentence has a construction similar to Spanish.
- In case you have difficulty understanding the person, could you say poți să repeți, I beg you?, which means "please repeat it", or poți să vorbești mai rar?, which means "please speak slower".
- You could also say nu vorbesc bine românește, which means "I don't speak Romanian well."
- In case you don't consider that you will be able to continue communicating in Romanian, can you always say vorbiți engleza?, which means "do you speak English?"
Step 6. Bow if you're ready for everyone to go their own way
The revedere is a somewhat formal but general way of saying goodbye to anyone in Romanian. See how much it is similar to arrivederci in Italian (whose more precise meaning is "see you later").
- Likewise, it is possible to say pa, which is more equivalent to "goodbye."
- In case you are going to see that person again soon, you could say pe curând, which means "see you soon."
Method 3 of 3: Increase Fluency
Step 1. Identify similar words to increase your vocabulary with ease
Because Romanian is a Romance language, it has many things in common with other Romance languages. Romanian vocabulary is 77% similar to Italian and 71% similar to Spanish. Therefore, you probably already know quite a few words and phrases in Romanian.
- For example, in Romanian, "city" is said to be cetate. Compare it to the words "ciudad" in Spanish, "city" in English, "cité" in French, "città" in Italian and "cidade" in Portuguese.
- Between English and all Romance languages there are thousands of similar words if you look at combinatorial forms (words that end in a suffix, such as "tion", "entity" or "able"). For example, words that end in "tion" in Spanish are similar to words that end in tune in Romanian. By learning these ways, you can add thousands of words to your vocabulary.
Step 2. Listen to Romanian music
The rhythm and repetition of the music make this an easy way to learn simple phrases in a language. In most streaming services you can find Romanian music, as well as YouTube videos.
Also, here you can find a list of Romanian radio stations that are continuously downloaded online for free
the song Dragostea Din Tei is a Romanian dance song that was made popular by the viral video "Numa Numa". The song is performed by the Moldovan pop band O-Zone. You can listen to their albums on the main streaming music download services.
Step 3. Watch Romanian movies and TV
Film and television are a great way to listen to native speakers conversing in Romanian. Find free movies and TV shows online that you can watch. Also, you may be able to find Romanian movies in the foreign language section of your favorite streaming video service.
- You probably won't learn a great deal of Romanian just by passively watching a movie or TV show. It may help to start with Spanish subtitles so that you understand what is going on. With time and repetition, you will begin to understand more Romanian words. At this point, you can turn off the subtitles.
- You can also turn on Romanian subtitles to learn more about what spoken words look like when they are written.
Step 4. Download US Peace Corps classes from the Live Lingua Project
The Live Lingua Project makes US government language learning materials available for free online. In the case of Romanian, the project has 4 different Peace Corps packages, including a 126-page e-book on Romanian grammar.
Although the materials are relatively outdated, they can help you better understand the language and how it is structured. There are also exercises and tests that can help you practice what you have learned
Step 5. Read some children's books in Romanian
A great way to learn basic grammar and vocabulary in any language is by reading children's books. There are not many Romanian children's books available online for free, but you can find some for sale at major retailers (eg Amazon).
- At Project Gutenberg, you can find a few e-books in Romanian that you can download for free.
- After acquiring a little more reading skills, you could try reading Romanian newspapers. Here you can find a list of Romanian newspapers available online.
Step 6. Practice vocabulary with word games and crossword puzzles
On many websites and smartphone apps you can find flashcards and other word games that can help you develop and expand your Romanian vocabulary. Crossword puzzles may also help you improve your spelling. Many are available for free, while for others you must purchase a subscription.