Few people know that Romanians started to use the Latin alphabet only after 1860, when it was officially adopted during Alexandru Ioan Cuza’s rule and it was used in parallel with the Cyrillic alphabet for quite a long time, in order to be assimilated by scholars and writers.
Before this period, the Cyrillic alphabet had been used by Romanians for almost nine centuries. It was created by two brothers, Cyril and Methodius (supposedly Romanians from Macedonia), based on an older variant of the Greek alphabet. For almost 900 years, the Cyrillic alphabet was the language in which religious and administrative texts were written. The Latin alphabet was officially used again only after the public recognition of the origin of the Romanian language and people, a movement that took place in mid-19th century.
However, the Cyrillic alphabet still stirs up the passion of a lot of people who want to read the first writings in Romanian in the original alphabet: The letter of Neacșu of Câmpulung (1521), Anton Pann’s writings or the religious texts of the time. In fact, Cyril and Methodius are celebrated in the orthodox calendar, for their contribution to Christianity, on May 11. Moreover, people living in Bucharest can decipher writings in the alphabet that they created in the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius located on Mărăști Boulevard, on the Agronomie campus.
For those who fancy linguistic exercises, this is the Cyrillic alphabet:
Make an effort and try to translate: