When we think about Romanian we automatically think about people living in the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic space that clearly delimits the country’s borders in the 21st century. But this picture is not quite accurate.
The Romanian language has 4 dialects: Daco-Romanian, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian and Istro-Romanian. Of these 4, only the Daco-Romanian dialect is used north of the Danube, i.e. on our country’s territory. Nevertheless, the other three dialects were once part of the Romanian language, even if they are used south of the Danube: the Aromanian dialect is spoken in some communities in Macedonia, Greece, Southern Albania and Bulgaria; Megleno-Romanian in Northern Greece and Southern Bulgaria; the Istro-Romanian dialect in the Istrian Peninsula, north of the Adriatic Sea. Even if these dialects are only used in limited areas, the geographic coverage is certainly large.
The Aromanian dialect is the oldest and is quite similar to the Daco-Romanian dialect (e.g. mintea veadi, ocli nu ved = mintea vede, ochii nu văd or katra creapi, s-omlu nu creapi = piatra crapă și omul nu crapă).
Over time, the Megleno-Romanian dialect felt the powerful influence of the Bulgarian language and its speakers were called Vlachs. Nevertheless, the similarity between the language spoken by the Vlachs and Romanian is obvious: Capu faţi, capu trazi = Capul face, capul trage or Pera sup per cadi = Para sub păr cade.
The Istro-Romanian dialect is used by the smallest number of people and is currently on the brink of extinction together with its last speakers. It also has obvious similarities with the Daco-Romanian dialect: Nu-ţ pure nâsa iuve nu-ţ cuhe ola = Nu-ţi băga nasul unde nu-ţi fierbe oala.
When we travel through Europe and hear broken Romanian, we should become aware that we have something in common with these people living at a considerable distance from us.