Why I Am Learning Romanian

Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve loved languages. I checked various foreign language dictionaries out of the local library, got language learning tapes for Christmas, and even tried my hand a few times as constructing languages (before I knew that’s a hobby other people share). By college I had taken up learning Esperanto, aside from the Koine Greek that was part of my education for Christian ministry. While in college I began going on mission trips to Brazil, and a year after graduating I moved to Brazil and got married. By then my Portuguese was pretty good, as my two serious romantic relationships as an adult had been with Brazilian women who initially spoke no English. I’ve now been learning and speaking Portuguese for over 19 years. Now, I want to learn Romanian, and here’s why.

First, I learned Portuguese because I was going to do mission work in Brazil, and because I married a Brazilian. Now that I have no intention of even living in Brazil again, and since my marriage is ending, I want to start a new chapter of my life. Romanian is part of that…and no I do not have a Romanian girlfriend! Although that would be a welcome possibility, this is more about me trying something new.

Second, the backbone of Romanian is Latin, just as it is for French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Since I already know Portuguese very well, Romanian seems like far less a leap than other languages. It’s also the less-studied Romance Language, which makes it more appealing to me.

Third, I’ve long wanted to get to know Eastern Europe, and Romania is a gorgeous country to focus on. From totally modern cities to villages little changed since the Middle Ages, this country offers castles, farms, villages, and major metropolitan amenities. Pretty much every interest I have can be engaged in there.

Although I considered learning a conlang like Klingon or Dothraki, or even dusting off my Esperanto, learning a living, natural language with its own culture and country made more sense to me. Though I’m still at the beginner level, I’m progressing well and have no desire to try something else.