Romanian Pronunciation Guide

By Dick Oakes


A a, Ă ă, Â â, B b, C c, D d, E e, F f, G g,
H h, I i, Î î, J j, K k, L l, M m, N n, O o, P p,
R r, S s, Ş ş, T t, Ţ ţ, U u, V v,
X x, Z z


The Romanian (Român) language is quite phonetic and uses accents on some vowels and on some consonants. It is a Romance language spoken by about 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova.

Letters not listed below are pronounced approximately as in English.


A, a  - a as in father
Ă, ă  - a as in around
Â, â  - i as in girl (see Î)
E, e  - e as in let
I, i  - i as in machine
Î, î  - i as in girl
O, o  - o as in note; also o as in gone
U, u  - u as in duke
 
C, c  - c as in cello (ch) when before E or I, otherwise c as in cat
Ch, ch  - ch as in chaos (k)
G, g  - g as in germ (j) when before E or I, otherwise g as in go
Gh, gh  - gh as in ghost (g)
J, j  - z as in azure (zh)
Ş, ş  - s as in sugar
Ţ, ţ  - tz as in quartz (ts)
 
DIPTHONGS AND TRIPTHONGS:
 
The Romanian language has many dipthongs (and tripthongs), which are pronounced separately but in rapid succession. The weaker vowel almost becomes semiconsonantal. Examples are:
 
ai  - ai as in kaiser
au  - au as in sauerkraut
ău  - a as in about combined with u as in flute
ea  - ea as in bread
ei  - ei as in seine
eu  - eu as in feud
ia  - ya as in yacht
ie  - ye as in yes
io  - yo as in yoke
iu  - yu as in yule
îi  - i as in hike
îu  - similar to eu in feud
oa  - wa as in wash
oi  - oi as in spheroid
ou  - ou as in dough
  - wu as in wuther
eai  - yi as in yikes
eau  - yow as in yowl
ieu  - ieu as in lieu
 
The letter i at the end of a word is silent unless preceded by another letter i.
 
COMBINATIONS:
 
Ci, ci  - chi as in chief
Ce, ce  - che as in chess
Chi, chi  - chi as in Chianti
Ghe, ghe  - ghe as in ghetto
Ghi, ghi  - gee as in geese
Ge, ge  - ge as in genesis
Gi, gi  - gi as in giraff
 
NOTE:
 
 The -ul ending, pronounced "-oo" (colloquial) or "-ool" (more formal usage) is a form of the Romanian definite article, the equivalent of the english "the;" hence alunelu = "hazelnut," alunelul = "the hazelnut."


Copyright © 2014 by Dick Oakes