Until Communism fell in Romania, many people had forgotten about Romania. When we moved there, we moved to Transylvania, one of the states of Romania. My son went to school and told everyone we were moving to Transylvania, and they laughed at him. They thought he was joking. They thought Transylvania didn’t really exist and that it was a legendary place. When I learned to speak Romanian, there were no books to learn it. I searched everywhere, and they just didn’t exist. The best thing I could find was a book put out by the U. S. government about Romanian that really didn’t do a good job at all. I am known for learning obscure languages, and that was about as obscure as you could get. However, I learned to speak and so did all my kids, and it has been a big benefit to all of them. It was the right language for them to learn for their future.
My oldest son didn’t like to study language. He was extremely smart and made A’s in everything. However, he just didn’t want to take Romanian lessons even though we lived in Romania. He said he thought people who studied language were crazy. However, when I was sick and couldn’t translated, he became my substitute translator. He learned to speak Romanian by playing with the other kids, and it just naturally happened for him. When he took his college entrance exam, he got a high enough score to get a scholarship, and then he went on and got a scholarship to law school and became a D. A. I am the language expert, and I know why besides the fact that he was already very bright.
Learning Romanian made his English vocabulary really jump! The more complicated words that we use in English in Science, in Law, in Medicine, etc. come from either Greek or Latin. Romanian just happens to be a combination of Greek and Latin. There was a time that they taught Latin in American schools to enhance the students’ vocabularies. Yes, my son also read one book right after another in English. He read all the books from my B. A. and Masters and all the books from his dad’s B. A. and masters before he finished high school. His vocabulary was off the charts!
If you have ever struggled with a word in English not really understanding why it is spelled in a certain way and never remembering the spelling, it is because English is a combination of languages. The early people who spoke English just took a word from another language, added it to their existing vocabularies, and pronounced it any way they wanted. I never could remember how to spell the word “pneumonia” because if we spell it the way we say it, it would be more like “newmoania.” Why on earth would it have a “p” at the beginning? Well, the Romanians has the very same word and they pronounce every letter, even that silly “p.” I finally learned to spell pneumonia in Romania without a bit of problem. Learning to speak Romanian helps English spelling.
My oldest daughter also learned to speak Romanian from playing with her friends. When she spoke Romanian, she sounded just like a Romanian girl her age. When we came back to the States, she was in high school. She got into Spanish at the high school. Every kid in that class wanted to be her conversation partner because she was the only one in the class who could actually speak Spanish because it was so similar to Romanian. She received a national award for Spanish inducting her into the National Honor Roll for Spanish. Her teacher told her that no one earns that in their first year of Spanish, but my daughter did. She also went on to the university and to law school, and she ended up as a lawyer in the NCIS, and she has been working with the Secretary of the Navy in Washington D. C. because she is a very valuable person. Romanian made her vocabulary astounding! It helped her make sense of those law books.
My second son had troubles. He is dyslexic. The eye doctor said he should never have learned to read, and many dyslexic kids never learn to read. However, they don’t have me as a mother. I insisted, and he learned to read before the doctor diagnosed him. He was small in Romania. I put him in a Romanian kindergarten with them saying they would teach him to speak Romanian. He played with Romanian children. He didn’t understand grammar at all. He spoke Romanian, but like a cave man, but he spoke. However, when we came back to the States, he was in middle school, and he took a Spanish class. He also learned to speak Spanish in his first year in Spanish. He loved Spanish because it was like Romanian. In Spanish 2, his teacher was from a Spanish speaking country, and he was thrilled with him! In his Spanish 2 class, he was the only student in the class who could speak Spanish. How man dyslexic kids learn to read and to speak 2 foreign languages? When he went away to college, he was really thinking about majoring in Spanish, but also loved Math. He ended up as a Math teacher. Every time he came home for a long time, he wanted to get the Spanish Bible out and read it and discuss it with me. Think about the famous people you have heard about with dyslexia. Remember Henry Winkler, the Fonz? He is dyslexic, so never learned never to read and also never learned a foreign language either. Tom Cruise, the guy from Mission Impossible, is dyslexic. He never learned to read in English or speak a foreign language. These guys went into acting because they couldn’t do other things, but how many dyslexic people get the opportunities they got? Romanian and a pushy mother gave my dyslexic son opportunities other dyslexic kids don’t get. My son had a choice. His dyslexia didn’t hold him back, and learning to speak Romanian while he was small opened the door to Spanish for him.
Can you see the pattern? Learning Romanian enhanced their English to make them stand out. My youngest daughter is doing the same thing. She is a college student right now, but she is also a full time teacher. Each one of my kids speak three languages each, and learning Romanian began them.
My English vocabulary also jumped when I learned to speak Romanian, and I was already an English professor which means I didn’t have a small vocabulary to start with. I kept thinking after learning Romanian that I would like to go back and take my GRE, my test to get into graduate school again because I was sure I would ace it after everything I learned in Romania.
If you have ever sat and talked to a Romanian who speaks English, they sound downright intelligent when they speak English. However, if you quiz them on the small words in English, they may not know them. When they learn to speak English, they just modify Romanian words to have English pronunciation, so they are using our more complicated words when they speak English, but to them, they are just modifications of Romanian words. The Romanians I know who have gone to the States have had no trouble getting jobs because they sound intelligent when they speak English.
Besides Romanian enhancing an English speaker’s vocabulary so much, teaching English speakers to spell words that were hard for them to spell before, and helping them learn other Latin languages, there are more reasons to learn to speak Romanian. Outside of the Orient, Romania has the fastest growing economy. They are really up and coming. When I was there, it was right after the revolution, and Communism had made them poor, but they aren’t poor any more. They are out there using their language abilities and doing business. They are making their economy in their country grow. If you want to make money, now is the time to do business with Romania. There was a time that everyone said that Brazil was the next up and coming nation, but in just a few short years out of Communism, Romania has taken their place. Romanians are go getters, and they are going to go get theirs. If you learn to speak Romanian, you can get on the gravy train they are creating.
Yes, I am known for learning obscure languages. When I learned to speak Japanese, everyone thought I was crazy, but it has gotten me jobs. When I learned to speak Romanian, people hardly knew Romania existed. However, Romanians are making their mark on the world now. My dad learned to speak Arabic when no one needed it, but in the last few years, if I had learned it as well as he did, it would have given me a great job. My daughter has been through language school in Korea. She is level 6 in Korean, and foreigners just don’t hardly get that far in Korean. When she finished her degree, because she is an American who is so good at Korean, she will be able to get a job that would pay her 100,000 dollars a year. Romanian is much easier to learn than Korean. Some people may feel that Korean is an obscure language because Korea is so small and so few people learn to speak it, but if my daughter decides to go for that job, it won’t matter how obscure it is. Her first foreign language was Romanian, and it is easier than Korean, and it helped her understand language and grammar. You may think Romanian is an obscure language, but it is a very helpful language in many ways. It was just the right language for my kids to learn to speak because it gave them all good futures.