Aromanian is an Eastern Romance language spoken in Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia by about 300,000 people. Aromanian is closely related to Romanian, though contains more vocabulary of Greek origin, while Romanian has absorbed a lot of vocabulary from Slavic languages and Hungarian.
The Aromanians are known by different names, including Vlasi (Macedonian and Serbian), Vlahi (Greek), Ulahlar (Turkish), Vllehë or Çobani (Albanian), Vlachs (English), Wlachen or Walachen (German) and Valaques (French). All of these words come from the Greek Βλάχοι (vlahoi - shepherds). The Serbs call the Aromanians Tsintsari, and they are known as Macedo-Romãni by the Romanians. They call themselves Armãnji, and their language armãneashti or limbã armãneascã.
The earliest known examples of written Aromanian are manuscripts of the Patriarch Fotius dating from around 860-870 AD, and manuscripts written by St. Naum of Ohrid at about the same time. During the late 18th century many books in Aromanian were published, all written in the Greek alphabet. Unfortunately many of the early works in Aromanian were burnt during wars between 1750-1788.
The first person to publish material in Aromanian in the Latin alphabet was probably Dr. Ioryi Constantin Roja at the beginning of the 19th century. During the 1980s a new Aromanian spelling system began to emerge and has been adopted in most countries where Aromanian is spoken, with the exception of Greece and Romania, where the old spelling systems are still used. The new system, which eliminates all the accented letters, with the exception of ã, was proposed by four Aromanian writers and first published in 1985.
Aromanian has some official status in the Republic of Macedonia and is taught in some primary schools there as an optional subject. Aromanian speakers in Macedonia have the right to use Aromanian in court, and since 2006 Aromanian has been the second official language (after Macedonian) in the city of Kruševo (Crushuva).
Aromanian dialects include Cipan, Vargarean, Sarbean, Farsilotu, Gramustean and Pindean.
Tuti iatsãli umineshtsã s-fac liberi shi egali la nãmuzea shi-ndrepturli. Eali suntu hãrziti cu fichiri shi sinidisi shi lipseashti un cu alantu sh-si poartã tu duhlu-a frãtsãljiljei.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about the Aromanian language and people
Aromanian - English dictionary
Online Aromanian radio
Aromanian Vlachs: The Vanishing Tribes
Videos in and about the Aromanians
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