Today the Romanian language is spoken primarily in the eastern European countries of Romania and Moldova, where it holds official language status. An estimated 22 million people in Romania claim Daco-Romanian as their native language. There are an estimated 24 to 28 million Romanian speakers throughout the world, when including all four dialects of the Romanian language.

There are four primary dialects in the Romanian language: Daco-Romanian, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian, and Istro-Romanian. Aromanian, also known as Macedo-Romanian, is spoken in communities throughout Bulgaria, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania, and Greece. Both nearly extinct dialects, Megleno-Romanian is spoken in areas of northern Greece, while Istro-Romanian is spoken exclusively on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula.

Spoken throughout Romania and Moldova, Daco-Romanian, also known as Romanian proper, is the primary dialect that serves as the basis for the standard Romanian language.

These four primary dialects are not easily mutually intelligible; an Aromanian speaker would have difficulty understanding an Istro-Romanian speaker, for example. The dialects are so different, in fact, that some linguists classify Megleno-Romanian, Istro-Romanian, and Aromanian as distinct languages totally separate from the standard Daco-Romanian.

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