Romanian is the official language. As a Romance language derived from the Latin spoken in the Eastern Roman Empire, Latin word elements make up 85% to 90% of the modern Romanian vocabulary. In the 2,000 years of its development, the language was also influenced by contacts with Slavonic, Albanian, Hungarian, Greek, and Turkish. Of the loanwords, Slavonic elements are the most numerous. Earliest Romanian written texts still extant date from the 16th century. In addition to letters of the English alphabet, Romanian has the letters a˘, î, â, s¸, and t¸. Hungarian and German are spoken by a large percentage of the inhabitants of Transylvania.
Under the new government, as under the Communist regime, ethnic Hungarians have vainly sought the full restoration of secondary and university teaching in their language. They also criticize the failure of the new constitution to guarantee the use of minority languages in court.