Meglenitic, Meglinitic, Moglenitic
Native toGreece, North Macedonia, Romania, Turkey,[1] Serbia
Native speakers
5,000 (2002)[2]
Early forms
Language codes
ISO 639-3ruq
The extent of Megleno-Romanian (in purple) and Aromanian (in gold)
Romanian schools for Aromanians and Megleno-Romanians in the Ottoman Empire (1886)

Megleno-Romanian (known as vlăhește by its speakers, and Megleno-Romanian or Meglenitic and sometimes Moglenitic or Meglinitic by linguists) is an Eastern Romance language, similar to Aromanian.[5] It is spoken by the Megleno-Romanians in a few villages in the Moglena region that spans the border between the Greek region of Macedonia and North Macedonia. It is also spoken by emigrants from these villages and their descendants in Romania, in Turkey by a small Muslim group, and in Serbia. It is considered an endangered language.


Megleno-Romanian is a member of the family of Romance languages. More specifically, it is an Eastern Romance language, a language formed after the retreat of the Roman Empire from the Balkans. Due to the fact that it is spoken by very few people and because of its similarities with the Aromanian, modern Romanian and Istro-Romanian languages, some linguists consider it to be an intermediary between Romanian and Aromanian, often being considered either a dialect of Romanian, a dialect of Aromanian, or an independent language. It is closer to standard Romanian than the Aromanian language, suggesting that it split from Common Romanian later than Aromanian. Megleno-Romanian has been strongly influenced by the neighbouring South Slavic varieties.


The term Megleno-Romanian has been used by linguists (mainly Romanian), who noticed the similarity to the Romanian language. The Megleno-Romanians identify themselves as Vlahi (see Etymology of Vlach for more on this term).[citation needed]

Geographical distribution

Megleno-Romanian is spoken in several villages in the Pella and Kilkis regional units of Macedonia, Greece, as well as in a handful of villages across the border in North Macedonia. In one village, Huma, the language is still spoken by most inhabitants. Some people of Megleno-Romanian origin who live in the cities of Gevgelija and Skopje have preserved their native language. After World War I, some Megleno-Romanians moved to Romania, in Southern Dobruja, but were moved to the village of Cerna in Tulcea County (Northern Dobruja) after the population exchange between Bulgaria and Romania. In Cerna, about 1,200 people continue to speak Megleno-Romanian. In 1940, about 30 families moved from Cerna to the Banat region of Romania in the villages of Variaș, Biled and Jimbolia. Some speakers who identified as Muslim, from the village of Nânti (Nótia), were moved to Turkey from Greece as part of the population exchange between them of the 1920s. Some also live in Serbia, specially in the village of Gudurica.



Labial Dental/
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ
Stop voiceless p t c k
voiced b d ɟ ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡s t͡ʃ
voiced d͡z d͡ʒ
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ ç (h)
voiced v z ʒ
Trill r
Approximant lateral l ʎ
central j w


Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-mid e ə o
Open-mid ɛ ɔ ɔː
Open a

Megleno-Romanian has some unique phonetic characteristics, not found in the other Eastern Romance languages:

  1. long vowels: ā, ē, ī, ǭ, ō, ū
  2. ă, â → o, a: câmp → comp (field), mânc → mānanc (I eat)
  3. unstressed initial a disappears: eram → ram (I was), aveam → veam (We had ), aduc → duc (I bring)


Megleno-Romanian inscription (Ceshma ămpiratului, "the Emperor's Fountain") on a water fountain along the way to Huma, a village in North Macedonia

Much of the vocabulary is of Latin origin and much of its phonetics and semantics is shared with Aromanian and Romanian: (n.b.: MR=Megleno-Romanian, DR=Daco-Romanian, i.e. Romanian)

Megleno-Romanian also contains some words that have cognates with Albanian. These words are present in Daco-Romanian too:

There are also some words which are of Slavic origin and which can be found in all the Eastern Romance languages:

There are a number of Byzantine and Modern Greek words, several dozens of which are also found in Daco-Romanian (Romanian language) and Aromanian and about 80 words that were borrowed via Macedonian and Bulgarian languages and other languages of the Balkans. Prior to the creation of the modern state of Greece, Megleno-Romanian borrowed very few words directly from Greek.

The most important influence on Megleno-Romanian was the East South Slavic languages, this influence being more profound than that exerted by Greek on Aromanian. Most Slavic terms are of Macedonian and Bulgarian origins. The linguist Theodor Capidan argued that the words borrowed show some phonetic features of the Bulgarian language dialect spoken in the Rhodope Mountains. There are many instances where basic words of Latin origin that can still be found in Daco-Romanian and Aromanian were replaced by Slavic words. In some cases, standard Romanian also independently borrowed the same word.

See also


  1. ^ a b The internal classification of the Eastern Romance languages presented in Petrucci (1999) proposes a bipartite split into Northern and Southern branches, with the Southern branch splitting into Megleno-Romanian and Aromanian.[3] By contrast, the classification presented within Glottolog v4.8 proposes a bipartite split between Aromanian and Northern Romanian, the latter of which is further split into Istro-Romanian and Eastern Romanian, from which Daco-Romanian and Megleno-Romanian are hypothesized to have split from.[4]


  1. ^ a b Ethnologue entry
  2. ^ Megleno-Romanian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  3. ^ Petrucci 1999, p. 4.
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian (2023-07-10). "Glottolog 4.8 - Eastern Romance". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. doi:10.5281/zenodo.7398962. Retrieved 2023-11-20.
  5. ^ Romanian language – Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  6. ^ Narumov, B. P. (2001). Мегленорумынский язык / Диалект. Романские языки. pp. 671–681.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ Atanasov, Petar (2002). Meglenoromâna astăzi. Bucharest: Romanian Academy.

Further reading

  • Capidan, Theodor, Meglenoromânii
    • vol. I: Istoria și graiul lor [Their history and speech], București, Cultura Națională, 1925;
    • vol. II: Literatura populară la meglenoromâni [Popular literature of the Megleno-Romanians], București, Cultura Națională / Academia Română, Studii și Cercetări VII, 1928;
    • vol. III: Dicționar meglenoromân [Megleno-Romanian dictionary], București, Cultura Națională / Academia Română, Studii și Cercetări XXV, 1935
  • Petrucci, Peter R. (1999). Slavic Features in the History of Rumanian. München: LINCOM Europa. ISBN 38-9586-599-0.