Romanian (dated Rumanian or Roumanian; autonym: limba română [ˈlimba roˈmɨnə], “the Romanian language”, or românește, lit. “in Romanian”) is a Balkan Romance language spoken by approximately 24–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania and Moldova, and by another 4 million people as a second language. It is an official and national language of each of Romania and Moldova. In addition, it is also one of the official languages of the European Union.
Romanian is a part of the Eastern Romance sub-branch of Romance languages, a linguistic group that evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin, which was separated from the Western Romance during the 5th–8th centuries. To distinguish it within that group in comparative linguistics it is called Daco-Romanian as opposed to its closest relatives, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian, and Istro-Romanian. Romanian is also known as Moldovan in Moldova, although the Constitutional Court of Moldova ruled in 2013 that “the official language of the republic is Romanian”.