ПѪЙNѢ - old Romanian writing?

Discussion in 'Română (Romanian)' started by Joaog, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. Joaog New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Can someone tell me in which language is the word in the image?
    The word seems to have a mix of Latin and Cyrillic alphabet but the second letter is foreign to me.
    It should say "bread".


    Attached Files:

  2. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    I am not sure, but I can make a guess.

    It seems that the word is the Romanian word "pâinea", meaning "the bread", written in the Cyrillic alphabet. The Romanians used a Cyrillic alphabet at one point and from what I gather, there was a transition period when they used a mixture of Latin and Cyrillic letters before fully adopting a Latin alphabet. Based on what I've read, the big yus (the second letter), was used to represent the close central unrounded vowel, while the yat (the last letter) was used to represent the sequence "ea". I don't know if the mixture of Latin and Cyrillic letters used at any one point allowed for the particular combination of Latin and Cyrillic letters that can be seen in your picture, but it is possible that it did.

    Alternatively, it may be another language (or dialect) related to Romanian or it may be a mistake. I hope this helps, anyway.
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
  4. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    I moved the thread into the Romanian forum since most likely it's old Romanian writing. Also I changed the title to the actual word, in keeping with the WR dictionary pages.

  5. luigi_ New Member

    Magyar - Hungary
    Is there an old (18th, early 19th centuiry) Romanian vocabulary on the net? Where i can search for worlds like the above?
  6. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    For one or two words translations you could use the tables from here to convert the corresponding Cyrillic letters in the Latin alfabet then use dexonline.ro to learn the meaning using some of the older dictionaries listed there.
  7. luigi_ New Member

    Magyar - Hungary
    Thanks - what I would like to find out whether there's an actual dictionary or a list at least of words like the above (I'm familiar with most Cyrillic letters).
    Romanian language is really interesting, I knew it had Latin words which don't even exist today in any other Romance language yet I'm surprised how similar this word is to French 'pain'.
    Unfortunately there aren't too many sources from before the transition to Latin alphabet. I'm really curious which words had existed in Old Romanian (I know some Latin words were picked up later but I don't mean those).
  8. irinet

    irinet Senior Member

    You may search for Codeces or old Inscriptions. Thus, you may find more about the alphabets preceding the Latin one, and about such old writings as "The Dobrudjan Inscription" from 943 or for "The Bucov Inscription" around the XIth century.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  9. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    Not sure I follow: are you looking for old Romanian words or the spelling of Romanian words with Latin and/or Cyrillic letters? Regular contributors to the History of Languages forum might be able to help you more in your research.

    The language itself did not change as a result of switching from Latin to Cyrillic and then back to Latin alphabet:

    "(...) Dimitrie Cantemir (a Moldavian ruler from the 18th century) wrote in his encyclopedic work "Descriptio Moldaviae" (latin for "A description of Moldavia") that until 1439 the Latin alphabet was used in Moldavia. The oldest written text in Romanian with a Cyrillic alphabet dates to 1521 (The letter of Neacșu from Câmpulung to Hans Benker). Out of the 190 words used in it, 175 have a Latin origin, even though they are written in Cyrillic." - fixed spelling and capitalization which may cast a shadow of doubt on the source ;)

    I think it's worth reading the quoted text in its entirety because it presents an interesting and plausible hypothesis explaining why these changes have occurred.


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