The mysterious connection between Romanian and Irish langauges

Marius Marosan is an interpreter and representative of the Romanian community in Ireland. As someone who deals with words for a living, he has stumbled across an unexplained connection between a number of Romanian words and their equivalent as Gaeilge. I interviewed Marius as part of my Coimisiún na Meán-funded TV series “Home Thoughts From Abroad”, and was fascinated by what he had to say on the topic.

Cáis, as all those who know even a little bit of Irish will probably recall, is the word for cheese. If you go to Maramureș, the Romanian region from which Marius hails, you’ll find a cheese there with the exact same name. Similarly, the word for up – suas – is the same in both languages.

Perhaps the secret of these and other identical words, lie in the DNA of 5,000-year-old bones dug up near Belfast in the mid 1800s. They are found to originate in Eastern Europe. It’s possible, then, words carried by Bronze-age settlers from the far side of Europe, have been retained in the Irish language.

Home Thoughts From Abroad looks at the eight most populous non-Irish national and non-English-speaking communities in the country – Brazil, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Spain and Ukraine. Follow me here, or on social media (@DeclanCreative) to keep up with this and other projects.