Doing business in Romania
Romania has joined the EU in 2007 and expects an influx of labour in 2014, therefore, it might be a good idea to cover some tips of doing business in Romania in case you have a business opportunity in that country…
Romanian is the official language, but according to Ethnologue.com there are as many as fifteen languages currently in use. There is also a view that Moldavian and Romanian are actually dialects of one language, and due to their many similarities Moldovian and Romanian languages are mutually intelligible.
Romanian language is based on Latin, and it is a linguistic cousin of Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese as all five languages belong to the same language family. For historical reasons French was the most widely spoken foreign language for decades; it now sits at the 5th place in the top 10 most spoken languages list. However, as many young Romanians study English or even attend English speaking universities English is now the most common second language.
With regards to business meetings, an interpreter will be required in most cases unless you are absolutely certain that you and your Romanian counterparts are fluent in a common language. An interpreter can be invaluable during discussions about complex technical aspects of the product or during the contract negotiations – a translated contract could be super helpful too. It is also advised that all marketing materials and technical documents are translated into Romanian in order to avoid any misunderstandings.
It is worth noting that Romanians tend to be very punctual, therefore, make sure to be on time for your meetings. Business lunches usually last two hours and often involve consuming alcohol. The greetings protocol involves shaking hands many times. You will shake hands when you are introduced, shake hands when leaving and every time you meet. No matter how many times in a day you run into your Romanian counterpart, you should shake hands every time. Also, once the connection is established it is usually expected to last for years to come, but the initial negotiation process might take very long time.
It’s also important to know that only very close friends and relatives call address each other by their first names. Therefore, it is expected to address Romanian professionals by their title and their last name.
Hopefully these few tips will be of help in your overseas business ventures; and, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you ever require Romanian translation or interpreting services.