Indeed, more often than not the "experts" featured in Protochronist publications, shows, and documentaries are professionals in medicine, engineering, mathematics, and other fields that are completely unrelated to the study of Romanian history.
Professional historians, on the other hand, take a dim view of Protochronism.
Like the taxi driver chattering away pleasantly as he circumnavigates the city, whose impressive English suddenly vanishes when you ask for your change.
Alina has asked me what phrases would be useful to me. •The Weekly Telegraph welcomes contributions to the Expat pages but does not pay for articles.
Because I have learnt a little from living here but haven't had any formal tuition, I have a vocabulary that is far ahead of my grammar. So far, I have translated "Two Frenchmen have been arrested for theft" as "Frenchmen (in general) are thieves"; "The adventure novels are in the library" as "The adulterous Romanians are in the library" and (with Mc Carthyist overtones) "Did you go to a party?
" became "Were you a member of the Communist Party?
Alina spends longer preparing my lesson than she does teaching me.
I consider myself well prepared if I have read the chapter five minutes prior to the lesson. And so, partly humbled by my comparative uselessness as a teacher and partly thankful for being born in a country that gave the world its dominant language, I started my course.
I might not be able to ascertain the best way to the station, but I'll certainly be able to hold my own linguistically in the jungle.
Vasile says he has noticed an improvement since I started lessons, particularly in that I'm more confident. One reason I want to learn is to be less vulnerable to the shysters who prey on foreigners.
Like most pseudosciences, Protochronism does this by presenting the reader or viewer with a large quantity of half-truths, cherry-picked quotes, non sequiturs, misrepresentations of others' views, and outright falsehoods — an avalanche of arguments which the non-savvy might mistake for proofs.
Like feel-good pseudosciences in general, Protochronism is very popular among laymen, but not among specialists in the relevant fields.
Most bright, young Romanians realise quickly that their career opportunities are limited if they are not bilingual - almost everyone with whom I had contact was fluent and keen to practise their English with a native speaker.