Sooner or later in Romania you’re going to hear (or read) the word mă (pronounced muh as in “mug” without the g sound). What does it mean?
It’s a little confusing because “ma” is a normal pronoun referring to something that is “mine” or about “me”, for example saruta-ma means “kiss me”.
But mă is something different and doesn’t exist in any dictionary. If you ask a Romanian they’ll just shrug their shoulders and say, “hai mă, de unde am sa sti?” and then you’re more confused then ever.
Luckily, I’m here to explain it for you. Imagine if you will, a small town, perhaps say in rural Kentucky, the population of which is largely white (Caucasian). In this town there is a young man, perhaps aged 16-25, who likes to wear baseball caps backwards and listen to Eminem and is, in crude terms, a wigger.
Now imagine this hypothetical kid speaking and using the word “yo”. As in, “I’m at my crib, yo!” or “Check out my ride, yo!”. Got it? All those uses of the word “yo” are exactly the same as Romanian mă. It’s sort of a placeholder and doesn’t really mean anything.
Unlike our hypothetical wigger friend though, mă doesn’t imply a lack of education or wanting to be black or anything of that sort. It’s just an extra word Romanians use when speaking but doesn’t really have any real meaning. Let’s translate a conversation just so you get the idea:
|You||Omule, ce inseamna cuvantul aia “mă”?||Hey bro, what does the word “mă” mean?|
|Friend||Hai mă, de unde am sa sti cum sa-l traduc mă?||Come on yo, how am I supposed to know how to translate that, yo?|
See? NOW YOU KNOW TOO, YO!