A Few Useful Phrases

Over the years, I’ve met a few poor bastards who were trying to learn the Romanian language. Most of these people were ethnic Hungarians and so have a genuine need-to-know so they can operate and live in this country.

The rest? Poor saps who fell in love with a Romanian person, usually Foreign Guy meets Beautiful Can’t Live Without Her Romanian Girl. Sigh. I guess I’ve also met a few chipper missionaries and do-gooders (this country is crawling with foreign do-gooders) and the like.

Learning to actually speak Romanian as in hold a lengthy conversation in it is a task for the criminally insane or the institutionally bored and will use every “spare” neuron you’ve got in your brain. The truly easiest route (and you think I’m kidding) is to first learn Serbian and Italian fluently and then Romanian will be a snap.

If, on the other hand, you absolutely insist on learning a few phrases, either to impress your Romanian love or colleague or newly-minted Baptist buddy or gracious host in the run-down mud village wherein you’re fixing their well, here are a few useful phrases.

For Lovers

English Romanian Pronunciation
Come on (as in the beginning of a sentence) hai hi
Kiss me Saruta-ma sah-ROOT-ah-mah
I love you Te iubesc tey you-BESK
You’re beautiful (fem) Esti frumoasa yesht froo-MWAH-sah
Shut up Taci din gura tah-ch deen goo-rah
Darling Draga drah-gah
Baby Iubi you-bee
No, your ass doesn’t look fat in those jeans Ba nu, fundul tau arata foarte bine in blugiile astale bah new, foond-ool tau arata FWART-eh been-eh in blooj-ee-lay ust-ah-le
Your eyes are gorgeous Ma inec in ochii tai ma ee-neck in ack-ee tie
Let me drink in peace! Lasa-ma sa beau linistit! lah-sah-mah sa beow lee-nee-shteet
Your mother-in-law is coming again? Mai o data cu soacra? my oh-dah-tah coo swak-rah
Feel like making whoopee? Ai chef pentru niste jaga jaga? aye kef pen-troo nee-shtay zhaga zhaga

Well that should get you started, eh?

For Tourists

English Romanian Pronunciation
Excuse me, where is the toilet/bathroom? Pardon, unde-i toaleta? par-doan, oon-day tow-ah-letta
One ticket to Cluj, please Un bilet la Cluj, va rog oon bee-let la Cluj, vah-rogue
Check please Imi faceti nota, va rog eem fah-CHETS note-ah vah-rogue
Do you think I’m a fool just because I’m not Romanian? Pentru ca sunt strain, credeti ca sunt prost? pen-true ka soont strah-een, creh-dets ka soont proast
Hey, you screwed me over on the bill here Hai, mi-ati facut o mare tzeapa cu nota asta hi, me-ots fah-coot oh mah-ray tzapa coo note-ah uh-stah
You lied about the price and I’m not going to pay one dime extra Ati mintit despre pretul si nu va dau nici un ban in plus ots meen-tseet deh-spray preh-tsool she new vah dow neetch un bawn in ploose
Thank you, everything was very enjoyable Mersi, a fost o mare placere mer-see, ah fost oh mah-ray plah-chair-eh


For Missionaries

English Romanian Pronunciation
Care to learn about the Pearl of Great Price? Doriti sa afli despre perla de straveche intelepciune? doh-reets sah ah-flee deh-spray pear-lah deh stra-veck-eh intseh-lep-choon-eh
I know you’re already Christian but my brand of Christianity is even better Stiu ca sunteti crestin dar cultul meu e inca mai bun shtee-oo ka soon-tets cresh-teen dar cool-two me-ew eh inca my boon
I came all the way from America just to save your soul! Am venit chiar din America pentru sufletul dumnevoastra! am veh-neat kyar deen America pen-true soo-flet-ool doom-nay-vwastra
Wow, that was fun. Now where is the nearest McDonald’s? Because I’m quite hungry after all that singing. Atat de bine a fost. Si acum, unde-i McDonald’s cel mai aproape? Pentru ca mi-e tare foame dupa atat de multe cantece ah-TOOT de bee-nay ah fost. She a-koom, oon-day McDonald’s chell my ah-prop-eh? Pen-true ka me-eh tah-ray fwom-eh doo-pah ah-tut day mool-tay cunt-eh-chay

Berlitz, it ain’t but it should get you started at least.


6 thoughts on “A Few Useful Phrases

  1. Draga Sam. R, nu este corect sa spui “blugiile astale”, ci “blugii aceştia”. In rest, te descurci minunat, felicitari! Numai bine si succes!


  2. Draga Sam. R., nu este corect sa spui “blugiiile astea”, ci “blugii aceştia”! In rest, te descuri minunat! Numai bine si succes!


  3. What a catastrophe! :-) The way you try to transcribe the phonetics is so entertaining!
    And mostly wrong, so many errors…
    When you start learning Romanian (I mean the right way), it will be very hard to correct the bad reflexes you have acquired.


    1. So we can’t resist giving the “righteous scolding” or, at least, a little belittling, can we? Can’t you say a word of encouragement instead?


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