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.
|Come on (as in the beginning of a sentence)||hai||hi|
|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|
|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?
|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|
|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.
HAPPY TRAVELS IN ROMANIA!