Word of the Day: Hal


Back during the summer, I unwittingly was called onto a stage and thrust directly into the action. It was my very first appearance on the Romanian theater.

One of the lines I had to repeat twice included a word I did not know at the time. Later I asked about it and added it to my vocabulary. The other day while standing in an alley, outwaiting the fiercely cold November rain, two elderly gentlemen stopped near for a moment to end their conversation.

One of those old guys used the word and it jogged my memory – hal.

As it is a noun, it has standard declensions. Essentially the translation is “unspeakably bad situation” or “the worst possible condition” or something along those lines. My line on stage was in halul asta meaning “in this kind of absolutely abhorrent way” referring to the fact that Romania is dominated by thieves.

Incidentally, if I had a million bucks I’d set up the Anti-Thieves Party and run for parliament. Just on the name alone I’m sure we’d definitely win some seats.

In any event, it’s one more word in the Romanian Negativity Crown Jewels, those lovely words and expressions that people here used to subtly inflect nuance into how they are suffering today in a novel and exquisite way :D

AND NOW YOU KNOW!

One Comment Add yours

  1. x says:

    it’s interesting how “hal” is nowadays used only for negative conotations, since the original turkish import – to be found in late medieval chronicles – simply means “condition” (adică stare)
    în ce hal ai ajuns, să scrii despre “hal”.. într-un hal fără de hal..

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