The other day I was riding a bus in Cluj through a specific neighborhood when I saw something that brought a smile to my eyes.
Right there on B-dul Titulescu is a large sign for a small hardware store that sells tools and drills and those kinds of things. And through a slightly odd series of events, it was I myself who hung up that sign.
Years ago I had a friend who sold advertising and it was he who had originally sold the hardware store that sign. So one blustery spring day a few years ago, he asked me to help him and together we climbed up the ladder and affixed that sign to the building above the door. Apparently it’s still hanging up there and in fine condition as I saw it on my bus ride.
I mention all of this because one of the words on the sign is Profi (pro-fee), which is a word Romanians use that isn’t in the dictionary, at least I couldn’t find it.
It’s borrowed directly from the (standard) German and simply means “professional” as in the adjective. Romanians tend to this word mostly related to stores and shops selling “professional” equipment (esp tools) and use the Romanian profesional(a) for everything else (like “your CV looks very professional”).
I’ve also seen some spelling variants like “profy” and “proffy” and you name it but profi (the German spelling) seems to be the most common. Because this is a truly foreign word, it only has one variant and doesn’t change by number or gender.
AND NOW YOU KNOW!