The other day I was talking to my mother and a phrase rose unbidden in my mind – “spor la treaba“. I didn’t actually say it though because while I know what it means I didn’t have a way to translate it.
Spor la treaba (sometimes spor la lucru) is just a generic phrase Romanians say to one another when beginning to work. I think about the closest way to translate this phrase would be “gung ho!”, itself borrowed from the Chinese.
The word spor (pronounced spore) on its own means something like “productive work” or “easy work”, or sometimes even “bonus”, all from from a Slavic root meaning “unhurried”, “slowly” or even “sluggish”. Therefore spor (by itself) can kind of be translated as “taking it easy” and spor la lucru perhaps something like “have a good day at work and make lots of money but don’t kill yourself by working too hard”.
Incidentally, spor also has the meaning of “spore”, as in a microorganism, this time borrowed from the Greek (via Latin and then French, same as in English).
AND NOW YOU KNOW!