Really Basics Words in Romanian


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I frequently feature a Word of the Day, in which I translate, explain and otherwise expound upon a certain word (or phrase) in the Romanian language.

I do confess to being something of an amateur linguist and so my WOTD series really isn’t for the true beginner. Therefore if you really are a true beginning learner of Romanian, you might enjoy this thread. Note: I have zero connection whatsoever with this website or the people who operate it. I can’t say I approve of their decision to not include declinations, but sometimes you just want something very simple so it isn’t overwhelming.

Romanian is a tricky language. Just about every week, someone asks me what makes me think I am more Romanian than they are. And just the other day, I was discussing the word norod with a Romanian from Ramnicu-Valcea who had never even heard of that word before (but knew both neam and popor). Just as many people even from Cluj are unfamiliar with the verb vorovi.

Likewise, I know Romanians here in Transylvania who have never heard of the word obștesc (plural is the tongue-twisting obștești) and Moldovans who don’t know the word no (which I’ll save for a future post).

My point is that there are a million varieties, dialects and linguistic sources for Romanian words and most native speakers are generally only familiar with the vocabulary of the region in which they grew up. I, on the other hand, have constantly traveled from one side of the country to the other and so had to learn all these tricky bits. People always think I’m joking when I say I’m “more Romanian” than they are, but it’s only somewhat a joke, eh? :P Besides, everyone knows I learned the language in 37 easy steps!

Anyway, if you are learning Romanian from absolute zero, my blog really isn’t for you. I do like writing about obscure or interesting words but if you want basic lessons, click on the link above or else scroll down through the right-hand sidebar on this blog for a number of other websites and software that might be of use to you.

And if you are struggling with Romanian, just remember to hang in there! And remember that no matter how difficult Romanian is, learning Hungarian is ten times harder :))