Four Eyes

When I was a kid, we considered it the height of hilarity to refer to someone as “four eyes”. In modern terms, we thought this was a “sick burn,” but all it means it that the person wears glasses (spectacles). Not all that original, I know. In Romanian, however, saying ochii-n patru means something completely different. Literally translating to “eyes in four,” it’s the exact … Continue reading Four Eyes


Anyone who has ever learned (or attempted to learn) another language knows that there are always some words and phrases that can never be translated properly. The Portuguese word saudade is a classic example, having much more depth of meaning and sadness than English words like “longing” or “melancholy” can adequately portray. Today’s word, loitering isn’t a very deep or nuanced word, but it’s really … Continue reading Loitering

The Net Bag Mini Sack Pack

Following up on my post A Refreshing Drink of Sweet Water Juice, I thought I’d explore some other common words in the Romanian language which have a number of common variants. When I first moved to Cluj-Napoca and I’d go to the grocery store, the clerk would ask me if I wanted a punga. This is probably the most universal word in Romanian for “bag”, … Continue reading The Net Bag Mini Sack Pack

A Refreshing Drink of Sweet Water Juice

The other day, a friend of mine posted a rather humorous breakdown of the differences between some words used in Romania and the Republic of Moldova. One of them, in particular, made me smile, as I remember learning all three versions during the course of my adventures in learning the language. Making the issue even more fun is the plethora of ways this particular item … Continue reading A Refreshing Drink of Sweet Water Juice

If I were the ambassador…

I have to admit that I was initially quite happily surprised to see the latest letter published in the Huffington Post (UK edition) from Doctor Ion “Two Sheeps” Jinga because I thought that perhaps the same ghost writer who recently wrote on behalf of Crin Antonescu had helped the good “doctor” sound somewhat intelligent and credible in his role as the official representative of Romania … Continue reading If I were the ambassador…