Sharpy, Licky, and Mini Pitchfork

Romanian is an interesting and colorful language, but it’s actually quite rare to find an entire set of words that are strictly derived from Latin. One such case involves everyday kitchen utensils. Knife = cuțit Spoon = linguriţă Fork = furculiţă The Romanian word for “knife” comes directly from the Latin term cotitus which means…

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…

Gospodar, Gospodina

Many, many years ago in Romania, I had to open a bank account for reasons that I can’t remember right now. Everything was going fine until the bank employee asked me for my profession. I tried to explain that I work from home over the internet, something that wasn’t really well understood at the time….

Limba de Stat

The Unsleeping Eye, as is its wont, sometimes goes down interesting paths. The other day, it led me to the OSCE‘s online presence. The OSCE has an office a 2-minute walk from my house, and they’re quite active in these parts because of PRM (Transnistria), so I was curious what they had to say about…

Good News

When you have a language like Romanian, sometimes you get two (or more) similar words with subtle shades of meaning that come from two different linguistic sources. In Romanian, stiri (shteer) and veste (ves-teh) both mean “news.” The first comes from Latin and means “knowledge” while the second comes from Slavic roots and means “that…