Romanian’s Special Word: DOR

For years and years and years almost beyond counting, there’s one thing that I have continually been told by Romanians. And that’s that there’s a special word in their language that “cannot be translated.” And that word is dor. Last week, the Unsleeping Eye brought me a perfect example of this: DOR: an untranslatable Romanian word for longing. These poems chase DOR across borders of … Continue reading Romanian’s Special Word: DOR

The 200 Lei Chisinau Challenge

Although the Republica of Moldova doesn’t draw too many tourists, there are still a non-trivial number of foreigners who manage to find their way to Chisinau for one reason or another. Therefore, if you’re reading this and you want to make some spending money while you’re in Chisinau, I hereby offer to pay you 200 Moldovan lei if you can complete just ONE of the … Continue reading The 200 Lei Chisinau Challenge

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 “sharpened” (Ro: ascuțit) from the Latin word cotis which means … Continue reading Sharpy, Licky, and Mini Pitchfork

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