Hey, Hey, It’s the Genitive A!

If you’re learning Romanian, you’ll soon find out that there are a metric ton of strange and confusing grammar rules. The vocabulary and verb conjugations are relatively easy, but understanding noun cases is pretty tricky. And probably one of the most difficult things to learn is when and how to use the genitive “a”. If…

The Case of the Frustrating Cases

If your native language is English, you’re almost hopelessly fucked when it comes to learning a foreign language. Basic English grammar is very simple, with no genders, no need for adjective/adverb matching, simple verbs, and no cases. At one time in the distant past, English was far more complex but was then simplified into its…

Words of the Day: Coaja – Piele

As you trip down the interesting highways and byways of the Romanian language, you come across some words that bisect in unusual ways with English and other languages. An excellent example of this is the Romanian word coajă (kwah-zha), which refers to the “skin” of any plant. In English, this “skin” on a fruit is…

The Impersonal Construction With the Dative Indicating a State of Being

Whew mercy, that’s a handful isn’t it? Just the title alone gives me the shivers. What am I talking about? I’m talking about phrases like Mi-e foame (I am hungry) versus Eu sunt mai român decât tine (I am more Romanian than you). Please understand that what follows isn’t comprehensive, that is to say, it…

Slang Word of the Day: Aoleu!

I was listening to manele (as I am wont to do hehe) this morning while cleaning the house and heard this “word” aoleu and it made me laugh as I’ve heard my neighbors use it a million times. It’s an interjection, which means it’s something people suddenly exclaim and is never “conjugated” or modified in…

Double Plus Ungood

Although I often write about the strange and mysterious aspects of the Romanian language (and its grammar), sometimes things are fairly straightforward. One example is the prefex “ne” in Romanian, which generally follows right along with the prefix “un” in English, to indicate an opposite meaning. adevarat/neadeverat – true/untrue placut/neplacut – pleasant/unpleasant However there are…

His, Hers, Mine, Yours, Ours and Theirs: Part 1

Yesterday we talked about the Possessive A and now it’s time to follow up with a similar grammar entity – the personal pronoun. In English these are fairly simple – my (mine), your(s), his, hers, ours and theirs. Spanish likewise, mio(s)/mia(s), nuestro(s)/nuestra(s), etcetera. Romanian is a little more complicated of course ;) Let’s start off…