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…

The Possessive “A”

Part one can be found here. A few months ago, I mentioned that on the back of all Romanian money it says Banca Nationala a Romaniei and someone asked what that “a” means, and how to use it. As we know quite well, Romanian is a language with declinations, which means that the “receiving” noun…

Imitative Interjections in Romanian

I wish I could take credit for assembling the following but it is from an excellent Romanian grammar textbook I found online (PDF). pac! a hit, a shot poc! a hit, a strike buf! the fall of (esp) a large and heavy object bum! an explosion, a loud boom trosc! wood breaking, a slap pleosc!…

Word of the Day: Iar

Speaking of absolutely no Slavic influence whatsoever in the Romanian language, it’s a good time to look at the word iar (yar). If you are a native English (or Italian/Spanish/French etc) speaker than you have to understand that in some *coughcough* languages there’s actually two ways to say the word “and”. If you’re a beginner…

In The Room The Women Come And Go (Not Talking Romanian Though)

Gosh, for some reason, recently I was talking about why I blog, especially about all this tedious Romanian stuff (like grammar), since it clearly isn’t for monetary reward. Mostly it’s just a real fun kind of thing for me and I do it just because I enjoy it, I guess. Well that got me thinking…