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

What I Miss Most About Romania

The “Sit Around” was, in reality, a way for the whole village to come together and for young bachelors to look for a bride. Likewise, for the older members of the community, the “Sit Around” was a time to pass the time having fun, teaching the youth traditional skills and how to transform work into something that’s a pleasure. Continue reading What I Miss Most About Romania

Brânză vs. Cașcaval

One of the great difficulties in learning any foreign language is when there are two words in the new language for something, but you only have one word in your own. Nearly 20 years ago now (my goodness, how the time has flown!), I remember asking the woman who taught me so much about Romanian cooking what the difference was between brânză (bruhnzuh) and cașcaval … Continue reading Brânză vs. Cașcaval

The Hardest Word to Say in the Romanian Language (for English Speakers)

Unfortunately, this tongue-twister of a word is not some rarely used, technical word like jhgeaburi. Instead, it is literally a plague of a word to learn, and if you spend any time in Romania (or Moldova), you’ll definitely have cause to try to wrap your mouth around this particular bon mot. You can’t blame Romanians for creating this word out of thin air like they … Continue reading The Hardest Word to Say in the Romanian Language (for English Speakers)

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