Afterburner Part 2

Word Count: 664 After I wrote my post Afterburner, a commenter made the obvious connection to another kind of food. When I mentioned this to my wife, she just said, “Duh”, and I shook my head in disbelief that I’d missed such low hanging fruit in my original post. Whereas the Romanian word usturoi (garlic)…

Afterburner

Word Count: 453 One of the cool things about having a wife who is learning Latin (and Greek) is that I’m finally getting some resolution to some etymological mysteries that I’ve had for years with some Romanian words. A case in point is the Romanian word for garlic, which is totally unlike other Romance languages:…

Media Acronyms

If you’re like me and you’re trying to learn Romanian by watching the news, you can sometimes get stymied by the (seemingly) hundreds of acronyms that the media uses here. For the past week or so I’ve been keeping a list of the ones I’ve seen. For your own elucidation, here they are in alphabetical…

Word of the Day: Stabor

I’ve realized over the years that I keep writing about gypsies, a race of people that few “outsiders” ever want to bother to understand. The gypsies are just there, usually bothersome, and the most compassionate outsiders just want them to “integrate” and be like everyone else. One of the reasons they won’t “be like everyone…

WOTD: Rămâne

With the internet being so ubiquitous and dictionaries (online and “offline” in print) so accessible, there isn’t much need for me to “teach” or translate most Romanian words here on the blog. That being said, sometimes some words aren’t in the dictionary but nonetheless are essential components of speaking the Romanian language. Today’s word is…

WOTD: Cauciuc

As Europeans began their centuries long business of exploration, subjugation, genocide, slavery and colonization of lands inhabited by the indigenous peoples (“Indians”) of the Americas, it isn’t surprising that along the way they adopted native words into their own language for the plants, animals and activities that they encountered. Modern English has hundreds of words…

Double Your Pleasure

Yes! Today you get not one but two awesome Romanian words explained, thus doubling your pleasure! The first one is a common phrase: a freca menta. You might recognize the word mentă because it comes from the same Latin root as in English, meaning “mint”, whether the savory plant or the flavor that we derive…

WOTD: Film vs. Film Serial

It’s really interesting understanding the etymology (origin) of words. In both Romanian and English the word film came from French, originally meaning a “thin coating” or a thin layer on the surface of something. The first films (referring to photographs or movies) were a special kind of paper which had a thin layer of chemicals…

WOTD: Imbulzeala

I had to laugh because although I just formally learned the word imbulzeala (em-boolzy-ala) the other day, visitors and foreign residents in Romania have been asking me about the phenomenon for years. This is a classic Romanian word, constructed from a root word bulz, which means something like “clot” or “clump” or “clod”. As DEX…

Word of the Day: Denie

Well yesterday was Easter for Hungarians, Germans and pretty much all the foreigners here in Romania but for the Orthodox church that won’t happen until next Sunday. A useful word to know here in Romania at this time of year is denie (denny-eh) which refers specifically and only to the Orthodox masses held each day…

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…

Word of the Day: Zebra

You know, a lot of the times my Word of the Day series focuses on either obscure or unusual or linguistically interesting words and I realize this may not be of much use to the person who is just beginning to learn Romanian. If this is you, today you are lucky because the word zebra…