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The Top 100 Romanian Verbs You Need to Know

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A sentence without a verb is like a bird without a nest.

It wants to fly around and express itself, but without a foundation to rely upon, it’s limited.

How’s your knowledge of Romanian verbs? We understand—the grammar is no joke. You don’t really want to learn verbs when you could be enjoying Romanian TV shows and music.

But if you never end up paying attention to Romanian verbs, you’ll find yourself lost for words all the time.

Advanced learners need to learn the grammatical nuances, as well as just the plain old nuances of the lexicon itself. Beginner learners need to nail down a foundation of basic words for everyday use.Enough chit-chat. In this article, you’re going to learn 100 Romanian verbs, every one of them shown conjugated in an example for better learning efficiency.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Verbs About Going Places
  2. Verbs About Interacting with Others
  3. Verbs About Daily Activities
  4. Abstract Verbs for Abstract Concepts
  5. Moving Things Around
  6. Work and Study
  7. Thoughts and Feelings
  8. Move Your Body
  9. Conclusion

1. Verbs About Going Places

Woman Taking Photograph

You’re probably learning Romanian for travel, is that right? That’s why we’ve put the verbs of motion and traveling—the most common Romanian verbs—right here at the top, so that you learn them when you’re fresh.

1. arrive – a ajunge

Credel va ajunge în curând.

I believe he’ll arrive soon.

2. come – a veni

Prietenul meu a venit azi pe la mine.

My friend came over today.

3. enter – a intra

Era cât pe ce să intre în cameră.

He was just about to enter the room.

4. go – a merge

Se pare că trebuie să mergem.

It looks like we need to go.

5. leave – a pleca

Trebuie să plec neîntârziat.

I have to leave immediately.

6. return – a se întoarce

Amy nu s-a întors acasă în acea noapte.

Amy didn’t return home that night.

7. ride a bike – a merge cu bicicleta

Nu știam că poți să mergi pe bicicletă.

I didn’t know you could ride a bike.

8. sightsee – a vizita

Nu am venit aici să vizitez.

I didn’t come here for sightseeing.

9. stay – a rămână

Nimeni nu știe dacă să rămână sau să plece.

Nobody knows whether to stay or go.

10. travel – a călători

Am călătorit 10,000 de mile pentru a fi aici.

I traveled 10,000 miles to be here.

11. walk – a plimba

El s-a dus în parc ca să se plimbe.

He went for a walk in the park.

2. Verbs About Interacting with Others

Two Couples Greeting Each Other

Language at its core is all about interaction. In this list of Romanian verbs, you’ll learn about speaking with and listening to Romanians, other learners, or people who have no idea how to speak Romanian at all!

12. ask – a întreba

Niciodată să nu întrebi o femeie despre vârsta ei.

Never ask a woman about her age.

13. believe – a crede

Am crezut în tine.

I believed in you.

14. call – a suna

Pe cine ai sunat?

Who did you call?

15. explain – a explica

Lasă-mă să explic ce s-a întamplat.

Let me explain what happened.

16. listen – a asculta

Ar trebui să o asculți.

You should listen to her.

17. apologize – a cere scuze

De ce ți-ai cere scuze pentru așa ceva?

Why would you apologize for that?

18. repeat – a repeta

Te rog repetă ce ai spus.

Please repeat what you just said.

19. say – a spune

Este timpul să spui la revedere.

It is time for you to say goodbye.

20. sing – a cânta

Cântam cântece folk.

We sang folk songs.

21. speak – a discuta

Am discutat cu mama ta.

I spoke with your mother.

22. talk – a vorbi

E grozav să vorbesc cu tine.

It’s great talking with you.

23. understand – a înțelege

Noi punem întrebări pentru a înțelege lucrurile mai bine.

We ask questions to understand things better.

3. Verbs About Daily Activities

Top Verbs

Daily activities are some of the easiest things to describe in Romanian, if only because you’ll be reminded of those words as you do them every day. Here’s a Romanian verbs list of things you probably do often.

24. bathe – a face baie

Ea îi face baie bebelușului în fiecare seară.

She is bathing the baby every evening.

25. buy – a cumpăra

Am cumpărat un bilet greșit.

I bought the wrong ticket.

26. clean – a curăța

Sper că el mă va ajuta să curăț bucătăria.

I hope he will help me clean the kitchen. 

27. cook – a găti

Bunica lui adoră să gătească.

His grandmother loves to cook.

28. dance – a dansa

Nu pot dansez cu el.

I can’t dance with him.

29. draw – a desena

O să desenez o față tristă.

I’ll draw a sad face.

30. eat – a mânca

Nu mănânc carne sau fructe de mare.

I don’t eat meat or seafood.

31. drink – a bea

Dimineața îmi place să beau cafea.

I like to drink coffee in the morning.

32. exercise – a exersa

Exersez timp de 10 minute în fiecare zi.

I exercise for 10 minutes every day.

33. get up – a se scula

Scoală-te, e timpul să mergem!

Get up, it’s time to go!

34. look for – a căuta

Îmi voi căuta o altă slujbă.

I’m going to look for another job.

35. read – a citi

Am citit multe despre tine.

I’ve read a lot about you.

36. rent – a închiria

Noi am închiriat o casă în Palm Springs.

We rented a house in Palm Springs.

37. rest – a se odihni

Acum, tu ar trebui să te odihnești.

You should rest now.

38. see – a vedea

Poți vedea diferența?

Can you see the difference?

39. sleep – a dormi

Tu ar trebui să mergi acasă și să dormi.

You should go home and sleep. 

40. text – a trimite un mesaj

Tatăl tău mi-a trimis un mesaj.

Your father texted me.

41. wake up – a se trezi

El se va trezi în 5 minute.

He’ll wake up in 5 minutes.

42. write – a scrie

El a scris raportul.

He wrote the report.

4. Abstract Verbs for Abstract Concepts

Abstract Universe

Some verbs just don’t fit into boxes. This category is for verbs that are more abstract in meaning, that is, verbs that are hard to describe with other words. Imagine trying to describe “become” in your native language! That’s why vocabulary is so important. Take a look at some of the most important Romanian verbs to describe difficult concepts.

43. become – a deveni

Puteam să devin președinte dacă doream.

I could become President if I wanted.

44. begin – a începe

Atacul a început la ora 02:35.

The attack began at 02:35.

45. to be able to – a putea

Mă bucur că am putut fi de ajutor.

I’m glad I was able to help.

46. do – a face

Vreau să îmi fac tema.

I want to do my homework.

47. exist – a exista

Persoana aceea nu mai exista.

That person doesn’t exist anymore.

48. finish – a termina

N-am terminat programul de instrucție.

I didn’t finish the training program.

49. pay – a plăti

Aveam de gând să plătesc pentru cină.

I had planned to pay for the dinner.

50. look for – a căuta

Îmi voi căuta o altă slujbă.

I’m going to look for another job.

51. resemble – a semăna cu

Fetița seamănă cu mama ei.

The little girl resembles her mother.

52. thank – a mulțumi

I-am mulțumit cu o cafea.

I thanked him with a coffee.

53. think – a considera

Cum consideri tu că e mai bine.

Whatever you think is best.

54. use – a folosi

Ei se folosesc de tine.

They’re using you.

55. want – a vrea

El vrea o mașină nouă.

He wants a new car.

5. Moving Things Around

More Essential Verbs

Interact with objects in the environment—that sounds like a video game description, but if you want to speak correctly and accurately about everyday things in Romanian (not just about people), then you’ll need these Romanian language verbs as well.

56. break – a sparge

Nu se va sparge.

It’s not going to break.

57. brush – a peria

Nu am timp să-mi perii părul.

I don’t have time to brush my hair.

58. cut – a tăia

M-am tăiat la deget.

I cut my finger.

59. freeze – a îngheța

Mi-au înghețat mâinile.

My hands are freezing.

60. help – a ajuta

Profesorul meu m-a ajutat să îmi termin eseul.

My teacher helped me finish my essay.

61. hold – a ține

Te rog ține-mi ușa.

Please hold the door for me.

62. open – a deschide

Vreau să deschid fereastra aceea.

I want to open that window.

63. pick up – a lua

Poți să iei copiii de la școală?

Can you pick up the kids from school? 

64. pull – a trage

Trage maneta în jos.

Pull the lever down.

65. push – a împinge

Te rog, nu mă împinge.

Please don’t push me.

66. rain – a ploua

Sigur va ploua mai târziu.

It’s definitely going to rain later.

67. take – a lua

Te rog să iei acest medicament.

Please take this medicine.

68. turn off – a opri 

Nu opri aparatele încă.

Don’t turn off the machines yet.

69. turn on – a porni

Acest televizor pornește foarte greu.

This TV takes forever to turn on.

6. Work and Study

Man Studying Late

Are you headed to Romania for a job or for a degree? These are some of the most-used verbs in Romanian when discussing those concepts!

70. close – a închide

La ce oră închizi magazinul?

What time do you close the shop?

71. correct – a corecta

Te rog să mă corectezi.

Please correct me.

72. erase – a șterge

Pentru a șterge mesajul, apăsați tasta patru.

To erase the message, press four.

73. learn – a învăța

Unde ai învățat germana?

Where did you learn German?

74. memorize – a memora

Îmi ia ceva timp ca să memorez un nume.

It takes me a while to memorize a name.

75. prepare – a pregăti

Mai bine te-ai pregăti pentru mâine.

You’d better prepare for tomorrow.

76. sell – a vinde

Ea vinde legume și fructe.

She sells vegetables and fruits.

77. send – a trimite

Profesorul îți va trimite o evaluare.

The teacher will send you an evaluation.

78. serve – a servi

Am servit țara mea cu mândrie.

I served my country proudly.

79. shop – a cumpăra

Toți vecinii cumpără de la acest magazin.

All the neighbors shop at this store.

80. study – a studia

Ce o să studiezi?

What are you going to study?

81. teach – a preda

Acolo voi preda franceza.

I’m going to teach French there.

82. wipe – a șterge

Șterge tot machiajul ăla!

Wipe off all that makeup!

83. work – să lucreze

Primul nostru programator a plecat să lucreze pentru Google.

Our first programmer went to work at Google.

7. Thoughts and Feelings

Negative Verbs

Romanians are open about their thoughts and feelings, more so than residents of other countries. Here, it’s all right for you to cry if you’re feeling overwhelmed with things.

In this section are some very useful verbs about expressing your emotions through actions, as well as verbs about thinking.

84. cry – a plânge

Te rog nu plânge.

Please don’t cry.

85. dream – a visa

Sunt sigur că nu am visat.

I’m sure I wasn’t dreaming.

86. feel – a simți

El se simte bolnav și obosit.

He feels sick and tired. 

87. forget – a uita

Mi-am uitat cheia.

I forgot my key.

88. hear – a auzi

Ai auzit asta?

Did you hear that?

89. laugh – a râde

Ea a râs în fața mea.

She laughed in my face.

90. like – a place

Nu-mi place deloc.

I don’t like it at all.

91. love – a iubi

Mă mai iubești?

Do you still love me?

92. miss – a-ți lipsi 

În pofida tuturor lucrurilor, îmi lipsește sora mea. 

Despite everything, I miss my sister.

93. need – a avea nevoie

Am venit aici pentru că am nevoie de o prietenă.

I came here because I needed a friend.

94. remember – a își aminti

Tot nu-mi amintesc unde am pus banii.

I still don’t remember where I put the money.

95. respect – a respecta

Ei îmi respectă părerea.

They respect my opinion.

8. Move Your Body

Dancing Against Black Background

Last, a couple of verbs that relate to physically moving your body, even if you aren’t actually going anywhere with those movements. These might not be your daily activities—instead, they’re more like tiny verbs that you usually do but rarely say.

96. live – a trăi

Cât de mult trăiesc broaștele țestoase?

How long do turtles live?

97. stand – a sta

Te rog nu-mi sta în drum!

Please, don’t stand in my way!

98. sweat – a transpira

De obicei nu transpir atât de mult!

I don’t usually sweat so much!

99. hug – a îmbrățișa

S-au îmbrățișat și s-au sărutat.

They hugged and kissed.

100. wait – a aștepta

Te rog să aștepți în zona de primire.

Please wait in the reception area.

101. watch – a privi

Privește cu atenție și apoi repetă. 

Watch carefully and then repeat.

9. Conclusion

Congratulations! 100+ Romanian verbs under your belt. You’ve truly hit a great milestone here, and you should be proud.

This is very much an effective way to learn Romanian, by the way. 

Romanian grammar is nothing to be trifled with, and by seeing a hundred examples of verbs in different conjugations, you’ve got a great practical background to go with your theoretical knowledge gained from courses or grammar books. If you do want more information on Romanian conjugation, though, keep an eye out for our upcoming article! 

Are there any Romanian verbs we didn’t cover that you want to know? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to help you out!

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Ultimate Guide to Cracking the Cipher of Romanian Pronouns

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Romanian has a lot of personal pronouns.

Significantly more, in fact, than other related languages in Europe.

Nobody knows who came up with this system, but it’s not going away anytime soon. Are you ready to rise to the challenge?

You should be, because although the Romanian pronoun system is complex, native speakers use it without thinking. If it was too unwieldy, it would have been pared down and simplified over time.

We’ll be here to guide you as well. We’ll provide a couple of tricks and links that you might not find in other resources.And besides, it’s not like you can just ignore this. You already know quite a bit of it from just a few simple introductory phrases! Pronouns are so integral to the Romanian language that you’ll soon integrate them perfectly into your own speech and writing without breaking a sweat.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. How to Talk About Pronouns in Romanian
  2. Romanian Personal Pronouns: Case by Case
  3. Romanian Possessive Pronouns
  4. Pronouns in Questions
  5. Conclusion

1. How to Talk About Pronouns in Romanian

Team Working Together on Something

First, you should know about cases. Did you ever take Latin, German, or Russian?

If so, don’t panic! Romanian cases are significantly simpler than cases in those three languages. But they’re still there, and we’ll be describing its cases here in this article. Yes, Romanian has three cases (which are an inheritance from Latin), but truly, there are a lot of words that don’t change.

Romanian has a bit of terminology here that’s pretty unique among European languages, namely the terms “stressed” and “unstressed.” These refer to two different forms of the pronoun in each case.

“Unstressed” is a simpler way to say “clitic,” which is a technical term that pretty much nobody needs to know (but if you’re interested, you can look it up).

All it means is that the pronoun accompanies a verb. In most cases, it’s actually folded into the verb. In English, we contract “I am” into “I’m.” That same process happens quite a bit more in Romanian, and you’ll learn all about it!

In contrast, “stressed” pronouns appear by themselves, always with a preposition. One of the most common prepositions is pe, which is used when talking about people. You’ll see this a lot in emphatic sentences.

  • Te iubesc pe tine.

I love you (and nobody else).

Here, te is an unstressed form (matching with the verb iubesc), and pe tine is the stressed form to add emphasis.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves!

Let’s start from the beginning and learn each form of Romanian pronouns.

2. Romanian Personal Pronouns: Case by Case

Introducing Yourself

Learning the pronouns all at once is going to be pretty confusing. We’ll definitely have a good selection of example sentences for you to look at, but count on re-reading this as a reference page in the future.

1. The Nominative 

Cute Owls

The nominative case is the “basic” case for all nouns and pronouns. This is what you use for the subject of a sentence, and what you’ll see in a dictionary.We’ll start with the informal Romanian nominative pronouns. This is what you’re likely to hear the most in songs and on TV, though when you actually go to Romania, you’ll want to crank up the politeness factor a little bit.

EnglishRomanian
Itu
youtu
heel
sheea
wenoi
you (plural)voi
they (men; men and women)ei
they (only women)ele

Here you can note that Romanian distinguishes between men and women when referring to a group of people, and indeed between masculine and feminine when referring to a group of nouns.

  • Fără ele ești pierdut.

Without them (women) you would be lost.

  • Eu sunt la magazin.

I’m at the store.

  • Ea este cea mai bună.

She’s the best there is.

Also, in English we say “It’s him!” but in Romanian the literal equivalent would be “It is he!”

  • El este!

It’s him!

And now for some formal pronouns. Romanian has formal versions of everything except the first-person “I’ and “we” pronouns.

What’s more, there are actually several levels of politeness for all this. We’ll go with the most commonly used variants in speech first.

EnglishRomanian (polite)Romanian (polite and formal)
youdumneatadumneavoastră
hedânsul   dumnealui
shedânsadumneaei
you (plural)dumneavoastrădumneavoastră
they (men; men and women)dânşiidumnealor
they (women)dânseledânsele

The “polite” category is slowly falling out of use, as many people feel that it’s actually just about the same as the “informal” category anyway. However, among people who still use it, the difference is subtle yet apparent.

“Polite” pronouns are for people you know but aren’t very well-acquainted with, like coworkers or people you meet up with for classes. “Polite and formal” indicates not only an absence of friendship, but also a difference in societal ranking, for example a professor and students.

Note that the formal “you” is conjugated the same way in singular and plural form—in fact, it’s always the plural form, following the pattern in German, Spanish, and other languages with this distinction.

  • Dumneavoastră aveți timp?

Do you have time?

That’s a long word! And that’s why you’ll much more commonly see it dropped entirely, using only the verb to connote politeness.

  • Aveți timp?

Do you have time?

So for the subject of a sentence, as you can see, Romanian usually drops the pronoun entirely.

But that doesn’t mean pronouns in Romanian are useless. Far from it.

2. The Accusative

Woman Holding Kittens in Box

The accusative case refers to the direct object of a verb. Now we’ll start breaking things up into stressed and unstressed variants. Here’s a table of the Romanian accusative pronouns.

EnglishRomanian accusative (stressed)Romanian accusative (unstressed)
Imine
heelte
heelîl
sheeao
wenoine
you (plural)voi
they (men; men and women)eiîi
they (women)elele

Oh man.

Remember, though, that only mine and tine actually changed in the stressed form. And yes, you do have to learn new unstressed forms, but it’s not so bad because the consonant remains the same for all the words that have consonants.

There’s more logic, too: The vowel î is a relatively hard sound to make, and so you’ll see in a moment how it disappears when our unstressed (connected) forms start getting slapped onto verbs.

The hard part is that the unstressed forms combine in different ways. Since this is already a lot to swallow, we won’t go into detail about the rules for the unstressed forms. Many learners pick it up from lots of examples, and if you end up reading and listening to a lot of Romanian, you will too!

  • I-ai anunţat?

Did you tell them?

Here we’ve combined îi with the helping verb ai. We’ll use the easier vowel, so the î drops away and leaves us with a combining i-. Romanian is nice enough to keep the hyphens for our reference!

Now some more examples of combined pronouns.

  • Daniela mi-a telefonat.

Daniela telephoned me.

  • Îi voi da cartea mâine.

I will give him the book tomorrow.

  • Ni s-a spus că putem pleca acasă.

We were told that we could go home.

3. The Dative

We’re on the home stretch now with the last of the three cases in Romanian. The dative case usually translates pretty well with the pronoun “to” in English. For example: “I sent a letter to her.” It’s also called the indirect object. Here are the Romanian dative pronouns:

EnglishRomanian dative (stressed)Romanian dative (unstressed)
Imieîmi
youțieîți
heluiîi
sheeiîi
wenouăne
you (plural)vouă
they (men; men and women)lorle
they (women)lorle

Oh jeez.

Again, it’s not as bad as you might think. These dative pronouns are so common in the words and phrases that beginners learn most, that you probably already recognize one very important one.

  • Îmi pare rău.

I’m sorry.

In this example, one of the first phrases that everybody learns in Romanian is a dative pronoun. Specifically “to me,” because what you’re literally saying with this expression is “It is bad to me.”

3. Romanian Possessive Pronouns

Basic Questions

In continuing the theme of Romanian grammar being at once alike and different from other European languages, there’s a subtle yet tricky difference in the matter of possessive pronouns.

First, the pronoun comes after the noun. That’s relatively normal, though, occurring also in Spanish and Italian.

  • Pisica mea.

My cat.

What’s unusual is that the word for “my” changes depending on gender and number of the object.

  • Pisicile mele.

My cats.

Let’s have a look at another Romanian pronouns table:

Singular masc./ntr.Singular fem.Plural masc.Plural fem./ntr.
mymeumeameimele
ournostrunoastrănoștrinoastre
your (singular)tăutatăitale
your (plural)vostruvoastrăvoștrivoastre
his/hersăusasăisale

Wow.

But wait! There’s still a pattern. Look carefully and you can see that the same consonant roots hold true from the Romanian nominative pronoun chart. Furthermore, the plural first-person (our) and second-person (your) share the same pattern, as do singular second-person (your) and singular third-person (his/her).

It’s a lot to take in, no doubt about it.

Remember to pay special attention to how, in the singular, masculine and neuter nouns are grouped together. In the plural, it’s feminine and neuter.

We’re definitely going to need some examples here.

  • Fraţii noştri sunt studenţi.

Our brothers are students.

  • Pe masă sunt cărţile mele.

My books are on the table.

In fact, this chart could be significantly more complicated if we added all of the formal forms. 

We will, however, include the most common: dumneavoastră. As the formal “you,” this gets used very often in Romanian, and it’s also dead simple to understand.

It doesn’t change at all!

  • Prietenii dumneavoastră.

Your friends.

  • Prietenul dumneavoastră.

Your friend.

Ironically, if you happen to study in a way that makes you used to applying rules for meu, mea, mei, and so on, you might look at an example sentence with dumneavoastră and think that something’s missing. Nope, it’s just the Romanian language cutting you a break.

4. Pronouns in Questions

Woman Thinking about Something

The last major thing we need to cover here is when we ask questions with pronouns. This is an incredibly common situation, as you probably know.

Right now, we’re only going to cover the nominative case. They do change for case, but questions outside the nominative are relatively rare and we all know that you’ve seen a lot of charts today.

1. Who? – Cine?

  • Cine este acolo?

Who’s there?

  • Cine este responsabil?

Who is in charge?

2. What? – Ce?

  • Ce i-ai spus?

What did you say?

  • Ce este asta?

What is that?

3. Which? – Care?

  • Pe care o vrei?

Which do you want?

  • Care e al vostru?

Which one is yours?

4. Whose? – A cui?

  • A cui pantofi sunt aia?

Whose shoes are these?

  • A cui idee a fost?

Whose idea was it?

As you can see, learning only the nominative case for these question pronouns is definitely enough to get you going on your road to Romanian fluency!

5. Conclusion

Improve Listening

So throughout this article, we’ve mentioned that there’s more.

More pronouns to learn, more cases in which pronouns might or might not change, and so on.

How can you get a handle on it? How can you ever commit all of this to memory?

One of the best ways is seriously to copy down these charts. Even better is if you copy down our charts, and then go find another one, then copy down that one too. By copying information down in your notes from two different sources, you’ll get to actually see the relationships between these words and their functions, and through that you’ll boost your memory.

The other way is to rely on immersion.

Mix a little bit of grammar study (such as reading these articles) with immersive, interesting content in Romanian. That’s going to make a lot of these pronoun tricks fall into place.

And what better place for interesting and immersive content than RomanianPod101? You’ll get access to all of our lessons on vocabulary, grammar, conversations, and more, in an easy format for you to take wherever you need to!

There’s no reason to delay. Get your free access to RomanianPod101 today and start taking charge of Romanian pronouns!

In the meantime, let us know in the comments how you feel about Romanian pronouns after going through this Romanian pronoun list. Are there any questions you still have? We’ll do our best to help you out.

Happy Romanian learning!

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Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

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The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

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Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. RomanianPod101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

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Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

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A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

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It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

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Subscribe to Posted by RomanianPod101.com in Feature Spotlight, Learn Romanian, Romanian Language, Romanian Online, Site Features, Team RomanianPod101

Ultimate Guide to Romanian Word Order

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You can think of language as being composed of LEGO blocks.

Imagine you’re building a skyscraper, for instance. Since you have the advantage of working with toys instead of real steel, one strategy would be to build each floor individually and then stick them all together.

It turns out you can do the same thing in language learning. 

Before you ever get into a situation in which you have to speak Romanian “in the wild,” you can piece together a lot of different patterns and chunks and learn them individually. Here enters Romanian word order and a host of other crucial Romanian grammar elements

When it’s time to speak or write, you can then draw on these stored memories to quickly and efficiently speak correct Romanian without a second thought.

Word order in Romanian can sometimes appear more flexible than English word order, but don’t be fooled. It has its own rules that lead to very odd-sounding Romanian if broken. Do you know them?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Word Order in Basic Sentences
  2. Adjectives and Nouns
  3. Making Questions in Romanian
  4. Dealing with Prepositions
  5. Giving Commands
  6. Conclusion

1. Word Order in Basic Sentences

A Woman Writing in a Notebook Late at Night

Ordinary declarative sentences in Romanian function just as they do in English, syntactically speaking.

We start with the subject, or the thing in the sentence that actually does something. Let’s use a name,

Elena.

Then we add the verb, or what the subject actually does. If Elena writes, then we simply say that.

  • Elena scrie.

“Elena writes.”

Suppose Elena isn’t just writing, but she’s writing a book. That’s an object, and we’d place that after the verb. Linguistically, this makes Romanian a Subject-Verb-Object language. Other languages from around the world order these three elements differently, but most European languages fit this SVO mold.

  • Elena scrie o carte.

“Elena is writing a book.”

Here’s where the word order can seem a little flexible compared to English. It’s perfectly reasonable for us to say scrie Elena and even O carte scrie Elena.

The meaning is clear from the context, instead of gibberish like it might be in English (“a book is writing Elena?”).

Let’s have a look at some other very basic sentences in Romanian.

  • Vremea este frumoasă.

“The weather is nice.”

  • Eu am două pisici.

“I have two cats.”

Remember that when we’re dealing with pronouns instead of people’s names, standard Romanian practice is to completely drop the pronoun and just use the conjugated verb instead. Keeping the pronoun intact is a mark of slightly more formal Romanian, but it can often feel unnecessary. 

Sometimes there’s an exception for the third person singular (he/she). To be more clear and to be sure that everyone knows who you’re talking about, you’ll keep the pronoun. This way, everyone can identify the gender of the person as well. 

  • Scrie o carte.

“(She) is writing a book.”

  • Ei vorbesc engleza.

“They speak English.”

  • Sunt din Londra.

“I am from London.”

That inverted word order from before comes up a lot in songs. However, since in real Romanian you won’t really come across simple two-word sentences very much, you don’t need to worry about the differences between one word order and the other.

One last thing to note is that Romanian makes heavy use of contractions. Glance at a Romanian text and you’ll see words with dashes all over the place.

This is just the standard way to show that a pronoun has combined with a certain verb partway, meaning it’s still there and hasn’t been dropped.

By far, the most common contraction is n-am, shortened from nu am and meaning “I don’t have” or “I haven’t.” There are many more, though, so check out a handy chart like this one!

2. Adjectives and Nouns 

Two Dogs Carrying a Stick together

The big difference in Romanian word order with adjectives compared to English is simply that adjectives come after the nouns they modify, instead of before them as in English.

This doesn’t happen when a verb is between the adjective and noun, as you can see in the example sentences above. It only applies to noun-adjective phrases.

  • Ești un om inteligent.

“You are a smart man.”

  • Ești un câine bun.

“You’re a good dog.”

One major difference to note in Romanian is how the article works with nouns. In most other European languages (the Scandinavian languages are an exception), the article comes before the noun.

In Romanian, it fixes onto the end of the noun.

There are various rules that you have to follow to know exactly which nouns take what kind of connected article, but it’s all consistent and just takes a bit of time to memorize.

  • Nu văd câinele.

“I can’t see the dog.”

  • Văd un câine.

“I see a dog.”

In these examples, you can contrast the word câinele with câine to see how “the dog” is different from “a dog.” If this is your first time seeing this happen, then definitely go through an article or two to learn the different ways this can show up in your reading. It’s very easy to overlook a grammatical article that’s barely there!

3. Making Questions in Romanian

a Question Mark on a Chalkboard

English is relatively unusual among European languages in that it uses the auxiliary verb “do” to act as a “dummy verb” at the beginning of question sentences.

Romanian has no such thing, and so there are two main additional ways to make questions in Romanian.

The first is to simply invert the order of the subject and the verb.

  • Scrie Elena o carte?

“Is Elena writing a book?”

  • Scrie Elena?

“Does Elena write?”

The second is to keep everything normal and simply change the intonation. A lot of people might describe Romanian question intonation as “rising,” but in reality, it’s only rising in the middle and at the end. It’s pretty much the same as English question intonation, so just go with your instincts at first and you’ll be most of the way there.

  • Ei vorbesc engleza?

“They speak English?”

  • El doarme?

“Is he sleeping?”

There is a third way, grammatically speaking. Instead of changing the word order, you can just add the word nu to the end of a sentence to act as a tag question. In this case, you’ll speak with the same question intonation discussed above.

Naturally, Romanian has the same question words as English does. Just as in English, these question words go at the beginning of the sentence.

  • Ce oră este?

“What time is it?”

  • Unde trăiţi?

“Where do you live?”

If you’re using a helping or auxiliary verb (like “can,” “should,” “may,” and so on) then it appears at the beginning as well (most of the time).

  • Poți vorbi engleza?

“Can you speak English?”

What’s the exception? When you’re not talking about the noun “English,” but instead a pronoun. When the object of the question is a pronoun, then you’ll move the pronoun to the front and shift everything over one place. The verb ends up last.

  • Îl poți ajuta?

“Can you help him?”

The answers to the questions will start with the answer word first, and then continue with the regular subject-predicate word order.

  • Nu, nu pot.

“No, no I can’t.”

4. Dealing with Prepositions

View of an Airplane Taking Off

Prepositions in Romanian look and feel like they do in English and other European languages.

  • Lucrez în oraș.

“I work in the city.”

In this example, oraș is the noun “city” and în is the preposition.

Anybody that’s learned even a little bit of another Romance language is likely to get tripped up by the preposition la. It’s not the feminine definite article like it is in French or Spanish. It means “to.”

  • mergem la hotel.

“Let’s go to the hotel.”

How about turning a sentence with a prepositional phrase into a question? There’s really nothing to it. Simply invert the word order as shown before.

  • Merge acest drum la aeroport?

“Does this road go to the airport?”

  • Nu, acest drum merge la oraș.

“No, this road goes to the city.”

5. Giving Commands

An Older Man Giving Someone an Order

Why include commands here? Simple: They’re the most common “difficult grammar” that you might encounter in Romanian. It’s actually much easier than you’d think.

First, the super-easy stuff is literally just a different verb form. That’s called the “imperative” and it’s made with the second person plural verb form. To negate it, add nu.

  • Cântați!

“Sing!”

  • Nu cântați!

“Don’t sing!”

What we’re talking about is something a little more in-depth, namely “I want you to…” It requires a compound verb.

  • Vreau să cânți.

“I want you to sing.”

  • Vreau să pleci.

“I want you to go.”

The pattern is immediately obvious. All you have to do is swap in the verb that you want somebody to do, and you’re all good to go!

6. Conclusion

Improve Pronunciation

It’s entirely possible for you to get so used to Romanian word order that you can spot grammatical errors a mile away. Don’t believe anyone who says you can’t learn a language that well.

Of course, it’s also possible for you to end up stuck in a rut and never know why exactly you keep making the same kinds of mistakes.

As long as you keep paying attention to word order and training with real, authentic Romanian (not just isolated words or example sentences from the dictionary), you’ll be able to notice the word order differences quite naturally and accurately.

That can happen with ease when you sign up for RomanianPod101, the best place to learn Romanian online. Follow along with transcripts in English and Romanian for dozens of episodes, and enjoy your journey to Romanian success!

Before you go, be sure to let us know if you learned anything new today. Also feel free to reach out with any questions you still have about Romanian word order. We look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Romanian learning!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian

Don’t be Late to Learn about Telling Time in Romanian

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The number-one piece of advice most people have for those considering a trip to Romania is to learn some of the language.

Check that one off the list.

You’re already interested in Romanian, we know that. But here’s our number-one piece of advice for learning Romanian for travel:

Learn about the time in Romanian.

Learning some numbers in Romanian, and the dates, is a great accomplishment, but they only get you so far. Time covers all kinds of situations at once: bus schedules, airport departures, check-in times…everything you’re likely to do as a tourist!

This article won’t stop there, either. This is your one-stop solution to learning everything you need to know about time in Romanian, from stopping someone on the street to discussing international time zones.

Get ready—it’s time to learn.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. General Times Throughout the Day
  2. Inquiring about the Time
  3. How to Talk about Hours
  4. Dividing Hours into Minutes and Seconds
  5. The Finer Points of “When” and “What Time”
  6. These Things Take Time
  7. Times in Different Places
  8. Phrases and Idioms about Time
  9. Conclusion

1. General Times Throughout the Day

Building in Romania During Day

Since Romanian belongs to the European cultural tradition, they divide time up just as we do in English—into key sections of the day that we can use as markers.

Dimineaţă means “morning.” This is the time from just before the sun appears to around twelve o’clock noon.

Ziua is “day,” in the same way that you could have “one day,” “two days,” and so on. “Good day” sounds a little old-fashioned in English, but not in Romanian. It’s usually from about noon to six o’clock p.m.

Seară is “evening,” the time period from about six o’clock p.m. to when the sun actually sets.

And when the stars are bright in the sky, it’s definitely noaptea, or “nighttime.”

Like  in English, these are integral parts of the standard “time of day greetings,” which you can see here:

  • Bună dimineaţa!

Good morning!

  • Bună ziua!

Good afternoon! 

  • Bună seara!

Good evening!

We don’t usually wish others “good night” in either Romanian or English.

Just two more words before we get into the real business of telling time in Romanian: miezul nopții is literally “the middle of the night” and refers to midnight, while amiază is the opposite, namely “noon.”

2. Inquiring about the Time

Time

Sure, knowing the words for the different times of day is great. But you’re probably not going to ask “Is it morning?” unless you were pretty out of it the night before.

Just as English has several ways to rephrase the question, there are a couple of different ways you can ask for the time in Romanian.

This is a polite version that’s appropriate for asking strangers on the street:

  • Mă scuzați, cât este ceasul?

Excuse me, what time is it?

If the only stranger nearby is an older gentleman, try this more formal version:

  • Mă scuzați, cât este ora, domnule?

Excuse me, what time is it, sir?

Note that it was only formal because we added vă rog and domnule. The two phrases cât este ceasul and cât este ora are interchangeable.

Here are some more phrases you can use to vary your speech:

  • Cât este ceasul acum?

What’s the time now?

  • Știți cât este ceasul?

Do you know what time it is now? 

There’s not really a right or wrong variant of these. In fact, on rare occasions you might see yet another version: ce oră este. In any case, let’s get to the answers.

3. How to Talk about Hours

Hourglass

Okay, let’s answer those questions as best as we can.

We’ll start by talking about the hours. In Romanian, an hour is oră. Be very careful, because this is where pronunciation could trip you up. When you use it for actually telling the time in Romanian, though, you change ă into a!

You probably won’t run into any trouble if you confuse the two, but if you want to speak clearly and always be understood, this is a great pair of words to practice.

In any case, the format for saying the hour is: (It is) (hour) (number). Let’s have a look.

  • Este ora două.

It’s two o’clock.

  • Este ora unsprezece.

It’s eleven o’clock.

Romanians are generally familiar with both the twenty-four-hour and the twelve-hour clocks. You could hear the same time in the evening expressed two ways:

  • Este ora optsprezece.

It’s eighteen o’clock.

  • Este ora șase P.M.

It’s six P.M.

Simply read the letters “P.M.” out as if you were saying the Romanian alphabet.

Most people, if you ask them the time and they don’t have a watch or a phone at the ready, will round things to the nearest hour or section of an hour. You may hear a phrase like aproximativ, which sounds very formal in English but means “about” in Romanian. Or perhaps you’ll hear aproape, which means “almost.” Have a look:

  • Este aproximativ ora cinci.

It’s around five o’clock.

  • Este aproape ora cinci.

It’s almost five o’clock.

For saying the exact hour, we say “sharp” in English, but fix or “exact” in Romanian. We’ll use the same example sentence to show that, in casual speech, you don’t absolutely need to say ora every time.

  • Este cinci fix.

It’s five sharp.

Okay, enough beating around the bush. Let’s learn how to tell time in Romanian as accurately as possible.

4. Dividing Hours into Minutes and Seconds

Improve Listening

It turns out, it’s extremely easy.

Using the same sentence pattern above, we simply add the equivalent of “… and (number).”

  • Este ora cincisprezece și opt.

It’s fifteen oh eight (3:08 P.M.).

  • Este ora patru și douăzeci și trei.

It’s four twenty-three.

Yes, it can get a little strange to an English-speaking ear that there are two uses of și in the same phrase. But Romanians simply parse the last și as being an inseparable part of the number, so it doesn’t sound weird.

Can we be more exact?

Of course we can, and again the pattern follows English perfectly.

Este ora două și nouă minute și douăzeci și unu secunde.

It’s two oh nine minutes and twenty-one seconds.

We can also get less exact. In Romanian, the hour is divided into halves and quarters. A “half” as in “half past” is jumătate, and a “quarter” is un sfert. The only difference is that you’ve got to use the article un with sfert to specify that it’s exactly one—no reason for you to talk about two quarters when you’ve got a word for “half!”

  • Este unu și un sfert.

It’s a quarter past one. (It’s one and a quarter.)

5. The Finer Points of “When” and “What Time”

Person Pointing to Watch

One of the next steps you can take to raise your language level just a little bit is to start asking what time things happen. Learning this serves several purposes: It gets you to try out new sentence structures, it impresses others, and it usually gives you very valuable information.

In Romanian, just as in English, there’s a difference between “at what time” and “when.” The former is translated as la ce oră. Again, look out for the pronunciation. We ask with the word oră, but always answer with ora.

  • La ce oră e acel film?

What time is that movie?

  • La ce oră se închide barul?

What time does the bar close?

  • Când va fi asta?

When will that happen?

Some answers for you now. Remember that, like in English, sometimes the answer is vague, and sometimes you’ll hear the exact time in Romanian.

  • Între ora patru și cinci.

Between four and five.

  • Apusul e la ora cinci și patruzeci și șapte.

Sunrise is at five forty-seven.

You should be aware that a Romanian being vague about the time isn’t an unusual thing. It’s not considered rude to be a few minutes late in Romania, except for the most formal situations.

6. These Things Take Time

First you asked about the time in Romanian, then you asked when things happen, and now your next task is to ask about how long certain things might take.

As Romanian is a Latin language, some of these phrases will be pretty transparent to you. You can see roots related to “duration” and “time” if you look carefully.

The first two phrases are pretty standard and interchangeable.

  • Cât va dura?

How long will it take?

  • Cât timp va dura?

How much time will it take?

But there’s an informal variant that’s more idiomatic—it’s hard to translate exactly what each word here is doing.

  • Știi cât îți ia?

Do you know how long it takes?

Now here are some examples of more complicated questions you could ask:

  • Cât durează să ajungi acolo?

How long does it take to get there?

  • În cât timp se face de obicei?

How long does it generally take?

Literally, you’re asking “In how much time is it done?” That phrase de obicei can be used in a lot of different places. Here’s just one example:

  • Eu de obicei nu fac asta.

Normally I don’t do that.

7. Times in Different Places

Airplane Flying & Luggage

Romania has just one time zone (fus orar), and there aren’t any well-known overseas Romanian communities that would call for different Romanian time zones to be established. That means you won’t have to worry about different time zones when traveling in Romania—one less thing, right?

Romania does have a Daylight Savings Time, which is called ora de vară and generally lasts from the end of March to the end of October.

Când începe ora de vară?

When does Daylight Savings Time start?

Even though Romania has just one time zone to worry about, that doesn’t mean they don’t have to be cognizant of time zones elsewhere. Imagine you’re a Romanian executive in high power and you want to know about another branch of your company. 

  • Cât e ceasul în New York?

What’s the time in New York?

Of course you could add acum to express the meaning of “now” as well. Some more phrases to fill in the gaps:

  • Există o diferență de timp?

Is there a time difference?

  • Este în un alt fus orar.

It’s in a different time zone.

8. Phrases and Idioms about Time

Man Arriving Late for Date

You may not have noticed before, but English has a hefty number of idioms and turns of phrase to describe time. You can’t get through a single book chapter or news article without stumbling across things like: “in time,” “out of time,” “over time,” and so on.

Here’s what those sound like in Romanian.

in a little while (în scurt timp)

  • Va ajunge aici în scurt timp.

He’ll arrive here in a little while.

in just a moment (într-o clipă)

  • Profesorul va vorbi cu voi într-o clipă.

The professor will speak to you in just a moment.

right on time (chiar la timp)

  • Ai ajuns chiar la timp.

You’re right on time.

the perfect/ideal time for… (momentul ideal pentru…)

  • E momentul ideal pentru cineva să se furișeze înăuntru.

It’s the perfect time for someone to sneak inside.

as time goes by (pe măsură ce trece timpul)

  • Pe măsură ce trece timpul o să devină o amintire.

As time goes by, it will become a memory.

spend time (petrece timp)

  • Mi-ar plăcea să petrec timp cu tine.

I’d like to spend time with you.

And to end with another of those evocative Romanian expressions, here’s an idiom about what some might call “making the wrong choices.”

waste time (a freca menta)

  • Voi sta aici și voi freca menta.

I’m sitting here and I’m going to while away my time.

Literally, you’re saying “rub mint.” Have you ever rubbed mint? It has a nice texture and a pleasant smell. But hopefully you didn’t have anything pressing to do with your time at that point!

9. Conclusion

Basic Questions

Now you’re equipped to do quite a bit in Romanian!

Not only can you tell the time, but you can also use your knowledge of Romanian sentence patterns and idioms to speak quite freely about it—saying when things happen, how long they’ll take, and more.

Pay attention to some TV shows or the dialogue in some Romanian books next time you get a chance. You’ll quickly find out just how valuable that skill is.

But of course, you’re not finished yet.

Your next step is to review this article and become familiar once more with all of the new vocabulary and structures that you learned in it.

After that, the best thing for you to do is check out the other lessons here at RomanianPod101. If you liked this article, you’ll love our helpful, in-depth podcasts about all aspects of Romanian learning and usage.

So don’t wait—now is the time. 

Before you go, are there any points we covered that you need clarity on? Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns, and we’ll do our best to help you out!

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Master Directions in Romanian with These Phrases

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Being outside in Romania is great—except when you’re lost.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could ask somebody for help? Or even just ask where the McDonald’s is?

That, of course, is the obvious benefit of knowing how to talk about directions in Romanian. (Not the McDonald’s part, the not-getting-lost part.)

Did you know, though, that mastering directions in Romanian can level-up your whole command of the language? Think about it: you’ve got new vocabulary, new sentence patterns, and even new conversation starters, just from one topic.

How much do you know already about directions in Romanian?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Basic Cultural Notes and Phrases
  2. Learn the Romanian Compass Points
  3. City Vocabulary and Reference Points
  4. Phrases for Directions in Romanian, Part 1: Asking Others
  5. Part 2: Giving Directions in Romanian
  6. Travel Time
  7. Directions Can Lead You to a Wealth of Language Practice
  8. Conclusion

1. Basic Cultural Notes and Phrases

A lot of Romanians are quite good at English, and they’re all very polite and friendly. If you ask for directions in English, you’re likely to be understood by young people in any city.

However, if you can show them that you’ve put some real effort into your Romanian (that means having correct pronunciation), then they’ll be impressed and quite happy not to switch to English on you.

To politely get somebody’s attention on the street, simply say:

  • Scuzați-mă!

Excuse me!

Or maybe:

  • Mă puteți ajuta?

Could you help me?

These two phrases will help you lead into actually asking them for directions, which we’ll cover in a little while.

Romanian towns and cities are old, and people usually grew up on the same streets that are there now. During the various changes in government in the twentieth century, though, many street names did change in Romania to honor political figures.

Therefore, older people and younger people may remember streets by different names. If you can’t find a certain street that you heard mentioned, you can ask someone like this:

  • Scuzați-mă, unde e strada asta?

Excuse me, where is this street?

2. Learn the Romanian Compass Points

west and east

If you happen to have studied any German in the past, these compass points in Romanian are going to seem very familiar to you.

EnglishRomanian
northnord
southsud
eastest
westvest
northwestnord-vest
northeastnord-est
southwestsud-vest
southeastsud-est

Nord-Vest, Nord-Est, Sud-Est, Sud-Vest, and Vest are all also names of development regions of Romania, by the way. They’re not often used in daily conversation, but if you read any articles about Romania, particularly its economy, you may be confused by this.

To make it clear, it’s better to be specific about the fact that you’re talking about the parts of a country or city. This is done in two ways: using the phrase partea de and a cardinal direction, or using the adjective form of that direction.

  • Este în partea de vest a UE.

It’s in the western part of the EU.

  • E din partea sudică a Albei.

It’s from the southern part of Alba.

In addition to these absolute directions, you’ll also need to know four very useful relative directions for talking to drivers, and really just describing things in general.

EnglishRomanian
leftstânga
rightdreapta
forwardînainte
backînapoi

When you talk about turning, you’ll need to add la in front of the direction to speak grammatically correct. Take a look at this example now, and we’ve got more coming up.

  • După intersecție, ia-o la stânga.

At the intersection, turn left.

3. City Vocabulary and Reference Points

Basic questions

Now we come to the actual studying: the vocabulary. You simply can’t speak accurately about Romanian cities without having a good set of words and phrases. In this section, we’ll give you helpful phrases that you can use to practice prepositions as well. Remember, it’s always good to learn a language in chunks!

centru — city center

  • Restaurantul este situat în centrul oraşului.

The restaurant is located in the city center.

cartier de afaceri — business district

  • Suntem în mijlocul unui cartier de afaceri.

We’re in the middle of a business district.

marginea orașului — the edge of town

  • Locuiește la marginea orașului.

She lives on the edge of town.

centru comercial — shopping center

  • De ce ești în spatele unui centru comercial?

Why are you behind a shopping center?

Make sure that you not only have these words memorized, but you also know how to talk about the basics, like landmarks and streets. Cities in Romania tend to have an abundance of statues and churches, so these are good words to know as well.

statuie — statue

  • Ne întâlnim la hotel de lângă statuie.

We’ll meet in the hotel next to the statue.

piață — square

  • Este o biserică drăguță în piața orașului.

There’s a pretty church in the town square.

stradă — street

  • Te uiți în ambele părți când traversezi strada.

Look both ways when you cross the street.

semafor — traffic light / traffic signal

  • Fă dreapta la semafor.

Turn right at the traffic light.

oficiu poștal — post office

  • Magazinul de bijuterii este chiar lângă oficiul poștal.

The jewelry store is right next to the post office.

bancă — bank

  • Nu se află nimic în apropierea băncii.

It’s nowhere near the bank.

biserică — church

  • În spatele acelor copaci este o biserică mică.

Behind those trees is a little church.

4. Phrases for Directions in Romanian, Part 1: Asking Others

Asking for directions

Two words in Romanian, and you’re most of the way there to asking people for directions: unde este. This literally means “where is,” and you can make hundreds of sentences with these words alone.

I just said that there were only two words, but you’ve doubtlessly also seen unde e, meaning the same thing. What gives?

Actually, nothing. In Romanian, the verb a fi, or “to be,” has a short form (e) and a long form (este). Este is simply considered more formal than e alone.

  • Unde e biblioteca?

Where is the library?

  • Scuză-mă, dar unde e oficiul poștal?

Excuse me, but where is the post office?

This is good, but you should also be aware that it implies the definite existence of a library or post office. If there’s no library or post office in that area of town, it might be confusing for everybody involved.

That’s why you can also use this sentence pattern:

  • E vreun restaurant prin apropiere?

Is there a restaurant nearby?

  • E vreun hotel pe aici?

Is there a hotel around here?

Vreun actually means “some” or “any”—the root verb is simply a fi meaning “to be.” However, vreun is only singular, making it a little awkward to try and translate directly into English.

You can also ask about what you’d like to do, and hopefully somebody nearby knows where you can accomplish that task.

  • De unde pot cumpăra ceva de băut?

Where can I get something to drink?

  • De unde pot lua niște apă, vă rog?

Where can I get some water, please?

5. Part 2: Giving Directions in Romanian

giving directions with map

The longer you live or travel in a foreign country, the more your body language will show that you’re comfortable there. At some point, locals may ask you for directions! Let me tell you, that’s a wonderful feeling, and even better when you can give them the correct answer quickly and easily in Romanian.

Of course, these are also phrases that you might get as answers to the questions we went over in the previous section, but it’s a lot more fun to pretend that you’re the expert in Romania.

You should first give them a general idea of the distance they’re dealing with.

  • Este foarte aproape.

It’s very close by.

Or:

  • Este departe. Doi, poate trei kilometri.

It’s far away. Two, maybe three kilometers.

This will at least give them a ballpark of what to expect.

You should know that there are two ways to tell someone “to turn” in Romanian: luați-o and faceți. There’s no difference, but you’ll probably hear both of them if you travel through the country.

Here are some more phrases you can use:

  • Nu este pe strada asta.

It’s not on this street.

  • Trebuie să mergeți pe această stradă și apoi faceți la dreapta.

You need to go down this road and then turn right.

  • După 100 de metri, faceți la stânga.

After 100 meters, turn left.

  • La semafor, faceți la dreapta.

Turn right at the traffic light.

One very important word for you to know is înainte, which means “straight” or “straight ahead.” If you’ve forgotten all else, you can guide a taxi by simply pointing and saying înainte! over and over until you arrive at your destination.

This kind of “Tarzan Romanian,” by the way, can get you far if your mind goes blank and you can’t remember any of your verbs. In a pinch, you can point at a map and say Unde? and it still counts as Romanian practice!

6. Travel Time

woman walking with taxis in background

Now, a quick section on travel time. This isn’t directions specifically, but it’s used to add extra detail to your question or answer, and really start to stretch your abilities. It’s also very useful information!

Romanians usually get around with buses, taxis, or even by hitching a ride from passing drivers. Therefore, if you’re traveling by foot, they might not be sure about how long it really takes to get to a certain place.

For that reason, it’s a good idea to ask questions like the ones below that can help you get a better idea of the time investment you’re putting in.

  • Este departe?

Is it far?

  • Cât timp fac dacă merg pe jos?

How long does it take to walk?

  • Cât de departe este Piața Victoriei?

How far is Victory Square?

And the answers could be anything. For example: 

  • E la 5 minute de mers pe jos.

It’s a five-minute walk.

  • Poate dura o oră sau mai mult.

It could take an hour or more.

7. Directions Can Lead You to a Wealth of Language Practice

Directions

Whether you’re taking a taxi or hitchhiking, you’ll probably come to a point in your travels when you have the chance to speak to a driver. Obviously, this is a great opportunity to practice your Romanian, but it’s super-easy to be lost for words here.

It turns out that one of the best things you can talk about is how much the city has changed.

Anybody loves talking about the changes in their hometown, and with as much change as Romania has gone through in the last few decades, you’re never going to run out of topics to discuss.

You can start with something like this:

  • Cum s-a schimbat orașul de-a lungul anilor?

How has the city changed over the years?

  • S-a schimbat foarte mult?

Has it changed a lot?

You don’t need to rely on drivers, either. Ordinary people and business owners likely have a lot to say on the topic, too.

  • Ce era aici înainte să faceți hotelul?

What was here before you built the hotel?

They’ll give you plenty of opportunity to practice what you’ve learned so far.

And perhaps talking about past changes seems a little intimidating for your level of Romanian. Not a problem—we can still start conversations with others in an easy way.

All you have to do is ask for directions to places that you already know. Go right out of your hotel and go to a grocery store, and ask how to get to your hotel. They don’t know where you came from! Since you already know the way, you’ll be able to understand more easily.

Then another day, ask at your hotel about how to get to that grocery store! The repetition over multiple days, plus the different approaches to the same topic, will absolutely help you get the material in your memory.

8. Conclusion

What should you do if you’re not in Romania yet?

You’re already doing one of the best things—visiting RomanianPod101.com and reading through the lessons and articles right here.

Another super-easy way to practice directions is to go to Google Maps and switch the interface language to Romanian in the settings. Try this on an incognito tab if you’re worried you won’t be able to change it back afterward.

Challenge yourself, as well. Ask yourself where things are in your own town and see if you can answer in Romanian. 

The more you work on this material, the easier it will be to bring to mind when you need it—and the slower it will fade over time. 

Do you still have questions about directions in Romanian, or are things pretty crystal-clear? Feel free to drop us a comment with any questions or concerns you have on this topic! We look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Romanian learning!

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Learn One Hundred Romanian Nouns in Twenty Minutes



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If you’ve got no nouns, you’ve got problems.

Circumlocution is an important skill, but when it comes down to it, it’s really hard to do with certain things. Try describing your head or your manager without knowing those words, and you’ll see just what a challenge you’ve jumped into.

This article is here to help. No fluff, just vocab—one hundred of the Romanian nouns you need most. Read through this article just one time and see how much you can pick up!

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Table of Contents
  1. Time
  2. The Body
  3. The Family
  4. Working Life
  5. School Days
  6. At the Restaurant
  7. Food and Drink
  8. Mealtimes
  9. Transportation
  10. Technology
  11. Around the Home
  12. Conclusion


1. Time


Many Clocks

If you haven’t learned the right words for time, then you may think you’ve gotten away with it. Turns out, it’s really difficult to be specific about any particular event if you don’t even know how to say what day it happened on!

The first three “nouns” (astăzi, mâine, and ieri) are considered adverbs in Romanian, but since they’re nouns in English, I thought it would be best to include them in our Romanian nouns list.

astăzi — today

Începând de astăzi, am nevoie de soluții.
Starting today, I need solutions.

mâine — tomorrow

De mâine să nu mai vii aici.
Don’t come in tomorrow.

ieri — yesterday

A fost ziua de naștere al lui Adrian ieri.
It was Adrian’s birthday yesterday.

zi — day

Prietenia noastră s-a încheiat în acea zi.
Our friendship ended that day.

săptămână — week

O dată pe săptămână mergem să înotăm împreună.
Once a week, we go swimming together.

luna — month

Luna aceasta e pe sfârșite.
This month is almost over.

an — year

Mihaela a locuit împreună cu noi aproape un an.
Mihaela lived with us for almost a year.



2. The Body


Neck Pain

Is your back flaring up again? How about your complaining neighbor? Whether describing your symptoms or offering sympathy, you need these Romanian nouns.

laba piciorului — foot

El și-a tăiat laba piciorului de o piatră.
He cut his foot on a rock.

picior — leg

Cred că mi-am rupt piciorul.
I think I may have broken my leg.

cap — head

A început sa mă doară capul din senin.
My head suddenly started to hurt.

braț — arm

Bebelușul dorme doar în brațele mele.
The baby only sleeps in my arms.

mână — hand

Mâinile tale sunt mai reci decât ale mele.
Your hands are colder than mine.

stomac — stomach

Florin s-a plâns de dureri de stomac.
Florin complained of stomach pain.

spate — back

Am simțit o durere ascuțită în partea de jos a spatelui.
I felt a sharp pain in my lower back.

piept — chest

El a avut dureri în piept.
He had pains in his chest.

talie — waist

Uite cât de mică este talia ei!
Look how small her waist is!

3. The Family


Nouns 1

Talking about your family is a great topic for small talk. Romanians have big and connected families, so don’t be surprised if they ask about your cousin that you haven’t seen since fifth grade. Here are the most important nouns in Romanian for family talk!

familie — family

Această cheltuială nu va afecta bugetul familiei noastre.
This expense will not affect our family budget.

mamă — mother

Faptul că sunt mamă, mă face fericită.
Being a mother makes me happy.

tată — father

Tatăl său a fost marinar.
His father was a sailor.

părinte — parent

Fiecare părinte are impresia că odrasla lui este specială.
Every parent thinks their child is special.

copil — child

Fiecare copil ar trebui să se simtă în siguranță.
Every child should feel safe.

fiică — daughter

El a plecat să o caute pe fiica sa.
He went to find his daughter.

fiul — son

Eu sunt fiul ei.
I’m her son.

mătușă — aunt

Mătușa ta a sunat de opt ori.
Your aunt called eight times.

unchi — uncle

Nu l-am întâlnit niciodată pe unchiul tău.
I’ve never met your uncle.

soț — husband

Va fi un soț bun.
He’ll be a good husband.

văr — cousin

Acest copil este vărul tău.
That child is your cousin.

soție — wife

El locuiește la o fermă împreună cu soția și copiii lui.
He lives on a farm with his wife and kids.

    → Do you want more Romanian family words or more information on the structure of a Romanian family? RomanianPod101 has just the article for you!


4. Working Life


Woman Working on Computer

We’ve got lots of names for people so far, but none for their jobs. How about some Romanian nouns related to jobs and the office?

vânzător — salesman

Ești un bun vânzător.
You are a good salesman.

profesor — teacher

Ea a fost profesoara mea de matematică.
She was my math teacher.

medic — doctor

Ar trebui să respecți sfatul doctorului.
You should follow the doctor’s advice.

bucătar — cook; chef

Am profesat ca și bucătar.
I used to be a chef.

angajat — employee

Sunt doar trei angajați cu jumătate de normă.
There are only three part-time employees.

scriitor — writer

Fiecare scriitor are nevoie de un editor bun.
Every writer needs a good editor.

șofer — driver

Am înțeles că aveți nevoie de un șofer.
I’ve heard you need a driver.

menajeră — housekeeper

Nu cred că avem nevoie de o menajeră.
I don’t think we need a housekeeper.

pictor — painter

Pictorul era înconjurat de studenții săi.
The painter was surrounded by his students.

salariu — salary

Nu vă puteți permite toate acestea din salariu.
You can’t afford this with your salary.

5. School Days


Empty Classroom

Romania isn’t the hottest destination for students, but it still boasts several famous European universities. With a relatively low cost of living and tuition, why not study among the Carpathians?

carte — book

Această carte e foarte importantă pentru mine.
This book is very important to me.

pix — pen

Dă-mi un pix și o hârtie.
Give me a pen and paper.

creion — pencil

Așteaptă o secundă ca să iau un creion.
Wait a minute, I’ll get a pencil.

facultate — university

Când aveam 20 ani, am renunțat la facultate.
When I was twenty, I dropped out of university.

caiet — notebook

Scrie-ți numărul ăsta în caiet.
Write this number in your notebook.

școală — school

Mergi pe jos până la școală?
Do you walk to school?

student — student

Amândoi suntem studenți.
Both of us are students.

temă — homework

Doar ce mi-am terminat tema la engleză.
I just finished my English homework.

examen — exam

Ultimul examen a fost perfect.
The final exam was perfect.

foarfecă — scissors

Am nevoie de o foarfecă și niște hârtie.
I need a pair of scissors and some paper.

6. At the Restaurant


Nouns 2

Any tourist is going to want to know how to talk about things in a restaurant. Let’s look at what’s on the table first, then what’s on the plates.

platou — plate

Asta e un platou cu fructe și niște iaurt.
That’s a plate of fruit and some yogurt.

castron — bowl

Am un castron uriaș cu bomboane.
I have a giant bowl of candy.

cuțit — knife

Pune cuțitul ala pe podea.
Put that knife on the floor.

furculiță — fork

Am nevoie de furculița aia.
I need that fork.

lingură — spoon

Poți să speli lingura asta, te rog?
Can you wash this spoon, please?

ceașcă — cup

Aceasta nu este ceașca ta.
This is not your cup.

ceainic — teapot

Îmi place cum șuieră ceainicul asta.
I like how this teapot is whistling.

chelner — waiter

Chelnerul a adus aperitivele.
The waiter brought the starters.

chelneriță — waitress

Am fost cea mai bună chelneriță.
I was the best waitress.

nota de plată — bill

Ai plecat fără să achiți nota de plată.
You left without paying the bill.

7. Food and Drink


Family Eating at Thanksgiving

Now it’s time to discuss what’s actually on those plates. Romanian cuisine is hearty and makes use of a lot of cheese and thick sauces.

apă — water

Am nevoie de un pahar cu apă.
I need a glass of water.

cafea — coffee

Vreau o alta cană de cafea.
I want another cup of coffee.

ceai — tea

Ți-am adus niște ceai.
I brought you some tea.

carne de vită — beef

Specialitatea de astăzi este vită stroganoff.
The special today is beef stroganoff.

porcul — pork

Îmi place puiul mai mult decât porcul.
I like chicken better than pork.

pui — chicken

Am pregătit ce îți place, tocăniță de pui.
I made your favorite, chicken stew.

miel — lamb

La prânz am comandat cotlet de miel.
I ordered lamb chops for lunch.

pâine — bread

Pâinea cu mălai este preferata mea.
Cornbread is my favorite.

pește — fish

Îmi place să cumpăr pește din acest magazin.
I like to buy fish from this shop.

bere — beer

Pot să ne aduci niște bere?
Could you bring us some beer?

vin — wine

Ce fel de vin îți place?
What kind of wine do you like?

suc — fruit juice

Dă-mi un suc, te rog.
Give me a juice, please.

lapte — milk

El bea lapte în fiecare zi.
He drinks milk everyday.

8. Mealtimes


Nouns 3

And there are of course names for the different meals throughout the day in Romania.

mic dejun — breakfast

El a ratat un mic dejun foarte bun.
He missed a very nice breakfast.

prânz — lunch

Am crezut că mergem să mâncăm masa de prânz.
I thought we were going to get lunch.

cină — dinner

Am acceptat să luăm cina împreună.
We agreed to have dinner together.

gustare — snack

Mama ne-a pregătit o gustare.
My mother made a snack for us.

ospăț — feast

Ce ospăț pe cinste!
What an amazing feast!

9. Transportation


Women Riding Bus

Most Romanians take buses or cars to get around. It’s also quite common to see people lining up looking to hitch a ride with anybody going out of town! Here are the most important nouns in Romanian for transportation.

stradă — street

Ai grijă când treci strada!
Be careful crossing the street!

mașină — car

Am nevoie de mașina ta.
I need your car.

autobuz — bus

Cât costă un bilet de autobuz?
How much does a bus ticket cost?

stație de autobuz — bus station

L-am așteptat în stația de autobuz.
I picked him up at the bus station.

avion — plane

Învață-mă cum să fac avioane de hârtie.
Teach me how to make paper airplanes.

bicicletă — bicycle

Pot să merg pe un monociclu.
I can ride a bicycle with one wheel.

motocicletă — motorcycle

El a cumpărat cel mai nou model de motocicletă.
He bought the latest model motorcycle.

microbuz — mini-bus

Toate microbuzele sunt pline.
All the mini-buses are full.

tren — train

Trenul pleacă la fiecare jumătate de oră.
The train runs every half hour.

stația de tren / gară — train station

Nu vreau să locuiesc aproape de stația de tren.
I don’t want to live near the train station.

10. Technology


Nouns 4

Romanians tend to interact with technology in English, since a lot of websites and apps don’t have Romanian versions. Therefore, some brand names are simply in English, and other words like “wi-fi” are just pronounced according to Romanian rules.

televizor — TV

Îmi place să mă uit la televizor înainte să adorm.
I like to watch television before I go to sleep.

parolă — password

Care este parola?
What’s the password?

telefon — phone

Pot să folosesc acest telefon?
May I use this phone?

cameră — camera

Am văzut imaginile surprinse de camera de supraveghere.
I saw the security camera images.

tabletă — tablet

Aceste tablete au devenit foarte populare.
Those tablets have become very popular.

11. Around the Home


Are you staying in a bed-and-breakfast, visiting Romanian friends, or renting an apartment? You’ll see these appliances all over Romania no matter what.

frigider / congelator — refrigerator

L-am ajutat pe fratele meu să mute un frigider.
I helped my brother move a refrigerator.

mașina de spălat — washing machine

Mi-am găsit portofelul în mașina de spălat.
I found my wallet in the washing machine.

microunde — microwave

Vreau să folosesc cuptorul cu microunde.
I want to use the microwave.

ventilator — fan

Ventilatorul este pe masă.
The fan is on the table.

radiator — heater

Cred că s-a stricat radiatorul.
I think the heater is broken.

aer condiționat — air conditioner

Nu avem nevoie de un aparat de aer condiționat.
We don’t need an air conditioner.

aragaz — stove

Mâncarea se încălzeșete pe aragaz.
The food is warming up on the stove.

masă — table

Masa dumneavoastră va fi gata îndată, domnule.
Your table will be ready shortly, sir.

scaun — chair

Poți să stai pe scaunul meu.
You can sit on my chair.

canapea — sofa

Ar trebui să cumpărăm o canapea nouă.
We should buy a new sofa.

ușa — door

Deschide ușa și uită-te afară.
Open the door and look outside.

fereastră — window

El doarme cu fereastra deschisă.
He sleeps with his window open.

12. Conclusion


Congratulations, you’ve just read 100 sentences (or about five book pages) of Romanian! But I bet you couldn’t tell me what the first one was. To really lock these words into your memory, you’ve got to come at them again and again, preferably over several days.

If you combine regular and intensive vocabulary review with the normal material and blog posts from RomanianPod101, you’ll be on the number-one path to Romanian excellence.

Eventually, you’ll be ready to start learning about things like Romanian nouns declension and gender, or Romanian verb conjugation!

Are there any important Romanian nouns we missed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to help.

Happy Romanian learning!

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The Right Romanian Compliments for Every Situation

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If you know any Romanians, then you might have asked them to teach you a couple of Romanian words in the past.

Most people jump straight to the curse words, which are always good for a laugh.

But there’s another class of words that can have a much better effect. Those are Romanian compliments.

A foreigner who knows how to speak a little Romanian is not a rarity anymore. But someone who knows how to speak Romanian well is hard to come across. How about someone who can pay natural, beautiful compliments in Romanian?

Nearly impossible to find.

However, that can be you. All you have to do is read this article.

Because you can’t just rush into Romanian. It’s different enough from English that some things you’d expect to transfer over simply don’t. This guide is going to help you through those difficulties and toward some truly high-level Romanian.

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Table of Contents

  1. Don’t Be Perfunctory
  2. You Look Great!
  3. Nice Work Today!
  4. Congratulations!
  5. You’re Amazing!
  6. Conclusion

1. Don’t Be Perfunctory

Woman Taking Away Fake Mask from Face

First, we’ve got to get real.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for romance or if you’re just generally interested in saying something nice.

People can tell when you’re being fake. In fact, many Romanians think that Americans, for example, are superficial for their endless compliments. It’s just a difference in culture, really; in American culture, compliments are sort of a signal of friendship and good faith.

In Romanian, it would come across as strange to compliment people left and right every time you see them.

For that reason, you’ve got to be genuine and mention specific details about the person you wish to compliment. This isn’t difficult to learn—in fact, it just requires that you learn a little bit more advanced vocabulary. That can be a fun challenge in itself!

And what should you expect people to say after you’ve complimented them?

Romanians tend to accept compliments with mersi or mulțumesc, but just as soon might downplay what you’re saying.

You can try the same thing. If someone should happen to tell you this:

  • Vorbiți bine limba română.
    “You speak Romanian well!”

Then you can smile and say something polite like this:

  • Încă mai fac greșeli.
    “I still make mistakes.”

That’s your Romanian home run. Now, what other types of compliments in Romanian are there?

2. You Look Great!

Compliments

All right, the first thing that many people want to know is how to give compliments in a flirty situation.

You’re hanging out at a local bar, it’s a sultry summer evening, and someone catches your eye. But they’ve probably gotten a number of come-ons from foreigners that evening. Wouldn’t it be better to open up in Romanian?

First let’s talk about first impressions. When giving romantic compliments, Romanians often start with a general description, if you will.

  • Ești frumoasă.
    “You’re beautiful.”
  • Ești chipeș.
    “You’re handsome.”
  • Ești drăguț.
    “You’re cute.”
  • Arăți minunat.
    “You look gorgeous.”

Nothing too crazy, just some simple statements of beauty. The last one can be gender-neutral, though the first two are gender-coded like their English translations.

In our imaginary scenario, we’re of course using the informal tu form. It would sound kind of weird to use the formal dumneavoastră, unless everyone present is middle-aged or older.

Remember, it’s important to be specific when you’re paying compliments, even more so when love may hang in the balance. You don’t want to say what they’ve already been hearing for the entire evening.

  • Zâmbești foarte frumos.
    “Your smile is beautiful.”
  • Îți stă bine cu jacheta aceea.
    “That jacket looks nice on you.”
  • Miroși bine.
    “You smell good.”

We’ll keep this an all-ages article and draw the line there.

If things happen to go well with the person you’re meeting at the bar, romantic phrases in Romanian pretty much all take the form of compliments as well. Here are just two to get your imagination going.

  • Eşti cel mai bun lucru din viaţa mea.
    “You’re the best thing in my life.”
  • Tu ești totul pentru mine.
    “You’re everything to me.”

It looks like finding a Romanian partner might be the best way to get yourself interested in Romanian compliments!

3. Nice Work Today!

Coworkers Chatting After Work

Romanian employers welcome foreign talent, particularly skilled talent. Given that many old Romanians don’t speak very good English, one of the skills you might need is good Romanian!

Should you happen to end up on a Romanian team or overseeing work at the Romanian branch of your company, a couple of well-placed compliments can go a very long way, even if the working language in the office is English.

  • Foarte bine!
    “Well done!”
  • Bună treabă!
    “Great job!”
  • Performanța ta a depășit așteptările mele.
    “Your performance exceeded my expectations.”

After doing business in Romania for a long time, you might be left in charge of the interview process, where you can throw out compliments like this one:

  • CV-ul tău este impresionant.
    “Your resume is impressive.”

Using this compliment in Romanian is also a good way to test people, even in your home country. If they put “Romanian” on their CV and don’t know how to react to that phrase, then perhaps it’s time to end the interview!

Sometimes the best compliments come from people who rarely give them. In those cases, a compliment may not even seem like a compliment at first:

  • Ține-o tot așa!
    “Keep this up!”

If you hear that one at work, though, it means you’re very much on the right track to success.

How about in a business meeting? With a lot on the line, you may want to stick with English for the first few years at the job. However, if you work on your business Romanian, someday soon you may find yourself coming up with phrases like these:

  • Sunt foarte impresionat de produsul vostru, dar avem nevoie de o soluție mai bună.
    “I’m very impressed with your product, but we need a better solution.”

4. Congratulations!

Positive

When you’re out with your Romanian friends, they may not be expecting compliments from you.

For one thing, they might not expect you to speak Romanian! Having learned their language is a compliment in itself.

For another, friends generally don’t give each other honest and deep compliments. It’s often more surface-level stuff like the appearance phrases at the beginning of the article. You’ll find more phrases like that in this section, by the way.

First, we’ll look at two that are easy since they’re exactly the same as in English. When you learn cognates like this, though, remember to pronounce them the Romanian way.

  • Super!
    “Super!”
  • Bravo!
    “Bravo!”
  • Minunat!
    “Outstanding!”

When someone’s really been working hard on something, it’s good to let them know that you see it. Imagine you have a friend who’s been in his room writing page after page of essays until late into the night. What might you say to him?

  • Lucrezi din greu!
    “You’re working really hard!”
  • Știu că va fi minunat.
    “I know it’s going to be great.”

And then, one day, he’s all finished and his essays have been published. It looks like congratulations are in order!

  • Felicitări! O meriți.
    “Congratulations! You deserve it.”

5. You’re Amazing!

Old Man Painting Scenery

Everybody has a special skill of some kind. Some people call their skills useless or just hobbies, but no hobby is useless if it brings you enjoyment.

Perhaps your friends or acquaintances are showing off their hobbies, like salsa dancing, poetry writing, or guitar. Romanians tend to be shy performers, so some encouraging compliments are exactly what some people need to step out of their shells.

  • Extraordinar!
    “Amazing!”
  • Ai talent la scris.
    “You have a way with words.”

Literally, this last sentence translates to “You have talent in writing.” Switch out the hobby as needed!
Now imagine that you’ve stopped in a small restaurant in a small town somewhere in Transylvania. Wouldn’t it be nice to compliment the chef?

  • Îmi place ce ați gătit.
    “I love your cooking.”
  • E delicios!
    “It’s delicious!”

Finally, you can tell your friends that you simply like hanging out with them. No matter how infrequently it comes up, people like to hear from their friends that they’re appreciated.

  • Ești un prieten bun.
    “You’re a good friend.” (to a man)
  • Ești o prietenă bună.
    “You’re a good friend.” (to a woman)
  • Eu chiar te admir.
    “I really admire you.”

6. Conclusion

There’s something to be said for studying Romanian in the sink-or-swim way. The faster you’re thrown into real situations where you’ve got to speak Romanian to get by, the faster you’ll start speaking something.

But if you get tossed into Romania tomorrow and have to pick up everything as fast as you can, you’ll more than likely form some bad habits and ignore some of the finer points of the Romanian language and culture.

The culture aspect, especially, is going to take a hit as you’ll be mostly focused on language.

The way to avoid overlooking all of the details of culture in Romania is to do your best to consume content tailor-made to show you the grammar, vocabulary, and culture points that you need to know.

Maybe you see it coming already—that’s exactly what you get with RomanianPod101.com. Your language-learning journey has never been easier, so create your free basic lifetime account today and enjoy the fast-track to Romanian success.

In the meantime, did we miss any important compliments or occasions? Don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments section with any questions you still have about Romanian compliments, and we’ll do our best to help you out!

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How to Express Anger in Romanian on Your Bad Days

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Are you having a bad day in Bucharest? Crabby in Cluj? Testy in Timișoara?

You might want to take a deep breath and let it out.

Or not.

Because sometimes it’s really necessary to put your anger into words and tell others how you really feel.

Or suppose somebody’s harassing you. You don’t want to give them any kind of leeway—you want them gone, and pronto.

So now is the perfect time for you to review (or learn for the first time) how to express your anger in Romanian with some angry words and phrases you can use.

We’re not going to get too explicit here. Learning some mild insults, sentence patterns about anger, and maybe some more serious insults is good enough. Anything you want to express with these phrases is going to come across crystal-clear, guaranteed.

And in this article, in particular, you’ll get to begin exploring the very rich world of Romanian idioms and creative language. Trust us, there’s a whole universe out there!

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Table of Contents

  1. Discussing Your Angry Feelings
  2. Get Out of My Face
  3. Don’t Look for Trouble
  4. Shut Your Trap
  5. Look What You’ve Done
  6. Let it All Go
  7. Let’s Take This Outside
  8. Say You’re Sorry
  9. Conclusion

1. Discussing Your Angry Feelings

Man Screaming

Let’s begin by talking about emotions. Romanians are quite open and forthright about their emotions, finding it easy to express anger, happiness, and fear. Here are a few perfect phrases for letting someone know you’re angry in Romanian:

  • Sunt foarte nervos.
    I feel really angry.
  • Sunt atât de nervos pe tine!
    I’m so angry at you!
  • Sunt supărat.
    I’m upset.
  • Acest lucru este atât de frustrant.
    This is so frustrating.

You may or may not already know that Romanian is an extremely rich language. We mentioned above that there are some great idioms out there, and here are two fantastic examples.

  • Îmi sare muștarul!
    My mustard is gonna jump off! (from annoyance)

There’s pretty much no explanation for this one, except that it certainly means you’re very annoyed with the world!

  • Mă freci la icre!
    That really rubs my caviar!

“Caviar” is a loose translation; really, we’re talking about fish eggs in general. Imagine that you’re about to dig into a tasty bowl of caviar (a very typical feature at Romanian dinners, by the way), and then somebody puts their bare hand in and rubs it all around.

That would be awful! And what you’re feeling now, imagining such an injustice, is the feeling evoked by this idiom in Romanian.

2. Get Out of My Face

Angry Man Pointing

Sometimes politely saying “no” or turning away isn’t enough to get somebody to stop bothering you. If you’ve got an annoying co-worker or you’re being harassed on the street, there are a couple of great things you can say to send a message.

First, another classic Romanian phrase.

  • Ura și la gara!
    Hurray! To the train station!

What’s the deal with this non-sequitur? It shows that you don’t care at all, like “Whoopee, now let’s get going.” It’s very important to say it in a sarcastic tone of voice!

  • Mă scoți din pepeni.
    You’re taking me out of my watermelons.

And another! This is silly and idiomatic, but the meaning is clear to any Romanian: “You’re making me annoyed and you’d better stop it.” Imagine a watermelon on the vine suddenly very cross with the world when a farmer starts to pick it, and you’ve got some idea of the sentiment.

Of course, there are plenty of other phrases that are less funny, less idiomatic, but still good Romanian—and more importantly, communicate the message in a bitingly clear way.

  • Nu vreau să te mai văd pe-aici.
    I don’t want to see you here again.
  • Mi-e indiferent.
    I don’t care.

You might think that this translates as “I am indifferent,” but look at the pronouns again. The literal translation is “It is to me all the same.”

  • Termină!
    That’s enough!

Termină literally means “End (it)!” This is great for situations where somebody is doing something small and annoying to you, or as we say in English, really “pushing your buttons,” with stupid, repetitive behavior.

  • Nu vreau să vorbesc cu tine.
    “I don’t want to talk to you.”

3. Don’t Look for Trouble

Complaints

If you’re the physically imposing type, you may not have to ever use these phrases. These are for when your “back off” words didn’t quite have the desired effect. The rudeness is turned up here, and when spoken in a harsh tone, the other person is quite likely to understand with haste that they’re making the wrong life decisions.

  • Mișcă-te.
    Beat it.

Because of the reflexive verb here, this first phrase has a sense of “get yourself completely out of here.” Unfortunately, that sense can only come across in the crudest of ways in translation.

  • Cu mine vorbești?
    Are you talking to me?
  • Cine te crezi?
    Who do you think you are?

4. Shut Your Trap

Woman being Bossy

Have you been in an argument recently? If you have, you probably wanted to say things in your own defense, but the other party probably wasn’t having it.

What a terrible, frustrating feeling! You can turn that around on others, though, by simply telling them directly that you don’t want to hear a single thing they have to say.

  • Vreau să nu mai vorbești.
    I want you to stop talking.

Starting off here, we have what could be a polite request, but we all know that it probably won’t be. By saying this one in a commanding tone, you’re asserting your authority, and more importantly, your importance in the context of the situation.

  • Dispari!
    Get away!

This is actually the same root word as “to shoot,” and so it has the sense of “fly away from here.” That said, it’s actually considered one of the ruder ways to express this particular sentiment in Romanian.

Here a couple more ways to express your anger in Romanian:

  • Lasă-mă în pace!
    Leave me alone!
  • Taci!
    Shut up!

You may recognize the Latin root here from taciturn. There’s only the barest of similarities here with what English speakers associate that root with. In Romanian, this is a short, terse order, and woe betide anyone who keeps talking afterward.

  • Stai jos și taci.
    Sit down and shut up.

5. Look What You’ve Done

Negative Verbs

Blaming people is always a sure-fire way to get them riled up, so you shouldn’t blame people for things you know they didn’t do unless you’re the one looking for trouble.

  • Mă minți.
    You’re lying to me.

Romanian society, in addition to a stronger tie with emotions, also has a lot of honor attached to it. If someone is caught lying, they’re normally not trusted for a while, even within their circle of friends. And if you call someone a liar, then—whether or not they were actually lying—they’re liable to get heated.

  • Nu mă asculți.
    You’re not listening to me.
  • Ești dus cu pluta.
    You’ve gone on a raft.

6. Let it All Go

Woman Doing Yoga

Insults and fighting are fun to think about, but nobody really wants things to go that direction. You can do your best here to calm everybody down with some soothing words.

When you’re de-escalating a situation, you should try to make people feel respected and listened to. This is huge with customers—maybe you’re working in a hotel or restaurant with Romanian guests and they’re upset over the service.

  • În regulă, las-o mai moale.
    Alright, take it easy.
  • Am greșit amândoi.
    We made a mistake.
  • Înțeleg, dar trebuie să te calmezi.
    I understand, but you’ve got to calm down.

Remember that telling somebody else to calm down, in most cases, has the opposite effect! You have to really lean into this one, and show them that there’s really no need to be upset.

  • Hai să nu ne certăm.
    Let’s not fight.
  • Ai dreptate, îmi pare rău.
    You’re right, I’m sorry.
  • Hai să uităm totul, bine?
    Let’s forget about it, okay?

7. Let’s Take This Outside

Two Kids Fighting

Diplomacy can only really go so far. Even people with the most saintlike patience have a breaking point where they just have to let out their feelings and lash out at the world.

You should, however, be careful. There’s such a huge number of YouTube videos and articles out there about cursing in other languages that it can seem really fun to go and do it yourself once you know how.

But there are few things more dangerous for your social standing. Imagine you’re trying to accept a foreign learner into your social circle but they always take jokes and insults too far. It’ll get very old very fast.

And you didn’t grow up hearing and feeling insults in Romanian! You don’t have that innate sense of what they really mean—so be very careful when using them, and even when joking around with them.

  • Pe mă-ta!
    Your mother!

This is an insult all around the world, even though it doesn’t really mean anything literally. The implications, though, are vast and serious. Romanian actually takes things to an entirely different plane of vulgarity and obscenity, particularly with regard to mothers. In the interest of decency, we’re not going to print the really bad stuff.

  • Porcule!
    You swine!
  • Du-te dracu’!
    Go to hell!
  • Rahat ambulant!
    You walking turd!
  • Țăranule!
    Peasant!

The divide between city and country is felt rather strongly in Romania, and so to call somebody a peasant implies a great deal of backwardness and lack of education. Few people in Romania are pining for a quiet rural life, that’s for sure.

  • Ești un laș.
    You’re a coward.

A couple of sections ago, we mentioned that honesty is important in Romanian society. So is bravery, of course. Calling somebody a coward can never end well, as even people who don’t care much for older notions of “honor” are going to feel that sting.

8. Say You’re Sorry

After walking away from the situation, thinking about it for a while, and calming down, you might have a sinking feeling of dread.

What if you were in the wrong, after all?

You probably were a little bit too forceful with your words, and so the best thing to do here is to be the bigger person and apologize.

Note that this is slightly different than trying to de-escalate a situation because here the bad stuff has already happened. However, a lot of the sentiments are the same.

The basic way to say “I’m sorry” in Romanian is Îmi pare rău. Let’s assume, though, that your foul deeds included all of the awful insults just discussed above. That’s not very forgivable very quickly, and so you’d better up the ante a little bit with sincerity.

  • Îmi pare foarte rău.
    I’m very sorry.

Apologies only go so far, of course. Making promises is the next step, where you admit your own wrongs and explain why you’re going to do better in the future.

  • Nu trebuia să spun asta.
    I shouldn’t have said that.
  • Nu trebuia să țip la tine.
    I shouldn’t have yelled at you.
  • Am greșit că am făcut asta.
    I was wrong to do that.
  • Nu vreau să fac asta din nou.
    I won’t do that again.
  • Am făcut o greșeală teribilă.
    I made a terrible mistake.

Will anybody believe you after the terrible things you said? Maybe. Only time will tell.

9. Conclusion

Here we’ve seen just how many ways there are to start trouble with angry words in Romanian. Even more, we’ve seen that it can lead to scary situations and call for desperate apologies if you overdo it.

Why do that at all?

With RomanianPod101, you can learn to do better. Our lessons teach you the words you really need, in the way that makes the most sense to you.

From articles like this one to our video series and flagship podcast, you’ll get to know the subtle cues in Romanian culture so that you can use language like this on purpose, not by accident.

All of those articles about making cultural faux pas and having natives be offended simply assume that you don’t know the language. By learning to speak Romanian well, you’ll avoid ever causing any trouble with your words.

So really, there’s nothing to be angry about. Try out RomanianPod101 and see what it can bring to you!

What’s your favorite Romanian angry phrase from this article? What are the most common angry phrases in your native language? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below!

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Life Event Messages: Happy Birthday in Romanian & Beyond

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There’s a lot to be said for being able to make good small talk in another language. Conversations can start up and keep going indefinitely with the right people.

But what can you talk about? Perhaps you’ve tried talking about the weather but didn’t get terribly far.

Or perhaps you’ve already met someone in Romania and gotten along with them, but you don’t know what to talk about whenever you hang out.

The truth is, all you really need is this list. For starters, anyway, as you begin learning how to wish someone a happy birthday in Romanian and similar best wishes in Romanian.

Take a look at these different situations. They all represent life events, big or small, that can be the topic of a great conversation. All you need to do is take the initiative and start chatting!

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Table of Contents

  1. Birthdays
  2. Holidays
  3. Weddings and Anniversaries
  4. Babies
  5. Graduation or Academic Success
  6. Workplace Success
  7. Bad News in General
  8. Good News in General
  9. Conclusion

1. Birthdays

Happy Birthday

We can’t pretend for a moment that Romanians don’t celebrate birthdays. They do, and in style. Families celebrate birthdays for their young children as soon as they’re able to, and even into adulthood most people stick with the tradition of getting together and spending time with good friends.

  • La mulţi ani!
    Happy Birthday! (Literally: To many years!)

You can also say happy birthday in Romanian this way (it’s something you’ll mostly see on cards):

  • Toate urările de bine!
    A Happy Birthday to you!

Or perhaps:

  • Zâmbeşte, iubeşte, trăieşte!
    Smile, love, live!

Another way to wish all the best in a very friendly way in Romanian is: să ai un an bun, which literally means “I hope you’ll have a good year.” It refers to all 365 days of the year until that person’s next birthday!

How about a birthday song? Well, to be honest, most young people see English as so trendy that they’d rather just sing Happy Birthday to You in English. And yet, as Romanians, there’s still something much more special about la mulţi ani, and that one’s not going away soon.

For a true Romanian birthday song, check out Cine să trăiască, which means “Who is to live?” Hint: It’s the one who’s having the birthday.

2. Holidays

In this section, you’ll learn holiday greetings in Romanian for the most popular Romanian holidays.

Romania is a relatively religious country, specifically when it comes to Christianity. Other religions don’t get nearly as much prominence in general Romanian culture. And so as part of the classical Western European cultural tradition, Christmas is perhaps the number-one Romanian holiday.

So, ready to learn how to say Merry Christmas in Romanian? Just like in English, there’s one very useful phrase that you can use to say Merry Christmas in Romanian. It might be a little hard to say, but everyone will appreciate your attempt!

  • Crăciun fericit!
    Merry Christmas!

And what comes after Christmas?

Why, it’s New Year’s Day, of course! In Romania, despite the cold, people gather together on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to sing and dance and make merry. You can wish your Romanian friends a happy new year in Romanian with this phrase:

  • Să ai un An Nou fericit!
    Happy New Year!

Next is Easter, another popular holiday in Romania that’s often celebrated in a festive way. The tradition of Easter egg hunting is alive and well in Romania, as well as Easter Mass in the churches. To wish someone a Happy Easter, simply say Paşte fericit!

Valentine’s Day is actually celebrated slightly differently in Romania compared to in other countries. It only really entered the cultural consciousness in the last few years as an “international” holiday. Before that, there was a much older cultural holiday known as Dragobete, celebrated on February 24 to mark a day of togetherness as spring arrives.

As for appropriate Valentine’s Day wishes, this is one place where you’d better personalize it! You’ll see the English phrase “Happy Valentine’s Day” out and about (particularly in advertisements), but if you’re dating a Romanian, try to put a little more effort into it than that. There are no set phrases here—just love from the heart.

3. Weddings and Anniversaries

Marriage Proposal

Before a wedding can happen, there’s obviously got to be a proposal and an engagement. Let’s say you’ve found out about the engagement of one of your friends from a post on social media. You can message them and say:

After that, it’s anyone’s guess as to when the actual wedding ceremony will occur. In Romania, many weddings typically occur in churches, as very formal events. Or at least, for part of it. The rest of the ceremony is almost certain to last well into the night, and you’d better have a good excuse if you want to get any sleep!

Accordingly, one of the “strongest” forms of congratulations in Romanian you can give is usually found at weddings, whether in speeches, in cards, or over a firm handshake.

  • Casă de piatră şi felicitări!
    Warm wishes and congratulations!
  • Felicitări mirelui şi miresei pentru fericitul eveniment!
    Congratulations to the bride and groom on their happy union!

If you’ve been invited to the wedding, that’s great. But if you can’t make it, and you’d still like to send the happy couple your greetings, you can use this Romanian wedding congratulations phrase.

  • Felicitări pentru unirea destinelor!
    Congratulations on tying the knot!

After a wedding, there’s just one more thing that people tend to celebrate—at least in this realm of life. That’s the anniversary, and the way people say “happy anniversary” in Romanian isn’t much different from how it’s done in English.

  • Aniversare frumoasă!
    Happy anniversary!

The concept of the “silver” (argint), or 25-year, and the “gold” (aur), or 50-year, anniversaries are recognized in Romania too.

  • Felicitări cu ocazia nunţii de aur!
    Congratulations on your golden anniversary!

4. Babies

Talking about Age

A new baby means a lot. It’s a new member of the family, a new mind exploring the world, and a whole new stage of life for the parents.

In contrast to some of the other well-wishes we’ve looked at before, Romanian congratulations for new parents is rather different from English. The typical message of congratulations is more like a little poem or wish.

  • Să vă trăiască și să fie sănătos!
    May they live for you, may they be healthy!

That covers it pretty well for talking to people in person. The following two phrases are a little bit less personal, and so they’d be good for cards or emails.

  • Felicitări pentru noul sosit!
    Congratulations on your new arrival!
  • Am fost încântaţi să aflăm despre naşterea bebelușului/ bebelușei vostru / voastre.
    We were so happy to hear of the birth of your new baby boy / girl.

5. Graduation or Academic Success

Romania might not have the international prestige of other countries when it comes to universities, but nevertheless, every year thousands of brilliant graduates throw their caps in the air and embark on the next stage of their development.

When it comes to graduates, the type of things you say and the way you say them are likely to be quite different, depending on whether you’re graduating in the same class or if you’re just talking to someone who’s finished their school.

For the first case, you can use this phrase for lightly teasing someone who did really well in their classes.

  • Cine este geniul nostru?
    Who’s this genius?

Now, here are some phrases you can include in more formal or less personal messages.

  • Felicitări cu ocazia absolvirii!
    Congratulations on your graduation!
  • Felicitări pentru master şi mult noroc în viitor!
    Congratulations on the Master’s degree, and lots of luck in the future!

6. Workplace Success

Coworkers in Office Together

Do you know anyone who’s up for a promotion? Or maybe looking to switch careers? Generally, in Romania most companies try to maintain a culture of friendship, especially if you’ve been working with the same people for a long time.

If someone you know is going to take a big leap in their professional life, encourage them with these phrases.

  • Îţi urăm noroc şi succes.
    We wish you luck and success.
  • O poți face!
    You can do it!

And then, assuming everything all worked out for them, congratulations are in order!

  • Felicitări pentru obţinerea postului!
    Congratulations on your new job!
  • Mult noroc pe viitor!
    Best of luck for the future!

7. Bad News in General

We’ll take a brief detour here into something a little less upbeat.

It’s important to know how to appropriately offer condolences in Romanian to others when they’ve met with misfortune in their lives. If you know someone who’s going through a rough patch, you should definitely reach out to them.

However, be careful here. Make sure you mean what you say. Romanians take friendships seriously, and that means you can’t just shoot off a quick text and expect it to be received the same as if you had visited in person with flowers.

In short, be genuine, and if your Romanian isn’t very strong, perhaps stick to English or another shared language if you don’t feel very confident with these phrases yet.

Below are some best wishes in Romanian for when a friend is going through a rough time, to get you started.

1- Funerals

You might think that a Romanian funeral would be an extremely somber occasion. And it’s true; there’s certainly a place for serious formality. However, Romanian funeral traditions can be quite diverse.

At such an occasion, you’ll certainly hear this phrase:

  • Dumnezeu să-l odihnească în pace!
    May God rest him in peace!

Although there may be celebrations of life, it’s far, far better to err on the side of being too formal when you give your condoleanţe or “condolences.” Here are some elegant Romanian condolences you can use to comfort others in their time of loss.

  • Gândurile noastre sunt alături de tine în aceste momente dificile.
    Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
  • Ne pare foarte rău pentru pierderea suferită.
    We are very sorry to hear of your loss.
  • În aceste clipe grele prin care treci să nu uiţi că suntem alături de tine.
    Do not forget that we are with you in this difficult time.

2- Poor Health

Nowadays, it seems like people rarely send get-well cards. But that doesn’t mean they go unappreciated. Whether you’re suffering from a really bad cold or spending a couple of days in the hospital, it always feels great to know if you’re on somebody’s mind.

  • Însănătoşire grabnică!
    Get well soon!
  • Însănătoşirea are nevoie de timp. Îţi doresc tot binele din lume.
    Healing takes time. I wish you all the best.
  • Mă gândesc la tine tot timpul!
    Thinking of you!
  • Nu pot să-ți iau suferința, dar sufăr alături de tine.
    I can’t take your pain, but I suffer with you.

Any of these might sound a little cheesy, especially if you show up with a card and a huge bouquet when somebody’s just down with the sniffles. Again, though, it’s better to be thought of as somebody who cares too much than somebody who cares too little.

8. Good News in General

Over-Excited Little Kid

And in order to end on a happy note, let’s look at just a few more phrases you can use for any kind of catch-all good stuff. Becoming familiar with these congratulations in Romanian means that you’ll be able to quickly and fluently praise or encourage people, no matter what they’re facing in life.

  • Minunat!
    Awesome!
  • Să fie într-un ceas bun!
    Have a great time!

And finally, here are two more general phrases that are more fitting for a congratulatory email or social media post—they just sound a little stiff when spoken aloud to a close friend.

  • Bine lucrat cu …
    Well done on…
  • Îţi urez succes în…
    I wish you success in…

9. Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about Romanian life event messages, and other best wishes in Romanian, with RomanianPod101. Did you learn anything new today? Are there still some life events you want messages for? Let us know in the comments!

It may seem that we’ve covered just about all there is in a person’s life, but as it turns out, the human experience is so much more than just a series of important events.

These represent points where you can hopefully spark a conversation or make some contact with somebody else. What ends up happening a lot of the time is that you’re aware a friend or colleague of yours has something important coming up, and then you try out one of these phrases.

Pleasantly surprised, they start asking you (in Romanian) how you know that saying, and the ball keeps rolling from there. Maybe after that, you’re invited to a wedding or a graduation party. You never know!

After that, will your Romanian be up to the task? Better take a look at the rest of our materials here on RomanianPod101.

Happy studying!

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