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Dragobete in Romania: Where Romance and Magic Intertwine

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Nearly every country has a holiday dedicated to dragoste (love) and romance. In the U.S. and other Western nations, this manifests as Valentine’s Day; in South Korea, there are twelve separate love days celebrated each year! And in Romania, there is the traditional celebration of Dragobete Day (often called Romanian Valentine’s Day).

This is a unique holiday centered on romance and the beginning of primăvară (spring). In this article, you’ll learn how this holiday got started, what celebrations look like today, and more useful Dragobete information.

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1. What is Dragobete?

Two Heart-Shaped Balloons Floating in the Sky

In Romania, February 24 marks the unofficial beginning of spring as well as the annual love celebration called Dragobete. This traditional holiday lost its popularity during the communist era, but has more recently resurfaced to be celebrated alongside Valentine’s Day. Perhaps due to the holiday’s time missing in action, no two regions within Romania celebrate it exactly the same way. 

While some people do celebrate Valentine’s Day in Romania, many favor Dragobete for its connection to tradition and its fresh perspective on love and romance. 

According to the Dragobete legend, there’s an old woman named Baba Dochia. She gave birth to Dragobete, who is most often depicted as being half-human and half-angel. Romanians view him as being not only the protector of love, but also a guardian of sorts to birds. These beliefs are reflected in every aspect of the holiday, from its focus on romance to its many springtime activities.

Around this time, many birds begin to build their cuib (nest) in preparation for breeding and laying eggs in the coming spring. Some people consider this symbolic of how men and women should also be ‘nesting’ and preparing to start a family. As such, this holiday is regarded as the perfect time to express romantic interest in a potential partner—especially if you were too shy to do so throughout the last year! 

    → Though few things are sweeter than a springtime romance, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the season even if you’re single. Check out our list of the Top 15 Things To Do Over Spring Break. 😉

2. Dragobete Traditions and Customs

A Man Kissing His Girlfriend on the Forehead

Throughout Romania, Dragobete is associated with a number of traditions, some of which vary by region. 

The most common tradition is for single men and women to go into the fields together and gather springtime flowers. Afterwards, the men and women may spend time together as a group, lighting fires atop the hills and talking with each other until late in the evening. After this, each man chases one of the women back to the village; if the woman has feelings for him, she will allow the man to kiss her. Depending on the region, the people of the village consider this a type of logodnă (engagement), where the man and woman publicly express their love for each other prior to marriage. 

Another Romanian Dragobete tradition is for women to use the springtime snow to wash their faces; this is thought to make them more beautiful and their skin purer. Young women also eat salty bread baked by elderly women, which is thought to make them thirsty before bed. They then place some busuioc (basil) underneath their pillow; they will then have a vis (dream) about their future soţ (husband), who brings them water to drink. 

Due to the nature of this holiday, people are also advised to treat each other well and to have a sunny disposition. For partners, this might mean buying gifts for each other or spending quality time together. For those who are single, this means not complaining or being difficult. 


3. Fascinating Correlations

Spring Flowers

Earlier, we mentioned that the Dragobete holiday is partially based on mythology surrounding Baba Dochia and her son Dragobete. Did you know that Bulgaria has a similar mythological character, named Baba Marta

Like Baba Dochia, Baba Marta is associated with the coming of spring. Bulgarians celebrate their springtime festival throughout the month of March. Rather than focusing on romance, however, the Bulgarian holiday is celebrated by wearing red-and-white bracelets to keep evil away—and to keep the often-grouchy Baba Marta in a good mood! 

4. Romanian Vocabulary to Know for Dragobete

A Bird’s Nest with Eggs in It

Here’s the essential vocabulary you’ll need for Dragobete in Romania (or really, any time you want to impress your Romanian partner). 

  • Pernă (Pillow) – noun, feminine
  • Soţ (Husband) – noun, masculine
  • Pasăre (Bird) – noun, feminine
  • Primăvară (Spring) – noun
  • Floare (Flower) – noun, feminine
  • Sărut (Kiss) – noun, neutral
  • Vis (Dream) – noun, neutral
  • Dragoste (Love) – noun, feminine
  • Fată (Girl) – noun, feminine
  • Busuioc (Basil) – noun, masculine
  • Stol (Flock) – noun, neutral
  • Cuib (Nest) – noun, neutral
  • Logodnă (Engagement) – noun, feminine

To hear and practice the pronunciation of each word, head over to our Lovers’ Day vocabulary list! 

Final Thoughts

Dragobete Day in Romania, while similar to Valentine’s Day, certainly has its unique aspects. 

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your country, or another romantic holiday? What are your favorite ways to celebrate? We look forward to hearing from you! 

We hope you enjoyed learning about this fun, romantic holiday with us and that you’re curious to learn more about Romanian culture! 

To continue your studies, we recommend you visit the following pages on RomanianPod101.com:

If you sample our content and decide you want to commit, you can create your free lifetime account at any time! This will give you access to tons of fun and effective lessons, our flagship podcast, spaced repetition flashcards, and support from the RomanianPod101 staff and community. 

What are you waiting for? Start learning Romanian like never before!

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Learn Romanian: YouTube Channels You’ll Love!

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YouTube is an absolute treasure chest for language learning.

With several weeks’ worth of video being uploaded every minute, you’ll literally never be able to run out of things to watch in any major language.

And even though Romanian isn’t really a major language, you can still use the web’s number-one media hub to deeply immerse yourself in Romanian culture. As you learn Romanian, YouTube will allow you to catch up on all the major trends in the country without ever leaving your hometown!

Some channels, though, are definitely better than others.

Here in this article, we’ve assembled the ten best YouTube channels for Romanian learners, taking into account a variety of preferred learning styles. Do you want instructional videos, natural content, or even songs made for kids? It’s all here, all free, and all waiting for you. It’s time to explore! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. The Best Romanian Language YouTube Channels
  2. Conclusion

1. The Best Romanian Language YouTube Channels

1. Learn Romanian With Nico

Category: Educational

Level: Beginner

Nico’s channel is one of the first that pops up if you search for “Romanian,” whether or not you’re looking for ways to learn it. Since 2015, Nico has been making lessons in Romanian and about the Romanian language, including lessons on verbs, pronunciation, and Romanian music.

Her videos often have subtitles in English and Romanian, so you can follow along with the words as they’re being spoken and learn to read more effectively. Her videos are not only educational, but also funny; because of this, a lot of Romanians are watching it, too. Education, humor, and a great layout make this one of the best Romanian YouTube channels for new learners.

2. TraLaLa

Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Category: Educational

It’s never a bad idea to tap into your inner child. TraLaLa is a fun and musical channel for young children in Romania and abroad who are learning to speak and read Romanian. In addition to the short-form song and dance videos, there are also long compilations that you can leave on in the background if you don’t mind the aggressively happy tone.

The benefit of this channel is twofold: one, you can follow along with the subtitles to pick up new vocabulary (lyrics are also in the description), and two, all of these songs will get stuck in your head and you’ll find yourself idly humming in Romanian in a matter of days. Ever seen Baby Shark in Romanian? 

Trust us, you won’t be the only non-Romanian viewer: More than 27% of the people who are watching this channel are from countries like the USA, UK, Italy, Spain, and even Australia.

3. Izabeloi

Category: Slime

Level: Intermediate

Statistically, you may be one of the millions of people who are into slime videos. Slime is quite popular on YouTube, and this Romanian channel is thankfully full of Romanian dialogue to go along with the visuals—including several videos with English subtitles.

Making slime is, at its core, a lot like making crafts. Izabeloi makes her slime slowly and carefully with all kinds of household objects, helping you fill in your vocabulary for colors, materials, and even the verbs that she uses to describe the process. At this moment, based on her channel’s number of followers, Izabela is considered the most famous vlogger in Romania.

4. MaxINFINITE

Category: Gaming

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

If you’re learning Romanian and you’re into playing video games, then MaxINFINITE is the channel you ought to be watching. Max plays all kinds of games (trending more toward the side of action and horror) and gives live commentary as he does it.

Clearly, not that many games have full text and dubbing in Romanian, so one thing that happens often in Max’s videos is that he reads out the English text in Romanian for his viewers. If you barely understand anything when you first start watching, you can use these bits as an anchor to start understanding the rest.

5. Zurli

Category: Kids

Level: Beginner-Intermediate

A few paragraphs up the page, we already had a kids’ channel in the form of TraLaLa. What sets Zurli apart? 

This is more like The Wiggles—a show mostly performed by adults, but created for children. That gives it a very different feel, and it also means that there’s a lot more dialogue. It can seem fast-paced at times, but after you watch a couple of videos and get used to the voices, you’ll be able to pick up quite a lot.

Recently, the folks behind Zurli have also been doing a series of interviews with parents in the form of a podcast. Check those out as well to test your listening skills after they’ve been trained on kids’ materials first! Sometimes, they also have live shows where you can call and talk with your favorite character (in other words, great speaking and listening practice!). 

6. Florentin Hriscu

Category: Vlog

Level: Advanced

Florentin is one of those Romanian YouTubers who represents the newest YouTube generation: willing to try anything, and heavily influenced by the trends of TikTok. Check out this video, where he tries out different life hacks in real life to see how well they work—if at all! 

He definitely speaks very quickly, and there aren’t any videos on his channel with subtitles. However, he’s a great candidate for high-intermediate learners, since by watching many hours of footage from the same speaker, you’ll get used to his voice and find him easier to understand. Once battle-tested in this difficult arena, your Romanian listening will be supercharged!

7. Recorder

Category: Documentary

Level: Advanced

For a change of pace from amateur content, here’s an excellent Romanian documentary channel. It’s meant for both English speakers and Romanian speakers, at home and abroad. The subjects are often political—one of their most famous videos is built from footage of Romanian communities abroad reacting to the EU parliament elections—but just as often about culture or history.

Several documentaries have English subtitles, and some have Romanian subtitles in sections where the audio is difficult to hear. You can, of course, also read the comments below for some amateur analyses. It’s better than reading English YouTube comments, at least! 

At the time of this writing, Recorder is one of the best video-journalism projects in Romania. They are very well-known for investigative journalism, though their channel also features interviews or opinions about challenging everyday subjects. 

8. Cristina Kovacs Official

Category: Beauty

Level: Advanced

Are you into makeup or skincare routines? If yes, then Cristina Kovacs has some super-slick videos just for you. Even if you’re not terribly invested in the subject, you’ll find that watching makeup tutorials might be one of the most relaxing ways of all to learn Romanian.

Cristina gives detailed makeup tutorials across many videos, so you get used to her voice and the vocabulary she uses (namely about skin, facial features, and beauty products). Similar to the slime videos, watching several of them gets you tuned into the way the vocabulary normally plays out.

9. RomanianWithGia

Category: Educational

Level: Beginner

Gia is an enthusiastic Romanian teacher who’s able to tune her teaching to fit any level. Her videos are made with high production quality, so you’ll always be able to hear her clearly—an excellent thing to have when you’re learning a language!

In all of her videos, she adds a lot of example sentences and carefully explains the grammar points that she uses. In this video about verbs, for instance, she even adds clips from classic movies that include the verb under discussion, so you can see it used in real life. 

Her lessons cover different topics, are funny, and are created for different levels. This channel can be a wonderful resource for improving your Romanian skills, whatever your current level.

10. RomanianPod101 YouTube Channel

Category: Educational

Level: All levels

This is what you came for: the best source of Romanian learning content on YouTube. We frequently post new content on the RomanianPod101 channel, and all of it is made with love.

Let’s dive into one of our listening comprehension videos for a moment to see how you might be able to use it.

First, you just get a backdrop to clue you in on the context for this particular dialogue. Then you hear a comprehension question, followed by the dialogue for the first time. Even though these dialogues say “Absolute beginner,” they’re designed for people who already have a vocabulary of a few hundred words and know how to form basic sentences in Romanian.

Now, it’s okay if you missed the question and have no idea what’s going on in the dialogue. Don’t get discouraged! It plays again with subtitles in English and Romanian, and the backdrop becomes an animation for you to watch as well.

This way, you can match up the words you’re hearing with both the form of the words in Romanian and their meanings in English. Watch the video one more time for good measure and presto—within five minutes, you’ve no doubt picked up half a dozen Romanian words. 

2. Conclusion

At this point, you may be thinking, “That’s great, but how do I turn all of these resources into Romanian that I can understand and speak?”

There are two answers, really.

The first is, as long as you consult a good grammar guide every now and then, you can just keep looking up Romanian words in these videos until you understand them. After a couple of years, you’ll find yourself subconsciously putting together correct Romanian sentences and speaking with relative ease.

The second?

You can do all that, and also sign up with RomanianPod101. The expert guidance of the podcast creators and course writers there will help you advance in your Romanian studies, surely and swiftly.

When you balance a great course with good “immersion material” from real Romanians, your brain will subconsciously accumulate experience with Romanian and make connections behind the scenes. Soon, you’ll hear more and more words in YouTube videos that you learned from your RomanianPod101 flashcards, and those memories will get stronger and stronger.

Before long, sitting down to watch YouTube will seem as natural in Romanian as it does in English!

Let us know in the comments which of these Romanian YouTube channels you want to watch the most. Did we miss any good ones? We look forward to hearing from you!

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Is it Hard to Learn Romanian?

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The Romanian language never makes it onto the lists of the world’s easiest languages.

Instead, it’s treated as a curiosity because of its rather different grammatical features compared to other languages in the same family. After all, it’s certainly rather different from Spanish and Portuguese!

As an English-speaker, you might be wondering: “Is it hard to learn Romanian?” 

While aspects of the language may be difficult when you first start out, think of the possibilities that open up if you do learn it. Romania offers more adventure to some people than the more frequently visited countries in Western Europe. It’s a great destination, and since you’ll get Moldovan basically for free, learning Romanian opens a good number of doors.

Let’s dive into what might make the Romanian language hard to learn, and which things about it are actually easier than its neighboring languages. You might be surprised what you find out!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Romanian Table of Contents
  1. The Tough Bits of Learning Romanian
  2. Romanian’s Easy Street
  3. Beginning Romanian – What a Learner Should Look Out For
  4. How RomanianPod101 Can Make the Language Even Easier
  5. The Quick Foundation to Good Romanian
  6. Conclusion

1. The Tough Bits of Learning Romanian

Romania with Its Flag Colors

The first thing any linguistics enthusiast will tell you about Romanian is that it’s got cases—and it’s the only one of the family that still has them, since all of its closely related languages lost their cases several centuries ago.

Cases are different forms of words that reveal the grammatical role they play in the sentence. They add a bit of complexity to each word, but they allow you to free up your word order so you can place emphasis on different parts of the sentence.

Look at the phrase “the capital of America,” for instance. In English, we could also express it in another way: “America’s capital.” Here, we’re showing possession by adding an extra ending to the noun. Romanian takes this one step further by changing the noun ending as well as reversing the word order: capitala Americii.

Romanian also has a serious thing for verbs.

The Romanian verb can be, and frequently is, conjugated in seventeen different tenses and moods, allowing for extremely subtle distinctions that English-speakers have to use several words to express. Some of these are only used in certain regions of Romania and Moldova, adding extra fun to the whole situation.

Compare the English “I had done” with the Romanian făcuserăm, and you’ll see what we mean here. Fortunately, it’s actually not all that bad, since the vast majority of the tenses are made with auxiliary verbs like aveți (“to have”) conjugated with the participle of the root.

In fact, the language as a whole would probably fall into the “it’s not that bad” category. 

2. Romanian’s Easy Street

A Sunny Day in a Neighborhood

After all that, you’ll be glad to learn that Romanian has some easy parts, too—and depending on how you prefer to learn languages, they might outweigh the hard parts.

First, Romanian has just one new vowel and one new consonant to learn: the â and the rolled R. You’ll find all of the other sounds in English. These two sounds aren’t even that hard to make, since all they require is a shift in tongue position.

The â is made by raising your tongue ever so slightly when you say the neutral vowel in “duh.” Try to keep your tongue flat while raising it up toward the roof of your mouth, and you’ll hear your new Romanian vowel spring to life! 

Rolling your R is a little tricky, but most English-speakers can tap their Rs—say “ladder.” Notice how the “dd” part isn’t a full D like in “dog”?

It’s just a tap on the roof of your mouth, which is precisely the sound made by the Romanian R most of the time. Check out another guide on Romanian pronunciation to learn how to draw out that sound into a long trill.

Second, you’ve got a big leg up on Romanian already because so many words are related to English! (You’ll have an even greater advantage if you’ve studied any Spanish, Italian, or Latin.) Lots of “formal” English words appear in Romanian as everyday vocabulary.

Learning these will also flex your pattern-matching skills. Take saluta for instance. By itself, you might not immediately know what it means (you might guess “salad,” but you’d be wrong). As soon as you learn it means “to greet,” though, you can automatically connect it to the English word “salute” and keep that connection strong for a long time. 

3. Beginning Romanian – What a Learner Should Look Out For

A Complex Railway System

Another factor that will determine whether you find the Romanian language easy or hard is how prepared you are for using it in the real world. Here are some things you need to watch out for and keep in mind:

Romanian spelling has undergone a couple of different reforms over the years, but nowadays, it’s very easy to read and pronounce. In the last century, the Romanian language suffered only five changes, and four of those changes were about the use of the vowels î and â. The rule for determining when to write those vowels and when not to has been pretty off-and-on. It’s such an important thing for Romanians because one of those vowels shows up in the country name: ROMÂNIA.

Although you’ll have an advantage if you know another Romance language, when it comes to speaking, you may be misled by other languages’ orthography.

In everyday, informal conversation, you’ll notice that a lot of Romanians have the tendency to cut words short or not pronounce them completely. Keep in mind that this is not acceptable when you’re having a formal conversation.

Another thing to note is something that’s totally absent in English. But think about the difference between the two N sounds in “can” and “canyon.” The “ny” letter combination in “canyon” represents a softened sound, where the tongue is placed closer to the front of the mouth.

A beginner should also be careful not to learn too much Romanian from the Internet! It turns out that, unlike French or German, even published articles online in Romanian often come without diacritics, so you don’t know if the “a” you’re seeing is really an ă or an â in disguise. A native Romanian will understand the meaning of the words without diacritics (sometimes from the context, sometimes just guessing), but keep in mind that this is an incorrect way to write (and publish) an article. For that reason, definitely focus on listening. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a heavy accent and it will take a long time to train yourself away from it.

Also, although there are a lot of cognates and connections you can use to make vocabulary learning easier, watch out for the false friends. Plenty of words weren’t borrowed from English; they were borrowed from French or developed separately from Latin, meaning that their definitions won’t match up exactly with English’s.

A gimnaziu in Romanian isn’t a place to work out, it’s a middle school. Also, don’t say that you’re mizerabil if you’re down in the dumps, because that means “dirty” instead! As you can see, it’s much better to know the real definitions for new words than it is to just guess. 

4. How RomanianPod101 Can Make the Language Even Easier

A Pleasant Green Meadow

RomanianPod101 is exactly the kind of course you need when you’re stuck without a strong pathway to proficiency.

Assuming you’re following the podcast levels as recommended, you’ll start off with the Absolute Beginner series and slowly work your way up to Advanced.

As you run into difficult concepts along the way, you can look around the website for related articles or supplementary vocab exercises. So let’s say you’re really focused on developing a perfect Romanian accent—you can read through a blog article, then watch a video with clear and accurate pronunciation to get the correct accent in your head.

And let’s not forget the vocabulary lists, either. Each of our vocabulary resources has example sentences so that you can see the context for each word as it comes up. You don’t need to worry about memorizing every word in every sentence, but you should make an effort to link each word to its English meaning. 

5. The Quick Foundation to Good Romanian

Playing Cards

Here’s a nice study routine you can follow: 

Attack the difficult grammar memorization from the beginning. Work on memorizing—yes, memorizing—all of the different Romanian verb paradigms. Start with the most common irregular verbs first. Once those are out of the way, you’ll notice how easy it is to pick up the regular verb paradigms.

Don’t put time pressure on yourself, though. Expect that it’ll be hard at first, but that you’ll slowly get reinforcement from your studies and it’ll seem more and more natural. For example, you’ll see a sentence combination like this:

  • Am jucat cărți noaptea trecută.
    “I played cards last night.”

That combination of am jucat might seem really tough to memorize at first in a big chart, but soon it will be second nature to think of it as the past tense of a juca (“to play”). Then you’ll be able to consult your mental model of the conjugation chart and be completely certain.

You’ll want to do this from the beginning, because you want it to be absolutely automatic later on. And do you know what else this applies to? Pronunciation!

Although Romanian pronunciation isn’t that challenging, it’s important to start with it early on or else risk misunderstandings and even stigma from a bad accent later on. (Don’t worry if you’ve been learning for a while; any accent can be corrected!)


6. Conclusion

The best way to learn Romanian is to start and never stop. When they need to accomplish something difficult, Romanians will encourage themselves by saying: “Repetition is the mother of learning.” And this can apply to the Romanian language itself! 

Any obstacle that seems to come up when learning a language is never that big of a deal; you can always just put on the brakes for a bit and try learning something else. There’s always more to read, more to watch, and more to hear.

That’s what RomanianPod101 is for, anyway. With one subscription, you can get access to a massive library of texts, audio recordings, and videos that you can learn from anytime, anywhere.

So don’t let anybody tell you that Romanian is too hard to learn. It’s a solid challenge for the right learner with good motivation and good resources—and that sounds like you.

If you’ve already started learning Romanian, which parts are most difficult for you? And which parts do you find the easiest? Let us, and aspiring Romanian-learners, know in the comments!

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The Common Mistakes in Romanian Every Learner Needs to Avoid

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Would you call yourself a perfectionist?

Language-learning doesn’t really suit itself to perfectionism. Languages change in so many ways all the time, and there’s really no way to define “perfect” speech.

On the flip side, though, you do have to pay attention to some rules in order to avoid the most common mistakes Romanian-learners make.

Trying to come up with Romanian—written or spoken—without being aware of the rules of the language is a surefire way to ingrain bad habits and make your communication with natives less effective.

In this article, you’ll see an overview of the classic learner mistakes in Romanian, as well as what you can do to stay far away from them.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Make the Right Sounds
  2. Confusing Words
  3. Just How Free is Romanian Word Order?
  4. Hit the Grammar Books
  5. Miscellaneous Errors
  6. The Biggest Mistake in Romanian Learning
  7. Conclusion

1. Make the Right Sounds

Man Playing the Piano

Romanian is not that bad of a language to pronounce. Even someone who confused the language for “Roman” would probably be able to read off a couple of words if they had to.

However, if you don’t pay attention to a couple of key things, your foreign accent is always going to shine through.

1- Vowels

The most important thing to think about is the vowels.

The five core Romanian vowels are the same pure vowels in Spanish and Italian, but there are also two more.

The first additional vowel is also in English, written as the “uh” in “duh.” That’s the sound represented by the letter ă. Be careful that you don’t pronounce this sound anywhere else! English-speakers have a habit of not stressing vowels in words and reducing the vowel sound to this same ă. But in Romanian, the vowels stay pure.

The second vowel to watch for is, strangely enough, represented by two different letters: î and â. It’s notoriously one of the trickiest sounds in Romanian for foreigners. Because â and î sound the same, sometimes even native speakers make mistakes when writing words that contain those vowels.  

Basically, you want to make the ă sound and then move your tongue vertically so that it’s still flat, but nearly touching the roof of your mouth. It definitely takes some practice to say it smoothly in the middle of words, but pulling that off goes a long way toward getting your Romanian pronunciation up to par! 

2- Consonants

Next is the consonants. 

Romanian doesn’t have particularly difficult consonants, either. Just remember that you should roll your R. 

3- Aspiration

One thing that sometimes escapes English-speakers is that Romanian never aspirates its letters.

When English words begin with the sounds “p,” “t,” or “k,” English-speakers release a small puff of air, without even thinking about it. In Romanian, that sounds odd, almost like the speaker is out of breath. 

Pay attention to this and try softening the “p,” “t,” and “k” sounds at the beginning of Romanian words. Soon, your pronunciation will be indistinguishable from that of a native speaker!

2. Confusing Words

Cinnamon Apple Tea

Romanian happens to be one of those languages without a ton of near-homophones, or confusing tongue-twisters that are almost the same but still have different meanings.

That said, there are a couple of words that even native speakers end up using wrong from time to time. The first is kind of funny to learners:

  • ceai
    “tea”
  • Ce-ai?
    “What do you have?”

This is a mistake that most learners don’t make because they learn to read Romanian at roughly the same pace that they learn to understand it. But native speakers have years of only listening before they learn to read, and that’s how you end up with people unable to remember which one gets the hyphen!

  • odată
    “once”
  • o dată
    “one time”

Well, that’s a lot more difficult-looking! The secret is in the words around these terms, or the contexts in which they tend to appear. 

O dată is used to mean “one time,” when you’re counting specific instances of events occurring, and contrasting with “twice.” Odată appears in set phrases like A fost odată… (“Once upon a time…”), and it has the meaning of “at some point” or “a moment in time.” 

Romanian also has no shortage of false friends with English and other European languages. Cămin in Romanian refers to a school dormitory, while kamin in Russian means “fireplace.” 

Comercial in Romanian isn’t an English advertisement; instead, it only means “related to business.” And much like French, smoking in Romanian is a noun meaning “tuxedo” in English! 

3. Just How Free is Romanian Word Order?

The Romanian Carpathians

Romanian is said to have pretty free word order, but there are a couple of things you ought to pay attention to.

First off, in Romanian, the adjective tends to go after the noun, except in certain cases for emphasis. This is something that really has to be learned slowly through lots of exposure—it won’t be a mistake if you switch the order all the time, but it will certainly sound strange to Romanian ears.

Second, Romanian questions don’t usually invert the word order like questions in English or French do. Questions are made like they are in Spanish, with just a change in intonation signifying the difference between a question and a statement.

Another interesting thing about Romanian words is specifically related to talking about your age. For numbers above nineteen, you have to include de when saying the number:

  • Am 23 de ani.
    “I am 23 years old.”

However, for ages under twenty, you omit the de.

  • Ai 15 ani.
    “You are fifteen.”

You might think that you don’t have to pay attention to this if you’re over twenty, but watch out for it when talking about other people—or indeed, when you’re describing things that happened in the past! 

4. Hit the Grammar Books

A Pile of Books

As fun as it may be to speak Romanian, there are a lot of different grammar complexities to get stuck in.

Chief among these is probably the verb system, the source of many a mistake in Romanian. Romanian has one of the most complicated verb paradigms of all the Indo-European languages!

Most learners are able to handle the basics of conjugation reliably enough, but then they start looking like a deer in the headlights when asked to handle the rarer tenses.

For instance, ar face is the conjugation for “he/she would do,” while o face is for “he/she might do.” How easily can you keep them straight?

A super-effective way to practice these is with cloze tests, where you take a paragraph of text and blank out the verb endings and try to figure out what they should be. Native speakers can usually do extremely well on these (barring some arbitrary cases) because they have a whole lifetime of language context to draw from.

5. Miscellaneous Errors

There are two final things to cover in this article that don’t really fit anywhere else. These mistakes in Romanian can make a big difference in how you, as a learner, are perceived when you speak or write Romanian.

First is the politeness aspect. Other European languages have formal and informal pronouns as well, but English doesn’t. For that reason, it’s always a little bit tough to get used to.

Another thing that’s pretty unique about Romanian is how it’s written online—people leave out the accents all the time. If you look at writing in German or Swedish online, people always spell the words correctly with the umlauts and accent marks.

For some cultural reason, a sizable portion of the text you see on Romanian websites and Internet comments comes completely without accents!

It kind of makes sense if you think about it. Everyone’s expected to understand, because native Romanian-speakers know the language perfectly in their heads and so they won’t ever get confused. Learners, though, have to deal with an extra step.

Either avoid online writing completely until you’re quite comfortable with Romanian and know exactly where the words should go, or check with a native speaker or dictionary to make sure you don’t learn the wrong form of each word!

6. The Biggest Mistake in Romanian Learning

Man with Tape Over His Mouth

It might give you pause when you first arrive in Cluj or Bucharest and hear the locals speaking to you in what sounds like absolutely flawless English. Romanian-speakers grow up watching American TV and listening to American pop music, and they tend to speak English quite confidently.

That can be really demotivating as a learner who’s just ready to start having conversations! You might feel like you shouldn’t even try your Romanian.

But that’s actually a pretty bad idea.

You’ll not only have a stressful time in Romania holding yourself to a really high standard, but you’ll also associate Romanian itself with that stress and keep worrying too much to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

7. Conclusion

Remember how the locals learned really good English? They kept at it for years and years growing up, naturally gravitating toward English-language media for their own entertainment. As an English-speaker, you’re actually a bit spoiled in a way, since the hottest TV and music is in English anyway!

But you can do the same with Romanian. You just have to put in the time.

Fortunately, RomanianPod101 offers a wonderful selection of podcasts in Romanian, from beginner to advanced levels. And that’s not even mentioning the vocabulary lists, pronunciation guides, video lessons, and flashcards!

Now that you’re aware of some of the pitfalls that can trip you up in Romanian, you just need to keep an eye out as you fill your hours with Romanian media. Before long, you’ll look back and wonder what you were ever worrying about!

What common Romanian mistakes do you struggle with the most? We look forward to hearing from you!

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Your Guide to Basic Romanian Questions and Answers

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There’s a shortcut to Romanian fluency.

Well, not really. But there’s a great framework that can get you having comfortable conversations very quickly.

You see, people tend to have the same conversations with language-learners over and over. You introduce yourself, say where you’re from, and then probably ask why they’re learning that particular language.

And questions, naturally, are a big part of that. The whole conversation is a big back-and-forth of questions and answers.

If you want to get yourself speaking automatically in conversations, then you should take a look at the most common Romanian questions and answers. You’ll impress your conversation partner, and with that comes great motivation to keep pushing yourself to learn more.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Start with Yourself
  2. The Place You Call Home
  3. Linguistic Difficulties
  4. Following Up About Romanian
  5. The Burning Question for Romanian-Learners
  6. A Question for the Future Traveler
  7. A Taste of Romania
  8. Do This, Not That
  9. Life Back Home
  10. The Price is Right
  11. Conclusion

1. Start with Yourself

First Encounter

When you start introducing yourself in Romanian, you’ll want to know your interlocutor’s name! 

  • Care este numele tău?
    “What’s your name?”
  • Cum te cheamă?
    “What’s your name?”

Right off the bat, we have two separate yet equivalent ways to ask someone for their name in Romanian. The first is pretty literal, translating nearly word-for-word into English. The only difference is that the word order for numele tău is switched, as is typical with Romanian possessive pronouns. 

The second is similar to French, Spanish, and Italian: “What do you call yourself?”

To round it off, we can actually respond in a different way entirely.

  • numesc Rosa.
    “My name is Rosa.”

2. The Place You Call Home

A Couple and Their Child Sitting in Front of Their Home

Although it’s a beautiful place, Romania isn’t nearly as much of a tourist destination as some of its neighboring countries, and Moldova is even less so. Therefore, people will definitely want to know where you’re from. This is one of those typical questions in Romanian that a foreigner can expect to hear a lot. 

  • De unde ești?
    “Where are you from?”

This is a classic Romance language construction. Unde means “where,” and so de unde means “from where?” Look what happens to the preposition here:

  • Sunt din Albania.
    “I’m from Albania.”

In addition, you can give your nationality instead of saying where you’re from. In that case, remember that if you’re writing in Romanian, you shouldn’t capitalize nationality names.

  • Sunt indian.
    “I’m an Indian.”

3. Linguistic Difficulties

When visiting a Romanian-speaking country, you probably won’t need this question, but stop for a moment and think about when you might hear or be able to use this:

  • Știi să vorbești românește?
    “Do you know how to speak Romanian?”

Of course, you can swap out românește for any other language.

The answer depends on your comfort level with that particular language. Here are answers you might get if you flip the script and start asking people about their English ability:

  • Nu pot vorbi bine engleză.
    “I can’t speak English well.”
  • Da, desigur.
    “Yes, of course.”

4. Following Up About Romanian

Someone about to Write in Their Journal

Whether you’re tripping over your words or speaking elegant prose, the idea that a foreigner would invest a serious amount of time into studying the Romanian language is rather baffling to most people, to put it frankly.

As soon as you mention that you’re a learner, you’re bound to get this follow-up:

  • De cât timp studiați limba română?
    “How long have you been studying Romanian?”

You’ll note that the preposition de, meaning “since” or “from,” was also used in an earlier question to refer to physical space. Now, we’re literally saying “from which time?”

Interestingly enough, we don’t need to say “since” or “for” in our answers to this question. Just the amount of time is enough.

  • Am studiat limba română doi ani.
    “I’ve studied Romanian for two years.”
  • Am început să studiez anul acesta.
    “I started studying this year.”
Introducing Yourself

5. The Burning Question for Romanian-Learners

We’ve established the fact that you’re learning and how long you’ve been learning, but the question that most people are holding back the entire time is “Why?” Statistically speaking, you probably don’t have to be learning Romanian.

And so not many people do—which makes you special.

  • De ce înveți limba română?
    “Why are you learning Romanian?”

Now, this is a question that can get you started on all kinds of tangents. Here are a couple of sentences to get you started:

  • Pentru că țara este frumoasă.
    “Because the country is beautiful.”
  • Pentru că limba română sună frumos.
    “Because the Romanian language sounds beautiful.”
  • Soțul meu este român.
    “My husband is Romanian.”

This particular question is practically guaranteed to come up, so one excellent study strategy would be to map out different responses that you could possibly have. When you do get asked, you can easily toss out a phrase and make a grand impression.

6. A Question for the Future Traveler

Kiss Gate Monument in Romania

So, we’ve gone over questions that you’re likely to be asked in Romania or Moldova. How about outside of those places?

Interestingly enough, if you start up a conversation with a Romanian speaker outside of their home country, they’ll probably be significantly more talkative and curious about you. After all, they’re certainly not expecting you to speak their language! You should be prepared for Romanian questions like this one:

  • Ai fost în România?
    “Have you been to Romania?”

Note that we don’t say “to Romania,” but instead “in Romania.” This is the same structure you would use in German.

  • Nu încă!
    “Not yet!”
  • Vreau să merg anul viitor.
    “I want to go next year.”

7. A Taste of Romania

Romanian cuisine is unfairly overlooked across Europe and the rest of the world. Most people couldn’t name a single dish! 

It’s likely that you’ll stay in a small bed-and-breakfast if you end up outside one of the main cities. In that case, your host will almost certainly interrogate you about your opinions on Romanian cooking.

  • Îți place mâncarea românească?
    “Do you like Romanian food?”

If the answer is yes, it’s wise, of course, to name something typically Romanian.

  • Da, îmi place mămăliga.
    “Yes, I love polenta.”

But if you’re panicking and nothing comes to mind:

  • Totul este delicios!
    “Everything is delicious!”

8. Do This, Not That

A Little Boy Reading a Book in the Grass

People learning Romanian by themselves are, no doubt, used to the effort required in finding good things to watch online.

One of the benefits of watching Romanian TV or videos online is that you’ll get exposed to the most common questions and answers over and over and over. Plus, you’ll get to see the body language and hear the responses that go along with it. It just so happens that a lot of these are questions that you can use with Romanian friends!

  • Ce faci?
    “What are you doing?”
  • Nu fac nimic.
    “I’m not doing anything.”

In this example, you can see the classic double negation that’s present in Romanian. Literally, you’re saying “I’m not doing nothing.” There’s no sense of it “canceling out” like it would in English; instead, it’s just a regular old negative.

  • Ești ocupat?
    “Are you busy?”
  • Nu, doar citesc.
    “No, I’m just reading.”

9. Life Back Home

As you get to know Romanians more and more, your small talk will become a little more personal.

In Romanian culture, family and familial ties tend to take on a little bit more importance than they do in  American or English culture. Therefore, it’s pretty commonplace to ask about how someone’s family is doing.

  • Ce mai face familia ta?
    “How is your family?”

That ce mai face part can’t really be translated literally, but you can interpret it as a set phrase meaning “how is someone.” Note too, of course, that “your family” has a reversed word order in Romanian, becoming familia ta.

Here are a couple of examples of responses you might offer:

  • Sora mea se căsătorește. 
    “My sister is getting married.”
  • Toată lumea este sănătoasă!
    “Everyone is healthy!”

10. The Price is Right

Five-hundred Lei

Although Romania isn’t really a place where you bargain for prices, knowing how to ask for the price is a valuable skill wherever you go. If you’re into hitchhiking (like many Romanians are), then that would be a perfect time to ask about money.

  • Cât costă aceasta?
    “How much is it?”

The word cât simply means “how many,” and costă is an easy cognate for “to cost” in English. You can expect the answer to be given in one of two ways. One way is with a full sentence using the verb a fi, meaning “to be,” or a costa. The other way is for the person to just give the number itself.

  • Este două sute de lei.
    “It’s two hundred lei.”

Remember that for numbers over twenty, the rules change ever so slightly: you have to add de! But to get around that, just say the number without saying what it is.

  • Șaptezeci.
    “Seventy.”

11. Conclusion

Now that you’re familiar with a solid handful of Romanian questions and answers, why not look for more on your own?

Go to the most popular YouTube channels in Romania or the Instagrams of Romanian influencers, and see what people are asking and answering.

Those little mini-conversations can be the perfect framework to help you get comfortable with Romanian interactions, and you’ll soon be following the native-speaker content like it’s nothing.

Or better yet, why comb through YouTube comments at all? By signing up for RomanianPod101, you can get access to podcasts with transcripts (itself a rarity in Romanian learning), vocabulary lists, and grammar resources all in one place, carefully selected and graded for your convenience.

These questions are really just the tip of the iceberg for your Romanian conversation preparation. Sign up with RomanianPod101 today and unleash your potential!

Before you go, practice right away by trying to answer one or more of the questions from this article in Romanian! We look forward to hearing from you.

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Finding the Right Romanian Language Proficiency Test for You

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Why take a Romanian language proficiency test? Well, let me paint you a picture:

From the moment you laid eyes on the mountains, villages, cities, and beaches of Romania, you knew it had to be yours.

The language took some time to learn, of course, and there were ups and downs along the way.

But now you speak Romanian quite well. You read the latest news in Romanian, you have a hilarious Romanian group chat going, and you know more Romanian bands than the locals do.

And as luck would have it, one day you hear about a job that you’d love to do—right in your favorite Romanian city.

The only catch? The hiring manager won’t even look at your application if you don’t have some kind of Romanian language certificate.

Now, this scenario is a little bit contrived. But getting a job or residency is one of the main reasons you might want to take a Romanian language exam—and this article is going to show you how to do it.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Finding a Romanian Test in Romania
  2. At a Romanian University
  3. The Romanian OPI Test
  4. The FIDES Exam
  5. The ILR Exam
  6. Don’t Lose Time in Preparing for Your Exam
  7. Conclusion

1. Finding a Romanian Test in Romania

Triumph Arch in Bucharest, Romania

As it turns out, the Romanian language exam for residency permits is a quick test conducted at the immigration office, and some officers may not even administer it.

However, there’s a reasonable number of smaller Romanian proficiency tests that you can try your hand at, and since they come from reputable institutions, they’ll be recognized wherever you need them.

And besides, perhaps you don’t even want to use your Romanian skills in the country of Romania itself. Big cities in the United States sometimes have hundreds of thousands of Romanian-Americans, and since a change in the law in 2014, the number of Romanians in the United Kingdom has more than doubled.

Having a Romanian qualification on your resume can help significantly if you’d like a job at a Romanian-owned business abroad, or a job in the public sector working with Romanians (think court interpreter or social worker).

Let’s have a look at the different Romanian language exams available to you! 

2. At a Romanian University

A Lecture at a University

They’re not shy about multilingualism at Romanian universities, that’s for certain. You can study degree programs in English, French, German, Hungarian, and of course, Romanian.

If you want to get a degree in a subject only offered in Romanian—more than half of the degree programs offered at the Bachelor’s level at the biggest universities are in Romanian—you’d better prove your worth with a language exam.

Lucky for you, both the University of Bucharest and Babeș-Boylai University offer Romanian courses and certificates for you to use later on in your academic career.

If Cluj is your style, you can head there a year early and take what they call a “Romanian Preparatory Year,” where you take two semesters’ worth of courses to get to the B2 level. 

They’ve devised their own test, which is totally free to take. The test is split into two sections: a written part and an oral test. The written part is considered the most difficult one because it has four sub-sections: listening, reading, communication constructions, and, of course, writing. Since there isn’t a flood of people taking this exam, they can afford to interview you one-on-one for the oral section. The maximum number of points you can get for this exam is 100.

In addition to what you’d expect in terms of reading, writing, listening, and grammar, you’ll also be asked to describe pictures and summarize what you see. 

In less than a week, you can find your test results and celebrate your accomplishments with your Romanian friends.

The best way to practice for this is to try watching Romanian documentaries—or failing that, reading Romanian subtitles on English documentaries with the sound turned off! 

Of course, the University of Bucharest offers its own program along similar lines if you prefer capital-city life. Its program crams an intensive language course into the first semester, then focuses more on culture before making you sit an exam. 

That means if you have a language certificate from the University of Bucharest, you’ll definitely be prepared to discuss Romanian culture! 

3. The Romanian OPI Test

A Woman Talking on Blue Telephone

The ACTFL is an American organization of foreign language educators, and they’ve devised an exam designed entirely for measuring proficiency in Romanian speaking. It’s called the OPI, or Oral Proficiency Interview

Its approach is unique, as you simply sign up for a specific time and date, dial the number of the assigned examiner, and have a conversation lasting between 15 and 30 minutes.

The examiner is trained to ask you questions and introduce you to scenarios that slowly stretch your language ability, becoming more and more difficult as the test goes on and you continue to do well. 

You’re rated at the end based on the ACTFL scale, a ten-level scale from “Novice Low” to “Superior.” 

And don’t think that you’ll score at the top end of the scale just because you know how to order a couple of beers. This is the same exam used by the diplomatic branches of the United States when it sends ambassadors and interpreters abroad. 

One classic strategy for the OPI is to prepare a consistent list of hobbies, interests, and experiences that you can talk about when pressed. 

The examiner doesn’t know you, and they’re not working off of a curriculum of set questions every year. 

Instead, they’ll use what you give them to increase the difficulty of the questions. For example, they may ask you to give more detailed descriptions of your hobbies, and perhaps analyze them critically and make guesses about what other people tend to do compared to you.

4. The FIDES Exam

University Students Listening to a Lecture in Class

FIDES is one of the oldest private foreign language schools in Romania, offering language classes to foreigners and locals alike. Similar to the universities mentioned above, they first offer a language course to get you familiar with Romanian, and then a language exam at the end that you can use as a certificate. 

Since they’re a language school, their main product is the courses, which can be taught in English, French, German, or Romanian, and taken as a group or individually.

The maximum course level offered is a B2.2, or a very high intermediate level. However, if you happen to speak very good Romanian already, they’ll be willing to arrange language courses and an exam at the C1 or C2 levels. If you pass the B2.2 test, you’ll get the “FIDES Language Proficiency Certificate,” which can help you qualify for a scholarship at a Romanian university.

5. The ILR Exam

Language Skills

The ILR is the Institutul Limbii Române, an arm of the Romanian Ministry of Education in Bucharest. 

They conduct the only nationally standardized Romanian exam, though it’s only offered twice a year in Bucharest at the headquarters of the Ministry. 

They also have partnerships with the Universities of Alicante, Granada, and Seville in Spain, but the tests are only held if ten or more people register.

Out of all the tests mentioned so far in this article, only this one actually publishes sample materials for each of its levels! Even if you plan on taking an exam from a different place, it would do you good to look over the sample exams and get familiar with some typical question formats and topics on a formal Romanian exam.

The oral section here is of note: You will be required to listen to a lecture or text and then discuss the issues raised with your examiner. 

If you want to practice this, one of the best ways would be to find a tutor and grab a newspaper or magazine. Have them read a short article aloud, and then, without referring back to the article, have a brief conversation or debate about the topic.

6. Don’t Lose Time in Preparing for Your Exam

A Man Studying Books in a Library

Since these Romanian language proficiency exams are all oriented toward small populations, there are no published test prep books or mock exams that you can buy without taking one of the courses mentioned.

However, don’t be discouraged. If you’ve got a lot riding on your exam, put yourself in contact with the test center and ask if they can specifically recommend any materials or if they have advice for you.

And besides, there are skills you can practice that will help you with any kind of language exam.

First, you should have a wide vocabulary. Once you reach a certain level of understanding, it’s easy to let your vocabulary study slide in favor of just more reading or listening practice.

However, at the intermediate or advanced level, the most important words that you might miss on the exam  are the ones you might think you know, but actually don’t have a full grasp of. Do you know the difference between agoniseală (“personal income,” “fortune”) and câştig (“business income”)?

One of the most important exercises you can do for your Romanian speaking is summarization. Simply read an article in any language and then try to summarize it in Romanian—first in just one sentence, then in a few sentences, gradually adding more detail to increase the challenge.

There’s always a different way to present any piece of information, meaning that as you continue consuming Romanian content, you’ll naturally get practice describing and reformulating your ideas in tons of different ways. 

7. Conclusion

By now, you should feel much more confident in your ability to ace that exam! Did we answer your Romanian language proficiency test questions, or do you still need clarification on something? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments. 

Let’s take a moment to imagine how you might use RomanianPod101.com to prepare for that exam.

With a handful of clicks, you’ve got immediate access to tons of real-life native audio with transcriptions and vocab lists.

If your listening isn’t quite where you want it to be, then try making your own transcript of a short TV episode and then check what you wrote against what everybody was really saying.

And when you’re tired of actively studying, you can keep the hours and hours of podcasts playing in the background, meaning that whenever your mind wanders you get another good dose of Romanian listening to keep you on track.

With hundreds of lessons available right now and more on the way, you’ll be sure to be prepared for any topic on any exam paper that comes your way! Noroc!

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Why Study Romanian Sentence Structure and Patterns?

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Human beings are excellent at noticing patterns.

Have you ever seen shapes in the clouds, or noticed “faces” in electrical sockets? That’s your subconscious pattern-matching system working around the clock.

That said, if you went and looked at some text in, say, Waray-Waray (a language of the Philippines), you’d probably give up trying to understand it after a short while. In Romanian, though, you start noticing patterns. For example, you may see words that look an awful lot like words in English (or other European languages you might be familiar with).

That effect becomes ten times more powerful when you can compare each Romanian sentence structure and pattern to an English translation. You start to quickly see where the languages match up, and also where they differ. Just fifty sentences in Romanian with English translations are enough to teach you the basics of Romanian syntax patterns.

And then all you’ve got to do is learn a little more vocab. Then you come back to these patterns, or any other, and start using your new vocabulary in these familiar molds to create beautiful, correct, and idiomatic Romanian every time. Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Simple “To Be” Sentences in Romanian
  2. Adding an Adjective
  3. I Want it All
  4. Everything You Need
  5. Lightning Round: Questions
  6. Polite Requests
  7. Skip Forgiveness, Ask for Permission
  8. Find Out About the World
  9. Telling Time in Romanian
  10. Locations and Positions
  11. Conclusion

1. Simple “To Be” Sentences in Romanian

A Doctor Smiling and Holding a Clipboard

Romanian is unique among Romance languages when it comes to the humble verb a fi (“to be”).

While in Spanish, people wrestle with two verbs meaning “to be a thing” and “to be a state,” Romanian learners don’t have to deal with that at all. But there are still two verbs (kind of)!

The word este is the third person singular of a fi (equivalent to “he/she/it is”), but you can also shorten it to e if you wish. This is relatively informal and used quite often in ordinary spoken Romanian. 

Let’s see how it works in these Romanian sentence examples! 

  • Sunt profesor.
    “I am a teacher.”
  • David e doctorul meu.
    “David is my doctor.”
  • Aceasta este noua mea cameră.
    “This is my new camera.”
  •  Fericirea este relativă.
    “Happiness is relative.”
  • Noul nostru președinte  a fost cântăreț.
    “Our new president was a singer.”

Like German, the commonly used Romanian past tense form is a compound that maps closer to “has been” than “was,” at least in form. In function, though, it’s definitely still the preterite!

2. Adding an Adjective

Sentence Patterns

In Romanian, we can use the same este and e to describe things in terms of what adjectives they are or aren’t. Romanian adjectives agree with nouns in number and gender, so when you have a plural noun, your adjective becomes plural as well. Don’t worry about that now—you’ll pick it up fast, and today you should just be looking at the word order of these basic Romanian sentences.

  • Mașina dumneavoastră este roșie.
    “Your car is red.”
  • Puloverele mele sunt mici.
    “My sweaters are tiny.”

Also note in this section that the pronoun goes after the noun to show possession.

  • Ceasul acesta e defect.
    “This clock is broken.”
  • Ultimul său album a fost cu adevărat uimitor.
    “Her last album was really amazing.”
  • Exercițiul zilnic este un obicei bun.
    “Daily exercise is a good habit.”

Note in that last sentence that obicei bun is using the typical Romanian adjective order of noun+adjective. Although it’s a masculine noun and you can’t tell, the adjective is agreeing in number and gender here as well.

3. I Want it All

A Woman Drinking a Bottle of Water

You’re definitely going to need this sentence pattern when you travel to Romania. The verb a vrea is the same as a dori, and they both mean “want.” Let’s see some examples of how each one is used in a Romanian sentence.

  • Vreau apă.
    “I want water.”
  • Ei vor taxe mai mari.
    “They want higher taxes.”

Generally, you might use a dori in more formal situations or when you want to speak more politely.

  • Dorim o masă lângă fereastră.
    “We want a table near the window.”
  • Aș dori să plec chiar acum.
    “I would like to leave right now.”
  • Vreau tot ce nu pot avea.
    “I want everything that I can’t have.”

4. Everything You Need

Mother Stressed Out with Her Child

Again, there are two identical forms of the same basic verb in Romanian, both commonly used. Can you figure out which one is literally the equivalent of “I have need of” and which one is “I need?”

  • Trebuie să beau ceva.
    “I need a drink.”
  • Trebuie să te calmezi.
    “You need to calm down.”
  • Chiar trebuie să merg la culcare devreme.
    “I really need to go to sleep early.”
  • Nu avem nevoie de banii tăi.
    “We don’t need your money.”
  • Această țară are nevoie de cineva care să ne poată conduce.
    “This country needs someone who can lead us.”

5. Lightning Round: Questions

Sentence Components

Let’s do a real quick review of the vocabulary we’ve seen in these sentences so far, and at the same time practice making questions in Romanian. In essence, you just swap the subject and verb—but you can also keep them in the same order and use a question intonation, similar to what you would do in English.

  • Aveți nevoie de bani?
    “Do you need money?”

By the way, this one is the “have need of” form. Did you get it right?

  • Ce vrei?
    “What do you want?”
  • Mașina ta este roșie?
    “Is your car red?”
  • Ești scriitor?
    “Are you a writer?”
  • Ce culoare are mașina ta?
    “What color is your car?”

6. Polite Requests

“Please” in Romanian is vă rog or te rog (formal and informal respectively), but just like in English, we can use different forms of verbs to show politeness. After all, that’s exactly what we always do with “can” and “could.”

  • Vă rugăm să vă îndepărtați de mașină.
    “Please step away from the car.”
  • Vrei să-mi răspunzi?
    “Would you please answer me?”
  • Ai putea -mi mai dai o șansă?
    “Could you give me another chance?”
  • Poți să-mi aduci telefonul?
    “Could you bring me my phone?”
  • Vrei să mă duci la aeroport mâine?
    “Would you drive me to the airport tomorrow?”

7. Skip Forgiveness, Ask for Permission

You’re about to see the little wordpop up all over the place. Here, it’s part of the set phrase pot să? (“may I?”). It’s very useful, and definitely the kind of thing you can apply to all sorts of casual and formal situations! Let’s see how it looks in a few Romanian language sentences:

  • Pot să intru?
    “May I come in?”
  • Pot să iau asta?
    “May I have this?”
  • Pot să te sărut?
    “May I kiss you?”
  • Pot să vin mâine târziu la serviciu?
    “Can I come late to work tomorrow?”
  • Pot să preiau contul?
    “Can I take over the account?”

8. Find Out About the World

When you’re traveling in Romania, you’ll gain a lot of favor if you can manage to be open and genuinely curious about the world. Whether they speak good English or not, people are likely to appreciate your efforts to speak Romanian, so why not do it all the time with questions like these?

  • Ce este asta?
    “What is this?”
  • Care este numele dumneavoastră?
    “What is your name?”
  • La ce restaurant am fost săptămâna trecută?
    “Which restaurant did we go to last week?”
  • Ce film este acesta?
    “What film is this?”
  • Ce carte citești?
    “What book are you reading?”

9. Telling Time in Romanian

A Wall Clock

Saying the hour in Romanian is super-easy, since all you have to do is use the cardinal number after the word ora (“hour”). The verb “it’s” for telling time works exactly like it does in English!

  • E ora două.
    “It’s two o’clock.”
  • E aproape ora trei.
    “It’s almost three o’clock.”
  • Vom ajunge la ora șapte.
    “We’ll arrive at seven o’clock.”
  • Trebuia să plec la ora patru.
    “I was supposed to leave at four o’clock.”
  • Te rog să mă trezești la ora opt.
    “Please wake me up at eight o’clock.”

10. Locations and Positions

Stars in the Night Sky

Like other European languages, Romanian has a complete array of prepositions. You can clearly see here the cognate în, perhaps the easiest of all to remember. Here are some Romanian phrases and sentences:

  • Mașina mea se află în fața casei mele.
    “My car is in front of my house.”
  • Cheile tale sunt în poșetă.
    “Your keys are in your purse.”
  • Casele noastre se află pe același drum.
    “Our houses are on the same road.”

Did you notice how the phrase se află showed up in this sentence (and the first one in the section)? Using that, you can make a guess that the meaning is something like “to stand” or “to be located,” much like how we’d use those words in English to describe big things like buildings or cars.

  • El nu a reușit să treacă peste râu.
    “He couldn’t get over the river.”
  • Câte stele sunt deasupra noastră?
    “How many stars are above us?”

11. Conclusion

In this article, you’ve seen several dozen sentences and quite a few general sentence patterns.

But go back and look more carefully (perhaps after a couple of days to get the memories to sink in faster), and you’ll probably be able to notice some patterns that we didn’t even mention specifically.

Building that kind of focus and curious mindset is a huge advantage when it comes to learning Romanian or any other language.

And say, what’s the best place online to see tons of Romanian words, sentences, and phrases right next to their English counterparts for easy translation? You already know—it’s RomanianPod101.com!

Each vocabulary lesson has an example sentence with its English translation; this way, you can not only see the Romanian word in context, but also start picking up on more and more Romanian sentence patterns.

That’s not even mentioning the goldmine of audio and video resources, all in one place! Try it out today and see how fast you can pick up the beautiful Romanian language!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how many of these sentence patterns are new to you. Did we answer all of your Romanian sentence pattern questions? We look forward to hearing from you!

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Astound Your Romanian Friends With 100 Romanian Adverbs

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Are you the type to show off?

Maybe you met someone who went to Europe for a trip and you casually ask them, “Did you learn much of the local language?”

This is really just an excuse for you to show off your Romanian skills. That’s fine. We get it.

There’s always a danger, though, that that person happens to have Romanian grandparents or experience living in a Romanian-speaking environment through an internship or similar. If you want to impress, you need to bring your A-game. And that means using the correct and accurate adverb in Romanian for whatever you need to describe, providing flavor in just the right place.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. Adverbs In Degrees
  2. Telling The Truth and Making Predictions
  3. Adverbs of Location
  4. Adverbs and Languages
  5. Time and Romanian Adverbs
  6. Manner Is Important
  7. Showing Cause and Effect
  8. Adverbs Made From Adjectives
  9. Emotional Adverbs
  10. Conclusion

1. Adverbs In Degrees

Woman Making a Speech

Some of the most common adverbs in any language are those that answer the question “how much” or “to what degree?” These should be the first adverbs you set out to learn.

1- foarte – very

Voi fi foarte bun.

I’ll be very good.

2- destul – quite

Desertul arată destul de bine.

The desert looks quite good.

3- extrem – extremely

Ea a vorbit extrem de repede.

She spoke extremely quickly.

4- prea – too

Nimic nu este prea complicat.

Nothing is too complicated.

5- un pic – a bit

Mă simt un pic pierdut.

I’m feeling a bit lost.

6- puțin – a little

Prima probă a fost puțin rapidă.

The first try was a little faster.

7- suficient de – enough

Ea a fost suficient de inteligentă pentru a înțelege asta.

She was smart enough to know that.

8- prea – too

Sunt prea impulsiv.

I’m too impulsive.

9- evident – obviously

Este evident că ea este necăsătorită.

She’s obviously not married.

10- încă – more

Ei au nevoie de încă un milion de dolari.

They need another million dollars.

11- mai puțin- Less

Trebuie să îi plătești mai puțin.

You must pay them less.

12- abia – barely

Abia îmi amintesc.

I barely remember.

13- exact – exactly

Știu exact ce anume am cerut.

I know exactly what I was asking.

14- aproximativ – approximately

Vei avea nevoie de aproximativ 100 de ore ca să finalizezi acest proiect.

It will take you approximately 100 hours to finish this project.

2. Telling The Truth and Making Predictions

Top Verbs

These five “truth” adverbs are quite necessary for when you want to qualify a certain statement. They’re also commonly seen as filler words when speaking casually or distractedly.

1- realmente – actually

El a fost realmente o persoană foarte cumsecade.

He was really a decent person.

2- poate – maybe

Poate mâine sau poate săptămâna viitoare el va tunde iarba.

He will be mowing the lawn maybe tomorrow or maybe next week.

3- posibil – possibly

Este posibil să mă ajuți?

Can you possibly help me?

4- probabil – likely

Probabil mașina lui a fost lovită din spate.

His car was likely struck from behind.

5- cu siguranță – definitely

El este cu siguranță confuz și supărat din cauza glumei tale.

He’s definitely confused and upset because of your joke.

6- oare – perhaps

Este posibil oare, să vin cu propriul meu laptop?

Could I perhaps bring my own laptop?

3. Adverbs of Location

Silhouetted Figure Holding Globe

It doesn’t matter where your Romanian class is – with RomanianPod101, you can learn anywhere you like! Describing where you study is an excellent test of your Romanian adverb skills.

1- aici – here

Trusa de prim ajutor se află aici.

The first aid kit is located here.

2- acolo – there

Când merg acolo am impresia că este o povară.

When I go there I feel like a burden.

3- pretutindeni – everywhere

Bacteriile se găsesc pretutindeni.

Bacteria are everywhere.

4- aproape – nearby

Ea stă aproape.

She lives nearby.

5- departe – away

Trebuie să stai departe de noi doi.

You need to stay away from both of us.

6- lângă – next to, close by

Locuiesc lângă stația de metrou.

I live near the metro station.

7- oriunde – anywhere

Ești calificat oriunde în lume.

You are qualified anywhere in the world.

8- nicăieri – nowhere

Nu plec nicăieri.

I’m not going nowhere.

9- direct – straight

Te rog să mergi direct la tine acasă.

Please go straight to your house.

10- înapoi – back

Toate cadourile au fost trimise înapoi.

All the gifts were sent back.

11- exact – right

Poți să parchezi exact  aici.

You can park right here.

4. Adverbs and Languages

Different Language Books

In Romanian, the suffix -ește is a clear marker of language names, as you can see here. This is because when we say “speak a language,” the underlying meaning is “speak in a certain way.” That’s what adverbs are for!

1- grecește – Greek

Învăț grecește de la bunicul meu. 

I am learning Greek from my grandfather.

2- englezește – English

La job vorbim numai englezește.

At work we speak only English.

3- românește – Romanian

Încearcă să vorbească românește cu vecinii săi.

He’s trying to speak Romanian with his neighbors.

4- arabește – Arabic

Ei nu știu că eu vorbesc arăbește.

They do not know I speak Arabic.

5- nemțește – German

Doi dintre ei au început să vorbească în nemțește.

Two of them started talking in German.

6- franțuzește – French

Tot cursul a fost în franțuzește.

All the class was in French.

7- chinezește – Chinese

Este ciudat să te aud vorbind în chinezește.

It’s weird hearing you speak Chinese.

5. Time and Romanian Adverbs

More Essential Verbs

Second only perhaps to adverbs of degree, adverbs of time are quite necessary for sounding natural in casual speech. You can think of several of these as nouns, but as they modify verbs, they’re properly called adverbs.

1- aseară – last night

Aseară a fost foarte frig.

It was very cold last night.

2- ieri – yesterday

Ieri ți-ai spălat mașina.

You washed your car yesterday.

3- mâine – tomorrow

Plec acasă mâine.

I am going home tomorrow.

4- duminica – every Sunday

Duminica merg cu familia la biserică.

I go with my family at the church every Sunday.

5- niciodată – never

Tatăl dumneavoastră nu ar face niciodată asta.

Your father would never have done this.

6- din când în când – from time to time

El îți menționează numele din când în când.

He mentions your name from time to time.

7- totdeauna – always

El a promis că îi va fi totdeauna aproape.

He promised to be always near her.

8- acum – now

Am intrat acum în ultimele secunde ale jocului.

We’re now into the final seconds of the game.

9- de obicei – usually

De obicei, ea se ocupă de asta.

She usually handles that.

10- mai târziu – later

Vorbim mai târziu despre această problemă.

We’ll talk later about this issue.

11- în seara aceasta – tonight

Dacă nu sunt ocupată, pot să fac un tort în seara asta.

If I’m not busy, I can make a cake tonight.

12- uneori – sometimes

Uneori chiar ești amuzant.

Sometimes you’re really funny.

13- vreodată – never

Nu am crezut că voi mai fi vreodată în stare să joc tenis.

I thought I would never be able to play tennis.

14- rareori – rarely

El rareori părăsește calculatorul lui.

He rarely leaves his computer.

15- mereu – always

Sunt mereu ultimul care își termină tema pentru acasă.

I’m always the last one who finishes the homework.

16- actualmente – at present

Actualmente nu existã nici un remediu pentru cancer.

At present there is no cure for cancer.

17- anual – annually

Această sumă este indexată anual.

This amount is annually indexed.

18- lunar – monthly

Ea a fost plătită lunar pentru că a avut grijă de câinele meu.

She was paid monthly for taking care of my dog.

19- săptămânal – weekly

Duminica seara ea întocmește meniurile săptămânale.

On Sunday evening she is planning her weekly menus.

20- zilnic – daily

Care este suma zilnică pe care ea o cere ca bonă?

What is her daily rate for babysitting? 

21- pe oră – hourly

Această companie te va plăti pe oră.

This company will pay you hourly.

22- odată – once

Hai să rezolvăm asta odată pentru totdeauna.

Let’s fix this once and for all.

23- de două ori – twice

Ea a citit fiecare capitol de două ori.

She read every chapter twice.

6. Manner Is Important

Here we’ll include several adverbs that are two-word phrases, literally translating to “in a particular manner.”

1- la fix– perfectly

Comentariul tău se potrivește la fix.

Your comment fits perfectly.

2- în mod egal – equally

Vă consider  pe toți răspunzători, în mod egal. 

I hold you all equally responsible.

3- astfel – like this

O astfel de situație poate deveni foarte periculoasăi.

A situation like this could get quite dangerous.

4- în felul acela – like that

Mă enervez când mă tratezi în felul acela.

I get angry when you treat me like that.

5- mai bine – better

Acest serviciu e mai bine decât am crezut.

This job is better than I thought.

6- mai rău – worse

Au fost tratați mai rău decât niște animale.

They were treated worse than animals.

7- la fel de – as well as

Nu cred că îi cunoaște cineva la fel de bine ca tine.

I don’t think anyone knows them as well as you.

8- nu – not   

Asta nu este bine deloc.

That’s not good at all.

9- cu ușurință – easily

Înțeleg cu ușurință toate visele tale.

I can easily understand all your dreams .

7. Showing Cause and Effect

Baby Holding Adult Finger

As another stepping stone to fluent and correct Romanian, adverbs of conjunction like these will show your listener that you understand how to organize your ideas well.

1- așadar – therefore

Așadar, ei se simt intimidați de către tine.

Therefore, they feel intimidated by you.

2- totodată – however

Totodată, rezultatul acesta nu este ceea ce ne așteptam.

This result, however, is not what we expected.  

3- în caz de – in case of

Nu folosiți liftul în caz de cutremur.

Don’t use the elevator in case of an earthquake.

4- pentru că – because

Lui îi place de ea pentru că este amuzantă.

He likes her because she is funny.

5- așa că – so that

Mi-am anulat călătoria, așa că pot sta cu bunica mea bolnavă.

I cancelled my trip so that I could stay with my sick grandmother.

6- astfel încât să – in order to

El și-a mutat biroul, astfel încât să aibă o panoramă mai bună.

He moved his desk in order to get a better view.

8. Adverbs Made From Adjectives

Now we’re coming to the words that commonly fit the way we think of adverbs in English: a special, modified form of an adjective. You’ll note that a lot of these adverbs in Romanian don’t actually take a special form, though. That makes things easier for you!

1- afectuous – affectionately

Ea a vorbit mereu afectuos despre el.

She always talked about him so warmly.

2- rece – coldly

Aleksei le-a vorbit rece.

Aleksei spoke to them coldly.

3- Cu interes – With interest

Voi urmări cu interes progresul tău.

I shall watch your progress with interest.

4- plăcut – pleasantly

Uneori realitatea de poate surprinde într-un mod plăcut.

Sometimes reality can pleasantly surprise you.

5- Tare – strongly

Putem auzi muzica joaca tare jos.

We can hear the music playing loudly downstairs.

6- rar – slowly

Respiră adânc și rar.

Breathe deeply and slowly.

7- incet – sluggishly

Autobuzul s-a miscat incet.

The bus moved sluggishly.

8- frumos – beautifully

Maria scrie frumos.

Maria writes beautifully.

9- repede – quickly

Vă rugăm să scrie la această adresă repede.

Please write to this address quickly.

10- oribil – horribly

Sunt sigur că totul se va termina oribil.

I’m sure everything will go horribly wrong.

11- Groaznic – terribly

E groaznic de trist.

It’s so horribly sad.

12- prietenește – jovially

S-a purtat prietenește cu tine?

He was friendly to you?

13- cu precizie – accurately

Acești parametri trebuie să fie înregistrați cu precizie.

These parameters should be recorded accurately. 

9. Emotional Adverbs

Joyful Mother and Child

Describing your emotions with adjectives is a great beginner exercise. Not many people would think to describe actions caused by those emotions!

1- inteligent – cleverly

Ai făcut-o foarte inteligent.

You did it very cleverly.

2- eficient – Efficiently

Îi omori cât poți de eficient.

Kill them as efficiently as possible.

3- Nervos – Nervously

Dominic s-a ridicat, nervos.

Domenic stood up, nervously.

4- cu lăcomie – Hungrily

Mă privești cu lăcomie.

You are gazing hungrily at me.

5- Furios – Angrily

El se uită furios.

He’s staring angrily.

6- Politicos – Politely

Ea asculta foarte politicos.

She’s listening very politely.

7- Sincer – Honestly

Spune-mi, sincer, ce ai pe suflet.

Tell me honestly what’s bothering you.

8- Taraneste – Rudely

I comportat foarte taraneste în acea zi.

I behaved very rudely that day.

9- Slab – weakly

Interacționează foarte slab.

They interact very weakly.

10- zgomotos  – loudly

Poți să nu mergi așa de zgomotos?

Could you not walk so loudly?

11- încet – quietly

El a început sa fredoneze încet.

He began to hum quietly.

10. Conclusion

Excellent work on learning one hundred adverbs! If you read that last sentence and your palms started sweating because you’re not quite ready to show off your Romanian yet, don’t worry.

Take all the time you need for review.

RomanianPod101 helps you ease yourself into the language without stress or bad vibes. We’ve got lessons, articles like this one, and free YouTube videos for any part of the language you’d like. Join us now and see how far Romanian can take you!

In the meantime, if you have any questions about Romanian adverbs, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments. We’re always glad to help you out!

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Romanian Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Romanian

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Romanian! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Romanian keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Romanian Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Romanian
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Romanian
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Romanian on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Romanian Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Romanian Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Romanian

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Romanian

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Romanian language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Romanian websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Romanian teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Romanian

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Romanian. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Romanian, so all text will appear in Romanian. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here are some good options:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Romanian on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Romanian language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Romanian.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as Română with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “Română” > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Romanian – Română.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

  1. Go to “Start” > “Control Panel” > “Clock, Language, and Region.”
  2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”
  3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Romanian.”
  4. Expand the option of “Romanian” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Romanian.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

  1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to “System Preferences” > “Keyboard.”
  2. Click the “Input Sources” tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.
  3. Click on the plus button, select “Romanian,” and add the “Romanian-Standard” keyboard.
Adding a system language

5. Activating the Romanian Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Romanian will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Romanian keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

  1. Go to “Settings” > “General” > “Keyboard.”
  2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”
  3. Select “Romanian” from the list.
  4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

  1. Go to “Settings” > “General Management” > “Language and Input” > “On-screen Keyboard” (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > “Samsung Keyboard.”
  2. Tap “Language and Types” or “+ Select Input Languages” depending on the device, and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.
  3. Select “Română” from the list.
  4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, these are a few good apps to consider:

6. Romanian Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in Romanian can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your Romanian keyboard.

A man typing on a computer

1- Computer

  • When your keyboard is set to Romanian, to type diacritics, you’ll have to use:
    • [ → ă
    • ] → î
    • → â
    • ; → ș
    • ‘ → ț
  • To be able to type the uppercase versions, use “Shift” + the same keys.

2- Mobile Phones

  • On mobile keyboards, in order to get access to diacritics, press the selected letter until the desired diacritic mark appears. For example, if you want to find “ă” or “â,” you should press the letter “a” and hold it for two to three seconds. For “ș,”press “s,” for “ț,” use the letter “t,” and for “î,” use “i.”.
  • When choosing the diacritic marks, be very careful to get the right ones and not make some common mistakes. For Ă / ă choose the one with grave, not tilde or caron. For Ș /ș please choose the one with a comma below, and NOT the one with cedilla. Same thing for Ț / ț—the correct one is with comma and NOT with cedilla.

7. How to Practice Typing Romanian

As you probably know by now, learning Romanian is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Romanian typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a RomanianPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Romanian keyboard to do this!

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A Quick and Easy Guide to Romanian Verb Conjugation

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Romanian verb conjugations are way, way easier than they might appear to be.

That’s good, too—because they look pretty bad!

If you want to learn to speak good Romanian, you definitely can’t ignore the conjugations. English doesn’t have a lot of conjugations, but you still notice the mistake if someone says “He go to the library.”

Multiply that by the numerous Romanian conjugations, and it can seem, at first glance, like the language is a minefield just waiting to trip you up.In reality, though, you just need to learn a couple of key patterns. Quite a few of the conjugations are rarely used these days, and in casual conversations, you’ll hear the same conjugations over and over again.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Romanian Table of Contents
  1. What Do You Need to Care About?
  2. Verb Groups in Romanian
  3. Things That Happened in the Past
  4. Things That are Happening Now
  5. Things That are Going to Happen
  6. Conclusion

1. What Do You Need to Care About?

Top Verbs

If you look at a sprawling list of every single Romanian conjugation, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed. Truth be told, that’s a pretty dishonest way of presenting information to students. You don’t need to care about everything at once, not at all.

There are three terms that we’ll be discussing in this article, and it’s important that you know what they mean in English before learning them in Romanian. These terms are directly associated with Romanian verb conjugation patterns, so pay attention.

First is “person,” which refers to the individual and the identity of who’s using the verb. That could be:

  • First person: Equivalent to “I” in English. 
  • Second person: Equivalent to “you” and “you all.” 
  • Third person: Anybody else being referred to, such as “he,” “she,” ” it,” or “them.”

Next is “mood,” or how you feel about what you’re saying. For example, if it’s a statement of fact, you’d use one mood; if it’s a wish, you’d use another. English has just four moods, but Romanian has nine! There’s plenty of resources out there for clarification, and most of these moods are used infrequently anyway.

Then we have “tense,” which you’re likely already familiar with as well. It’s about what time something happened, or when it happened related to other events. English and Romanian both have lots of tenses, so it’s not too difficult to find conjugations that are equivalent in meaning.

2. Verb Groups in Romanian

Man Swimming in Pool

There are four Romanian verb groups, much like French, Italian, and Spanish. These are words that have the same type of ending in the infinitive, and therefore follow the same patterns.

Well, kind of. Some of them have extra endings! Let’s see what the Romanian verb endings look like by conjugating into the first person present (the equivalent of “I do”).

  • Type 1: Verbs ending in -a, like a înota, meaning “to swim.” The first person present is eu înot. Simple enough. However, some verbs conjugate with the ending –ez.
  • Type 2: Verbs ending in -ea. No subtypes here! Once you know how to conjugate one -ea verb, you know them all.
  • Type 3: Verbs ending in -e. Again, no exceptions to this rule.
  • Type 4: Verbs ending in -i or . Sometimes these verbs will end in -esc, and sometimes in -ăsc.

Hopefully, you’re beginning to see that Romanian verbs have a lot of things for you to think about. A lot of this just has to be memorized, and it would be a great idea for you to work on memorizing a verb chart early. The earlier you memorize the chart, the faster everything will become automatic for you.

3. Things That Happened in the Past

More Essential Verbs

In order to present things in a chronological manner, we’ll start with a quick overview of the past tenses in Romanian. These are the most common ones you’ll see when reading books or news articles anyway, so they’re very important to know.

Romanian has four different past tenses, but we’ll first focus on the two most common: the simple perfect and the compound perfect.

Those are the equivalents of “I did” and “I have done.” The difference is that in English, those have two separate meanings. In Romanian, they mean the same thing, but the simple perfect is used more for writing, while the compound is used more for speaking. The six conjugation forms for the simple perfect are as follows. Romanian usually drops the pronoun, so we’ll show it with only the verb form. We’re using the example a face (“to do”), which as you’ll recall, is a Type 2 verb.

“I did”“You did”“He/she/it did”“We did”“You (plural) did”“They did”
făcuifăcușifăcufăcuramfăcurățifăcură

The compound perfect is way easier! You just have to memorize one single conjugation—for the helping verb a avea (“to have”)—and then add the past participle of the actual verb. Just like in English, really.

“I have done”“You have done”“He/she/it has done”“We have done”“You (plural) have done”“They have done”
am făcutai făcuta făcutam făcutați făcutau făcut

One more important distinction is a tense called the imperfect. It also exists in Spanish and Italian, so it’s nothing unique—but we don’t have it in English. It’s used for talking about ongoing actions in the past. The perfect is for completed actions only—the difference between “I was reading a book” and “I read a book.”

“I was doing”“You were doing”“He/she/it was doing”“We were doing”“You (plural) were doing”“They were doing”
făceamfăceaifăceafăceamfăceațifăceau
  • În timp ce dormeam, mi-a umblat prin lucruri.
    “While I was sleeping, he went through my things.”

In the sentence above, dormeam is imperfect, while umblat is perfect because it marks a completed action.

4. Things That are Happening Now

Businessman Pointing to Watch

Moving on from what has happened, let’s now talk about things that are happening or that do happen. If you’re a native speaker or advanced learner of English, that last sentence should show you quite clearly the difference between the present progressive tense and the present simple tense.

We use the simple present tense to talk about habitual actions in English, and the present progressive to describe what actions are happening during the moment of speech. The same is not true in Romanian, where the simple present works for both situations.

Now, let’s look at Romanian present tense conjugations:

“I do”“You do”“He/she/it does”“We do”“You (plural) do”“They do”
facfacifacefacemfacețifac
  • Ea se învârte în cerc.
    “She’s running in circles.”
  • Fac yoga în fiecare dimineață.
    “I do yoga every morning.”

We need to use the subjunctive mood now, in a place that might seem a little odd.

The subjunctive isn’t terribly hard to produce. It’s the same as the present indicative, but for the “he/she/it” and “they” parts, we change the ending to -ască.

So what’s odd about the subjunctive? Usually, it’s used to express hopes or wishes or, as mentioned before, unreal statements. In Romanian, it’s not only that. It’s also used any time we use the connecting word .

  • Aș vrea să pot.
    “I wish I could.”
  • Aș fi vrut ca el să vorbească cu noi.
    “I wish he would talk to us.”

5. Things That are Going to Happen

Silhouette of Woman Looking to Future

Could you have guessed that the Romanian future tense would be the easiest of them all?

There’s no real future tense in Romanian; instead, we use a helping verb. The reasons why this might be the case, as compared to the complexities of other Romance languages, are shrouded in mystery. All you have to know is that you simply conjugate the verb a vrea (“to want”) and then connect it to the infinitive. Yes, in Romanian, you’re literally saying “I want to” but it really means “I will.”

“I will do”“You will do”“He/she/it will do”“We will do”“You (plural) will do”“They will do”
voi facevei faceva facevom faceveți facevor face
  • Ne vom întâlni din nou.
    “We will meet again.”

How, then, do you distinguish the sentence above from saying “We want to meet again?” Grammatically, you can’t. But the context is likely to clear up the meaning. And really, how different are the two, anyway?

6. Conclusion

The main thing you have to keep in mind as you gaze over this long and wide set of conjugation tables is this: Romanian babies know this too.

Well, toddlers at least.

And that comes from tens of thousands of hours living and breathing the Romanian language, 24/7.

You don’t need to put in quite that kind of time, but you do need to actually expose yourself to the language as it’s spoken and written. Only that kind of slowly accumulating experience is going to give you the feeling for things like using the subjunctive or the imperfect.

At the same time, don’t ignore the benefits of actually sitting down and studying. That, combined with good Romanian content, is going to make the process a whole lot shorter.

RomanianPod101.com is the best place on the web for getting both grammar lessons and excellent audio and text resources in real, authentic Romanian.

As you read and listen, pay attention to the conjugations instead of just directly translating them in your mind. Think about which tenses are being used, and which pronouns are present or omitted.

That kind of language consciousness is going to pay off big time as you jump leaps and bounds ahead of your Romanian-learning peers!

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments section with any questions you have about Romanian verb conjugations. We’ll do our best to help you out!

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