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Sound Like a Local with our Romanian Slang Dictionary

Is it really possible to effectively study slang?

The very idea of sitting down and studying what the kids are saying nowadays can sound like a cringeworthy exercise in futility, especially when internet slang in Romanian dictionary settings comes to mind.

I remember finding some ESL textbooks abroad that had awful, made-up text abbreviations that were definitely out-of-date before the ink hit the paper.

But the thing is, our Romanian slang dictionary isn’t a textbook. And when you head into the comment sections of Romanian videos or articles, you’ll see words all over the place that aren’t to be found in any copy of Easy Romanian in a Week.

So what I’m writing here about Romanian slang in texting and online is what’s current this very moment, and if one day it ceases to be, the principles outlined herein will still be helpful.

Table of Contents

  1. Characteristics of Informal Romanian Online
  2. Abbreviations
  3. Other Informal Terms
  4. Conclusion: How RomanianPod101 Can Help You Stay Cool

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1. Characteristics of Informal Romanian Online

So, the Romanian alphabet has got a lot of diacritics, or special marks floating around consonants and vowels. They’re important—leave them out or switch them around, and there will be times that your meaning isn’t clear.

But only sometimes. You see, Romanians already speak Romanian. They know the context and they know what the Romanian slang words are probably referring to, even if—as an outside learner—you’re left in the dark when you don’t know for sure if it should be an ă or an â.

For that reason, it’s extremely common to see informal Romanian typed out without any special letters at all, just the plain old twenty-six letters you already know.

Studying Words and Letters

You’ll also see a copious amount of English. All over the world, it’s trendy now to sprinkle your native language with English, especially when you’re trying to appeal to the youth. That means you’ll see this quite often in ads, such as this promo for a concert:

  • unul din cele mai fun festivaluri ever!
    One of the most fun festivals ever!

All lowercase, all without diacritics. Is there anything untouched? Just one thing: the humble dash.

The dash mark “-” is used as a contraction in Romanian in the same way that the apostrophe is used in English to better represent connected speech. That stays put, even if someone doesn’t write the diacritics (though again, people would understand even without it).

When loanwords (or just imported English words) appear, the dash mark is also usually included to preserve the original spelling. Keeping this in mind for internet slang terms for Romanian language, you’ll see video-ul, instead of videoul, to mean “the video.”


2. Abbreviations

From English to Romanian internet slang, the most common factor is abbreviation. That said, there are some Romanian slang tendencies that are confusing to English-speakers.

By far, the most confusing thing that Romanians do to their language online (until you get used to it) is taking out all the extra letters. Most English speakers don’t do this in their Internet conversations, but the practice remains alive and well in Europe, making it a vital language venture if you want to learn Romanian internet slang words.

Let’s have a look here at the most common Romanian slang expressions and abbreviations you’ll find and what they mean.

1- vb

This Romanian text slang in chatting is a shortening of vorbesc, meaning “to talk.” This actually works out pretty well in Romanian—you’d think that a language with a lot of complicated conjugations would have trouble with shortening verbs, but all the conjugations still have the vorb- root so it’s always interpreted correctly.

2- ms

Here’s one we could be using in English if things had gone a little bit differently in the past. It’s a contraction of mersi, which to anyone who’s ever taken French will be evident as meaning “thank you.” Instead, the homegrown English version is “thx.” The textbook Romanian word for “thank you” is longer and more formal, but mersi is acceptable online and off.

3- Cnv

This is a shortening, plain and simple, though for a learner it’s far from transparent. Cineva just means “somebody,” and so when time is of the essence, it gets cut down. Come to think of it, this is rather similar to how English speakers might write “sb.”

4- pt

With just these two letters, this Romanian internet slang in chatting could mean anything! But it’s only another typical shortening; pt is short for pentru, which means “for” as in “This is for you,” or “How much for breakfast?”

American Breakfast Plate

5- pwp

Here’s a cute and uniquely Romanian internet slang from SMS slang. The word for “kiss” in Romanian is pup, and it expresses the idea of a childlike peck on the cheek. It got transformed into pwp to make it sound even shorter, just the sound of the kiss itself.

6- kkt

Here’s a short form of căcat, meaning, well, “excrement.” But in a ruder sense. Compare with Spanish caca, but note that it’s more offensive in Romanian.

KKT is the most offensive we’re going to get in this article in order to keep up professional standards. But there are a number of more vulgar terms that you can find in slang form online, in forums and comment sections. Simply have a look at this Wikipedia article on Romanian profanity and imagine the phrases written without any vowels, and you’ll be most of the way there.


3. Other Informal Terms

There’s still more internet text slang in Romanian language that you should be aware of to fully integrate into Romanian online social circles. Look over our short list of Romanian to English internet slangs to become better acquainted!

1- frumiiii

This is far from the only word that gets this treatment, though it’s one of the most common. The word frumi means “beautiful,” and usually appears with just the one I. Online, any word you like can be made into a long and musical exclamation by simply adding as many vowels as you deem necessary. Usually two to four extras will do it, and anything above that risks coming off as over exuberant. “Yippeee?”

2- Bă

Here’s a simple way to say hello—it’s kind of equivalent to “hey man” or “hey guys!” Start off your sentence with for an immediately casual, informal tone. Now and then, you’ll see it written online as băăăă (or even longer), just like you might read “bă is used only for masculine, when you’re talking with a boy or a man.

Woman on Phone Waving to Someone

3- mda

This one’s hidden in plain sight. The word for “yes” in Romanian is da, but adding the m in front of it makes it sound more casual and off-the-cuff. In English we actually do this too, with the word “mmyeah,” although that indicates hesitancy, where there’s none in the Romanian equivalent.

4- Mișto

This is kind of a unique example. As mentioned before, English words are quite trendy in Romanian. Plenty of people near border regions and in big cities snatch little bits of language from other “cool” languages such as Italian or German.

But the humble mișto (which means “cool” as if there weren’t enough synonyms for that already) actually comes from the Romani language of the gypsy peoples—tracing its roots all the way back to India, from the Hindi word miithaa meaning “good!”

5- Nașpa

Here’s an interesting slang word that dates back to just about the beginning of the internet days, though it doesn’t have any meaning related to internet stuff. It means something like “low-quality,” and it’s usually used to describe objects or situations, but not people. Although it doesn’t look out of the ordinary,keep in mind that it never declines or changes its form to fit other grammatical rules—it barges right through the rules and stays the same regardless of where it is in the sentence.


Conclusion: How RomanianPod101 Can Help You Stay Cool

The fear is real. Suppose you end up like your uncle at family gatherings who still does the three-finger “whatever” sign like it’s 2005.

The best way to master this sort of language nuance is to first get a ton of exposure. You’ll find tons of it in Internet comments—make sure you watch the same kinds of videos in Romanian that you do in your native language. Surprise, surprise: people tend to say the same kinds of things.

If you’re cringing at the thought of intentionally reading online comments as a study tool, relax.

I’ve always found that bad jokes take on whole new dimensions of hilarity through a language barrier, and bad opinions or trolls never seem as effective when you’re using them as sources of vocabulary.

Then just slowly ease yourself into the community. The thing about online communication is this: nobody’s really going to care if you don’t use slang.

So use your textbook language first, and as you become more and more comfortable with the variants that you see, start sliding in some of the slang words: an English word here or a pwp there. Before you know it, you’ll be fluent.

And on the way, you’ll notice that your understanding of all Romanian is better and better. You won’t be looking up words as often, since you’ll just understand what they mean.

The journey to language fluency doesn’t happen overnight. As we’ve seen in this article, there are many untold layers of style and nuance that simply take a long time to pick up.

And one last piece of advice: don’t bring online slang into the “real world” without having seen plenty of other people do so first. That can fall flat real fast, and in rare cases could paint you as someone who, though speaking good Romanian, is the type of person who can’t seem to stay offline.

But don’t let any of that get in your way. Learning Romanian is about learning everything that comes with it, with all the ups and downs that that implies. I hope that I was able to teach you more than the average internet slang in Romanian dictionary, and that you took away something valuable from this article.

Which slang words are you excited to try out? What do you think of reading online comments as a study tool? Let us know in the comments!

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