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Basic Bootcamp Season 1, Lesson 1 - Self-Introductions and Basic Greetings in Formal Romanian
Eric: Hi everyone, I’m Eric, and welcome to RomanianPod101.com. This is Basic Bootcamp, Lesson 1, Self-Introductions and Basic Greetings in Formal Romanian.
Mihai: Bună ziua! I’m Mihai!
Eric: Listeners, thanks for being here with us for this lesson. Mihai, what are we looking at in this lesson?
Mihai: Okay, well you might think that with a name like Bootcamp, this is going to be painful.
Eric: But in our Bootcamp, you definitely won't suffer.
Mihai: We'll take it slow and be nice to you.
Eric: We actually should have called it BootSpa.
Mihai: Ha ha! So...
Eric: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to initiate a conversation with a Romanian you’re meeting for the first time and introduce yourself.
Mihai: This conversation takes place in the reception lobby of a hotel in Romania.
Eric: The conversation is between the receptionist and a tourist.
Mihai: They will use formal language.
Eric: Let's listen to the conversation.
Recepţionist: Bună ziua , Doamnă. Mă numesc Paul Iordache.
D-na Popescu: Îmi pare bine, Domnule. Mă numesc Popescu Georgiana.
Recepţionist: Îmi pare bine, Doamnă.
Eric: Listen to the conversation one more time slowly.
Recepţionist: Bună ziua , Doamnă. Mă numesc Paul Iordache.
D-na Popescu: Îmi pare bine, Domnule. Mă numesc Popescu Georgiana.
Recepţionist: Îmi pare bine, Doamnă.
Eric: Now with the English translation.
Recepţionist: Bună ziua , Doamnă. Mă numesc Paul Iordache.
Receptionist: Hello, madam. I'm Paul Iordache.
D-na Popescu: Îmi pare bine, Domnule. Mă numesc Popescu Georgiana.
Mrs. Popescu: Nice to meet you, sir. I'm Popescu Georgiana.
Recepţionist: Îmi pare bine, Doamnă.
Receptionist: Nice to meet you, Madam.
Mihai: So the receptionist's name is Paul.
Eric: I bet that’s a popular name in Romania.
Mihai: You’re right, Eric.
Eric: As for the customer, her first name is Georgiana. Georgiana has also been a very popular name in Romania for quite a long while, hasn't it?
Mihai: Yes, this name doesn't seem to age.
Eric: Now, I noticed that she introduced her name starting with her last name. Is that the normal thing to do?
Mihai: It depends on the situation. Here, she’s giving her name to a receptionist. That's why she is starting with her last name, so he can check her reservation. Usually when you introduce yourself to someone, you say your first name first, though.
Eric: And sometimes you say just your first name, right?
Mihai: Yes, most of the time actually. The more formal the situation is, the more formally you will speak. And saying both your name and your last name is very formal.
Eric: You would do that in a business context, I assume.
Mihai: Absolutely.
Eric: Now, do people in Romania shake hands when meeting for the first time?
Mihai: At work, when it's your first encounter with your co-workers, then yes, you will shake hands.
Eric: No kisses?
Mihai: Kisses come later, once you know the people better.
Eric: And outside of a business context?
Mihai: That's different. Most of the time, kisses are for friends and family. In casual situations, people will sometimes kiss each other when meeting a second time after being introduced. Men with women, and women with women.
Eric: What about men with men?
Mihai: Well, men shake hands most of the time – it’s extremely rare to see two men kissing on the cheek in Romania.
Eric: But for others, it’s a kiss on each cheek, right?
Mihai: Yes, so don't be shy when you go to Romania, and kiss people on the cheeks!
Eric: Just as long as the person isn’t your boss or a client!
Eric: Let's take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson.
Mihai: Bună ziua [natural native speed]
Eric: hello, good day
Mihai: Bună ziua [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: Bună ziua [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Mihai: Doamnă [natural native speed]
Eric: madam, lady
Mihai: Doamnă [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: Doamnă [natural native speed]
Eric: Next we have..
Mihai: Mă numesc… [natural native speed]
Eric: My name is…
Mihai: Mă numesc… [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: Mă numesc… [natural native speed]
Eric: And last..
Mihai: Îmi pare bine [natural native speed]
Eric: Nice to meet you.
Mihai: Îmi pare bine [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: Îmi pare bine [natural native speed]
Eric: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Mihai: The first phrase we'll look at is...
Mihai: Bună ziua , Doamnă.
Eric: This is "Hello, Madam.”
Mihai: Yes, and Bună ziua is used during the day from morning through the afternoon and up to the evening. It literally means "good day."
Eric: What about evening and night?
Mihai: For either, Romanians say bună seara, meaning "good evening." This greeting is usually used during and after sunset.
Eric: What else do we have here?
Mihai: We have Bună ziua Domnule.
Eric: Which means "Hello, sir."
Mihai: A lot of people don't say Domnule or Doamnă anymore when introducing themselves.
Eric: Really? Do you, Mihai?
Mihai: Very rarely. I guess I would say it if I met President Obama.
Eric: You would speak to Obama in Romanian?
Mihai: Just for the greetings.
Eric: (laughs) So it’s okay to say bună ziua only when I meet an unknown person?
Mihai: Yes, that's what you say in stores, at the bank, everywhere. But you can definitely say Domnule and Doamnă if you want! People always appreciate politeness!
Eric: Okay, what do we have next?
Mihai: Next is Îmi pare bine
Eric: Which means "Nice to meet you." What does this literally mean? Something like "It seems good to me?"
Mihai: Exactly. I know it's a little over the top….
Eric: I think it sounds nice. And next we have...
Mihai: Mă numesc…
Eric: Which means "My name is..."
Mihai: Yes, Mă numesc Mihai. "My name is Mihai."
Eric: What is this verb?
Mihai: It is the verb a se numi. Okay, let's have a quick recap together of how we should introduce ourselves in Romanian. So Eric will introduce himself in English and me in Romanian. Let's go!
Eric: First up, "hello"
Mihai: Bună ziua!
Eric: "My name is Eric. Nice to meet you"
Mihai: Mă numesc Mihai. Îmi pare bine Eric.
Mihai: Great, you can all introduce yourself in Romanian now!
Eric: How do I ask someone what his or her name is?
Mihai: Ah, yes, that can be useful! Well, you can ask Cum vă numiţi?
Eric: One more time slowly,
Mihai: Cum vă numiţi?
Eric: That's formal. What's the informal way?
Mihai: It will be Cum te numeşti? So when addressing someone you don't know or in a formal situation, one of the words you will say is Dumneavostra or vă and when it's informal, with friends or family, it will be tu or te.
Eric: Let’s explain what those Romanian words mean.
Mihai: Dumneavoastră is a pronoun of politeness which is the equivalent of voi or plural “you” in English. When we speak formally to someone, we must use the second person plural voi. In our sentence we use vă, which is a form of the second person plural voi.
Eric: I have a question.
Mihai: Go ahead.
Eric: What if I introduce myself to a friend of yours. Should I speak informally since he's a friend of a friend? Or should I speak formally since I don't know him?
Mihai: You should use tu and say Cum te numeşti? because, that's right, he's a friend of mine. We use Dumeavostră or vă and Cum vă numiţi if we want to speak formally.
Eric: Politeness level in Romanian is a little hard to get used to. But don't worry, you'll get there.
Mihai: Yes, and Romanian people are very tolerant when they're talking to a foreigner.
Eric: So keep at it! Okay, now let's focus on ways to say your name.
Mihai: We already saw that you can use the phrase mă numesc followed by your name.
Eric: Easy!
Mihai: mă numesc literally means "am named." It’s not necessary to add "I," which is eu, as in eu mă numesc, which is literally "I am named." Romanians only use "I," which is eu and "you," which is tu, and so forth for emphasis. You guess who is speaking or the person you are addressing from the context anyway. So there's no need to specify personal pronouns.
Mihai: Now, another way to say your name is just like in English, Eu sunt Mihai.
Eric: Which is literally translated as "I am Mihai."
Mihai: Eu, again, being "I," and sunt, being "am". "I am” is Eu sunt. Again, you should usually skip Eu and just say sunt Mihai.
Mihai: Listeners, now we know two ways of introducing yourself!
Eric: Mihai, could you sum them up?
Mihai: No problem. One, Mă numesc, and two, sunt. Here’s a quick note about the verb a se numi. A se numi is the infinitive form of ma numesc. And it has the reflexive pronoun se at the beginning.
Eric: If you see a verb with the reflexive pronoun in front, it’s a reflexive verb. Many verbs can be used in a reflexive form.
Mihai: Yes, and the reflexive verbs are when the action is directed to the subject, literally "I call myself" or "I wash myself," and so forth. Mă numesc means "I am named," as in "I name myself."
Eric: All right. I think that's enough grammar for this lesson.
Mihai: Yes, and don't worry if you don't remember each little part.
Eric: What matters is that you know how to say the whole thing, "My name is" or "I am."
Mihai: Before we wrap up this conversation, I would like to introduce you to some popular names.
Eric: My friend from Romania named her baby Alexandru.
Mihai: Nowadays baby names tend to be short and sometimes a bit unusual. Some Romanians prefer foreign names like Evan, Calvin, Victor for boys, and Antonia, Cora, Glory, and Greta for girls.
Eric: Some almost don't sound Romanian.
Mihai: Most of them are not actually. And I will end with my favorite name for a girl…Angela
Eric: It's a beautiful and angelic name of course.


Eric: That just about does it for this lesson.
Eric: Okay, some of our listeners already know about the most powerful tool on RomanianPod101.com...
Mihai: Line-by-line audio.
Eric: The perfect tool for rapidly improving listening comprehension...
Mihai: By listening to lines of the conversation again and again.
Eric: Listen until every word and syllable becomes clear. Basically, we break down the dialogue into comprehensible, bite-size sentences.
Mihai: You can try the line-by-line audio at RomanianPod101.com.
Eric: Thanks for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time.
Mihai: La revedere!