Dialogue - Romanian

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Vocabulary

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zi day
capăt end
ezita hesitate
a proba try on
fustă skirt
a cumpăra buy
întrebare question
piele leather
a dori want
coridor aisle

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of This Lesson is Cases (Part 1)

Bună ziua, aș dori să văd niște fuste.
"Hello, I'd like to see some skirts."

Eu?! Nu, mulțumesc. Îi cumpăr prietenei mele. Aveți ceva din piele?
"Me?! No, thank you. I'm buying for my girlfriend. Do you have something made out of leather?"

Da, sunt la capătul coridorului.
"Yes, they are at the end of the aisle."

 


 

In this lesson, we will learn how to:

1.    use cases in Romanian

2.    recognize various prepositions and the cases they determine 

3.    conjugate nouns and their case declension

 


 

1. How to use cases in Romanian


 

The case is the form taken by the noun to express its syntactic function in a statement.

The Romanian case represents a grammatical category associated to a noun, pronoun, adjective, numeral or article. It is used to express the syntactic function in a sentence of these elements or their relation to a process expressed by a verb.

In Romanian, there are five grammatical cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, and vocative. You can find below the questions that the nouns used in each case respond to.

Case

Responds to

Cazul nominativ "Nominative Case"

●      Cine? Ce? "Who? What?"

●      Cine este? Ce este?  "Who is? What is?"

●      Care? "Which?"

Cazul acuzativ "Accusative Case"

●      Ce? Pe cine? "What? Who?"

●      Despre cine/ce? "About who/what?"

●      De cine? "By whom?"

●      Pentru cine/ce? "For whom/what?"

●      La cine/ce? "To whom/what?"

●      De către cine? "By whom?"

●      Unde? De unde? "Where? Where from?"

●      Cum? Cât de? "How?"

●      Când? De când? "When? From when?"

●      Din ce cauză? "Wherefore?"

●      Cu ce scop? "For what purpose?"

●      Care? Ce fel de? "Which? What kind of?"

Cazul genitiv "Genitive Case"

●      A, al, ai, ale cui? "Whose?"

●      Asupra cui? "On whom?"

●      Contra cui? "Against whom?"

●      Unde? "Where?"

●      Când? "When?"

●      Din cauza cui? "Because of who?"

●      În ce scop? "For what purpose?"

Cazul dativ "Dative Case"

●      Cui? "Whose? Whom?"

Cazul vocativ "Vocative Case"

Not applicable

In Romanian, the Nominative case is used to express the subject of action in a sentence. Therefore, the noun in nominative can respond to one of the questions Cine? "Who?" or Ce? "What?" (...is doing that action). Moreover, the questions Cine este? "Who is?" or Ce este? "What is?" can be used. In more particular cases, that of an appositional attribute in nominative, the question Care? "Which?" applies.

In later lessons we'll introduce the rest of the cases in more detail. Please stay tuned for three more cases that will be discussed in detail (the accusative in lesson 6 and the genitive and dative in lesson 16).

Let's see some sample sentences for the nominative case:

  1. Andreea pune o întrebare.
    "Andreea asks a question."
  2. Question: Cine? "Who?"
    Answer: Andreea "Andreea;" (syntactic function = subject)
  3. Aceasta este o fustă.
    "This is a skirt."
  4. Question: Ce este? "What is that?"
    Answer: o fustă "a skirt;" (syntactic function = predicative)
  5. Prietenul meu, Masanobu, învață română.
    "My boyfriend, Masanobu, learns Romanian."
  6. Question: Care? "Which?"
    Answer: Masanobu "Masanobu;" (syntactic function = appositional attribute)

2. How to recognize various prepositions and the cases they determine


 

Preposition in Romanian is the non-flexible part of the speech that links an attribute or an object (direct or indirect) to the word it determines.

By form, prepositions can be:

simple "basic"

compuse "compound"

pe "on"

de la "from"

sub "under"

pe lângă "by"

lângă "next to"

de lângă "next to"

către "to"

fără de "without"

contra "opposite"

până la "until"

cu "with"

de pe "on"

de "by"

de pe la "from"

fără  "without"

 

în "in"

 

între "between"

 

la "to"

 

până "to"

 

pentru "for"

 

peste "over"

 

Some prepositions come from other parts of the speech.

Examples:

  1. Articulate adverb with a definite article: înaintea "before," împotriva "against," împrejurul "around," dedesubtul "underneath;"
  2. Nouns: grație "thanks to;"
  3. Verbs (past participle): datorită, mulțumită "thanks to."

Prepositions in the Accusative Case

Most basic and compound prepositions are constructed with nouns, pronouns,

adjectives, or numerals in the accusative case.

  1. Nu merg acolo fără tine.
    "I'm not going over there without you."

Prepositions in the Genitive Case

The following sentences accompany words in the Genitive case:

- asupra "over," contra "against:"

  1. Asupra orașului sunt nori negri.
    "Over the city are black clouds."
  2. Lupta contra lui Mihai s-a sfârșit.
    "The fight against Mihai is over."

- înaintea, înapoia, dinaintea (prepoziţii provenite din adverbe prin articulare),"in front of, behind, before (prepositions from adverbs through articulations):"

  1. E liniştea dinaintea furtunii.
    "This is the calm before the storm."

Prepositions in the Dative Case

These prepositions are required:

- coming from adverb with non-articulate form: înaintea "before," asupra "over."

  1. Bem un pahar de vin înaintea mesei.
    "We drink a glass of wine before the meal."

- derived from nouns: grație "thanks to"

  1. Grație lui am ajuns în România.
    "Thanks to him I got to Romania."

- coming from some adverbs: asemenea "similar (to)," conform "according (to)"

  1. Am răspuns asemenea ei.
    "I've responded similar to her."

- coming from some verbs: datorită "thanks to," mulţumită "thanks to."

  1. Am obținut rezultatele astea datorită profesorilor.
    "I got these results thanks to my teachers."

3. How to conjugate nouns and their case declension


 

Declension of nouns indicates the number (singular or plural), case (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive or vocative) and gender (feminine, masculine or neutral).

There are three types of declension according to the termination a noun has in nominative case, singular form, non-articulated.

"Declension Types for Nouns" chart

Nouns of declension I

Nouns of declension II

Nouns of declension III

Proper or common nouns in feminine form ending in

a, ă, ea.


Examples: Ana, Maria, Andreea, macara (“crane”), sanda  (“sandal”), masă (“table”), casă  (“house”), stea (“star”), catifea (“velvet”)


Proper or common nouns in masculine form ended in

a or ă.


Examples: Zaharia, tată (“father”), popă (“priest”)


The noun zi or ziuă (“day”).

Common nouns in masculine form ending in u (vowel or semivowel) or i (semivowel).


Examples: codru (“forest”), erou (“hero”), leu (“lion”), ardei (“paprika”), tei (“linden”)


Common nouns in neutral form ended in u (vowel or semivowel) or i (vowel or semivowel), o or a consonant.


Examples: teatru (“theatre”), cadou (“present / gift”), tablou (“picture / painting”), taxi (“taxi”), butoi (“barrel”), radio (“radio”), zero (“zero”), avion (“airplane”), tren (“train”)

Common nouns in masculine, feminine or neutral form ending in e.


Examples: femeie (“woman”), frate (“brother”), nume (“name”), pește (“fish”)


The first five days of the week: luni (“Monday”), marți (“Tuesday”),, miercuri (“Wednesday”), joi (“Thursday”), vineri (“Friday”)

 

"Nouns and Case Declension" chart

 

Cazul

“Case”


Masculin

Masculine”

Masculin

Masculine”


Feminin

“Feminine”

Feminin

“Feminine”


Neutru

“Neutral”

Neutru

“Neutral”

 

Singular “Singular”  

Plural

“Plural”

Singular

“Singular”

 Plural

“Plural”

Singular

“Singular”

  Plural

“Plural”

Nominativ - Acuzativ

“Nominative - Accusative”

leul

“the lion”

leii

“the lions”

femeia

"woman"

femeile "women"

avion

"airplane"

avioane "airplanes"

Genitiv - Dativ

“Genitive - Dative”

leului

“lion’s”

leilor

“lions’”

femeii

"woman's"

  femeilor

"women's"

avionului

"airplane's"

avioanelor

"airplanes' "

Vocativ

“Vocative”

leule!

"lion!"

Leilor!

"lions!"

femeie!

"woman!"

femeilor!

"women!"

avionule!

"airplane!"

avioanelor!

"airplanes!"

 

Let's see some sample sentences (Nominative Case, nouns in different number and gender)

  1. Leii stau în cușcă.
    "The lions stay in the cage."
  2. Femeia locuiește în România.
    "The woman lives in Romania."
  3.  Avionul are o aripă avariată.
    "The airplane has a broken wing."

Examples from the Dialogue

  1. Bună ziua, aș dori să văd niște fuste.    
    "Hello, I'd like to see some skirts."
  2. Eu?! Nu, mulțumesc. Îi cumpăr prietenei mele. Aveți ceva din piele?
    "Me?! No, thank you. I'm buying for my girlfriend. Do you have something made out of leather?"
  3. Da, sunt la capătul coridorului.
    "Yes, they are at the end of the aisle."

Sample Sentences:


 

  1. Peisajele României sunt variate.
    "The landscapes of Romania are diverse."
  2. O învăț pe Maria limba italiană.
    "I am teaching Maria Italian."
  3. Îi adaug cafelei zahăr.
    "I add sugar to the coffee."

Cultural Insights

Fashion in Romania


 

Fashion in Romania depends a lot on ideas, individuality and authenticity. Fashion, by definition, talks about change and is relevant not only to the clothes we wear. It has to do with illusion, a contribution to our well-being. Style is a reflection of personal choice and today's fashion is a reflection of personal style. Nowadays, men in Romania are increasingly interested in fashion. Lumbersexual is very widespread among young Romanians. Long beard, plaid shirt, boots and an unobtrusive look. Women in Romania are increasingly interested in fashion as well. They are following the trends from abroad. They listen to the principle: life is too short to wear dull clothes. Leaving the communist regime, access to the internet and opportunities to visit other countries helped the Romanians to refine their style, appearance, and exterior image. In the 90s, men discovered that it is absolutely normal to use a moisturizing cream and to be concerned about your own style, thus appeared the metrosexual. Along with hipster and lumbersexual, these are the strongest male trends in the last 30 years. Women often prefer to buy their clothes abroad, in places like Paris, Milan, and London. 30 years ago, women wore only what they could find in the shops. Since the fashion industry was underdeveloped, their clothing choices were simple, without any particular items to stand out. Today, their outfits range from eccentric and vivid to the classic of Coco Chanel.

Useful expression

  1. Haina îl face pe om.
    "Fine feathers make fine birds."

 

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Dana: Hi everyone, and welcome back to RomanianPod101.com. This is Beginner Season 1 Lesson 1 - Investing in Some Romanian Fashions. Dana Here.
Mihai: Bună. I'm Mihai.
Dana: In this lesson, you’ll learn about cases. The conversation takes place at a clothing store.
Mihai: It's between Andreea, Masanobu and a salesperson.
Dana: The speakers are strangers in a customer service setting; therefore, they will speak formal Romanian. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Andreea: Bună ziua, aș dori să văd niște fuste.
Vânzătoare: Desigur, doriți și să probați?
Masanobu: Eu?! Nu, mulțumesc. Îi cumpăr prietenei mele. Aveți ceva din piele?
Vânzătoare: Da, sunt la capătul coridorului.
Masanobu: Vă mulțumesc mult.
Vânzătoare: Dacă aveți vreo întrebare, nu ezitați să mă intrebați.
Masanobu: Ah, doresc un coș de cumpărături.
Vânzătoare: Luați-l pe acesta.
Dana: Listen to the conversation one more time, slowly.
Andreea: Bună ziua, aș dori să văd niște fuste.
Vânzătoare: Desigur, doriți și să probați?
Masanobu: Eu?! Nu, mulțumesc. Îi cumpăr prietenei mele. Aveți ceva din piele?
Vânzătoare: Da, sunt la capătul coridorului.
Masanobu: Vă mulțumesc mult.
Vânzătoare: Dacă aveți vreo întrebare, nu ezitați să mă intrebați.
Masanobu: Ah, doresc un coș de cumpărături.
Vânzătoare: Luați-l pe acesta.
Dana: Listen to the conversation with the English translation
Andreea: Hello, I'd like to see some skirts.
Salesperson: Sure, do you want to try them on?
Masanobu: Me?! No, thank you. I'm buying them for my girlfriend. Do you have any made out of leather?
Salesperson: Yes, they’re at the end of the aisle.
Masanobu: Thank you very much.
Salesperson: If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Masanobu: Oh, I want a shopping basket.
Salesperson: Take this one.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Dana: In this conversation, we listened to a conversation in a clothing store. Is fashion important in Romania?
Mihai: It is because it depends a lot on ideas, individuality and authenticity.
Dana: Right, it’s a reflection of personal choice and personal style.
Mihai: Yes, and nowadays men in Romania are becoming increasingly more interested in fashion, and the common look now is “lumbersexual.”
Dana: What’s that?
Mihai: A long beard, plaid shirt, boots and an unobtrusive look.
Dana: What about Romanian women?
Mihai: Of course, they’re interested too. They follow trends from abroad, and women often prefer to buy their clothes in places like Paris, Milan, and London.
Dana: Has fashion in Romania changed since Romania left the communist regime?
Mihai: Yes, access to the internet and opportunities to visit other countries definitely changed things.
Dana: I’m sure that exposed the people of Romania to some new things.
Mihai: Yeah, it did.
Dana: Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Dana: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is...
Mihai: zi [natural native speed]
Dana: day
Mihai: zi [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: zi [natural native speed]
Dana: Next we have...
Mihai: a dori [natural native speed]
Dana: to want
Mihai: a dori [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: a dori [natural native speed]
Dana: Next we have...
Mihai: fustă [natural native speed]
Dana: skirt
Mihai: fustă [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: fustă [natural native speed]
Dana: Next we have...
Mihai: a proba [natural native speed]
Dana: to try on
Mihai: a proba [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: a proba [natural native speed]
Dana: Next we have...
Mihai: a cumpăra [natural native speed]
Dana: to buy
Mihai: a cumpăra [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: a cumpăra [natural native speed]
Dana: Next we have...
Mihai: piele [natural native speed]
Dana: leather
Mihai: piele [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: piele [natural native speed]
Dana: Next we have...
Mihai: capăt [natural native speed]
Dana: end
Mihai: capăt [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: capăt [natural native speed]
Dana: Next we have...
Mihai: coridor [natural native speed]
Dana: aisle
Mihai: coridor [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: coridor [natural native speed]
Dana: Next we have...
Mihai: întrebare [natural native speed]
Dana: question
Mihai: întrebare [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: întrebare [natural native speed]
Dana: And last...
Mihai: a ezita [natural native speed]
Dana: to hesitate
Mihai: a ezita [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Mihai: a ezita [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Dana: Let's have a closer look at the usage of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is..
Mihai: la capătul
Dana: Meaning "at the end of."
Dana: Can you break this phrase down for us?
Mihai: First is la, a preposition meaning “at,” and capătul comes from capăt.
Dana: This can mean “head” or “end.”
Mihai: Adding -ul changes it to "the end."
Dana: You can use this phrase to indicate the location of a place or building.
Mihai: You can use it in formal and informal settings.
Dana: Can you give us an example using this phrase?
Mihai: Sure. For example, you can say... Este o brutărie la capătul acestei străzi.
Dana: ...which means "There is a bakery at the end of this street."
Dana: Okay, what's the next word?
Mihai: vreo întrebare
Dana: Meaning "any questions."
Dana: Let’s break this one down too.
Mihai: First is vreo. It’s an indefinite pronoun that means “any.” The second word is întrebare.
Dana: This means “question,” so the phrase together is “Any questions?”
Mihai: You can use this phrase when you want to ask if anyone has any other questions.
Dana: Is this a formal phrase or an informal one?
Mihai: It can be used for both.
Dana: Can you give us an example using this phrase?
Mihai: Sure. For example, you can say... Ai vreo întrebare?
Dana: ... which means "Do you have any questions?"
Dana: Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Dana: In this lesson, you'll learn about cases.
Dana: Firstly, what is a case in Romanian?
Mihai: It’s the form taken by a noun, pronoun, adjective, numeral or article to express its function in a statement.
Dana: How many cases are there?
Mihai: There are five grammatical cases. Nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, and vocative.
Dana: Let’s look at the nominative case in this lesson.
Mihai: In Romanian, this is called cazul nominativ.
Dana: It’s used to express the subject of action in a sentence.
Mihai: So nominative nouns respond to question words such as cine?
Dana: “Who?”
Mihai: And Ce?
Dana: “What?”
Mihai: Other questions you can ask are cine este? and ce este?
Dana: “Who is?” and “What is?” respectively. We’ll look at the other cases in more detail in later lessons. Now, let’s look at some prepositions.
Mihai: Prepositions are non-flexible parts of speech that link an attribute to an object.
Dana: There are basic and compound prepositions.
Mihai: An example of a basic preposition is pe, meaning “on,” and an example of a compound preposition is de la.
Dana: Which means “from.” There is a table in the lesson notes that has several prepositions, so be sure to check them out. Most basic and compound prepositions are constructed with nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and numerals in the accusative case.
Mihai: In the genitive case, we use prepositions such as asupra, meaning “over,” and contra, meaning “against.”
Dana: Next, let’s look at the declension of nouns. This indicates whether a noun is singular or plural, its case, and the gender. There are some rules for this in the lesson notes, but we’ll show the differences using examples. What is “the lion,” in the nominative, singular, masculine form?
Mihai: leul. In the genitive, singular, masculine form it is leului - “lion’s.” In the vocative, singular, masculine form it is leule!
Dana: “Lion!” Now let’s check the plural forms. First, the nominative form “the lions.”
Mihai: leii. The genitive plural form is leilor.
Dana: “Lions.” And finally, the plural vocative form.
Mihai: leilor!
Dana: “Lions!”

Outro

Dana: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Mihai: La revedere.