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A Beginners' Guide To Essential Romanian Phrases

Mar 6, 2008
Sometimes you need to communicate with foreigners in their language. It could be a trip abroad, or a visit by foreigners that make it necessary to learn at least the basic phrases of a language. You could also fall in love with a person from another nation. Now the best way to pick up a foreign language quickly is to spend some time trying to communicate with someone, whose mother tongue is that particular language. Let us take a look at some essential phrases in Romanian, if you want to be able to converse with Romanians.

Beginners at a language course usually like to learn some essential phrases of everyday use in that language. Here is the list of such Romanian phrases and their English translations.

Romanian - English
Da - Yes
Nu - No
Da,va rog - Yes, please
Nu multzumesc - No, thank you
Domn, Doamna - Sir, Madam
Iata - Here is
Buna - Hello
Buna dimineatza - Good morning
Buna ziua - Good afternoon
Buna seara - Good evening
Cu placere - You are welcome
Noapte buna - Good night
Ce mai faci - How are you
Foarte bine, multzumesc - Very well, thank you
Ma scuzatzi - Excuse me
Ma putetzi ajuta - Can you help me?
Nu intzeleg - I do not understand
Nu shtiu - I do not know
Putetzi sa scrietzi? - Could you please write it down?
Scuze - Sorry
Las -ma in pace - Leave me alone
Unde - Where
Cand - When
De ce - Why
Cine - Who
Care - Which
Unde este - Where is
Cat costa - How much
Eu vreau - I want
Ce este - What is
Imi place - I like it
Nu imi place - I do not like it
De acord - Agreed
E bine - That is fine

In the words "sa", "va", "ma", "buna", and "doamna", you will find that the letter "a" sounds like in the English world "sir". Again, the letter "c" is pronounced "ch" like in "teacher" in the words "placere", "ce", "faci", "place", "ce" and "ci". The letter "a" is uttered like in the Russian "you" in the words "cat" and "cand".

You could be in for a surprise if you had the notion that Romanian is an easy language to pick up. The Romanian alphabet is not phonetic. Some sounds in Romanian have seemingly no relation to their spelling. Say, for example, the Romanian "r". The usual English-speaker could have a hard time trying to get its pronunciation correct. The typical Romanian "r" sounds quite funny when pronounced by English-speaking people.

Similarly, a French-speaking person will find it extremely difficult to tackle the Romanian "h". In fact, they will almost surely fail to pronounce it correctly. Likewise, English speakers are likely to find pronouncing the sounds corresponding to the Romanian letters b or o more than a handful. However, it would not be as difficult to the Russians, who are used to these vowel sounds which are present in the Russian word for "you".

However, it is not that difficult to acquire a reasonable knowledge of the basic Romanian phrases. To develop fluent and correct Romanian accent, you need contact with native Romanian speakers, who can help you avoid sounding funny.

Learning the basics of a language depends not only on the student, but the teacher and the style of teaching as well. The person teaching even the rudiments of Romanian must keep in mind what method suits each individual student. Some learners might fare better if they can relate to the subject being taught. Others learn quickly if charts or pictures are used. For some, practicing with a partner is the best way to learn; others need to participate in group activity with a community, like learning a skill.

Finally you must find out the method of instruction best suited to the learning style of a foreigner, who is eager to learn Romanian. Then prepare for an adventurous journey into the realm of a new language. But do not worry: there will be funny interludes that will give the learning experience enough comic relief.
About the Author
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