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RachelleMonday 27th of December 2004 08:22:14 AM
5 words a day - hey everybody -

i am having a really hard time picking up this language. it has been discovered by me that music school is impossibly difficult and is like a 13 hr a day job. you think i'm exxagerating. haha if only. anyway, the point is, since i've been home for Christmas i've realized how unproductive i've been on learning Romanian. and i didn't, as i was hoping, get any books to help me over christmas, or the money to buy them with.

so my new strategy is simple: i'm just committing myself to learn five words a day, and one will be a conjugated verb. i'm presenting this here because i don't really know where to begin. my dictionary mostly confuses me:( so, if there is anyone who would be willing to e-mail me and help me get a basic vocabulary this way, or if it could even be a joint effort and we could post something here i'd be so grateful! i know it's alot to ask, so if it doesn't work out it's cool, it's just my next idea on how to get this accomplished. my goal by this summer is to be able to generally understand written and spoken romanian, so i figure the best place to start is just get a decent beginning vocabulary. anyway i guess i'm kinda going out on a limb here, so if it's too much than don't worry about it i'll find some other way! thanks guys!
RawkstahMonday 27th of December 2004 09:15:34 AM
- hey rachelle i'll definitely work with on this! I'm trying to learn romanian also. and am really lacking a vocabulary. there's an online dictionary that i use sometimes to help me with words we could email eachother back and forth new words and stuff each day or every other day. i'm on all the time (addict) and if you want to IM me or email all my info is in my profile! hope to hear from you soon so we can help eachother learn!
tinkerbMonday 27th of December 2004 09:28:38 AM

I can try to help. To be honest, I know very little about Romanian, but I do have a grammar book and a knack for finding things online.

My first recommendation would be to learn the present tense conjugations to start with, and once you have a good number of verbs down in the present, go back and add the other tenses.

As for vocabulary, try to make the words linked to a theme. It's easier to remember that way!

Because all nouns are inflected, here is the word and gender without any articles.

Some vocabulary:

brânză - cheese (feminine)
pâine - bread (feminine)
orez - rice (neuter)
leguminoase - vegetables (feminine plural)

a mânca - to eat


eu mănânc - I eat
tu mănânci - you eat
el/ea mănâncă - he/she eats
noi mâncăm - we eat
voi mâncaţi - y'all eat
ei/ele mănâncă - they eat

There are some other words to enhance politeness, so you may want to look up personal pronouns in a grammar book. I do know that the "eu" can be omitted but the other personal pronouns cannot.

This is also the nominative or subjective case, but it is a decent start.
RachelleMonday 27th of December 2004 09:56:06 AM
- thanks tinkerb this is a great start! if you want i'll try to post one tomorrow (using my dictionary of course) and everybody can just correct me if i'm wrong. it will help so much to do this with other people!
rbrumaMonday 27th of December 2004 03:27:17 PM
Here to help - Great advice, tinkerb. This strategy will not teach you to speak Romanian but you'll have a good starting point. I also use to learn basic phrases, one/two a day. Learning by heart is the only way to learn a language. Children do this :)

As to the personal pronouns, I don't know who told you that, but it is wrong. ALL personal pronouns can be omitted and they actually are in normal speaking, unless you want to stress out something. If this is not your intention, it's almost a mistake (admitedly a minor one) to use the personal pronoun.

To use the verb you gave as an example, if someone asks you "What's your brother doing?" and you want to say "He eats", you'd always say simply 'Mănâncă', without the pronoun.

For Rachelle and all the others who are trying to learn the language: I am striving to be as helpfull as possible, so if you have any specific questions, post them or email me directly.



PS -- Merry Christmas! -- Crăciun fericit!
sandmanMonday 27th of December 2004 08:46:14 PM
learning strategy - my method of working on my vocabulary is as follows:
once i wrote a small program, which i fed all my icq message history for past 4 years, as a result i've got word usage statistics, so going down the list (sorted by usage frequency - the most frequently used are on the top) i learn the words, which i likely need to know (in a foreign language) to express myself.

the good point of such approach is that it is oriented on a faster acquisition of the vocabulary that you need in everyday use.
it has also some problems, which come mainly from the fact that different meanings of a word are not distinguished in this list, so it is up to you, to determine which synonims you need.
and of course, such words list cannot tell how words are translated and which words combine well

of course, it cannot replace other sources, such as grammar books, live speaking, literature etc but to me it is a good guide in what words to learn first

so, since my words list can hardly be used by someone else here (it is in russian) i can advise to find such software on the net, i know it exists, at least for some IM clients. in the case you use miranda IM client you will need a history export plugin and history statistics plugins (there are several ones afaik). check the site you can also use miranda just for this purpose, even if you use another im client, provided you are able to get a plain text version of the message history from your im client or miranda is able to import it (it is able to import mirabilis icq client message databases, maybe some another)
of course, your message history must be big enough to produce sensible statistics
also some other sources can be analysed, not only your message history but some other texts (big enough and appropriate in style). also such analysis of the target language texts can be extremely useful.
what i can give besides the advices is that simple program i use (in the case someone finds it useful). it processes plain text file, counts the words and gives the result in a plain text file. later i plan to modify it to count the 2-words sequences.

tinkerbTuesday 28th of December 2004 02:00:23 AM

Rbruma, thanks! I was using information from the Hippocrene Romanian grammar book. It's not the most helpful book on the market, as the explanations aren't very clear, but it is what I have.

Rachelle, it would be very cool if you could post lessons everyday. That way you'll teach us and learn at the same time. If you come across any neat grammar explanations (the definite and indefinite articles would be great!), please include them too! I won't have too much time to devote to Romanian, but I'll be one of your students (co-students?).

Tuesday 28th of December 2004 11:28:37 AM
here goes nothing:) - alright, well, since it's the holidays, i figued we could come up with some words to learn that have to do with that. stick to a theme for today. i guess in the future, if i can keep up with this, we can stick to one theme a week. i should have thought of that before i looked all this up huh? i'm afraid i'm on my parents computer and i can't get the phonetics to work right, so i'm just gonna write these out without them. sorry that it's confusing:( anyway....

christmas - craciun
celebration - sarbatoare (singular) sarbatori (plural)
la muti ani! - happy new year!
sarbatori fericite - happy holidays

i know this verb is familiar but i figured i'd post it anyway - helps me to write it out:)
eu am-------------------I have
tu ai----------------------You have
el are---------------------He has
ei au----------------------She has
noi avem------------------We have
voi aveti-------------------You have
ei au ----------------------They have

so there's what i learned today! hope you can learn something from it! i'll probably continue the food idea tomorrow, or if anyone else wants to post it, that'd be cool too. i'm usually not online until like, midnight eastern standard time, so i won't post for another 24 hrs. thanks guys!

tinkerbTuesday 28th of December 2004 11:52:03 AM
- Thanks for the lesson Rachelle! Holiday celebrations are important :)

If you still want to go with the food idea, here's another mini lesson:

apă - water (feminine)
suc - juice (neuter)
cafea - coffee (feminine)
vin - wine (neuter)

a bea - to drink

RawkstahWednesday 29th of December 2004 06:47:38 AM
- 5 more
cap- head
nas- nose
ochi- eye
gură- mouth

a vedea- to see
Wednesday 29th of December 2004 11:07:15 AM
- hey guys thanks for the lessons!
tinkerbThursday 30th of December 2004 01:51:51 AM
Today's subject: artistic expression 101

cerc - circle (n)
linie - line (f)
pătrat - square (n)
triunghi - triangle (n)

atrage - to draw

RachelleThursday 30th of December 2004 02:58:16 PM
- hey, i got this stuff off an online dictionary, so if it's not right please correct! thanks!

pencil - creion
pen - penit,a
paper - bancnota
picture - ilustrat,ie

a scrie - to write

rbrumaThursday 30th of December 2004 03:48:45 PM
Some details -
1. pen - peniţă (the latter is an old instrument, used for writing before the ball-point-pen and the fountain pen were discovered, the one they use to put in a bottle of ink very often... I don't know if this is the 'pen' you are referring to)

More usefull are:

ball-point-pen = pix (neuter)
fountain pen = stilou (neuter)

2. paper - bancnotă. This is wrong. The latter means only 'paper money', as opposed to metal coins. The good translation would then be

paper - hârtie (fem)

3. picture - ilustraţie This is correct, but only if by picture you understand something printed, for example in a book or on a paper card. If you use it to mean 'photo', either on paper or on the computer, the translation is 'poză' (fem)

4. The 2pl from 'a scrie' is 'scrieţi'

Now, knowing this much, you can even compose usefull (albeit stupid) phrases, like:

I am writing on paper with my pencil.
Scriu pe hârtie cu creionul meu.

('meu' here is obviously 'my' and 'creion' is articulated).



PS - for tinkerb, in the last post: 'to draw' is 'a desena', with the following forms (very regular)

desenez, desenezi, desenează, desenăm, desenaţi, desenează

'a atrage' means 'to attract'. It has nothing to do with drawing, but it might have something to do with 'art' :)

rachelleFriday 31st of December 2004 12:20:37 AM
- thanks rbruma! and (despite it's silliness, haha) i also really apprciate the phrase - as you mentioned before it really helps to learn phrases, and it's cool to see even little things i'm learning begin to fit together. thanks again!
RachelleFriday 31st of December 2004 12:35:54 PM
- ok, here some words about family:) again, please correct me wherever i'm wrong! and again, i'm sorry about the phonetics! when i'm back on my laptop i'll be able to fix it.

mother - mama~
father - tata~
sister - sora~
brother - frate
parents - parint,i
grandmother - bunica~
grandfather - bunic
grandparents - bunici
aunt - ma~tus,a~ (wow that looks confusing... sorry!)
uncle - unchi

added a few extra nouns instead of doing a verb today. k, later!
Jeremy87Saturday 01st of January 2005 05:07:48 AM
- year - an
years - ani
new - nou
happy - fericit

to celebrate - a sărbători
eu sărbătoresc
tu sărbătoreşti
el/ea sărbătoreşte
noi sărbătorim
voi sărbătoriţi
ei/ele sărbătoresc

Happy new years everyone! :)
RachelleTuesday 04th of January 2005 12:24:50 AM
- hey guys i was in richmond last weekend, so there i couldn't post. here's a few fun words:)

music - muzica
band - format,ie
laugh - ra^s (also a lynx)
party - petrecere
dance (noun) -dans

to dance - a dansa

rbrumaTuesday 04th of January 2005 03:53:01 PM
You forgot 3sg from 'a dansa', so here it goes:

dansez, dansezi, dansează, dansăm, dansaţi, dansează.

Also the usual simple & silly phrase:

'Am fost la o petrecere şi am dansat toată noaptea'
(I was to a party & danced all night).

The past tense used here is the most common way of expressing past actions. It has a simple formula:

(am, ai, a, am, aţi, au) + past participle (PP)

For the verbs that appeared in this post, PP =

a fi - fost (to be)
a dansa - dansat (to dance)


RachelleFriday 07th of January 2005 11:06:43 AM
- how - cum
what - cine
when - cand
where - unde
why - de ce (why not - de ce nu)

to come - a aveni
eu vin
tu vii
el/ea vine
noi venim
voi veniti
ei/ele vin
rbrumaFriday 07th of January 2005 02:41:45 PM
- what = 'ce', not 'cine'. The latter is the equivalent of 'who'.

Some of the words you put there needs special chars. Here they are:

when - când

(voi) veniţi

The verb to come = 'a veni' (probably a typo, you got the rest of the forms right)
rbrumaTuesday 11th of January 2005 07:20:50 PM
- Some more words:

room - cameră (f)
window - fereastră (f)
door - uşă (f)
wall - perete (m., usually inside) or zid (n., usually outside)
ceiling - tavan (n)

to enter - a intra :

intru, intri, intră, intrăm, intraţi, intră

sandmanTuesday 11th of January 2005 08:33:48 PM
- if it is not too much of a trouble, please indicate the stress where it's not obvious (e.g. when it's not on the last syllable of a verb etc), or where it moves in different forms of a word.

and it would be great also if some more forms would be included (plural for nouns, pp for verbs, adjective forms (at least how much there are - 4, 3 or 2)) - of course in the case of a irregularity (but maybe some people would appreciate it in all cases %))

thanks in advance %)

one more - please, somebody correct me, if i've misplaced the stress in the following:
petre'cere, 'cameră, ta'van

and one more - rbruma, you forgot to include a translation for 'floor' %)

rbrumaWednesday 12th of January 2005 03:08:34 PM
Present, Past and Future -
1. Indicating the accent is a bit too much, in my opinion and will clutter the words. In the future, however, I will make some observations when the stress falls really odd, but otherwise (as for the pronounciation), listening to spoken Romanian is the best way to acquire a good accent.

2. As to the more forms required, you're right. However, for the same reason as above, I will try to make a series of short posts explaining the basic rules and then I will only indicate the irregularities. Until then, here are the PP of the verbs already on our list, so that anyone can use them at both present and perfect tenses, thus being able to express both present and past actions.

a bea - to drink PP = băut
a vedea - to see PP = văzut
a desena - to draw PP = desenat
a atrage - to attract PP = atras
a scrie - to write PP = scris
a sărbători - to celebrate PP = sărbătorit
a dansa - to dance PP = dansat
a veni - to come PP = venit
a intra - to enter PP = intrat

3. In addition, here's another hint. The most common way conveying the idea of future is to use the indicative future I, which has a simple form:

(voi, vei, va, vom, veţi, vor) + Infinitive (w/o 'a')


(a veni = to come)

vin = I come
am venit = I came
voi veni = I will come

Wow! Amazing... :)

4. You misplaced the stress for petrecere. Actually it's pe'trecere.

5. I did forgot the translation for 'floor', I appologize. Here it is:

floor - podea (f., pl. podele)


sandmanWednesday 12th of January 2005 03:31:24 PM
- thanks a lot, răzvan !!!

of course there's no need to show the stress everywhere
in fact i'm very curious about when it moves, e.g. in russian the same word in different cases, or in plural forms, or a verb in different tenses, persons can have different syllables stressed

listening to spoken language is great, but i don't have such opportunity yet %(( and i caught myself several times assumed stress in a wrong position %((

anyways, i do appreciate any information you give
it's really great that native speakers feel like helping foreigners to learn their language
sandmanWednesday 12th of January 2005 03:45:35 PM
- is it ok to use 'serată' instead of 'petrecere' ?
or is it old or like ?
rbrumaWednesday 12th of January 2005 03:51:33 PM
- You're welcome, sandman.

Actually, in Romanian the stress tends to keep its position.

The big problem with the Romanian words is not the stress, but the so called "phonetic alternances" (PA) , that is _changes of the word's stem_ when the same word changes cases, persons, tenses, etc. That phenomenon makes the largest part of the words 'irregular' to some extent. Here are some examples:

masă - table, pl. mese (PA a|e when forming pl)
fereastră - window, pl. ferestre (PA ea|e when forming pl.)
a vedea - to see, 1sg (eu) văd (PA e|ă when changing person)

Other examples can be seen in the words presented so far. Once you get a grasp of how the language 'works' internally, you will be more and more able to figure them naturally. Rules exist, but they are so many and with so many exceptions that it doesn make sense to learn them all.

rbrumaWednesday 12th of January 2005 03:55:51 PM
- 'serată' is not a generic term, like 'petrecere' is. It's a bit old-fashioned and formal. Plus, it could only take place in the evening ('serată' < 'seară' = 'evening').

So you could say

'Am fost la o serată la Ambasada Rusiei'
(I was to a formal party at the Russian Embassy)

though you cannot use the same term when partying with your friends.
sandmanWednesday 12th of January 2005 04:16:40 PM
- exactly the same is in russian (phonetic alternations)
and i completely agree that once you start gaining the feel of a language it goes easier
and PA can be learned off the written sources, so i don't worry too much of it %)
but the stress errors are catchy, i.e. it's hard to get rid of them later

rbrumaWednesday 12th of January 2005 04:27:22 PM
- Yes, from what I know, PAs are due to the slavonic influences, since they do not exist in other neo-Latin languages. So the similarity with Russian is normal.

The same holds for some letters and/or sounds that do not exist in (western) Latin languages, like 'h', 'ă', 'î', 'ţ' or 'ş'.
sandmanWednesday 12th of January 2005 05:12:51 PM
- yeah, especially 2000 %) i know it's a very hard sound for western people, i had experience explaining it to a german.
but for a russian all those big paragraphs on romanian sites and books describing how to position the speech organs to produce the 2000 look kinda funny %)) in fact following them i had different sounds %) not to tell that it was looking like a grimace %)

thanks for your explanations on 'petrecere'
in russian there's the same word as 'serată', formed from the 'evening' too. but it can be used for any party, regardless the time it's happening
Jeremy87Saturday 15th of January 2005 02:28:29 PM
- bed - pat
sleep - somn
sleepy - somnoros
tired - obosit (f. sg. - obosită, m. pl. - obosiţi, f. pl. - obosite)

I'm sleepy - mi-e somn

to sleep - a dormi
eu dorm
tu dormi
el/ea doarme
noi dormim
voi dormiţi
ei/ele dorm

(oh you can tell what state I'm in as I type this ;))
alinabiMonday 17th of January 2005 06:04:10 AM
- I just want to make clear the fact that "atrage" means to attract, to draw as in "to draw towards something", and not to draw as in "to draw a portret".

rbrumaMonday 17th of January 2005 03:58:15 PM
- Thanks Alina. The point has been made before in this thread, but a reminder is always helpful. :)

Jeremy87Sunday 23rd of January 2005 08:20:40 AM
- music - muzică
song - cântec
lyrics - versuri
dance - dans
instrument - instrument

to sing - a cânta

to dance - a dansa
Jeremy87Monday 24th of January 2005 01:50:36 PM
- this time i'll include some verbs having to do with expressions :)

to smile - a zâmbi

eu zâmbesc
tu zâmbeşti
el/ea zâmbeşte
noi zâmbim
voi zâmbiţi
ei/ele zâmbesc

to frown - a se încrunta

eu încrunt
tu încrunţi
el/ea încruntă
noi încruntăm
voi încruntaţi
ei/ele încruntă

Note: Remember with reflexive verbs "a se (verb)" you use mă (me), te (you), se (he/she/it/they, ne (we), vă (you pl or formal) for the action directed toward. e.g mă încrunt

to laugh - a râde

eu rad
tu razi
el/ea rade
noi radem
voi radeţi
ei/ele rad

to cry - a plânge

eu plâng
tu plângi
el/ea plânge
noi plângem
voi plângeţi
ei/ele plâng

Note: a striga is a different kind of cry, as in cry for help. a plânge is the kind of cry as in weep, tears.
rbrumaTuesday 25th of January 2005 06:58:09 PM
- A small comment, since Jeremy forgot the diacritics when presenting the verb 'a râde'

a râde = to laugh
râd, râzi, râde, râdem, râdeţi, râd

a rade = to shave (et al.)
rad, razi, rade, radem, radeţi, rad

Jeremy87Saturday 29th of January 2005 06:48:15 PM
- sun - soare
moon - lună
sky - cer
cloud - nor, clouds - nori
star - stea

to look (at) - a privi
eu privesc
tu priveşti
el/ea priveşte
noi privim
voi priviţi
ei/ele privesc
Jeremy87Tuesday 22nd of March 2005 09:04:46 AM
- I thought I should do this once again :). As discuss freaks say... *BUMP* So.. I'm gonna add a bit more than 5 words this time.

fork - furculiţă
spoon - lingură
knife - briceag
plate - farfurie
bowl - castron
stove - sobă
oven - cuptor

a cina - to have / eat supper

eu cinez
tu cinezi
el/ea cinează
noi cinăm
voi cinaţi
ei/ele cinează
rbrumaTuesday 22nd of March 2005 02:12:55 PM
- A small correction: 'knife' would be best translated as 'cuţit' (neuter, pl. cuţite). 'briceag' means strictly pen-knife (I guess this is how it is called)or Swiss Army knife.