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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Learning A Bit Of Romanian Won't Do You Harm

Dearest hearts,

I know Romania is not a popular choice for holidays and it's perceived rather "exotic" and maybe even "dangerous", yet I say to you that you cannot judge a place truly until you have visited it yourself. When I ask people in Poland what they think of Romania, they are usually split in 2 parts: 1) The ones that never been there - and they usually have bad opinions, especially due to the "bad publicity" we get from having so many gypsies...; 2) The ones that have visited Romania or at least passes through it, in their holidays - and I always get a positive opinion from them. They love to tell me a few things: how beautiful and "virgin" our mountains are, how kind the people are and how crazy the drivers get (especially in Bucharest!). It's not hard to get along with people in Romania as they are very friendly and open... the problem that may rise is the language. For example, people my age and younger speak fluently English but if you get to the countryside or try to speak to elder citizen they most certainly not understand you. You might need to speak in German or French or Russian... and that might not be enough as well. If you can, make sure you have an app on your phone that translates you and maybe a little conversation book... in the big cities though it should not be a problem ;) also, if you speak a Latin language (Italian, Spanish) or know a bit of Latin,  you might actually be able to figure out what people are talking about ;) my husband knows a bit of Italian and studied Latin so he can figure out what I speak to my family ;)
Today I wanted to share with you a few Romanian expression that you might hear and not make sense of... if you translate them word by word:

1. A Romanian is not “surprised”… his “face has fallen off” (I-a picat fața).
2. A Romanian didn’t just “do so much with so little”…he “made a whip out of shit” (Face din rahat bici).
3. A Romanian won’t “lose temper”…his “mustard will jump off” (Îi sare muștarul).
4. A Romanian hasn’t just “screwed up”…he “threw his boogers in the beans” (A dat cu mucii-n fasole).
5. A Romanian won’t “try to fool you”…he’ll “throw vapours at you” (Te aburește).

6. Nor will he “lie to you”… he’ll “sell you doughnuts” (Vinde gogoși).
7. A Romanian doesn’t “suddenly get it”… his “coin drops” (Îi pică fisa).
8. A Romanian is not “extremely tired”…he’s “cabbage.” His life is not “chaotic”… it’s “cabbage.” And his room is not “a complete mess”…it’s also “cabbage” (Varză).
9. A Romanian doesn’t simply deem an effort “useless”… he says it’s “a rub on a wooden leg” (Frecție la picior de lemn).
10. You don’t “drive a Romanian nuts”… you “take him out of his watermelons” (Îl scoți din pepeni).

11. A Romanian will not have “the impostor syndrome”… he will “feel with the fly on his cap” (Se simte cu musca pe căciulă).
12. In Romania, things are not “far away”… they’re “at the devil’s mother” (La mama naibii).
13. A Romanian is not “crazy”…he’s “gone on a raft” (Dus cu pluta).
14. A Romanian won’t tell you to stop “wasting time”… he’ll tell you to stop “rubbing the mint” (Freca menta).
15. A Romanian won’t say that something is “cool”… he’ll say it’s “concrete” (Beton).

16. A Romanian is not “nervous”… he “has a carrot (in the ass)” (Are un morcov în fund).
17. A Romanian doesn’t just “keep quiet”… he “keeps quiet like the pig in a corn field” (Tace ca porcu-n păpușoi).
18. As a Romanian you don’t “fool yourself”… you “get drunk with cold water” (Te îmbeți cu apă rece).
19. A Romanian is not “stupid”… he’s “a Venice bush” (Tufă de Veneția).
20. A Romanian won’t “call it quits”… he’ll “stick his feet in” (Își bagă picioarele).

21. A Romanian hasn’t been “scammed”… he “took a spike” (A luat țeapă).
22. A Romanian is not “a drunkard”… he’s “a blotting paper” (Sugativă).
23. A Romanian will not look at you “confused”… he will “stare like the crow at the bone” (Ca cioara la ciolan).
24. A Romanian doesn’t have “unusual ideas”… he has “a curly mind” (Minte creață).

Now tell me, have you ever heard any Romanian people saying this? Have they ever translated this to you? I always give up when trying to translate typical Romanian sayings... they are archaic, traditional and even if they are very funny for us, they make no sense to the foreigners, which is too bad :( Do you have similar sayings that you can simply not translate? Or that you can translate but they make no sense so you laugh either way? I would love to hear your stories :)

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug that loves twisted local sayings :)