Romance, Slavic, and Uralic languages have similar transparency, when you get a sense of what to look for. English may be uniquely opaque, because of the overlay of Norman French (and a bit of Norse), the tendency to borrow new words, and the fact that it did not go through a nationalistic language purge in the nineteenth century (though guys like Alfred, Lord Tennyson wanted one).
More specifically, plăcintă is this:
A delicious sort of pie filled with brânză (sheep's cheese). A must try if you're in Romania or Moldova!
According to Wiktionary, "Palatschinken" comes from Czech, which borrowed it from Hungarian, which borrowed it from Romanian, which inherited it from Latin "placenta," meaning "flat cake." If only a Czech speaker had commented before you! https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Palatschinken
Wow, this one tripped me up because my mother makes them into buns and I was going to come here to argue that it wasn't a pie at all! :P I've never actually seen it in that form, although in my defence I think my parents say "pie" instead of placinta when referring to pies in general anyway. Now I properly know what the word pie translates to!
I'm Hungarian, my fiancée is from Romania and we had a very weird feeling to see plăcintă as pie. In our mind plăcintă is a (paper)thin thing spread with stuff (urdă, marmelade, cocoa, sugar etc) and rolled up - yumi! :) But we saw further posts, for example the lady from Moldova and it seems to us that plăcintă can have many forms. ;) We just wanted to add our imagination/knowledge.
My mother in law (Moldovan) makes the best placinta. She rolls out a yeast dough paper thin and fills it with homemade cheese or cabbage and pork or apples with sugar and rolls it up and twists it into a bun and bakes it. The result is and very flakey pastry and probably my favorite Moldova dish
You say plăcintă when you want to say "pie" or "a pie" (o plăcintă). The ă is pronounced like "uh". You say plăcinta when you want to say "the pie" or "that pie". The ă is still pronounced like "uh" and the a is pronounced like "ah". The final ă also lets you know it is a feminine noun.