Femeie means 'woman,' in the nominative case. The nominative case is the basic form of the noun. 'Femeia' means 'the woman,' which is the definitive case. In Romanian, unlike English (and many other languages), to say 'the woman' or 'the flower' or any other the+noun, you change the noun instead of adding a separate article ('the,' also known as a 'definite article'). The way you change the noun in Romanian is usually to add a different or additional ending. Example: A man = un bărbat. The man = bărbatul. A woman = o femeie. The woman = femeia.
The nominative case is the basic form of the noun; it is the form you would find looking the word up in the dictionary. For more information on this, you can Google 'nominative case in Romanian,' or 'definitive case in Romanian.' You can also do the same search for Latin, which has a very similar structure that was retained in many forms by Romanian.
Hope this helps - I am still learning the language, myself!
Can anybody tell me how accurate Duolingo is? As many people I know who speak other languages such as Chinese went through Duolingo's Chinese course and found that the information it was teaching users' was partially incorrect, I would like to learn Romanian but am worried that it may be teaching me false information.
@Evanmulryan. First of all, it is bărbat and not bârbat. Ă and â are two different letters. Second of all, bărbat and om are in a certain way the same thing. Bărbat means man while om means human. Based on this, you can understand that a man is always a human, but a human can also be a woman. So we can say that "om" is the species and "man" is the sex. But in Romania we often use the word "om" for a Man, and in coloquial language you can say they are the same thing.