December 9, 2016



"Requin" in french: us francophones have it easy with this course so far.

December 9, 2016


Couldn't find an explanation for the non-natives. So story time! In the 19th century (when all small countries were claiming their independence), Romanian imported heavily from French to further reaffirm its Latin identity. Meanwhile, a middle class was finally emerging. Unfortunately, culture had difficulty keeping up with economic empowerment in such a short span of time, leading to the new middle class snobbishly trying to imitate the upper class.

This is captured in Vasile Alecsandri's play "Chirița în provincie" ( https://ro.wikisource.org/wiki/Chiri%C8%9Ba_%C3%AEn_provincie ), where, on the background of the heavy borrowing from French, the character is mocked for doing the opposite, i.e.: taking a word from Romanian, adding a French-sounding termination and claiming that they are speaking French, just like the elite.

One of the examples from the play, "furculiţă" -> "furculision" (for the equivalent pronunciation in French it would have to be spelled "furculition"), apart from being a metaphor for pretentiousness, became a reminder that even when two languages are very close, doing ad literam translations can still fail catastrophically.

So now you know why so many words are similar to French (besides the common latin ones). Just don't overdo it by pulling a "furculition" ;D

December 9, 2016


Wow, thank you for this! What a cool post :)

December 17, 2016


"Rekin" in Polish as Polish has a lot of words derived from Latin as well. :)

August 27, 2017


I'm not one (Latino here), but it helps that I know enough Spanish, some Portuguese, and some French to decipher some familiar looking words. :)

December 14, 2017


tout a fait , pas trop de problèmes jusqu'ici.

May 27, 2017


Just curious, are there many sharks in the Black Sea? How often do Romanians encounter sharks? And is there another word for the animal that predates borrowing "rechin" from French?

May 8, 2017


There are small sharks "spiny dogfish"(Câine de mare in Romanian) but they aren't dangerous at all.

July 17, 2017



July 18, 2017


Non natives, please, pay attention: the pronunciation is wrong!

March 3, 2018


How should it be pronounced?

March 7, 2019
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