Translation:An English lighter is not cheap.
When we talk about languages we say Eu vorbesc engleză, dar nu vorbesc franceză.
If we talk about football, we say Chelsea e o echipă englezească. PSG este o echipă franțuzească. Steaua este o echipă românească. Or if we talk about cars, we say Mașinile cu volanul pe dreapta sunt englezești. Dacia este o mașină românească. Renault e mașină franțuzească.
If we talk about people, we say John este englez. Sarah este englezoaică. Jean este francez. Joana este franțuzoaică. Eu sunt român. Ea e româncă.
At least this would be the correct and recommended way. People still bend it, knowingly or not, and end up saying Chelsea e o echipă engleză. You can even force it and say brichetă engleză though it's very noticeably strange in this case and people may laugh at you for it.
Haha, Paul, that is a diamond, with the "ambasada englezoaică”. I have to write it down. I have a large collection the other way around, from my daughter, who studied in English in an international school, in this corner of the world, we only speak Romanian at home, and she speaks the local language of the place I am now (neither En nor Ro) with friends and people, in fact she speaks fluently four languages, but sometimes she mixes them, like ”I like the new musics teacher because he joacă bine pianul”, or ”I rather live in (city name) than in (other city name) because the air in (first city name) is cleaner than the air in (second city name). In (second city name) este mult mai multă poluție” (1). Or ”azi la școală am jucat fotbal între uși” (mot-a-mot translation of indoor). Or, when she graduated with GPA 4.0, she came home and started jumping around like crazy ”am luat patru! am luat patru!” (2). I have an endless list of them...
Later edit: (1) some friend asked me privately for explanation, the Romanian translation of English word ”polution” is ”poluare”, which is a kinda weird exception, because almost all English words ending in ”-tion” came into Romanian in the same way as into English (i.e. from French), and they are translated into Romanian words ending in ”-ție”. So, the ”guessing” translation would be ”poluție”. Now, well... we have this word in the language too, but is only used for this medical condition in young adults https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocturnal_emission (romanian: ”poluție nocturnă”) - there is no other place nor expression where the word would be used, even more restrictive, we use it only for boys, and not for girls https://dexonline.ro/definitie/polu%C8%9Bie
(2) In Romania, the highest mark is 10, and you have to get at least a 5 to pass, or a 7 for some subjects. Below 5, you failed. Usually, even if you are totally out of the subject, teachers will give you a 4, and not lower, to ”help” you recover (as the future grades you get are averaged with the former, and rounded in your favor, you are still forced to re-take the exam, but getting a 5 is enough; if you get a 3, or lower, you will need 6 or higher at re-exam). You can get a 3 or 2 only if you cheat and are caught, or if you get into ”ugly” arguments with the teacher. Therefore, 4 is a mark of failure, and for us, educated in the ”old system”, jumping around happy and screaming ”I got a 4, I got a 4” was extremely funny.
I love that! Thank you for sharing! One more to add to your collection: I was working at an NGO in Bucharest, and we had just produced some new pamphlet explaining, in English, the aims of some new program we were promulgating. It had a lot of NGO jargon (limba de lemn, dar pe engleza). As one teammember was reading it out loud, one confused younger staff member turned to another for clarification: "ce inseamna stakeholder?" The other knowingly clarified, "cine tine friptura, ma". Classic.
Good one too! Just a week ago SWMBO asked me the same question, following a letter from her school management, and I gave her the right translation and explanation, grrrr... your version didn't occur to me (redface). But I promise to remember it next time (rofl).
P.S. Because ”clarification” is the word of the day, I added one to the post above, following a private discussion.
and the best part is that I had no idea why they were laughing until they finally stopped for long enough to be able to explain it to me. I was pretty mystified. when I was there, romanians were not used to foreigners trying to learn their language. either one was a native speaker, or one did not even try (beyond, "doua bere, te rog"). so for most people it was a very unusual experience to hear romanian spoken incorrectly. I think I provided many people with much amusement. Though I did not fall for the trick where my students asked me whether I could pronounce the romanian word for lemon. :)
Andres, the Romanian word for lemon is tough for an American's 'boca perezosa' to pronounce. Truth is, very few people get the Romanian vowels right. A playful, impertinent, or 'șmecher' Romanian (especially a kid) might challenge a foreigner to pronounce 'lămâie', knowing that if the foreigner pronounces it wrong, it will sound like "la muie". The 'la' part is not the problem, but the word 'muie' (found scribbled on many a wall in the Bucharest subway system) has an inappropriate definition (easily googled). Essentially, you don't want to mispronounce the Romanian word for lemon. :)