Romanian Words Similar to Latin
Hello everyone! I was wondering, what are some Romanian words that are of Latin origin? What I'm looking for are words that can be replaced with a different word but have the same meaning. So, for example:
Instead of saying, "prieten" (meaning friend) you could say "amic" which is basically the same word but similar to latin (amicus). Other examples that I could think of from the top of my head:
Zapada - Nea
Intuneric - Obscur
Nisip - Arina
Bunic - Tata-mare
Bunica - Ma-mare
Mov - Violet
Portocaliu - Oranj
I know that these are words that might not be used very often by native speakers of Romanian but I thought it would be a fun activity to find words that are similar to Latin in the Romanian Language!
I hope you understand what I'm asking for and I hope you could help me! I know that this question is more for native speakers of Romanian but anyone can join this discussion :)
The thing is the language was re-latinized in the 19th century and the latin words came mostly from french and italian. Some stuck, some didn't. For example, "amic" (italian amico, french ami, and ultimately amicus in latin) is rarely used in both formal and informal speech. Same with "nea". You may find it in poems, but seldom do people say "nea" instead of "zăpadă". But there are many words from latin which weren't reintroduced in the 19th century (when they basically wanted to get rid of slavic influence). Here are some originals (meaning they came directly from latin):
Țară (country) - Terra
Vânt (wind) - Ventus
Câmp (field) - Campus
Bine (good) - Bene
Bărbat (man) - Barbatus (literally the one who is bearded)
Femeie (woman) - Which ultimately came from the latin "Familia"
Car and Căruță (carriage) - Carius
Foarte (very) - Forte
Ploaie (rain) - Plovia/Pluvia
Casă (house) - Casa
Cap (head) - Caput
Rege (king) - Rex/Regis
Regină (queen) - Regina
An (year) - Annus/Anno
Inimă (heart) - Anima (this is cool because "anima" means "soul" in latin :) )
a face (to do) - Facere
Frate (brother) - Frater/Fratris
Soră (sister) - Soror/Sororis
Popor (the people, nation) - Populus
Om (man, human) - Homo
Luptă (fight) - Luctare
Lumină (light) - Lumina/Lumen/Luminis
Noapte (night) - Nox/Noctis
Zi/Ziuă (day) - Dies
Cetate (fortress) - Civitas
All the numerals and so on and so forth :)
Thank you so much! I know that the re-latinized words are rarely used but if do say those words will people still be able to understand what I'm saying?
Yes. Do you have some in mind? From you examples:
nea - it is known but seldom used (maybe if you want to be pretentious :D)
arină - maybe regionally, but basically its never used in everyday convos.
obscur - it's used often but with the meaning of "mediocre", "unknown", "without merit" - "un actor obscur" - an unknown actor.
tata-mare - it's used maybe regionally and more as the colloquial form "ta-su mare" (his grandfather) - but people know it.
mama-mare - Mă-sa mare (his grandmother) - Mă-sa mare este grasă (His grandmother is fat). Ce mai face mă-ta mare? (how's your grandmother?).
But remember - It may be considered rude to ask someone you don't have a close relationship with about "ta-su mare" or "mă-sa mare". You would use bunic/bunică in a formal situation.
Also it's very common to hear the contracted forms: "mamaie" (basically grandma) and "tataie" (grandpa). Kids will often say "Mâine mă duc la mamaia" (Tomorrow I'll go to my grandma's). Or "Tataie a luptat în război" (Grandpa fought in the war).
violet - is used often (came from french)
oranj - also used often (also from french)
Hello :) I assume you are looking for Latin-based words in order to ease the transition to/from other languages (e.g. French). I like your idea, so here's a few that I can think of:
Romanian 1 (English) - Romanian 2 (Latin)
Copac (Tree) - Arbore (Arbor)
Vechi (Old) - Antic (Antiquus)
Antic (Ancient) - Vechi (Veclus ~ Vetulus)
Forță (Strength) - Putere (Potere ~ Posse)
Vorbă (Word) - Cuvânt (Conventum)
Gând (Thought) - Idee (Idea)
Regiune (Region) - Teritoriu (Territorium)
Teritoriu (Territory) - Regiune (Regio)
Vrajă (Spell) - Farmec (Pharmacum)
Pustiu (Wasteland) - Deșert (Desertum)
Words with ~ come from a less formal Latin (vernacular, colloquial). Source: https://dexonline.ro
On a different, but related note... I have often wondered about the link between the English "pussy cat" and the Romanian "pisică". The OED suggests the etymology of "pussy cat" derives from the Dutch "poes" and Middle Low German "pūse". It goes on to note that earlier etymology is uncertain, but similar words exist in other European languages, including Lithuanian "puižė".
The similarity between the English and Romanian seems striking to me. Given the Latin for "cat" can be "cattus", I wonder where the beginning of the word comes from.
Wiktionary suggests the word "pisică" derives from "pis" (sound used to call a cat, of onomatopoetic origin) + "ică".
Cat food for thought?
Bro!! I actually thought the same exact thing with that word, too!!!! Haha
Also how câine is similar to canine however in Italian it’s cane, so...
but you know that would actually be a cool activity to find Romanian words that are linked to English like how you did here!
Don't know the origin of "pisică" (romanian dictionaries give Lixmage's Wiktionary explanation), but I can tell you that there is an old regional variant of "câine" which is "câne", still used in some parts of the country. :)
Here's an example from an old poem called "Miorița".
Îţi cheamă ş-un câne,
Cel mai bărbătesc
Şi cel mai frăţesc,
Că l-apus de soare
Vreau să mi te-omoare"
Then there are words that although they are or may have a latin origin, they entered the language through other languages (as I said mostly french and italian). Here are some examples:
inteligent (smart, intelligent) - intelligent (fr) - intelligens (lat)
exemplu (example) - exemple (fr) - exemplum (lat)
acțiune (action) - action (fr) - actio/actionis (lat)
a confrunta (to confront, to face) - confronter (fr)
erou (hero) - héros (fr) - heros (lat)
excepțional (exceptional) - exceptionnel (fr)
valoare (value) - valeur (fr) - valor/valoris (lat)
deja (already) - déjà (fr)
rezultat (result) - résultat (fr)
jurnal (journal, newspaper) - journal (fr)
viteză (speed) - vitesse (fr)
totalitate (wholeness) - totalité (fr)
existență (existence) - existence (fr) existentia (lat)
rapid (fast) - rapide (fr) - rapidus (lat) *but there is also repede which is still used and probably came directly from rapidus.
And here are some more latin directly derived words:
seară (evening) - sera
mediu (environment) - medium
găină (chicken) - gallina
a dormi (to sleep) - dormire
timp (time) - tempus/temporis
moment (moment) - momentum
oră (hour) - hora
persoană (person) - persona
limbă (tongue, language) - lingua
gust (taste) - gustum
a mânca (to eat) - manducare
a fute (a swear word, meaning to f**k) - futuere :P