Dorion Mode - A blog by Robinson Dorion.

November 4, 2020

Romanian 1 Practice 2

Filed under: Philologia — Robinson Dorion @ 16:07

I practiced Pimsleur's Romanian 1, Practice 2 this morning. It's a ~30 minute session of listening and speaking with a lot of repetition. I looked up the spelling following the audio. Below are the phrases I practiced written in all ascii because I'm not yet in practice of using the entire Romanian alphabet nor have I yet looked into transliteration.

Buna ziua !(i)

Ce mai faceti domnisoara ?(ii)

Intelegi engleza ?(iii)

Ce mai faceti Domnule ?(iv)

Sunt foarte bine, multumesc doamna.(v)

Nu, nu inteleg.(vi)

Sunteti Roman ?(vii)

Sunteti American.(viii)

Scuzati-ma doamna.(ix)

Intelegi doamna ?(x)

Inteleg putin Romaneste.(xi)

La revedere !(xii)

  1. Good day ! [^]
  2. How are you miss ?*

    * Literarlly, what more do you do miss ? [^]

  3. Do you understand Engligh ? [^]
  4. How are you Sir ? [^]
  5. I am very well, thanks ma'am. [^]
  6. No, I don't understand. [^]
  7. Are you Romanian ? [^]
  8. You are American. [^]
  9. Excuse me ma'am. [^]
  10. Do you understand ma'am ? [^]
  11. I understand a little Romanian. [^]
  12. Good bye ! [^]


  1. Intelegi doamna ?

    Are you sure that's what they said in there? It's much more likely for it to be "intelegeti, doamna?" - the difference being that "intelegi" is 2nd person singular aka informal while "intelegeti" is 2nd person plural aka formal. If you combine informal verb form with formal address, the result certainly works but more as a way to highlight the contrast between the pretended status ("doamna") and the actual/observed rather lower level of comprehension perhaps!

    For the same reason of informal among the formal rest (though without any further implication), the earlier "Intelegi engleza ?" doesn't quite fit with the others. It's more likely to be "intelegeti engleza?"

    Comment by Diana Coman — November 4, 2020 @ 19:10

  2. They do indeed use the 2nd personal plural, thank you for the correction.

    Comment by Robinson Dorion — November 5, 2020 @ 11:34

  3. Now I'm wondering why they're using the 2nd personal plural rather than the 3rd personal singular "intelege" ? Is it usage ? To introduce the particular phonetics of "intelegeti" ?

    Also, in spanish, the 2nd person plural "vosotros entendeis" is informal, i.e. "ya'll understand", why is the 2nd person plural used formally in ro ?

    Comment by Robinson Dorion — November 5, 2020 @ 13:28

  4. Romanian is more like French in this respect and less like Italian and Spanish. To the point: Italian and Spanish use 3rd person singular for formal but Romanian and French use only 2nd plural for formal (the 3rd singular is really just that, ie talking about a third person, nothing at all to do with formal). Hence, if you are talking to someone directly, meaning you are addressing them, in Romanian you can use either 2nd singular or 2nd plural but not the 3rd.

    Perhaps one way to remember this is that the formal in Romanian quite literally comes from a mark of nobility, so in a way it makes perhaps sense that it uses the exact reflection of that "we, the king", hence the 2nd plural "you, the king". The formal pronoun in Romanian, that "dumneavoastra" is really the short/contracted form of "domnia voastra" aka "your Lordship" or equivalent.

    Comment by Diana Coman — November 5, 2020 @ 14:00

  5. Thank you for the thorough explanation! I didn't know that about the formal coming from a mark of nobility, that makes sense and will help to remember.

    Comment by Robinson Dorion — November 5, 2020 @ 14:53

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