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Explaining Romanian Grammar Using the Christmas Story, Part 3

Buna Dimineata! (Good moring!)E timp sa faca limba romana din noua, si Craciun vine. (It is time to do Romanian again, and Christmas is coming.) Limba Romana e atat de usor pentru mine ca e ca limba mea maturna. (Romanian is so easy for me that it is like my mother tongue.)In limba engleza, pot sa spun ca limba romana tac in crier meu pe care e inseamna cu merge foarte bine. (In English, I can say that Romanian clicks in my brain which means that it works very well.) Limba romana e un limbaj bun pentru tot pe care vorbesc limba engleza sa invata ca sa ajuta pe noi sa intelegem limba engleza mai bine. (Romanian is a good language for all who speak English to learn because it helps us understand English better.) Tot copii mei vorbesc limba romana foarte bine. (All my kids speak Romanian very well.) Si din cauza ca ei vorbesc limba romana atat de bine si limba engleza, asta le ajutat la scoala din America foarte mult. (And because they speak Romanian so well and English, this helped them very much at school.) Doi de copi mei au devenit advocatele pentruca limbajele in cartii drept a devenit mai usor pentru ei decat cele alte din cauza de limba romana. (Two of my children became lawyers because the language in the law books became easier for them than for others because of Romanian.) Doi de copii mei au invatat sa vorbeasca limba spaniola foarte repede pentruca ei au vorbit limba romana intai. (Two of my children learned to speak Spanish quickly because they spoke Romanian first.) Si am un fiul pe care e dezaprobator, si mult cu problema aceasta nu invata sa citi, dar el citi, vorbeste trei limbele, terminat universitatea, si are un serviciu bun. (And I have a son that is dyslexic, and a lot with this problem don’t learn to read, but he speaks three languages, finished the university, and has a good job.) Doctori cred ca el e un miracol. (Doctors think he is a miracle.) Limba romana, intru adevar ajutat pe copii mei foarte mult! (Romanian really helped my kids a lot!) Daca vrei sa fie bun cu cartii, sa studieze limba romana e o idea buna. (If you want to be good with books, studying Romanian is a good idea.)

Learning to speak Romanian was a good preparation for my kids to go to law school because it helped them understand English better.. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Acum vrei sa vorbesc despre o alta miracol, Iesu Cristo. (Now, I want to talk about another miracle, Jesus Christ.) Noi am vorbit despre gramatica din Matei, intai capitolul, versetele 18 si 19 inainte, asa astazi, noi vom vorbim despre Matei, intai capitolul, vers 20. (We talked about the grammar from Matthew, the first chapter, verses 18 and 19 before, so today, we are going to talk about Mathew, the first chapter, verse 20.)

Joseph was deep in thought when he went to sleep. (Iosife se gandea cand el a inceput sa dorm.)Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

Verse 20: Dar, pe cand se gandea el la aceste lucruri, i s-a aratat in vis un inger al Domnullui si i-a zis: ,,Iosife, fiul lui David, nu te teme sa iei la tine pe Maria, nevasta ta, caci ce s-a zamislit in ea este de la Duhul Sfant.

Dar, pe cand se gandea el – “But, when he was thinking to himself.” Okay, “dar:” means “but.” “Pe cand” means “when.” “Pe” actually means “on,” and “cand” means “when,” but in Romanian, they often use “pe” when we wouldn’t say “on” in English. It is necessary to say that “cand” if I had Romanian letters on my keyboard, would have an inverted “v” over it. That means that it is pronounced like “euh” way down in the back of your throat (a letter we don’t have in English), not like “a.” “Se gandea” is a reflexive verb that basically says, “he was thinking to himself.” The “se” is a reflexive pronoun, and in this case, it translates as “to himself.” “Gandea” comes from “gand” which means “a thought.” It is in the past tense, “ing” form. “Gandea” should also have an inverted “v” over the first “a” and also be pronounced “euh.” “El” means “he” just as it does in Spanish. It is a subject pronoun. Often in Romanian, the subject comes after the verb. You see, in Romanian, the verb order depends on each speaker. Each speaker may use a different word order because you put the word first that you think is more important. This word order of putting the subject after the verb is very popular, but sometimes, it also comes before the verb.

la aceste lucuri – “about these things.” “La” means “to,” but in English, we dont’ say “to these things,” but “about these things.” “Acest” means “this.” If you are using it with a plural noun (lucruri), then you need to make it plural too. “Aceste” is a plural form of “acest.” .”Lucruri” means “things.” “Lucru” means “thing.” If you add that “uri” on the end, it becomes “things.”

i s-a arata in vis – “she showed herself to him in a dream.” “i” is a reflexive pronoun meaning “herself.” “S-a” is a contraction. “S-a” is “se” and “a” contracted. “Se” means “to him.” It is an indirect object pronoun. “A” makes “aratat” past tense. “Arata” means “show.” If you put “a” before it and “t” on the end of it, it makes it “he” or “she” showed. “In” means the same thing it does in English. However, in Romanian, it has an inverted “v” over it which means it is pronounced down in your throat like the “a” with the inverted “v” over it. You see, they were at one time the same letter, and they have the same pronunciation. However, after the revolution, the Romanians decided they had been too influenced by Russia, and that putting “i” with an inverted “v” over it in certain places was too Russian, so they changed it from “i” to “a” with an inverted “v” over it, all except words that actually begin with “i” with the inverted “v.” When they did it, I was a bit frustrated because I had just learned to read in Romanian, and then I had to learn the new way. “Vis” means “dream.”

Un inger al Domnuli (an angel of the Lord)Photo by Anastasia Zhenina on Pexels.com

Un inger al Domnului– “An angel of the Lord.” “Un” means “an” or “a.” “Un” in in the masculine form, and the feminine form is “o.” It is in the masculine form because “inger” is a masculine noun. If a noun doesn’t end in “a,” it is probably masculine, and everything in Romanian needs to match in number and in gender. “Inger” means “angel.” It also has that “i” at the beginning of the word that needs an inverted “v” over it that means it is pronounced “euh,” down in your throat. The “al” that is before “Domnului” means “of.” “Domn” means “lord.” The “ul” on the end of “Domnul” means “the.” “Domn” is a masculine word, so a masculine “the” is used. The “lui” on the end of “Domnului” means “of” or is a possessive.”

si i-a zis: – “And she said.” “Si” means “and.” “Si” should have a comma connected to the bottom of it, and when a comma is there, it is pronounced “sh.” “Si” is pronounced like our word “she.” “A zis” means “he” or “she” said. The “a” makes it third person singular, and to put the “s” on the end and to put “a” in front of it makes it past tense. Again, you have “i” there with a hyphen mark between it and “a.” That means to me that a letter is missing, and that it is a contraction. They don’t usually take out a consonant, so it is probably a vowel that is missing, perhaps an “i.” “ii” means “she” or “it.” “ii” is a direct object pronoun, referring to what the angel said or to the angel either meaning “it” if it is a direct object or “herself” if it is a reflexive pronoun. That colon (:) means the same thing it does in English. It means that something is being introduced, and what comes after the colon is what is being introduced. When you use a colon, what is before it must be a complete sentence, but what comes after it could be a complete sentence, but doesn’t have to be.

,,Iosife fiul lui David – “Joseph son of David.” In Romanian, they don’t put their quotation marks both at the top like we do. At the beginning of what is being said, the quotation marks come at the bottom, and at the end, the quotation marks come at the top. “Iosife” means “Joseph.” Many names that begin with “j” in English begin with an “I” in Romanian. They also don’t have the “ph” concept of sounding like an “f” like we do in English. They just go ahead and use the “f.” This name is actually pronounced “Yoseefay.” “Fiul” means “the son.” The “ul” on the end means “the.” “Lui” means “of” or is a possessive, so this could be translated, “son of David” or “David’s son.”

“Nu se teme sa iei la tine pe Maria nevasta ta” Don’t be afraid to make Mary your wife.”Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

nu te teme sa iei la tine pe Maria – “Don’t be scared to take yourself Maria to you.” “Nu” means “no” or “not.” “a fi Teama” means “to be scared.” “Teme” comes from “teama” and means “scared.” “Te” means “yourself.” “Sa” means “to” in front of a verb. That “sa” actually need one of these lying on its side over it: ” )” with the ends going up, and is not pronounced like the “a” in “father” like other Romanian “a’s,” but more like “uh.” “Iei” means “take.” “Iei
is pronounced “yeah!” like you are cheering. “La” means “to” like a direction. “Tine” means “you.” “Tine” is the object form of “you.” “La tine” is a prepositional phrase. “La” is the preposition, and “tine” is the object of the preposition. “Pe,” as I have said before, means “on,” and is used in several places in Romanian where we would never use “on” in English. One use of it is to put it before a direct object person. If the direct object is not a person, they don’t use it, only if the direct object is a person. The direct object is “Maria” (Mary).

nevasta ta – “your wife.” There is more than one word for “wife” in Romanian, and “nevasta” is one way to say it. You can tell it is a feminine noun because it ends in “a.” That means that any word you use in conjunction with it must also be in the feminine form. In Romanian, they put the possessive pronouns after the nouns. In this case, they put “ta” which means “your.” It is in the feminine form. The masculine form of “ta” is “tau.”

Acel copilasi a venit de la Duhul Sfant. (That baby came from the Holy Spirit.)Photo by Gustavo Almeida on Pexels.com

caci ce s-a zamislit in ea – “Because what is conceived in her.” This is a conjunction and a relative clause. “Caci” means “because.” The “a” needs one of these: “)” lying on its side above it with the ends up, and is pronounced “uh.” If it doesn’t have that, it can be a bad word, so if you write this word with a pen, be sure and include the “),” and if you say it, be sure to pronounce it correctly. If you are unsure about the pronunciation, you can use “pentruca” or “ca” for “because” also. “Ce” means “what.” “Caci” or “because” is a conjunction. In this case, “ce” is not used as a question word, but as a relative pronoun beginning a relative clause. “S-a” is a contraction. “S-a” is actually “se” and “a.” “Se” means “himself,” “herself,” or “itself.” “A” combined with the “t” on the end of the word makes “zamislit” past tense, and the “a” means “he,” “she,” or “it.” “Zamislit” needs a “)” on its side over “a” which means that “a” is pronounced “uh.” “In” means the same thing it does in English, but this “in” needs an inverted “v” over it and is pronounced “euh” down in your throat. “Ea” means “she” or “her.” “Ea” is pronounced “ya.”

este de la Duhul Sfant – “is from the Holy Spirit.” “Este” means “is.” “De” means “of” or “from.” “La” means “to” or just a direction, and in this case, it is just a direction because it is “from” the Holy Spirit.” “Duhul” meand “the spirit.” The “ul” on the end means “the.” “Sfant” means “spirit.” The “a” in “sfant” should have an inverted “v” over it and pronounced “euh” down in your throat.

Let’s put this all together:But when he was thinking to himself about these things, an angel of the Lord showed herself to him in a dream and said: “Don’t be afraid to make Mary your wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

The ancient Dacians who were originally in Romania were Greeks. The Romans came later, and the two languages mixed together to make the Romanian language. The Dacians were the first people in Europe. Dacia became an outpost of the Roman empire, and the Roman soldiers loved it there, so when the Roman empire fell, they stayed. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I find it interesting that it has come out that the angel was a woman. Romanian comes from both Latin and Greek. The New Testament was originally written in Greek, but I don’t speak Greek. I wonder, if this was translated directly from the Greek, could it be that the Greek shows that angel to be a woman or is it just the assumption of the translator? Romanian gets really specific at times when other languages are not as specific, so it could be that it wasn’t in Greek like that, but to translate it, the translator felt the need to be specific and put that there.

Romanian is a very poetic language, and the Romanian people are a very romantic people. They love to give out flowers and drink toasts. They love parties and holidays. If you celebrated every holiday on the Romanian calendar, you would never go to work. All Romanian yards have a grape arbor, and they make home made wine at home. It is not for getting drunk, although some do, but it is a Romantic part of the Romanian nature. They believe in picnics, and they are wonderful cooks. They believe in celebrating big time. They really believe in flowers and beauty. At Christmas time, sleighs, like Santa’s sleigh pulled by horses, go up and down the streets in the villages with bells ringing that are full of happy people laughing and singing. Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

I would actually like to do more than one verse in one blog when I explain the Romanian grammar, but I don’t because it would make the blog too long. It seems there is a lot to explain when you explain Romanian grammar because, like I said, they get very specific when other languages are not. English is more specific than many languages, and Romanian gets even more specific. Romanian is not only specific, but if you ever hear it spoken, it sounds like poetry. To get the grammar right, everything must rhyme. An example of this is “nevasta ta.” That “ta” on the end of “nevasta” rhymes with “ta”that comes after it. “Your wife” doesn’t rhyme at all. “Your husband” means “Sotul tau.” There is a “u” in both “sotul” and “tau,” and they are masculine. Another form of “nevasta” that is the counterpart of “sotul” is “sotia.” “Sotia” also means “wife.” “Sotia ta” means “your wife.” Both “sotul” and “sotia” have a comma under the “t” which means that “t” is pronounced like “ts.” It would actually be easier for beginners to remember “sotul” and “sotia” because they are related words. The pronunciation of “sotia” in English would be more like this: “sotsee-ah” and the pronunciation of “sotul” would be “sotsool.”

Horses pull sleighs through the snow in the villages in Romania in the winter time.Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I hope you are enjoying these Romanian blogs. Next time, I will do verse 21 of Matthew the first chapter about the birth of Christ.

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