Explaining Romanian Grammar Using the Christmas Story, Part 5

It is now two days after Christmas. Some people are still on vacation. My daughter had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but we managed to eat turkey dinner and open gifts anyway. We got compliments on the Christmas cookies my daughter gave out at work. People said they weren’t as sweet as cookies they usually get, and that made them better. We have noticed that people in America really seem to soup their cookies up by adding lots of candy and things like that, but we east just plain old fashioned cookies, and they are good that way. A lot of old fashioned things are good. When I became a Christian, my dad told me I belonged in my grandmother’s generation, but before he passed away, he was going to church every Sunday and professing Christ too, and he had finally read his Bible from cover to cover. Just because Christianity has been around a long time doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have value. It has more value than anything you will encounter. I am explaining the grammar in a story that is old, and it is the best story that has ever been told. It is a true story, and it is the story of God’s love for mankind.

The prophets had been telling the people for years and years that God was going to send someone to save the world from their sins and help them find their way back to God so they could live in Heaven with Him when they died. Those prophecies came true to the letter in the story of Christ. Today, the verses we are going to study contain one of those prophecies. There are more than one hundred prophecies like this about Jesus that came true. This prophecy is from Isaiah 7:14. Isaiah was written in 740 B. C., and Matthew wrote the book of Matthew shortly after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus somewhere between 50 A. D. and 70 A. D. Matthew quotes from Isaiah so we can understand just how astounding it is that Jesus fit this prophecy in verse 23 of Matthew chapter 1.

Fecioara fue insarcinata. (A virgin was pregnant.) Cat de mult asa ceva intampla? (How often does something like that happen?) Era un miracol. (It was a miracle.) Profetele au stiut ca asta va intampla. (The prophets knew this was going to happen.) Cum ei au stiut? (How did they know?) Doar Dumnezeu poate sa stie asa ceva. (Only God can know something like that.) Asta e inseamna cu Dumnezeu a spus pe profetele ce va intampla. (This means that god told the prophets what would happen.) Asta e inseamna cu Biblia e din Dumnezeu, Dumnezeu exista, si Isus e fiul lui. (This means that the Bible is from God, God exists, and Jesus is his son.)Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Matei 1:23 — ..Iata, fecioara va fi insarcinata, va naste un fiu, si-l vor pune numele Emanuel,” care talmacit, inseamna: ,,Dumnezeu este cu noi.”

O fecioara e insarcinata. (A virgin is pregnant.) E un miracol! (It is a miracle!) Photo by Gustavo Almeida on Pexels.com

..Iata, fecioara va fi insarcinata – “Look (Behold), a virgin will be pregnant.” The two commas at the beginning are because when they quote in Romanian, they don’t put the first quotation marks at the top, but at the bottom. Those quotation marks are in the Bible. Again, “Iata” can translate either as “look” or “behold.” “Fecioara” means “virgin.” It is a feminine noun. You can tell because it ends in an “a.” “Va fi” means “will be.” ” a fi” is the basic form, or infinitive form of “to be.” If it is used in the sentence as an infinitive, it is “sa fi.” If you want to say, “will be,” you have to use the basic form and a verb that begins with “va” before it. “Voi fi” = I will be, “vei fi” = you will be, “va fi” = he, she, or it will be, “vom fi” = we will be, “veti fi” = you guys will be, “Vor fi” = they will be. “Insarcinata” means “pregnant.” “Insarcinata” is a feminine noun. Some pronunciation rules: “iata” is pronounced “yahtuh.” When there is an “I” after a “c,” it is pronounced like an English “ch.” “fechioara” is pronounced “fehchee-o-ahrah.” “va fi” is pronounced “vah fee.” “Insarcinata” is pronounced “eensuhrcheenahtuh.”

Va naste un fiu. (She will bear a son.)Photo by JUAN CARLOS LEVA on Pexels.com

va naste un fiu – ” she will bear a son.” “Va naste” means “will give birth” or “will bear.” “Naste” actually means “give birth,” but the grammar didn’t fit in English because I would have had to add a preposition if I said “give birth” instead of “bear.” You can’t use “bear” like this for other cases of “bear” in English. “Va” is what makes this verb future tense. Again, there is a pronoun embedded into it, and in this case, the pronoun is “she.” If “voi” had been added, the pronoun is “I.” The pronoun for “va” can be he, she, or it. The pronoun for “vei” is “you.” For “vom” it is “we,” for “veti” it is “you guys,” and for “vor” it is “they.” These are the signs that the verb is future tense. “Un” means “one” or “a.” “Fiu” means “son.” “Naste” is pronounced “nahshtay.” “fiu” is pronounced “fee-oo.”

si-I vor pune numele Emanuel– “And, they will put the name Immanuel on him.” “Si” means “and,” and pronounced like the English word “she” because it should have a comma attached to the bottom of it. “Si-l” is a contraction. If it were written out, it would be “si il.” The translator decided that they didn’t want to put too many “i’s” together. “il” means “him” or in this case only “on him.” “Vor pune” means “they will put.” Again, this is future tense, and if you look above, “vor” is used for “they will.” “Numele” means “name,” “the name,” or “the names.” It is rather an unusual noun because most nouns aren’t used like this in Romanian. Usually, that “le” on the end out be a plural “the,” but here, “numele” stays just like it is and can be singular, plural, or have “the” in front of it in English and be the same word in Romanian. “Emanuel” means “Immanuel.” And by the way, every letter is pronounced, so “pune” is pronounced “poonay.”

Emanuel cand talmacit e inseamna cu ,,Dumnezeu e cu noi.” (Imannuel, when it is translated, means “God is with us.” ) Isus e Dumnezeu si fiul lui Dumnezeu. (Jesus is God, and the son of God.) El face parte din Dumnezeu. (He is part of God.) Dumnezeu e diferite de noi. (God is different from us.) El poate sa fie in mai mult decat un loc in acelasi timp. (God is different from us. He can be in more than one place at the same time.) Si el a ales sa fie cu noi. (And, he chose to be with us.)Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

care talmacit, inseamna: – “which is transled, the same as: ” “Care” means “which” and is a relative pronoun. It begins a relative clause. It is an adjective clause referring to “Imanuel.” “Talmacit” means “translated.” “Talmacit” is pronounced “tuhlmuhcheet.” “Talmaci” can be either a noun that means “translator” or as a verb (a talmaci) that means “to translate.” “Inseamna” means “it is the same as” or “it means.”

,,Dumnezeu este cu noi.” – “God is with us.” Yes, again, those two commas at the beginning are the Romanian quotation marks. The first set goes on the bottom in Romanian. “Dumnezeu” is the word for “God” in Romanian. “Este” means “is.” A short form of this is simply “e,” and you will often hear “e” instead of “este” when people speak. “Cu” means “with.” “Noi” means “us” or “we.”

Putem sa gasim prophecia aceasta din Isaia din Vechul Testamentul, si Matei acitat Isaia ca el a vazut porocia intampland in fata de el. (We can gind this prophecy in Isaiah in the Old Testament, and Mathew quoted Isaiah because he saw the prophecy happening in front of him.) Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Let’s put this all together:Behold, a virgin will be pregnant. She will bear a son, and they will put the name Immanuel on him, which translated is the same as, “God is with us.”

Verse 24: Cand s-a trezit Iosif din somn, a facut cum il poruncise ingerul Domnului; si a luat la el pe nevasta sa.

Cand s-a trezit Iosif din somn, – “When Joseph woke himself up from sleep.” “Cand” means “when,” and it should have an inverted “v” over the top of “a,” so it is pronounced “cuahnd.” “S-a trezit” means “he woke himself up.” “S-a” is a contraction of ” ‘se’ and ‘a’ .” “Se” means in this case “himself” because Joseph is a man. That “se” makes “a trezit” a reflexive verb and “se” a reflexive pronoun. “A” is a past tense marker. If I were to wake myself up, it would be “m-am trezit.” If you woke yourself up, it would be “t- ai trezit.” If he wakes himself or she woke herself, it is “s-a trezit.” If we woke ourselves up, it is, “n- am trezit.” If you guys woke yourselves up, it is “v-ati trezit.” If they woke themselves up, it is “l-au trezit.” The name “Iosif” comes after the verb, but it is the subject. In Romanian, they don’t have a hard and fast rule that a subject must begin a sentence like we have in English. A subject can begin a sentence, but is also may come after the verb, according to how important the speaker things that subject is. “Din” means “from.” “Somn” means “sleep.” That makes “din somn” a prepositional phrase with “din” as the preposition and “somn” as the object noun of the preposition.

Iosif a casatorit pe Maria. (Joseph married Mary.)Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

a facut cum il poroncise ingerul – “he did how the angel commanded him.” “A facut” is third person plural past tense which means the subject is “he, she, or it.” However, we know the subject is “he” because we are talking about Joseph. The basic form of “a facut” is “a face” which means “to do” or “to make.” As an infinitive inside the sentence, it becomes “sa face.” To make it past tense, you have to go back to every person being slightly different and changing “face” to “facut” : “am facut” = I did, or we did, ai facut = you did, a facut = he, she, or it did, ati facut = you guys did, au facut = they did. * This is how to make past tense every time. Use the first part for what every verb you want to use and end the verb with “t.” “Sa face” or “a face” the “face” part is pronounced “fahchay” because any time there is an “e” after “c” in Romanian, the “c” sounds like an English “ch.” “Facut” is pronounced “fahkoot.” “Cum” means “how.” “il” means “him.” “il” is the object pronoun, and it comes before the verb. “il” is pronounced “eel.” “Proroncise” is another past tense in Romanian, and it means “commanded.” “Inguerul” means “the angel.” “The” is the “ul” on the end, and it is a masculine “the.” “inger” means “angel.” Again, the subject comes after the verb because of the thinking of the translator who translated this to Romanian. He felt the fact that Joseph was commanded was more important than the fact that he was commanded by an angel.

Maria nu era singura. Iosef a avut grifa de ea. (Mary wasn’t alone. Joseph took care of her.) Iosef era un erou. (Joseph was a hero.)Photo by Mukesh Mohanty on Pexels.com

si a luat la el pe nevasta sa – “and he took his wife to him.” “Si” should have a comma attached to the bottom and is pronounced like the English word “she.” “Si” means “and.” “A luat” means “he or she took.” If you look above, I have given you all the prefixes that go with the different verbs in past tense in Romanian, just look for the asterisk*. “A luat” comes from the basic “a lua” and the infinitive form in the sentence is “sa lua.” This is actually quite a funny verb. In present tense, the “L” is not there. “I take” = iau. “you take” = iei. “he, she, or it takes = ia, “we take” = iau, “you guys take” = iati. “They take” = iau. That “i” in the beginning sounds like an English “y.” Back to the phrase, “la” means “to.” “El” means “he” or “him.” I have been told I speak with an accent because I learned to pronounce “el” as “yel,” but I think people from other parts of Romania actually pronounce it “el” like in Spanish. “Pe” means “on,” but not here. In Romanian, if the direct object is a person, you put “pe” before it like you put “a” in front of direct objects in Spanish. “Nevasta” means “wife.” “Nevasta” is a femine noun because it ends in an “a.” “Nevasta” is the direct object because of the “pe.” “Sa” is the feminine “his or her.” It has to be feminine because it refers to “nevasta,” the feminine noun. If you have a masculine noun, and want to say “his or her,” use “sau.”

Let’s put this verse all together: “When Joseph woke himself up from sleep, he did how the angel commanded him, and he took his wife to him.”

Iosef si Maria erau fericit. (Joseph and Mary were happy.)Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Joseph was a nice guy. He knew he wasn’t the father of Mary’s baby, but he worried about Mary, and he believed what the angel said. He married her. He trusted her, and he trusted God. Now a days, if a girl is pregnant and a guy who is not the father marries her, it turns into big time gossip, and everyone in town hears what happened, and the guy is either thought of as being taken advantage of or a very nice guy, a hero coming to the girl’s rescue. In this case, Joseph was a very nice guy. He was a good husband and a good father. When we talk about the next verse, you will see that he was. The story isn’t finished, so wait for the next Romanian grammar blog.

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