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Phrases for English Speakers Who Want to Travel in Romania

When everyone like the blog about phrases for people traveling in Korea, I decided I needed to give you a list of phrases like that for each language that I can speak. I realize everyone has interests in different parts of the world. Many people, even now, go to Romania as short term missionaries and it is becoming a popular destination for tourists. I understand that there is a need for information on the Romanian language. When I went there, there wasn’t even one book or language course anywhere on Romanian because they were just coming out of Communism, and people didn’t even know they existed. Everything I learned in Romanian was learned without the aid of the normal classes and books that people use. Nowadays, there are online Romanian dictionaries and probably some language courses put out be the Romanians because Romanians are language people. Everyone in Romania seems to study some foreign language. Here are the helpful phrases:

Bună Dimineață! Ce faci? (Good morning, how are you?) Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Bună Ziuă = Hello, Good Day (“Ziuă” is pronounced “zee-wuh.”)

Bună Dimineață = Good Morning (Remember the “ț” is a “ts” sound.)

Bună Seară = Good Evening (Seară is pronounced “see-ahruh.”)

Ce faci? = How are you? or What are you doing? (pronunciation: chay fach)

Sunt bine, și tu? = I am fine, and you? (pronunciation of și is “she.”)

Servos = Hello or Hi

Bună = Hello, hi, or good

Ce mai faci? = How have you been doing lately? or What have you been doing lately?

Cum te cheamă? = What is your name? or literally, How do you call yourself? Yes, they use “how” instead of “what” here.

Mi e foame. = I am hungry. Eat the Romanian food. It is some of the most delicious food in the world, and Romanians are great cooks! Soup is just considered one course, and many of their meals have several courses. Their sour soup is called ciorba, and it is delicious. They sell some of the best bread in the world too. Don’t miss the sarmale and mamaliga! Try the șnițel. Eat Romanian food!Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Mi e foame. = I am hungry. (Pronunciation: Me eh foh-ahmeh.)

Mi e sete. = I am thirsty. (“sete” is pronounced “sehtay.”)

Unde este baie? = Where is the bathroom. (Pronunciation: unday yestay buy-eh?)

Vreo sa folosesc un toilet. = I want to use the toilet.

Mergi drept înainte. = Go straight. (Pronunciation: merj drept unah-eentay)

Mergi dreaptă = Go right

Mergi stângă = Go left

Romania has some really fancy hotels. Photo by Quark Studio on Pexels.com

Unde este hotelul? = Where is the hotel?

Unde este camera mea? = Where is my room?

Această este bagajele mele. = This is my luggage.

Mulțumesc = thank you

E bine = It is fine or you are welcome

Scuzați mă = Excuse me

Scuzi mi = Excuse me

Unde pot sa cumpără un billet? = Where can I buy a ticket?

In Bucherești, there are subways and trolleys. If you want to travel outside of Bucherești, I recommend going by train. There are cars you can rent, and I have seen foreign groups rent a bus to travel around Romania, but the trains are great. If there aren’t too many people in your compartment, you can lay the seats down and go to sleep. There are also sleeper trains with small bedrooms. The trains go everywhere, and you can get a taxi from the station to the hotel. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Unde este trenul meu? = Where is my train?

Unde este gara? = Where is the train station?

Unde este un restaurante bună? = Where is a good restaurant?

Unde e magazinul? = Where is the store?

Ași vreau sa găsesc un pic de mâncarea. = I would like to find a little food.

Ajută mă. = Help me.

With language, you are in business in Romania. From the top of society to the bottom, they are trying to learn foreign languages. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sunt de America. = I am from America.

Sunt de Coreea de Sud. = I am from South Korea.

Sunt de Japonia. = I am from Japan.

De unde ești? = Where are you from?

Poți sa vorbiți limbă engleză? = Can you speak English?

Da, pot sa vorbesc limbă engleză. = Yes, I can speak English.

Nu, nu pot sa vorbesc limbă engleză. = No, I can’t speak English.

Nu pot sa vorbesc limbă romană. = I can’t speak Romanian.

Taxis are plentiful, cheap, and not hard to find. Look in front of the train station for them. Photo by Jeremy Semanhyia on Pexels.com

Unde pot sa găsesc un taxi? = Where can I find a taxi?

Unde este metrou? = Where is the subway?

If you go in the fall, there are large outdoor markets overflowing with vegetables, fruit, meat, homemade cheese, eggs, etc. Each person brings whatever they have to sell. You can bargain with them. You don’t have to take the first price. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Cât costă? = How much does it cost?

E prea scump. = It is too expensive.

Vreau ceva mai ieftin. = I want something cheaper.

If you drive a car or walk down a busy street, you may encounter beggars. They are gypsies. If they are children, there will be an adult gypsy master nearby. That child is being forced to beg, and the gypsy master will take all the money they get. I used to carry cookies to give to the children because I wanted to help the children, but no that gypsy master. I encouraged the children to eat the cookies right away so I knew the child would get something. Some gypsies are so twisted in their thinking that they main a child by cutting off a leg or something to make them crippled for life because they are trying to guarantee that child can beg. They actually think they are doing something good for the child. They are guaranteeing they can beg for the rest of their lives. They are guaranteeing that child will eat. Photo by namo deet on Pexels.com

Nu am bani. = I don’t have money.

Îmi pare rau = I am sorry.

Lasă mă în pace. = Leave me alone.

Go to a bank to change your money. Never meet some random person in the street who says they want to change money with you and change money. Gypsies have been known to ask someone to change money, take them to a hidden place, beat them up, and steal all their money. Hide you money. Put it in a money belt or put in in a purse that hangs around your neck under your clothes. Before I went, the American government said “You are safe, but your things aren’t safe,” so take precautions. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Unde pot sa schimb bani? = Where can I change money?

Ași vreau sa merg la cofetăria. = I would like to go to a coffee shop (or cafe).

Sunt obosit/Sunt obosita. = I am tired. (If you are a man or boy, say it without the “a” at the end. If you are a woman or a girl, use the “a.”)

Vreau sa dorm. = I want to sleep.

Vreau sa merg. = I want to go.

In Bucherești and other big cities, there are places called “cofetăria.” They are very fancy coffee and sandwich shops. If you want fancy French or Romanian pastries, this is the place to get them, and they are scrumptious! Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Vreau sa stau jos. = I want to sit down.

te rog= please

poftiți = Please do it

Pofta Buna = Enjoy your food, or some English speakers say it in French, “Bon apetit.”

Romania is a land of beauty and flowers. They may give you flowers. If you give flowers, be sure to give an odd number, three is the best. If you are invited to someone’s house, take flowers or a bottle of wine as a gift. Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on Pexels.com

If you want to travel in Romania, in some ways, you are in luck because Romanians are a language people. Even the people they call “peasants” who live in the village may be trying to learn to speak a foreign language. There are not just native Romanian speakers in Romania. There are also native German and Hungarian speakers who also speak Romanian. For many years, the most popular foreign language in Romania was French. However, English as become increasingly popular since the Romanian revolution. Lots of them speak English. They find English easy. However, speaking Romanian helps you in several ways. First, I have noticed that sometimes Romanian translators put their own spin on the message or really don’t understand as well as they think they do, and your message may not really be getting through. Romanians are proud people, and if they make a mistake, they will never admit it. They are proud of their language abilities, and they should be. However, they can’t take any criticism of their language abilities.

There are some wonderful people in Romania, but there are little traps here and there where people may try to cheat you. Some of them think foreigners are rich, and would like to get some of their money. They will charge one price for a Romanian and another higher price for a foreigner. I have seen official people at the border trying to get bribes out of the travelers. Luckily for me, they didn’t do it to me, but they do it to foreigners. I have seen them. I look like a Romanian, speak like a Romanian, and when I was there, I carried a Romanian work card, so many didn’t realize I was a foreigner and gave me the Romanian price. I went to a retreat at Poiana Brasov where there were lots of foreigners. I was the only one in the group that was charged the Romanian price. Everyone else was overcharged. They will not budge. They think what they are doing is only fair. I was on a train and heard a conversation between the porters at the border. They were speaking in Romanian. They were planning on getting bribes from all the foreigners. One of them had already talked to me and learned that I was a professor at one of their universities and had a newborn baby. He knew I was a foreigner, but he asked the other one not to try to get a bribe out of me, so they left me alone, but were forcing bribes out of other foreigners. Be careful in Romania. They will take as much as they can from you. If you are forewarned and speak Romanian, you are in a better position not to get cheated.

My Romanian friend went to school to become a chef and got a job on a big cruise ship. He was making more money than the average Romanian, and the others tried to get his money when he came back, so he left and never went back. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This might make some Romanians mad that I gave you this hint, and I am sorry, but I don’t want to lead anyone into a trap. Romania is a wonderful, beautiful, friendly country. However, there are those who try to cheat, and foreigners need to be warned. They even try to cheat one another if they think they other has money. I had a Romanian friend who went on a cruise ship and made a good salary. When he got back to Romania, everyone was trying to get his money. He wanted to run away from Romania, so the next time he went on a cruise ship, he didn’t go back to Romania even though he loved it. Some of the will try to cheat even their own people. I love Romania too. I just don’t want people getting in trouble there. I want them to have a good experience.


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