Article by Oana Iosifidis

Did you hear Romanians speak, and for a moment you almost believed you spoke Romanian? Maybe this happened because half of the words were actually in English. 

Romanian people are known for speaking many foreign languages. There are many international companies who choose Romania as a location for their contact centres or even sales operations, because it is very easy to find people that speak English, French, German, Spanish, and even Greek, Portuguese, and other foreign languages. It is even common to find an employee that speaks 2-3 foreign languages very good. 

English is widely spoken in Romania, especially by young people, under 35. And since many people speak English, they use it a lot in their jobs and everybody understands it, it is very common to use English words in conversation, although we have words with the same meaning.

Most common English words in Romanian

  1. Ok instead of Romanian version “în regulă”
  2. Job instead of “loc de muncă”
  3. Office instead of “birou”
  4. Like. This one is thanks to facebook, and you will hear “ți-am dat un like”, which means “I gave you a <like>”. “Like” in this case, is used as a noun and not a verb, and we have even created the plural of it, “like-uri”
  5. Speaker instead of “vorbitor”. If you go to an event I am sure that they will present the next “speaker-i”.  Please notice how we manage to create the plural of the English word, using the rule of Romanian. 
  6. Hobby instead of “pasiune”. It is very widely used and many people think that the English word expresses the concept better. This one, as well, has plural form – “hobbiuri”
  7. Fast food. Let’s say we have an excuse for this. Romanian language does not have an expression for this kind of food. Word for word translation would be “mâncare rapidă”, which doesn’t sound very good. We also use the plural, fast food-uri, to express the restaurants that serve this kind of food. 
  8. Trend instead of “tendință”. It is used to express that you are in fashion. 
  9. Stress. I am not sure it is fair to be on the 9th place. I think it is present in the vocabulary of every Romanian. 
  10. Weekend instead of “sfârșit de săptămână”, also a very widely used word. The concept of weekend in Romanian does not have so much power, and the wishes concerning the weekend, always use the English word. 
See also  The Amazing Romania

In the business environment, many English words that are used in daily conversation, and in written communication. 

Some examples: meeting, time-consuming, challenging, mass-media, social media, call (Am un call / I have a call), business, career, boss, team, deal, manager.

We even have a word for this way of speaking, half-Romanian, half-English. We call it Romgleza / Romglish. 

But this is not happening only in corporate world. It very common to use words like shopping, date, cash, cool, delivery or take-away (when you talk about food), to-go, easy, gym, safe, share, post, like, tweet, break, lunch. This happens with young people, of course, but some of them became known and used even by older people.

Another area where we have adopted English words and use them very much, are curses. I will not give examples, for obvious reasons. 😊

If you think of globalisation and the development of internet, it is quite normal for the people to be more open minded about foreign languages. Romglish is considered, by many linguists, a threat to standard Romanian. 

There are many common words in Romanian and English, also. Sometimes the spelling is the same, just the pronunciation being different, but it can be the other way around. 

Some examples of words with the same spelling: public, moment, important, problematic, start, perfect, secret, student, program, personal, normal, plan, original. 

Some examples with different spelling but almost the same pronunciation: million/million, nature/natură, process/proces, block/bloc. 

When you start taking romanian classes, these kind of situations will make your process easier. 

Whether you chose to learn by yourself or register to romanian classes online, please feel free to browse our site for more resources. Leave us a comment below if there is any subject you would like to read about. 

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