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Romanian Profile

 Language Learning Forum : Collaborative writing Post Reply
17 messages over 3 pages: 1 2
Joined 4412 days ago

18 posts - 28 votes
Speaks: German*, French, English, Romanian
Studies: Icelandic, Persian, Hungarian, Danish

 Message 17 of 17
07 September 2011 at 3:17pm | IP Logged 
I wonder what happened to this profile? Anyway, there are some points that, having
studied the language, I'd like to add:

Chung wrote:

Relatively high-profile people associated with Romania include:
- Vlad Ţepeş (Vlad the Impaler / “Dracula” was a Prince of Wallachia who is best remembered for his extreme use
of capital punishment and his ability to maintain independence for Wallachia from the Ottoman Empire in the
15th century. The vampire in Bram Stoker’s novel is named after Vlad the Impaler).
- Gheorghe Enescu (Romanian’s most well-known composer of classical music)
- Henri Coandă (engineer who designed a jet-powered aircraft in 1910. Unfortunately he was unable to maintain
sustained, controllable flight with his design and the thermojet engine of his aircraft turned out to be a
technological dead-end. Despite some Romanian claims that Coandă is the father of the jet aircraft, it wasn’t
until the 1930s with the development of aircraft using a different kind of jet engine, the turbojet, did jet-
propelled flight become something feasible and applicable.)
- Nadia Comăneci (the teenaged gymnast whose heyday was in the late 1970s and early 1980s)
- Béla and Márta Károlyi (ethnic Hungarians who were born in Romania and were coaches of the Romanian
gymnastic teams at the Olympics which included Nadia Comăneci. After defecting to the USA the Károlyis became
coaches of the American gymnastics teams in the 1980s.)
- Gheorghe Hagi and Gheorghe Popescu (talented footballers of the 1980s and 1990s)

(btw, it's George Enescu, not Gheorghe)
Some more or less well-know Romanian writers:
- E.M. Cioran (philosopher and essayist; major early works in Romanian - including some antisemite, pro-fascist
writings from the 1930s - from the beginning of his Paris exile on only wrote in French)
- Mircea Eliade (philosopher and researcher of religion; moved to Paris at the end of WWII)
- Mihai Eminescu (Romania's much beloved national poet)
- Ion Creangă (writer of tales, anecdotes and nuvellas; practically untranslatable and thus maybe not adequately
renowned outside Romania)
- Ion Luca Caragiale (playwright; model for Eugène Ionesco (who himself published, as far as I know, only one
book in Romanian, "Nu!"); vocabulary-wise a harder read than Creangă, but immediately rewarding)
- Tristian Tzara (co-founder of Dadaism; same as with Ionesco though, only a limited amount of writings in
- Urmuz (predecessor of Romanian modernism and surrealism; allegedly commited suicide "in order to die in an
original way, without any cause")
Generally, there is a long list of French 20th-century writers with Romanian roots, most of which either left
some works in Romanian themselves or were heavily influenced by Eminescu, Caragiale, Urmuz and the likes;
there is a whole bunch of literature to be discovered by anyone studying Romanian, especially considering the
rather poor choice of translations to English.
- Maria Tănase (singer; her interpretation of traditional tunes like "Lume, lume" or "Ciuleandra" took part in
making me fall for this language)
Also, there is a new generation of romanian directors whose films received rave reviews during the last decade:
Cristi Puiu, Corneliu Porumboiu, Cristian Mungiu, Radu Muntean, and some others. They are usually referred to
the Romanian New Wave.

Some additional difficulties:
Picking up vocabulary: From the basic form of a noun, it's impossible to tell if it is masculine or neuter, and from
the plural indefinite, it may be impossible to tell its gender at all, as female plural may end either in -e or -i.
Consequently, from the basic form you can't tell the plural either if you don't know it's masculine (here the plural
always ends in -i). You also need to know gender and - if it's female - plural of a noun in order to form
its genitive/dative. So in addition to its gender, you will need to memorize the plural form, and if you encounter
nouns in a text, you will often have to look them up even though you understand them from their context in
order to be able to use them correctly.
As to further complicate this matter, there is a good deal of old masculine nouns looking like female ones, for
example frate (brother), câine (dog), viezure (badger), whose singular definite is formed using the female plural
definitve suffix -le: fratele, câinele, viezurele.

Chung wrote:

“I want to write.”
“Vreau să scriu.” (Romanian – literally “I want that I should write”. The alternative construction “Vreau a scriere”
has the infinitive (i.e. “a scriere”) instead and matches the English construction literally. Using the infinitive in this
way is still deemed to be correct but has been largely supplanted by the construction with the subjunctive
“Želim da pišem.” (Serbian – literally “I want that I write”. As with Romanian, the alternative construction “Želim
pisati” has the infinitive (i.e. “pisati”) instead and matches the English construction literally. Using the infinitive in
this way is still deemed to be correct but has been largely supplanted by the construction with the indicative

Are you sure about "Vreau a scriere"? The only way i ever heard an infinitve construction (as an example for out-
of-use infinitive constructions) here was "Vreau scrie", as in "Pot scrie", i can write, which is still deemed correct,
though formal. As far as I know, -re is added to the infinitive only in order to use it as a noun: a scrie - to write,
scriere(a) - (the) act of writing; a uni - to unify, unire(a) - (the) union.

Edited by gaggilla on 14 September 2011 at 6:39am

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