Are you learning Romanian but colloquialisms prevent you from understanding everything? Jargon words are part of every language and knowing them can be useful in keeping up with everyday conversations. Here are the main slang words you need to know in order to blend in with the locals.
Literally meaning ‘brother’ frate is used when you are addressing a friend. It can be also used to express stupefaction: frate!, which could be translated as ‘damn’. The plural form fraților is used when you are addressing a group of friends.
Derived from the gipsy mišto, mișto is the equivalent of ‘cool’. So if someone tells you about something great that happened, you can say, Ce mișto! (How cool). Mișto is also used in the expression a face mișto de cineva, meaning that you are mocking or laughing at someone.
Both nașpa and nasol are slang words used when you want to say that something is unpleasant or went bad. If referring to a person, nașpa means that he or she is unattractive.
This word can be used in several situations. Aiurea! is an interjection that Romanians use when something seems unlikely or false. In the expression a vorbi aiurea (to talk nonsense), the word is used to describe useless, stupid talk.
This phrase could be translated as ‘seriously?’, and used when you are surprised by something someone says, something that you just can’t believe.
Baftă is the familiar word used for ‘good luck’ and is a popular colloquialism with all ages.
If you search for beton in the dictionary, you will be amused by the lack of any link between what it really means and its informal use. Literally translating as ‘concrete’, beton is used when you want to say something is really great.
Spoken like that, las-o baltă or, in English word-by-word translation, ‘let it puddle’, might mean nothing if you are not familiar with the Romanian expressions. But for the Romanians, it means to let it go or forget it.
Short form of the word frumos, meaning ‘beautiful’, fain is a simple way of saying that you like something. If your Romanian friend says Ce fain! that means he or she is delighted with the situation or subject you are talking about.
Cats may be a popular pet, but Romanians tend to use the word pisici! (cats), when they are upset.
The Romanian lighter way of saying ‘dammit!’, la naiba! is something you will hear when a Romanian is bothered about something going wrong.
When something unpleasant happened to you and your Romanian friend doesn’t know what to say, or he believes it’s a common situation, all you will get is pățăști. Derived from the verb a păți, pățăști can be translated as ‘it happens to everybody’ and is another way of saying ‘take it easy’.