Today, it’s time to hone up our Romanian language skills with some words that you will most likely use during your stay here, even if you’re only visiting for a few days.

I’m talking about greetings and other basic words and phrases that could help you a bit when interacting with locals, give you bragging rights in front of your friends (“I speak Romanian!”) and maybe twist your tongue a little bit, just for fun.

From learning to say Hello and Thank You in Romanian, to asking for directions and other things like that, just read on and take notes. It might sound difficult at first, but your Romanian friends or strangers will surely appreciate it. So let’s get this started!

Learn various greetings and salutes in Romanian

We have various greetings, some easier than others, and we’ll try to go through them all. We’ll start with the basic “Hello” which is usually gender-dependent (as strange as that might sound).

So, if you’re greeting a lady, and you want to go with a casual Hello, you would say to her Buna (boo-nah). If you’re meeting a man, you would say Salut. These both are more informal, meaning Hello or Hi. If unsure what to say, just go with “Buna”.

If you want to keep things more formal and use a phrase that works for all genders, try these:

Buna dimineata (boo-nah dee-meen-yah-tsah) – Good morning
Buna ziua (boo-nah zee-wah) – Good day
Buna seara – Good evening

Again, if you are unsure which of the greetings above to use, go with Buna or Ciao (like in Italian, although the latter is used more often in some areas like the Western parts and rarely in other parts of the country).

When leaving, you have a few options as well, but they are easier in my opinion. (Well, everything seems easy to me). Here are my recommended words:

– Bye Bye – Pa (pah) or Pa-pa (pah-pah). Easy to use in all informal situations, from saying goodbye to friends, to says bye bye at the store, for example.
– See you soon – La revedere or Pe curand.
– Good night! – Noapte buna

Here are some more common phrases in Romanian

If you want to say even more things in Romanian, let’s try the ones below:

– Thank you – Multumesc (mool-tsu-mesk). You can also go with Mersi (like the French Merci), which is a bit more informal.
– You’re welcome – Cu placere
– Have a nice day – O zi frumoasa!
– Bon appetite – Pofta buna!

– Sorry: Pardon or Scuze
– I’m sorry: Imi pare rau
– Excuse me: Scuzati-ma or Ma scuzati
– Please: Te rog (informal) or Va rog (formal)
– Help: Ajutor
– Yes: Da
– No: Nu
– Maybe: Poate

– How are you: Ce mai faci or just Ce faci?
– Nice to meet you: Incantat de cunostinta (if you’re a man) or Incantata de cunostinta (if you’re a woman). Or informally: Imi pare bine
– Cheers (when drinking): Noroc!
– My name is: Ma numesc

– Where is the toilet: Unde este baia?
– Where is the metro station: Unde este statia de metrou?
– Where is the bus station: Unde este statia de autobuz?
– Where is the tram station: Unde este statia de tramvai?
– Where is a nearby ATM: Unde este un bancomat?

OK… I’m all out of ideas right now, so let’s hope that it is enough for today and you have your basic greetings and phrases all in one palce.

Now that you have vastly improved your Romanian language knowledge with all the words and phrases above, you can go more in depth with some Romanian expressions that generally only make sense here.

Or you can go the safer route and learn how to say “I love you” – and other lover-related things, or just put on your holiday suit and learn how to say Merry Christmas in Romanian. Oh my, so many words!

Are there other words, greetings or expressions that you’re interested in? Let me know in the comment section below!

7 COMMENTS

  1. By no means have I yet learned Romanian, but find I get along rather well with a few basic words, most of which you mentioned here. For instance, greeting neighbors around our apartment bloc I seem to be socially accepted with the usual buna ziua, buna seara, or depending if it’s morning, buna neata. Leaving an elevator I will say la revedere (although my wife tells me I pronounce it as if it’s arrivederci) or, my American favorite, O zi buna (have a nice day). When greeting friends for an evening out, ce faci is fun and, usually, gets a smile from them. One word that I find very useful, but not on your list is poftim. It seems this word has many, many uses, such as go right ahead or after you or pardon me. It’s great for those situations when you wish to be polite, such as giving someone a seat on a bus or a place in line at the check out. This is a very good word for a non Romanian speaker and works well with appropriate gestures or body language. However, occasionally I find someone will approach me assuming I can converse with them, but whatever they ask is far beyond my linguistic knowledge. For this I have learned to say, “Eu nu vorbesc limba Romana” (I don’t speak Romanian).

    • Good roundup, Jim! I did skip poftim because it has so many uses and I thought it would be confusing to say that it could mean “What did you say?” or “Please go ahead” or “Have a seat” or anything else in the right context 🙂 But yes, it’s also a word that can completely get you out of trouble if you don’t know what to say 😀

  2. Buna ziua Calin:
    Yippee! You’re getting a response!;-)
    What I like about Romanian is it’s NOT
    in the Cyrillic alphabet. For us English
    readers/speakers that’s a big plus++++
    Also, one can make out the basics because of Latin(?)
    influences.
    Thank goodness there’s also this new device for lazy folk such
    as I;-)
    https://www.hammacher.com/product/two-way-live-conversation-speaking-translator-with-sim-card?promo=search
    O zi frumoasa!
    ~Teil (USA)

    • The Romanian language has so many influences – from Latin and Russian (and everything in between) that it might always sound a bit familiar 🙂

      That device is indeed useful – I have a similar app on my phone that allows you to take a photo of a text in a language and translates it in another. Unfortunately, Romanian is rarely featured so they’re not that useful (yet).

  3. Buon dia Calin!
    I will stick with Spanish or rather Valencian for now since l am trying to learn it. It’s funny, I thought l would detect more Spanish, but instead l see more Italian base. If l ever learn Italian, l will be able to communicate with just about everyone in the world. I like that very much! Multumesc 🙂

    • Indeed, when hearing Italian, I do understand (or at least consider familiar) many of the words I hear. It’s the heritage that the Romans left when they conquered Romania almost 2,000 years ago and I am sure things would’ve been even more similar if the Ottoman and Russian influence wouldn’t have followed…

  4. Hi Teil B. Jorgensen
    Why invest $400 on another apparatus, when you have Google Translate (conversation) with over 100 languages at your fingertips? O zi bună

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