If idioms offer a unique insight into a language’s culture, wait until you read these Romanian ones!
Here are seven of our favourite Romanian idioms for you to read, so you don’t have to stare at someone “like a cat at a calendar” next time someone tells you one of these idioms!
1. „Ca baba şi mitraliera”
Literal translation: Like an old lady with a machine-gun.
You’d hear this when someone’s describing two things that have absolutely nothing in common.
2. „Se uită ca pisica-n calendar”
Literal translation: Stare like a cat at a calendar.
You know those people who have absolutely no idea what they’re doing? In Romanian, this is what you’d call them! What might a cat think it’ll learn from looking at a calendar?
3. „Plimbă ursul”
Literal translation: Go walk the bear!
Want to tell someone where to go? Tell them to go walk the bear!
4. „Ca măgarul în ceaţă”
Literal translation: Like a donkey in the mist.
Know someone who always disappears when you need them the most? They’re like a donkey in the mist!
5. ,,A călca pe bec”
Literal translation: To step on a lightbulb.
Everyone makes mistakes from time to time and that’s fine! This is what you say in Romanian when you make one.
6. „Ai casa în pantă?”
Literal translation: Was this house built on a slope?
This is a roundabout way of telling someone to close the door on their way out. Our house was not built on a slope so the door won’t shut itself!
7. „Ai venit cu mâna in fund?”
Literal translation: Did you come with your palm between your butt-cheeks?
It’s often considered a nice gesture to bring a little something with you when you go and visit someone. A nice bottle of wine, a pineapple, or some palincă maybe. However, if you’ve forgotten to take something, then in Romanian people might ask you if you’ve arrived with the palm of your hand between your butt-cheeks. Feeling inspired to learn a language?