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Hello everyone,

I was just listening to this song and decided to translate it, but since I am only a beginner at Romanian, I am afraid I may have made some mistakes, can someone please check to make sure that I got the translation right? Thanks!

http://lyricstranslate.com/en/noapte-de-craicun-christmas-night.html

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Salut! Greetings, fellow student of the Romanian language Smile I've been studying Romanian for 2 years now...here are my suggestions:

"decât să fii lângă inima mea" = "but for you to be next to my heart"
"Parcă simt prezenţa ta" = "It seems I feel your presence"

How long have you been studying Romanian? I've been studying it for just over 2 years.

~K

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Well, it's a long story, the total duration for me is more than two years, but I just crammed most of my knowledge during a couple of months and a quick immersion experience, then life took over, and now I have just started having some time again. The main problem with Romanian is the relative lack of the means for you to achieve total immersion, which was what allowed me to learn English. I usually don't spend a lot of time with textbooks, but I have Colloquial Romanian and TY here, their dialogues are mostly boring.

I only managed to get hold of a single movie, a fost sau n'a fost, and I haven't really had the chance to watch it yet. Music is easy to find, but I have the impression that Romania is still a bit isolated in a way. I didn't feel that there was a bad attitude about music there - the exception being manele, so I don't really know the reason for that.

Anyway, it's a fun language, and personally, I think that it's the most special of all Romance languages in terms of its "music" (intonation: I have to admit that it sounds similar to Italian) and history (Slavic elements, Hungarian loanwords, being an island of Latin away from the Mediterranean).

Glad to know I am not the only one interested in a language that many consider obscure. Smile What are your resources? Are you studying it at college? Why Romanian - if it's not too personal of course?

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I took an online course from an *extremely* good teacher, after using Teach Yourself Romanian for about 5 weeks and deciding I wasn't going to get where I wanted to be with the language that way. I proceeded very fast and the course took 13 months for me to finish. I used his materials, a very good dictionary that he recommended, and lots of online practice. I did go to Romania in March of this year for a medical mission and had some immersion at that point, which mainly helped me in fluency and getting rid of a good deal of my American accent Smile I also make opportunities to speak Romanian, which as you point out are not that common...but I can get on Skype with my teacher (we've remained good friends) or with one of the Romanian friends I've made over the last 2 years and practice. I was recently in Chicago and went to a Romanian restaurant there, and struck up a conversation with the waitress and owner's wife.

Why Romanian? I happened to hear the language when I heard a song (O-Zone's Dragostea Din Tei) on the radio about 2 1/2 years ago. I already knew Spanish and so I was able to understand a little bit of the Romanian words and it got me curious. When I investigated further, I discovered I really liked the language and wanted to learn it. (I still take a lot of teasing from my Romanian teacher as to the way I got interested...he's not a fan of O-Zone...LOL) I just think it's a beautiful language, and now that I've been to Romania, I've found that the people are great too.

~K

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That's very interesting as it seems that what got a lot of people interested in Romanian is Dragoste din tei. My first exposure to that song was:

I am not really an avid follower of Eurovision and that explains my ignorance. I actually thought it was some obscure Western band singing in their own made-up language. My story with Romanian is slightly different, but basically, what makes me interested in Romanian is that it's NOT FRENCH, Italian, or Spanish. Languages that I never seemed to like, and never was able to speak properly.

Anyway, good luck, apparently, your skills are way better than mine at this moment. At least I know who to bug whenever I need a translation. Wink

Thanks for taking the time to reply!

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LOL@ the misheard lyrics...yeah, my kids are always doing that with Romanian song lyrics, making up English words that sound like the Romanian words.

I made a YouTube video with my translation of Dragostea Din Tei (I make a lot of translation videos--it combines my hobbies of languages and photography):

Enjoy, and feel free to ask me about translations if you like.

~K

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This is very interesting, as I have been planning to do that for years now, and I have just published my first two translation videos, so yes, that's a great coincidence. Smile

My two videos are here:


That's a really great video, your choice of photos is great. Photography is also one of the items on my endless list of interests. I have a lot of pictures from Romania, I just need to start my own flickr account. I will get to it, eventually. I just hope it won't take three years like it did with youtube.

I always thought that Dragoste din tei meant love from you. Never trust a Moldovan! (my best Romanian-speaking friend is a Moldovan, so just kidding). Smile

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Good videos...interesting you've done similar ones to mine. I have quite a few pictures from Romania when I was there this year, that when I get time I'm planning on using in more translation videos. This one actually has more of my photography in it (not from Romania, I haven't got around to making those into videos yet).

Dragostea din tei is actually "love in the linden tree". Tei = linden tree. I've often wondered if that's an Eminescu reference, because when I was in Romania I actually saw "Eminescu's linden tree" under which Mihai Eminescu is said to have written some of his poems (yes, the tree is actually over 100 years old...it's huge, and some of the branches are held up with metal braces to keep them from falling).

~K

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If you liked that clip you probably will enjoy this one, this is the first misheard lyrics video that I have ever seen, and it still manages to put a smile on my face even today:

I only saw Eminescu's countless statues and piata's. Didn't hear of his linden tree Sad, where was that? I definitely didn't spot any trees fitting that description, but there's no shortage of trees in Romania, that's for sure. The sight of the lumber trucks was always a very sad one, oh well.

Good pictures. I don't take a lot of pictures: I am usually too busy/too lazy/too cheap to travel and take some pictures. Also, it's not easy finding images that are related to what's being described in the songs, that's where flickr comes to the rescue.

Actually, the inspiration for this whole translation videos idea came from some Russian videos that I saw on youtube. I thought that maybe adding the lyrics, with the translation, and images that are related to each line will make it easier for me and others who are interested in Romanian to pick up some new words and practice that language, plus it could be a good way to market my own website, which unfortunately doesn't get a lot of visitors or a lot of care from me.

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Eminescu's linden tree is in Parcul Copou, which is a park in Iaşi. I was in Iaşi for much of the time I spent in Romania, although I did visit Sighişoara, Braşov and Bucureşti as well. This video contains a picture I took of a statue of Eminescu which is right next to the linden tree. (it's a translation of my favorite Eminescu poem, which is a somewhat obscure one, not one of his most famous). Although it's a nighttime picture, you can sort of see the linden tree behind the statue (and even one of the braces that's holding it up).

I've been told by people learning both English and Romanian that my videos have been helpful to them, so you're right about it being a good way to learn.

~K

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Oh my, in Iasi! I spent most of my time in Iasi and thought I covered everything in there. That's a big disappointment. Where was it in Iasi? I expected it to be in Suceava - been there, everything was closed, that was before I learned to knock on any closed museum doors, in some obscure Transylvanian city, or in Bucuresti. I hated Bucuresti like sin, I only spent a few hours there, and I did not so willingly. I found it to be a very uninteresting place, didn't feel exotic in any way, felt a lot less friendly than all of the other cities, and was very crowded, taking a bus was not as fun. The pedestrian crossings were hectic; no car would ever stop for you. They do have some good looking buildings and some good churches - Did you check the building of their national bank? (I think it was BRD), but I had the chance to visit those a few hours before leaving - I used a somewhat expensive airline, so everything had to go through the Henri Conada airport. There are no direct flights from the U.S. as far as I know, you need to connect in Germany, Italy, or some other European country depending on the airline. So that means a day or more of airport and airline meals, yuch!

Have you been to Iasi recently? is the Palatul Culturii open after all the renovation work? How about the Great Synagogue and the Golia monastery? The Golia monastery was open, despite its being renovated, but I had to deal with scaffolding that obscured everything in there, and a nun who isn't that friendly just followed me around to make sure I'd be taking no pictures. The name Parcul Copou sounds familiar, but I am not sure where that was, is it near the Ion Cuza university or the Botanical gardens? or is it in the poor part of the city down Bulevardul Stefan Cel Mare? I thought I covered everything; I have even been to the releu.

I have been to many places, but didn't really get the time to go to the delta, preferred not to go to Constanta (it's very expensive there, and the pictures of the beach looked horrible, I have some great looking beaches a couple of hours drive from where I live), and didn't spend as much time in Transylvania as I wanted. I will definitely go there again, but in a year or two, right now too busy with other, more pressing, issues.

---

That video with the poem is great. I can only make one suggestion which is for you to move the original Romanian verses closer to the translation. I find myself having to move my eyes quite often to read the original, the translation, and then back, and sometimes the picture changes before you're finished.

That's my first Eminescu poem. I hope he deserves having 70% of Romania's streets and squares named after him.

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As I recall, the park is not too far from Ion Cuza university. My Romanian teacher and friend lives in Iași and I was lucky enough to have him take me around the city to interesting places. It was great to have a friend who was familiar with the city. Palatul Culturii was closed at the time I saw it from the outside, and it still had scaffolding around it (this was in March 2011). The monastery was open. I plan on going back to Romania next spring (there's a medical mission that I was part of this year and I plan on doing again next year), and hopefully I will see some of the things I didn't get a chance to see before. I thought the buildings in București were beautiful, but I agree about the city in general...it wasn't the best part of my trip. I'd love to see the delta someday...didn't get a chance when I was there, and I would like to go to Constanța just because I love the beach almost no matter where it is (though I'd have to go in the summer, not in March, to make that work). I did spend a little time in Transylvania and I do hope to go back there as well.

You're right about there being no direct flights from the US. I had to stop in Paris on the way to Romania, and in Amsterdam on the way back. Fortunately for me, the Amsterdam airport has these little rooms you can rent by the hour where you can sleep...I spent 18 hours there, so without the ability to have somewhere to sleep it would have been very inconvenient and tiring.

Thanks for the suggestion...I'll keep it in mind when making my next video (which I've been intending for some time, but just haven't had enough time lately!)

LOL...I liked that other misheard lyrics video as well Smile

~K

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I recommend that you go to Maramures if you have not been raised on a farm. That's almost like a trip into the early days of farming, and that's where some romantic pictures like these were taken:
http://www.roamingromania.com/images/index_images/006.jpg (that's in the Muzeu Satului in Sighet)
http://www.roamingromania.com/images/index_images/001.jpg (that's in that Vadu Izei guesthouse that's in The Rough Guide, but my recommendation is for you to go to Vadu Izei first and ask around, because most of the farmers there have spare rooms that they rent out to tourists, as they're all participating in a regional development program. Also, your way out may be by taking a ride in someone's sedan, it was two or three lei from Vadi Izei back to Sighet. Anyway, it was 70 lei/night for a single room - not bad at all, but the "traditional rooms" felt artificial in a way)
http://www.roamingromania.com/images/index_images/005.jpg (taken by friend, in a random place in Maramures as well)
http://www.roamingromania.com/images/index_images/010.jpg (that's the famous Merry Cemetery, in a village called Sapanta, near Sighet, the lady at the tickets booth sells postcards instead of tickets, so be careful and forceful about wanting a ticket).

There are also a lot of Ukrainian wooden churches in there and even some Ukrainian villages. They claim that one of their churches (was still under construction, but open for visitors) is the tallest wooden church in the world. I have pictures of it, but currently too lazy to edit out my friends and retouch them before uploading.

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I think I would like to see Maramures. Wow, 70 lei isn't all much at all for a room.

When I was in Sighișoara, I saw some *really* old churches (more German than Ukranian). Interestingly, while some of them prohibited taking pictures altogether, some would let you take pictures for a donation! I gave them a few lei for the privilege of photographing some of the exquisite artwork on the walls (which had been painted over in the past, then the paint removed later), and the very old pipe organ.

I don't know how much time I'll have when I go back...I'm going for a medical mission and all my sightseeing has to be done when I'm not working. I'm looking forward to going back, though Smile

~K

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The old pipe organ: sounds like the black church in Brasov. Their taxa foto was pure highway robbery: something like 50 lei, postcards were 15 lei. I wasn't lucky enough to spend a lot of time in Transylvania, but I may if I ever have the time to go back there. I have to admit I spent a good amount on Taxa Foto's, sometimes I felt the heat from my camera after photographing almost everything inside every museum.

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Another conversation that makes me smile.
Have you listened to Bloodhound Gang's cover of "Dragostea din tei"?

It's funny that you, Katherine, were drawn to Romanian language by such a silly song.

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LOL! Teletubbies!!! That's Tinky Winky, right?

I think that what she means is that you don't really get to hear Romanian in your life. It's not a major language. You can always hear Spanish if you spend 30 minutes out in the park in most cities, and Chinese if you go to the nearest China Town. Evil guys in the movies often speak German and Russian. French is also occasionally heard. Romanian: Most people that I have met had their first exposure to Romanian through "Dragoste din Tei" or just met a Romanian man or woman and decided to learn their language. You don't usually hear foreigners speaking in Romanian, and when you do, you're very likely to mistake it for Italian if you know a bit, but not enough, about languages.

So, as far as I understand it, she already liked Latin languages, knew Spanish, and it sounded so familiar yet exotically different, so she just thought why not.

To be honest, I don't like Dragoste din Tei either.

----

Just a little disclaimer: I have nothing against homosexuality or the choices that people make. The sexuality and sexual lives of others do not concern me. I have some very good friends who are gay - a couple of them at least, it's nothing to be ashamed of. I just found the reference funny. That stereotype has slowly changed, but people still make that reference, and to be honest, I sometimes find it funny.

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LOL...my Romanian teacher says the same thing...he thinks Dragostea din tei is a stupid song Tongue But hey, it exposed me to the language, which is a good thing Smile

A lot of people here in the US think I'm...er...unusual for learning Romanian. It's true that I have to make opportunities to speak it, but what's life without a challenge?

~K