A gypsy has eaten my cat.

Discussion in 'Română (Romanian)' started by mike2008, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. mike2008 Senior Member

    England English
    Please can someone tell me if this is correct.
    Un ţigan a mânca pisicul meu - a gypsy has eaten my cat.
    [I'm not suggesting that gypsies eat cats]
  2. Trisia

    Trisia Senior Member

    Hi. You're getting really good, you know that?

    [he] has eaten = [el] a mâncat

    my cat = pisica mea.
    ("pisicul meu" translates as "my tomcat," as I'm sure you know. If you would find it natural to specify that while uttering the sentence in English, by all means do it in Romanian as well).

    My suggestion: Un ţigan mi-a mâncat motanul. (motan = tomcat, and it's more common).

    Errrr... if you're not trying to suggest that gypsies eat cats, what are you saying? :p
  3. OldAvatar Senior Member

    Is it all right to use the word ţigan? Some may consider it politically incorrect, Rrom being the correct word, after all... LOL
  4. mike2008 Senior Member

    England English
    Mulţumesc Trisia. I'm confused about the translation.
    1. I'm not sure about this part "[he] has eaten = [el] a mâncat", Did you add the "t" to make it masculine?
    2. When I was writing the sentence I intended to make the cat female, I only added the "ul" because I thought I need to make "pisică" match "ţigan" which is masculine", that's why I didn't use "motanul" [looks like I've gone wrong some where!]
    3.I thought "mi-" was an abbreviation of "mie" which means "my"

    Can anyone help?
  5. SerinusCanaria3075

    SerinusCanaria3075 Senior Member

    United States
    México, D.F. (Spanish)
    1. -t is added to form the participle (which is needed to form the Present Perfect)
    a mânca = To eat.
    a mâncat= He/She has eaten.

    2. "ţigan" has nothing to do with the cat, don't worry about it.

    3. mi- is the short version of îmi, which is a personal pronoun (it does not mean "my")

    Here are the unstressed pronouns (in parenthesis the short form used with the Perfect Compus):

    Îmi (mi, -mi, mi-, -mi-)
    îţi (-ţi, ţi-, - ţi-)
    Îi (-i, i-, -i-)
    Ne (-ne, ne-, ni, -ni-)
    (-vă, v-, vi, -vi-)
    Le (-le, le-; li, -li-)

    îmi aduce Dan pisica = Dan brings me the cat.
    mi-a adus pisica = He brought me the cat.

    Mie, ţie, Lui / Ei, Nouă, Vouă, Lor - These are stressed.
    (general meaning: to me, to you...)
  6. Zamolxis Member

    Well, he asked a translation for "gypsy", in which case "ţigan" is the direct translation. It's a name given to their ethnic group by others, same as Romanians were called "Vlahs" by many till the the 19th century (and unfortunately some Serbs & Bulgarians still do).

    Anyway, I guess that if mike2008 wanted a politically correct sentence, he would have asked for a translation to "A Roma has eaten my cat". But I think the word "gypsy" should be our least concern, as "eaten my cat" has obviously a more negative connotation. ;)
  7. Zamolxis Member

    1. -t is added to form the participle as explained above. Adding -t after the infinitive of a word to form the participle applies to over 80% of the verbs in Romanian, so this should be a rule easy to remember.

    Exceptions involve mainly verbs ending in -e, in which case the -e is replaced (sometimes together with the letter preceding it also) by again -t, but can also be -ut or even -s. Hope I'm not forgetting any. Can't say if there's a rule helping you to identify which of the 3 should be selected. But as this concerns only a limited number of verbs, you shouldn't bang your head too much with it.

    That's of course the standard (masculine singular) form. Whatever the case above, feminine singular receives also in the end, masculine plural -i (with -t / -s chaning to / -ş) and feminine plural -e.

    - - -

    2. I know it was said on another thread that in Romanian "all sentence parts have to agree". But we were still handling simple senteces there. It's not that "all parts have to agree with the subject" but maybe a better rule to keep in mind should be:

    In Romanian, all sentence parts (except for nouns) should agree to the nouns they are refering to.

    That means you don't change poor cat's gender to match her owner everytime. :D

    Here's a more complex sentence for exemplification:

    My strange neighbour(s) has(have) eaten your black cat.

    1 male neighbour, female cat:
    Ciudatul meu vecin a mâncat pisica ta neagră.

    2 (or more) female neighbours, tomcat:
    Ciudatele mele vecine au mâncat motanul (pisicul) tău negru.

    So, here the subject is the neighbour.

    "My" & "strange" have to agree with the neigbour in gender, person and number (male, 1st person, singular vs female, 1st person, plural).

    "Has/have eaten" have to agree with the neighbour in person & number. Except for participle, verbs don't change gender in Romanian.

    But "your" and "black" have to agree in gender, person and number with the cat, as they have nothing to do with the neighbour.

    - - -

    3. Mi- is mainly short for îmi - as clearly explained above by Serinus. Only -mi (hyphen in front) can sometimes be considered an abbrevietion of "mie", however "mie" doesn't mean "my", but "me" (when used as "to me"):

    Dă-mi cartea = Give me the book.
  8. OldAvatar Senior Member

    Tell this to janecito on the other thread.
  9. mike2008 Senior Member

    England English
    I've briefly studied this thread and would like to see how much I've understood so far.
    "O ţigana mi-a spălarut pisica" - I'm trying to say "a female gypsy has washed my cat"
    Is it correct?
  10. OldAvatar Senior Member

    O ţigancă mi-a spălat pisica.
  11. mike2008 Senior Member

    England English
    Thank you OldAvatar. It looks like I need to spend more time learning the basics of Romanian. I think I'm trying to do too much with too little knowledge of the Romanian language. I will have to continue this thread at a later date[3008!].
  12. Zamolxis Member

    C'mon. It's not that difficult.

    You should just not confuse the infinitive "a spăla" to its noun form "spălare" (common confusion for sb who first learned Italian or Latin I guess).

    And then you add the -t as I explained above to the infinitive, to make the participle: "spălat".

    Don't get me wrong. I don't say learning the language is easy, and I appreciate your efforts so far. I just feel that this particular case is not one of the difficult parts of the language (if you compare to all the rules and exceptions you meet in other languages when it comes to participle).
  13. mike2008 Senior Member

    England English
    Thank you Zamolxis. I'll try again although I feel like I'm guessing rather than understanding what I'm doing.
    "Un ţigan mi-a pictat ţiparul" - a gypsy has painted my eel?

    My problems with "O ţigancă mi-a spălat pisica" start after "O", from this point things get a little confusing.
    "ţigancă" - Where did the "c" come from?
    "mi-a" - If this is correct "mi- is the short version of îmi" which means me. Why am I saying "a gypsy has washed me cat", shouldn't I say "my cat" and be using the word "mea"?
    "spălat" - I used an online dictionary to find this word, I typed in "wash" and the result came back as "spălare". I remembered something about adding "t" or "ut" so I tried it. Now I am concerned about the results from online dictionaries, how will I know the exact meaning of a word the dictionary gives me. I'm sure this is going to cause me a lot of problems in the future, unless I spend a lot of time just studying words instead of grammar, although I know I should spend equal time on both. This is only a small thing but it's still adding to my confusion.
    Structure of sentence - I really don't understand this. In English [the only language I know, also it's kind of the way I think too, if that makes sense] the sentence would be "a gypsy me washed the cat". After "gypsy" nothing makes sense to me.

    I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I won't give up, I really enjoy a good headache and migraines too!
  14. OldAvatar Senior Member

    Mike, as I told you, you should have a look at Romanian conjugations and then you'll find out why there is a spălat and not infinitive a spăla, spălare. I'm not encouraging you to use English as a guideline when you're learning Romanian, but just think that in English you say washed, while in Romanian, you say a spălat.

    is a typical suffix for a female noun: român(Romanian female), englezoai(English female), ţigan(Gipsy female), ursoai (Bear female) etc.

    Edit: Usually, the dictionaries will give you the infinitive or participle form of a verb.
  15. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Hi Mike!

    - in some English regions it's not uncommon to use "me" instead of "my" e.g. "I lost me hat". It's colloquial, but acceptable (if it helps think of Romanian as a Cockney version of Vulgar Latin).

    - I'm concerned that you're using the wrong online dictionaries. I have always found that this one is most accurate and useful, even if it lacks those special Romanian letters that trouble every foreigner learning the language (but we don't mind adding them for you if you ask nicely ;)).

    - a little rule that almost always applies in Romanian. If the word ends in;

    -are (spălare)
    -ire (iubire)
    -ate (libertate)
    -ie (magie)
    -ine (atitudine)
    -(i)une (fracţiune)

    ...then it is an abstract noun.

    - Romanian verbs belong to 4 different conjugation groups. They all follow patterns consistent to their groups. Go find some verbs in Verbix and compare them with each other.
    1. First Class: verbs ending in -a (e.g. a cânta)
    2. Second Class: verbs ending in -ea (e.g. a cădea)
    3. Third Class: verbs ending in -e (e.g. a vinde)
    4. Fourth Class: verbs ending in -i or (e.g. a primi and a coborî)
    - the Romanian word order is SVO (subject + verb + object). E.g. Mike2008 mănâncă un măr (Mike2008 eats an apple).

    Hope this kind of helped!

    :) robbie
  16. mike2008 Senior Member

    England English
    Thank you OldAvatar and robbie_SWE for your replies. There was some valuable advice and information in both. I have started to look at conjugations and would like to thank you for mentioning there's four groups with different endings. This is very useful information for someone who knows nothing about the Romanian language.

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