why "noapte bună"?

Discussion in 'Română (Romanian)' started by robbie_SWE, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    I've been pondering over this for quite some time. Romanian follows the same structure as all the other Romance languages when forming greetings. E.g. bună dimineaţă (good morning), bună ziuă (good day), bună dupămasă (good afternoon) and bună seară (good evening). But why is it noapte bună (good night)? It just doesn't make sense! I compared it with the other Romance languages, but I just can't find a connection.

    I started thinking if it had anything to do with the gender, but all the nouns presented above are of feminine gender.

    Hope someone can clear things up!

    :) robbie
  2. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Does Romanian make the same distinction between "Good evening" and "Good night" as English? That is, do you only say "Good night" when you're saying goodbye, and use "Good evening" instead to say "Hello"?
  3. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Yes, we say "Good night" when we're saying goodbye, and "Good evening" when we're saying "Hello".
  4. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    So, could that have something to do with the difference in word order?
  5. Mallarme Senior Member

    AmEng., "lapsed" Korean
    Salut Robbie :)

    Nu stiu dacă asta va arunca o lumină asupra întrebării tale, dar am auzit si "ziua bună" şi "seara bună" aşa ca parcă nu-i neapărat că trebuie să spui "bună ziua" sau "bună seara."
  6. parakseno

    parakseno Senior Member

    Romanian, Romania
    Hello everyone!

    Well, it's quite an "indecent" hour now in Romania and I am kind of tired, hope I'll be able to give a straight answer.

    First of all, interesting question, what can I say... Oh, and before I say more... Robbie, when used in these expressions the nouns are articulated (that is when they go after the adjective)! So it's:
    Bună dimineaţa!
    Bună ziua!
    Bună seara!
    Noapte bună!

    Now, usually one would hear "Bună seara!" when he/she meets with someone (and it's evening). But when he leaves (and it's still evening) "Seara bună" / "O seară bună/plăcută (vă/îţi doresc)" would be likely to be used (that is if other farewell expressions are not used). In these guidelines, I'll point out that "noapte bună" is never used to greet someone, it's always used for farewells (at least I've never heard it used to greet someone). And as a "stupid" explanation, "bună noapte" sounds funny.

    Noapte bună, oameni buni!:cool:


    PS: Hope that when I'll wake up in the morning this will still sound logical. :rolleyes:
  7. OldAvatar Senior Member

    In my oppinion, there is a reason for this.

    All these expressions were initially formed as:

    Ziua bună!
    Seara bună!
    Noapte bună!

    But the scholars, when performing the re-latinisation of the language, in the XIXth century, they changed them, in order to follow the Italian topic of the phrase:

    Buon giorno! (Bună ziua!)
    Buona sera! (Bună seara!)
    Buona notte! (Noapte bună!)

    "Bună seara" and "Bună ziua" sounded quite all right in Romanian and these expressions respected the grammatical rules. It wasn't really the case with "Bună noaptea!" which sounds a bit complicated and forced, being very close to a cacophony. But, of course, it is just my oppinion...

    Best regards

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