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A1.3 Romanian Class - How to ask the way in Romanian

At the end of this lesson you will know how to ask:

  • where is a place(e.g.address,square,shop) that you cannot find
  • how to get to a certain place in Bucharest
  • other useful questions such as: "how far is" and "how long does it take by foot"

You will also familiarize yourself with some emblematic places in Bucharest.

In the next lesson we'll teach you how to understand the answer to the above questions, and then we'll wrap it up with the conjugations of the verb "to go" in Romanian.

Watch the following video in which one person is searching for a metro/subway/tube station in Bucharest. In our example one wants to find the subway station called: "Eroilor"(translated as "Heroes").
How would one ask in Romanian: "Excuse-me, do you happen to know where is the subway station "Eroilor"?"



Let's start with the structure of a Romanian question asking for directions
structure of a typical question in Romanian a language from free audio video resources is much better than learning only from books


Unlike English, the auxiliaries "do" and "does" are not used in a Romanian question.

1. How to start a question in Romanian

The first part of your Romanian language question: "Excuse-me, do you happen to know" is always the same regardless of your question. It is considered to be a polite formal manner of starting a question addressed to somebody that you do not know (it can be either a men or a woman).
You can ask any question in Romanian, in a polite or formal manner, by starting it like that.
Click on the play button in the below table to hear the pronunciation in Romanian.

English Romanian
translation
Romanian
stress
Audio
Pronunciation
Phonetic Transcription
Excuse me formally , (you are literally saying: Don't you mind) Nu vă supăraţi Nu vă supăráţi /nu/ /və/ /su.pə.'raʦʲ/
Do you happen to know formally Știți cumva Ștíți cumvá /ʃtiʦʲ/ /kum'vá/

2a. How to continue asking where is a place(that you are searching for) in Romanian

In our above example the last part of the question was: "Where is the subway station "Eroilor?".
Other common places that one can ask for directions include:a hotel, restaurant, ATM, bank, bus stop, square or hospital.

English Romanian
translation
Romanian
stress
Audio
Pronunciation
Phonetic Transcription
Where is the subway / metro / tube station "Eroilor"?" Unde este stația de metrou "Eroilor"? únde éste stáția dé metróu "Eróilor" /↗'un.de ↘'jes.te 'sta.t͡si.a  de  me.'trow  e.'roi.lor/
Where is the "Intercontinental" hotel? Unde este hotelul Intercontinental? únde éste hotélul intercontinentál /↗'un.de  ↘'jes.te  ho.'te.lul  in.ter.kon.ti.nen.'tal/
Where is a nearby ATM (to withdraw cash)? Unde este un bancomat prin apropiere? únde éste ún bancomát prín apropiére /'↗'un.de  ↘'jes.te  'un  ban.ko'mat 'prin a.pro.pi'e.re/
Where is a nearby drugstore (or chemist's shop / pharmacy / apothecary shop)? Unde este o farmacie prin apropiere? únde éste ó farmacíe prín apropiére /'↗'un.de  ↘'jes.te  o  far.ma'ʧi.e prin a.pro.pi'e.re/
Where is the bathroom / toilet? Unde este toaleta? únde éste toaléta /↗'un.de  ↘'jes.te 'to̯a.le.ta/
Where is Magheru Boulevard? Unde este Bulevardul Magheru? (this is a central boulevard of Bucharest) únde éste Bulevárdul Maghéru /↗'un.de  ↘'jes.te bu.le'var.dul ma'ge.ru/
Let's assume that you've found the street in Bucharest but you can't find the number, how would you say I'm searching for number twenty nine in Romanian caut numărul douăzeci si nouă cáut númărul douăzéci șí nóuă /'ka.ut  'nu.mə,rul do.wə'zeʧʲ ʃi no'wə/


2b. How to continue asking how to get to a place in Romanian

If you are too far away from the place that you want to reach (let's say you need to get to a shop in Bucharest), it is better to ask how to get there.

English Romanian
translation
Romanian
stress
Audio
Pronunciation
Phonetic Transcription
How can I get to the "Intercontinental" hotel ? Cum pot să ajung la hotelul Intercontinental? cúm pót să ajúng lá hotélul Intercontinentál /kum/ /pot/  /sə/  /a'jung/  /la/  /ho.'te.lul/  /in.ter.kon.ti.nen.'tal/
How can I get to the Victory square? Cum pot să ajung în Piaţa Victoriei? cúm pót să ajúng în Piáţa Victóriei /kum/ /pot/  /sə/  /a'ʒung/  /ɨn/  /'pja.ʦa/  /vik'to.ri.ej/
How can I get to Arch of Triumph? Cum pot să ajung la Arcul de Triumf? cúm pót să ajúng lá árcul dé triúmf /kum/ /pot/  /sə/  /a'ʒung/  /la/  /'ar.kul/  /de/  /tri'umf/
The Triumphal Arch in Bucharest picture
The Triumphal Arch in Bucharest

3. How to ask for other places in Romanian?

Now that you've learned how to introduce your question and say "where is" and "how to get to" let's see how you should pronounce other places that might interest you. To formulate the whole question, you would need to build it up, by saying: "Nu vă supăraţi, unde este...." and add to it the following words:

English Romanian
translation
Romanian
stress
Audio
Pronun-ciation
Phonetic Transcription
Romanian Peasant Museum Muzeul Ţăranului Român Muzéul Ţăránului Român /mu'ze.ul/ /ʦə'ra.nu.luj/  /ro'mɨn/
Cişmigiu park Parcul Cişmigiu párcul Cíşmigiu /'par.kul/ / /'ʧiʃ.mi.ʤiw/
Bus stop 137 Staţia de autobuz o sută treizeci şi şapte stáţia dé autobúz ó sútă treizéci şí şápte /'sta.ʦi.a/ /de/ /a.u.to'buz/ /o/ /'su.tə/ /trej'zeʧʲ/ /ʃi/ /ʃap.te/
A car / automobile repair shop or garage.This is very handy if your vehicle breaks down on the Romanian roads Un service auto ún sérvice áuto /un/ /'ser.vis/ /'a.u.to/
Please note that the pronunciation of the above Romanian word "service" is /'ser.vis/. This is not a mistake but an exception.
The train station Gara gára /'ga.ra/
The nearest hospital Cel mai apropiat spital cél mái apropiát spitál /ʧel/ /maj/ /a.pro.pri'at/ /spi'tal/
The nearest police station Secţia de poliţie cea mai apropiată sécţia dé políţie ceá mái apropiátă /'sek.ʦi.a/ /de/ /po'li.ʦi.e/ /ʧe̯a/ /maj/ /a.pro.pri'atə/


Other questions in Romanian

English Romanian
translation
Audio Phonetic
Transcription

Is it far?

Este departe?

/'jes.te de↗'par.te/

After you've managed to ask how to get to a certain place let's see how would you ask How long does it take to walk [there]? in Romanian

Cât timp fac pe jos?

/↗kɨt ↘timp fak pe ʒos/

How far is the "Unirii" square?

Cât de departe este Piața Unirii?

/↗'kɨt ↘'de de'par.te 'es.te 'pja.ʦa u'ni.rij/

Where can I park?

Unde pot să parchez?

/↗'un↘de 'pot 'sə par'kez/

Are you traveling to Romania?

Check out our Practical guide on traveling in Romanian.

Romanian train ticket
Typical train ticket in Romania



Romanian Exercises: Other questions in Romanian

Question 1 / 4

What is the correct translation for:

Where can I park?

12 comments

Which is the cheapest way to go from the airport to Bucharest city center?
By cheapest I do not mean getting myself into trouble!

Hi,
In your case the best way would be to take the bus 780 or 783 depending on where you want to go in Bucharest. City center is quite a broad term.
The price of a two rides (magnetic) card is 7 lei (less than 2$ and less than 2€).

The bus 780 takes you from the Henry Coanda airport to the main train station of Bucharest: Gara de Nord, whereas 783 will take you through more central areas (Piața Romana, Piața Victoriei, with the last stop Piața Unirii).

The bus schedules can be found here:
For bus 780 this is the schedule at the airport's station http://www.ratb.ro/pdf_statii/780/780_50.pdf
The same for bus 783 http://www.ratb.ro/pdf_statii/783/783_50.pdf

I'm sure you will manage
All the best

How do you say "by foot" in Romanian?

Hi,The translation is "pe jos".

Thanks for the quick answer

We will be travelling some of the time in in Romania on our own by bus and train. And so I need to be able to ask:

Which platform is the train for Tulcea (I assume I must put the standard introduction to questions first)
Is this the bus to Bucuresti? Is this the train for Sibiu.
Where do I catch the bus to Bucuresti?

Do tickets for Romanian trains need to be validated as in Italy? Would this also apply to prebooked tickets/reservations?

Some of the journeys I have planned involve changing trains or changing from bus to train. What is a reasonable time to allow for connections?

I hope you can help me!

Thanks

Roger

Hi,
Which platform is the train for Tulcea (I assume I must put the standard introduction to questions first) - yes, you must first add the "Scuzați-mă..." or "Nu vă supărați..." before the question. The pronunciation is in the above lesson.
"Which platform is the train for Tulcea?" is translated into Romanian as: "La ce linie trage trenul spre Tulcea?" . This is the most common way to ask it. It's quite unlikely that one might use the word "peron" in his/her answer, if they do it has the same meaning as "linie" which means "platform".

"Is this the bus to Bucuresti?" - "Ăsta e autobuzul spre București?" - this is informal, but it's the natural way of asking a question on the street in Romania.
"Is this the train for Sibiu?" - "Ăsta e trenul spre Sibiu?"
"Where do I catch the bus to Bucuresti?" - "I suppose you mean where is the bus stop for the bus that goes to Bucharest. Can you please confirm that this is what you mean? There is another word that you will hear most probably: "microbuz" which means mini-bus. For the bus tickets, if it's a privately owned company you buy the ticket in the bus. If it's a public bus you must buy it most of the times before you get on the bus.

Do tickets for Romanian trains need to be validated as in Italy? Would this also apply to prebooked tickets/reservations? - The tickets are validated in the train by the train controller. You just need to have it with you while being in the train. There is no need to validate the ticket before you get on the train. The train tickets are for a specific train for a specific hour and for a specific seat number. I have added above in the lesson a typical train ticket.

The validation is just punching a whole in the paper ticket. It applies as well to the prebooked tickets/reservations. As long as you have a particular date and time for the train, which as far as I know is always the case for Romanian trains (I'll double check to see if no new tickets have been release since I last traveled), you do not need to validate the train ticket before you get on the train.

Some of the journeys I have planned involve changing trains or changing from bus to train. What is a reasonable time to allow for connections?
- It depends. As expected trains usually arrive on time, while buses depend on the traffic. The best would be to take some contingency. It also depends on the distance you have to walk between the train stop and the bus stop. In 99% of the cases I would expect a bus stop next to the train station.
- The best would be to check your particular case. You gave the example of Tulcea, here is the website of the Tulcea public transport where you see all the routes and if you click on any stop along the route you will see the schedule for that bus stop. I believe that more and more transportation services have their timetables online. If you have a particular need just let me know and I'll look it up for you.

Generally speaking, there are quite a few other advises for traveling to Romania. I'll do my best to write a few of those on a dedicated page. I hope it helps

Thank you so much for the translations and for the very helpful advice about public transport. We are looking forward to our trip very much. We arrive in Bucharest take a train to Tulcea for 3 days/2 nights in the Danube delta. Then it's bus and train to get to Sibiu and after two nights we are taken on a two week nature trek in the mountains of Transylvania and further north. We come back to Sighisoara for two nights before we return to Bucharest.

Your web site is a wonderful resource made incredible by your willingness to give additional language and travel assistance.

Yes I I do mean: Where is the bus stop for Bucharest? Is this: Unde este stația de autobuz spre București?

Now when I go to buy tickets I need to say: I would like two one-way tickets from Bucharest to Sibiu.

I hope you don't mind helping me again.

Thanks again

Roger

You are right, that's the correct translation.

"one way" is translated as "dus"
"return" is "dus-întors"

"I would like two one-way tickets from Bucharest to Sibiu" is translated in Romanian as:
"Aș vrea două bilete dus de la București la Sibiu".

I'm really happy to help, and I mean it. I'd like to help you much more, as I have many lessons recorded but no real time to implement it. I'll do my best over the weekend, to come up with a bit more to help you.

I see that you did your homework and you are going to visit many of the lovely parts of Romania. I hope you'll have a good experience. Romania is a beautiful country.
Prince Charles of Wales is coming frequently to Transylvania.

If you have more questions do not hesitate to ask, I'm happy to reply and help you more. I may not be able to reply very fast, but if you are a bit patient I'll reply for sure.

THanks so much for your help and encouragement. I have my flashcards completed and I look forward to learning from them during our long flight to Europe.

Kind regards

Roger

Hi,

I managed to finalize an practical guide on traveling to Romania. I collected some tips and tricks and would be useful to know before coming to Romania or while being in Romania.
Here is the article:
http://www.learnro.com/romania-travel-guide

Happy to help!

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