Romanian English False Friends

15 Feb 2018
eLearn Ro Academy Team

False friends – Romanian vs English

Don’t panic! This article is organic. We are not talking here about those friends who are like pennies, two-faced and worthless, but about a fun way to learn a foreign language.

Learning Romanian is not that complicated because this is a melodic language that will stick fairly quickly. Just like in the case of any language, you need to dedicate an hour or two for studying it, trying to learn a few new words every day and, most importantly, to get familiar with the language by listening to audios. If we are to take a look at the biggest threat that can come between your ability to learn Romanian fast and easy, then most certainly this threat is represented by the Romanian-English so-called “false friends”.

The “false friends” are words that have the same pronunciation and, in most cases, they are even written in the same manner, but they have completely different meanings. In other words, even if they appear to be the same, they mean one thing in English and an entirely different meaning in Romanian. So, if you want to make sure that you learn Romanian correctly and in an easy manner, you need to be aware of these false friends.

31 Romanian English false friends list

English Romanian
Cap = bottle seal or hat Cap = head
Chef = cook Chef = mood or party
Chin = body part in the lower mandible Chin = torment
Comma = punctuation mark Comă = coma
Commercial = advertisement in business Comercial = sales or business sector
Actual = true Actual = current
Car = vehicle Car = cart or carriage
Caution = attention Cauţiune = jail bail
Cutie = beautiful woman or cute child Cutie = box
Crime = law-breaking Crimă = murder
Effective = efficient Efectiv = manpower
Fabric = cloth or material Fabrică = factory
Glass = mirror or fragile material Glas = voice
Far = at a distance Far = lighthouse
Jar = jug Jar = burning coal
Grave = tomb Grav = serious or severe
Gymnasium = sports arena Gimnaziu = middle school
Lack = the absence of something Lac = lake
Mere = sheer or bare Mere = apples
Horn = alarm or deer’s antler Horn = chimney
Miserable = unhappy Mizerabil = dirty
Pat = touch or tap on the shoulder Pat = bed
Physician = doctor Fizician = physicist
Pork = pig meat Porc = the pig (animal itself)
Prize = award Prize = electrical outlets
Rest = downtime Rest = money change after a purchase
Pace = rhythm or step Pace = peace
Verse = stanza Vers = lyric
To supply = to provide something A suplini = to substitute someone
Smoking = from the verb “to smoke” Smoking = tuxedo
Scope = range or compass Scop = purpose


We also crafted a video version with some of the examples above, to help you memorize them easier


So, as you can see, there are quite a few false friends to look out for. And these are just a part of the false friends that are out there, as these are the ones that are most commonly met and mistaken. With a bit of attention and the right Romanian e-learning courses, you will discover how to see and avoid these false friends. Thus, this is not a reason to get worried about because you will soon learn to make the difference between these words, as long as you stay consistent when it comes to learning Romanian.