MEMORIES OF MY BOYHOOD
(Childhood Memories)
by Ion Creangă
Pronunciation



NOTE ON THE PRONUNCIATION OF ROMANIAN

 

The purpose of this note is to give English-speaking readers some indication as to the correct pronunciation of Romanian words.

 

Here are the letters of the Romanian alphabet and their pronunciation:

a......... as a in half, but shorter. e.g. Smaranda
ă......... as in father e.g. Dănilă, mămaligă
b......... as b in ball. e.g. Bordeianu
c......... before consonants, before a, ă, Ó, o, u, and at the end of words,
            as k in sky. e.g. Creangă, Catinca
........... before e, i, as ch in cherry, chin. e.g. Ocea, Ciubuc
d......... as d in dwell. e.g. David
e......... as e in pen. e.g. Petre
f.......... as f  in far. e.g. Foca
g......... before consonants, before a, ă, Ó, o, u, and at the end of words,
            as g in got. e.g. Grigore, Gavril
........... before e, i, as g in general, gin. e.g. Cogeasca
h......... as h in behind. e.g. Harap Alb, hora
........... in the groups che, chi, ghe, ghi it is mute, having the role of
            showing that c and g preserve their original sound
i.......... as ee in see. e.g. Valică
........... in unstressed syllables it is short. e.g. Deleni
Ó.......... similar to o in wisdom or to e in morsel. e.g. BodrÓngă
j.......... as s in measure. e.g. Bejeni
k......... as k in kilo. e.g. Kogălniceanu
l.......... as l in like. e.g. Luca
m........ as m in mother. e.g. Mărioara
n......... as n in neither. e.g. Nică
o......... as o in short. e.g. Onofrei
p......... as p in special. e.g. Piatra
r.......... similar to the rolled r of Scotland. e.g. Rusca, Pipirig
s.......... as s in soil. e.g. Stan
ş.......... as sh in bush. e.g. Ştefan, Humuleşti
t.......... as t in stay. e.g. Toader
ţ.......... as ts in cats. e.g. Ţuţuiem, Neamţ
u......... as oo in look. e.g. Alecu
v......... as v in voice. e.g. Vasile
x......... as x in excellent. e.g. Alexandra
z.......... as z in zone. e.g. Zaharia, Zurzan
 

To sum up, Romanian orthography is almost entirely phonetical, a letter representing one and the same sound, in all positions, with a few exceptions. We call the reader's attention to the pronunciation of the following combinations of letters:

 

ce........ as che in cherry. e.g. Ocea, Kogălniceanu
ci......... as chi in chin. e.g. Ciubuc, Cociorva
che...... as ke in ken. e.g. Costache, Berechet
chi....... as ki in kin. e.g. Chiorpec, Nichifor
ge........ as ge in general. e.g. Cogeasca, Mogorgea
gi......... as gi in gin. e.g. Cărăgiţa
ghe...... as ge in get. e.g. Gheorghe
ghi....... as gi in give. e.g. Ghica, Ghindăoanii