Word for the Travel Wise (01/17/06)

Please, please whatever you do, do not take this word and run off making cute attempts to wow someone with your Romanian language skills or sense of humor. The everyday people of the country are tired of silly references to non-existent vampires that lurk in the night, though I’m sure they make a killing (no pun intended) in tourism dollars from the fanged night crawlers. Five years back I spent a good two weeks in the country and can vouch for how unimpressed they become with vampire lore and fiction. Stick to the facts and visit this site on Vlad the Impaler if you need some help remembering the details which lead to Bram Stoker’s Dracula before visiting.

Today’s word is a Romanian word used in Romania:

ciocân – (cho-kon) hammer

Hammers are most certainly not the weapon of choice for vampire slaying, but I can assure you there isn’t much of this activity happening anyway. However, it does come in handy when building homes on volunteer vacations with Habitat for Humanity in Cluj-Napoca. It’s one of the few words I slightly remember and just thought to share. You can pick up a few additional words at the Vlad the Impaler page, but if you’d like to know some real practical basics visit this Easy Romanian site. They offer proverbs, months, numbers, and days of the week. As usual Pimsluer offers great audio methods and Lonely Planet has a pocket sized phrasebook for Eastern European langs.