Learning a new language can be hard, especially when you try to learn word for word.

A Romanian word that vaguely means with is ‘cu.’  In most cases, you would simply translate 🇲🇩🇷🇴cu as 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇱🇷with.  But, if you look at food, you often see ‘cu’ where the English would have an adjective.

For instance, a chocolate croissant would be a un croissant cu ciocolate

A butter croissant would be un croissant cu unt.

A cheesy croissant would be croissant cu brânză.

S.a.m.d. (and so on, or etc)

Plăcintă is translated as pie, but plăcintă can also be a roll.  (Like a rolled up pancake with a filling inside).  The filling would be, you guessed it, come after plăcintă but be preceded by the word cu.  So many things are translated as pie, plăcintă is kind of special, a nice one, but not a slice.

A strawberry filled ‘pancake’ (or roll, or even strudel) would be… un plăcintă cu căpșună.

If you are bored, or need a Romanian lesson, translate all your favorite flavors of pies and strudels to ‘un plăcintă cu...’

Done that?  Good.  In addition to food, cu can also be used in expressions that sound archaic if you translate them directly into English.  With intent can be translated to cu intenție.  But, cu intenție can also be more like on purpose, it doesn’t have to be the courtroom meaning of with intent, cu intenție is more colloquial, cu intenție is something you might say everyday, or even to a child.  Like the English ‘on purpose.’

M-a furat… (someone) stole it from me.

Bulă – Maică, m-a furat plăcintă.

Maică – A fost cu intenție?

Bulă – Nu, a fost cu ciocolată!

I have lost count of how many times that joke, or subtle variations of it (sometimes it is a teacher, sometimes a female teacher) have appeared in the Romanian newspapers. This last weekend, instead of being stolen, someone threw the poor child’s plăcintă on the ground!

Sometimes the newspapers appear to be copying the jokes from another paper that copied them two weeks before.  (Full circle).  But every time I read it, the plăcintă had cheese in it.  This is the first time I have seen it with a chocolate pancake/pie.   Maybe now I can get a job writing/recycling jokes for Romanian newspapers.

Trăiește originalitatea!

No, but really, there are some good, original jokes in there.  I just wonder why that poor kid keeps losing his pancakes.  Perhaps he should try another flavour.

Extra Credit! – Want to practice your Romanian?  now you too can tell the same joke in your own way.  Look up your favorite pastry at the local supermarket, and replace that for the thing that was stolen or fell on the floor.

mi-a dat jos – (someone) threw down my…

mi-a furat – (someone) stole my…

plăcintă – pancake pie ;

covrig – pretzel or bagel or anything in between (covrig cu semințe sunflower seeds pretzel, covrig cu mac poppyseed pretzel, covrig cu susan sesame seed pretzel covrig cu vișine a bagel like ring, filled with a yummy sour cherry filling.)

langoș – special Transylvanian fried bread (can be with garlic (cu usturoi) with cheese (cu cașcaval or cu brânză) with jam (cu gem) or cu ciocolată;

Okay, now put your joke in the comments or in the comments of wherever this is shared on social media, and like any variations that you really like.

Extra, extra credit.  For those of you studying English, because we can’t translate the joke correctly, change the kind of bread instead.

Ricky – Mommy, someone stole my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Mommy – Was it on purpose?

Ricky – No, it was on white bread.

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