A Brazilian/Romanian folk music sampler with a curious language fact thrown in

fire-307592_640PREAMBLE: It’s a Sunday evening, and a little chilly; it would be nice to be sitting round a camp fire with friends, getting sentimental and nostalgic with a glass of wine or something similar that warms the insides, like a flaming sambuca or two! As we watch the flames rise and fall maybe someone would bring out a guitar and start strumming.

acoustic-guitar-145300_1280ACT ONE: Enter a Brazilian, Alceu Valença and friends to entertain us. This song has got a north-east Brazil feel to it (the music there is quite different in many respects to the genres in other parts of the country). It’s a tribute to the beauties on the beach of Boa Viagem (good voyage) in Recife, which was one of the World Cup host cities. It’s a very interesting city with a lot of historical interest, including the World Heritiage listed village of Olinda, which hosts one of Brazil’s best carnivals. Recife for a while was once held by the Dutch, who drained its swamps and called it New Amsterdam, although nowadays it is called the Venice of Brazil. Anyway, in this clip you will hear lovely unusual sounds and see some of the beauty and beauties of Recife. And as a language bonus, the title of the song is in French! The acoustic guitars are lush.

ACT TWO, SCENE 1: What put me in this mellow mood in the first place was a song that popped up on my WordPress reader, posted by a blog I follow Hai-Hui prin Sufletul Folkului. It’s sung by a Romanian troubador, Dan Vana, and the song is titled Copiii Nu Mor Niciodată or (The) Children Never Die.

ACT TWO, SCENE TWO: Here’s Dan in action, live on stage at some folk festival somewhere. It takes guts to entertain a crowd with just an acoustic guitar in your hand. And talent to be able to pull it off.


OK, here it is: it’s something I remembered my teacher telling me on my language course in Romania last year. Let’s hope she was right and my memory is true.

world-76211_640In Romanian, the definite article is a suffix (add-on at the end of a word). Thus

  • a child = un copil
  • the child = copilul
  • children = copii
  • the children = copiii

Copiii (“the children”) is the only word in Romanian with three ‘i‘s at the end of it. 😀

As its usage here in the song title shows, Romanian sometimes uses a definite article where other languages would use the indefinite article.



One thought on “A Brazilian/Romanian folk music sampler with a curious language fact thrown in

  1. Three ‘i’s at the end??? That’s very curious! Germany had a spelling reform some years ago, and now it suffers from the frequent occurrence of triple consonants, which I find disturbing. E.g. “Essstörung” (eating disorder). Such words existed before, but they were very far and few between… I just can’t get used to them 😉

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