Style guide

1. Writing Style

General Readability Guidelines

When translating, conveying the source meaning and following the right grammar, spelling and punctuation rules is just the beginning. We must always put our users first, and this means offering them translated content that is easy and pleasant to read. This is what readability is all about. A good translation does not look like a translation, but as text that was originally written in the target language.

  1. Don’t translate literally: Grab the key messages and transfer them into Romanian, using natural and appealing structures and phrases. This means restructuring the sentence and choosing the most appropriate words and phrases, that would be seen as such by native speakers of Romanian.
  2. Keep it short and simple: Users don’t like lengthy sentences. Your writing must be pleasant, but remember that you are not translating literature. Be aware of redundancies and unnecessary filler words that don’t add any meaning. Break up long English sentences into two or more if this improves readability.
  3. Follow the natural word order in Romanian: Simple and short sentences with a natural Romanian word order are strongly preferred. Avoid typical English syntactical structures.
  4. Improve on the source if needed: A poor source is never an excuse for a poor translation. As long as you can understand the intended meaning, render it in Romanian in correct and appealing wording.

Sentence Structure

Many, if not most, English sentences must be re-structured or re-phrased when translating into Romanian. Examples:

EN: The value entry already exists. Please enter a new name.

IncorrectValoarea introdusă deja există. Introduceţi un nume nou.

CorrectValoarea introdusă există dejaIntroduceţi un nume nou.


EN:The machine configuration has changed and should be restarted before this operation is attempted.

Incorrect: Configuraţia maşinii s-a modificat şi reporniţi înainte de a încerca această operaţie.

Correct: Configuraţia maşinii s-a modificat. Reporniţi înainte de a încerca această operaţie.


Use of Foreign Words

When there is a good Romanian word for something, use it! E.g. “data processing” is “prelucrare date”. Filenames, applications etc. often keep their original names.

Also, be aware of new foreign words introduced in Romanian, like “mouse”, “computer”, “browser”, “link” etc. Do not try to translate these terms, as they are already common and easily recognizable by the vast majority of speakers.


Tone and register

Always use the most appropriate word or phrase, taking into account the tone and register of the text. In most cases, the text is formal, but friendly. Avoid being too colloquial or too technical, and do not use dated, literary or regional terms.  


False friends and literal translations

Always use the most appropriate word or phrase to render the intended meaning. In some cases, the literal translation of a term has a slightly different meaning in Romanian. These are “false friends”, and here are a few examples:

phrases = expresii, NOT fraze

college = facultate, NOT colegiu

communications = comunicări, NOT comunicate

regular = obișnuit, NOT regulat

students = (sometimes) elevi, NOT studenți

deposit = a depune / depunere, NOT deposit

PIN lock = blocarea PIN-ului, NOT lacătul PIN-ului

fantasy = fantasy (usually referring to a genre), NOT fantastic


Even if the chosen word accurately renders the meaning, sometimes is it not the most natural choice. Here are a few examples:

elementary school = şcoală primară, NOT şcoală elementară (which is dated)

identity document (or ID) = document de identitate, NOT document de identificare

athlete = sportiv, NOT atlet

hindi = (limba) hindi, NOT limba indiană (which does not exist)

video = clip / material video, NOT videoclip


Every language has idiomatic phrases, i.e. lexical structures that are specific to that language and cannot be found exactly as such in other languages. These phrases must be rendered in Romanian (or any other target language) by structures specific to Romanian, not by copying the same phrase and just translating the individual words. Simply put, translate the meaning of the phrase, not its words.

Here are some examples of literal translations:

EN: XYZ is interested in hearing what consumers think about ABC.

Incorrect: XYZ este interesat să afle ce cred consumatorii despre ABC.

Correct: XYZ doreşte să afle ce cred consumatorii despre ABC.


EN: By answering YES, you are agreeing that you have read this message.

Incorrect: Răspunzând cu DA, unteţi de acord că ați citit acest mesaj.

Correct: Răspunzând cu DA, confirmați că ați citit acest mesaj.


EN: You can log your regular meals in a few taps and forget about adding the same food from scratch every time.

Incorrect: Puteți înregistra mesele regulate cu doar câteva apăsări și să uitați să adăugați aceeași mâncare de la zero de fiecare data.

Correct: Acum puteți să înregistrați cu doar câteva atingeri mesele care se repetă și nu mai este nevoie să adăugați aceleași feluri de mâncare de la zero de fiecare dată.


EN: I have no words to describe how happy I am with my purchase!

Incorrect: N-am cuvinte să descriu cât de fericită sunt cu achiziția mea!

Correct: Nu am cuvinte să spun cât de fericită sunt de achiziția mea!


EN: If so, we’d appreciate it if you’d change your score.

Incorrect: În cazul acesta, ți-am rămâne recunoscători să modifici scorul.

Correct: În cazul acesta, ți-am rămâne recunoscători dacă ai modifica scorul.


EN: If the issue continues, please let us know.

Incorrect: În cazul în care continui să ai probleme, te rugăm să ne dai de știre.

Correct: Dacă ai probleme în cotinuare, te rugăm să ne spui.


EN: Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.

Incorrect: Te rugăm să accepţi scuzele noastre pentru neplăcerile de care ai avut parte.

Correct: Ne cerem scuze pentru neplăcerile provocate.



  • of terminology: Always observe the provided terminology (if any) and do your research to find the most appropriate translation of significant terms. Use the same translation for every occurrence of those terms, so the reader does not get confused as to what a certain term refers to.
  • of tone: Use the same form of address: either polite (“dvs.” and 2nd person plural), or informal (“tu” and 2nd person singular).
  • of structure: Use the same grammatical structure for subordinate clauses or parts of speech that are subordinated to the same main clause or part of speech.


Incorrect: Puteți folosi modelul imediat, sau să-l modificați și să-l folosiţi mai târziu.

Correct: Puteți să olosiţi modelul imediat, sau să-l modificați și să-l folosiţi mai târziu.

This also applies to lists, whether the list items are words/phrases or entire sentences, such as in the case of bulleted or numbered lists.

Titles/headlines of sections/chapters etc. should also follow the same structure

2. Language Rules

Capitalization Rules

Use capitalization in the following cases:

  • Proper names
  • The first letter of a sentence, paragraph, heading, header, and footer,
  • The first letter of a brand name/ proper name (for example, Excel, Microsoft).

Do not copy over the capitalization from the source text, as English has very different capitalization rules.

Numbers, Date and Address Formats


For Romanian, the decimal separator is a comma (1,54). For numbers smaller than 1, you must always put 0 before the decimal comma (0,15). The thousands separator is a period (1.500).

Days and Months

The names of days and months are not capitalized like in English. The Romanian week starts on Mondays. Also, sequential week numbers are commonly used. Example: luni din săptămâna 45 (Monday of week 45)

  • Days of the week: luni, marţi, miercuri, joi, vineri, sâmbătă, duminică
  • Months of the year: ianuarie, februarie, martie, aprilie, mai, iunie, iulie, august, septembrie, octombrie, noiembrie, decembrie
  • Abbreviations are as follows: ian., feb., mar., apr., mai, iun., iul., aug., sep., oct., nov., dec. (these abbreviations are all followed by a period except mai)

The days of the week have no official three letters abbreviations.


The traditional format for time in Romanian is the 24-hour clock. A colon should be used to separate hours, minutes, and seconds and a dash (hyphen) to indicate intervals. Examples:

  • 8:35
  • 17:20
  • 9:30-18:00

Standard Date Format

  • The short date format is d.MM.yyyy, example: 8.05.2015
  • The long date format is dd. MMMM.yyyy, example: 8 mai 2015

    Note: Months are not capitalized (18 aprilie 2010)

Standard Phone Number Format

Telephone numbers are written in the following manner:

0040-21-1661199 (Country code- City Code- Local Number)

Standard Address Format

Romanian addresses are written in the following manner:

  1. FirstName LastName
  2. CompanyName
  3. Street Name + number
  4. PostalCode City/Street
  5. Province
  6. Country


  1. Eugen Popescu
  2. Prima Group
  3. Calea Murgului nr. 18
  4. 2400 Sibiu
  5. Judeţul Sibiu
  6. Romania

Punctuation Rules

Quotation Marks

Romanian typographical quotation marks (and their ALT codes) are:

  • „ (0132) Opening quote
  • ” (0148) Closing quote

Example: Pentru detalii referitoare la şabloane, vezi Creare şi deschidere documente, pag. 18.

Single quotation marks (‘ and ’) do not exist in Romanian.

Parentheses and Brackets

When a whole sentence is between parentheses, quotation marks or brackets, the period is placed inside. If only part of the sentence is between parentheses or quotation marks, the period is placed outside. Examples:

Dacă în caseta de dialog vedeţi afişat Word, faceţi clic pe butonul Eliminare. (Nu vă fie teamă să apăsaţi acest buton; el vă permite să adăugaţi sau să eliminaţi componente din Word sau să reinstalaţi sau să dezinstalaţi Word.)

Comutând în vizualizarea înaintea imprimării, se poate corecta aspectul vizual al documentului (vezi şi secţiunea anterioară Salvarea, examinarea şi imprimarea unui document).

Period and Commas

Periods and commas are followed by one space, not two. Example:

Pentru detalii, vezi Crearea primului document Word, pag. 26.

Always observe the punctuation rules of Romanian, paying special attention to commas.

Spacing Before and After Punctuation

In typography, commas, periods, colons, semicolons, exclamation points, question marks and ellipsis immediately follow the word and are not preceded by a blank space. Romanian style does not allow two spaces after a period or any other punctuation mark.

An en-dash (-) is separated from the words before and after it by a space.

Capitalization After Punctuation

The first word after period is always capitalized since it marks the beginning of a new sentence. However, it is unusual to capitalize a word after a colon or a semicolon. Examples:

EN: Note: These units have 2 USB ports only.

IncorrectNotă: Aceste unităţi au doar două porturi USB.

CorrectNotă: aceste unităţi au doar două porturi USB.


EN: You have completed all the levels of this game; click here to start a new game.

IncorrectAţi finalizat toate nivelurile acestui joc; Faceţi clic aici pentru a începe un joc nou.

CorrectAţi finalizat toate nivelurile acestui joc; faceţi clic aici pentru a începe un joc nou.


Numbered and Bulleted Lists

Lists are introduced by a colon (:). The items that follow the colon should all start in lower-case, unless the first word is a proper noun.

If items are simple non-sentence items (i.e. nominal groups, non-finite verb groups, etc.), they are separated by commas, with a full stop after the last item.. Example:

Textul poate fi aliniat:

              – la stânga;

              – la dreapta;

              – centrat.


If the items are complex items (i.e. sentences), a semicolon should be used at the end of each element, and the last one should end in a full stop. If an independent sentence is nested in an item of a list, then this sentence observes the punctuation rules for a sentence, i.e. capital letter at the beginning and full stop at the end.


Pentru a crea un filtru:

            – apăsați pe meniul din dreptul opţiunii Răspundeţi;

            – selectaţi Filtraţi mesajele. Introduceţi criteriile de filtrare în câmpurile corespunzătoare.

            – apoi apăsaţi pe Pasul următor.

Compound Words

English often “stacks” several words, for example “a mail address data field”. Make sure you put the right words together and double-check its Romanian meaning. Example:

EN: Choose the Setup button to select a mail address data field.

RO: Alegeţi butonul Instalare pentru a selecta câmpul de date adresă corespondenţă.

Commonly Misspelled Words

The list below includes some of the most common misspelled words in Romanian. Please note that the list is not exhaustive and illustrates only some frequent examples. The linguist should always do thorough research when he/she is not sure about the correct spelling of a word. Examples:

a asamblaa ansambla
a apăreaa apare
a cădeaa cade
a încorporaa încorpora
a insera (a introduce)a însera
a scădeaa scade    
mi-ar plăceami-ar place
voiam, voiai, voiavroiam, vroiai, vroia

3. References

  1. Client Style Guides – Please refer to the specific instructions of the project, which should contain information on how to obtain client-specific style guides for Romanian.
  2. Other Reference Materials – This section includes a list of useful dictionaries and translation references for the Romanian language. Please note that the list is not exhaustive and includes only some helpful language resources.


    Monolingual Dictionaries


    Romanian References


    Other Helpful Dictionaries, Databases or Language Portals