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Comparing Poland and Romania


roade85 4 | 21
17 Dec 2015 #1
Not that they apparently have anything in common other than being mostly Slavic, former Warsaw Pact nations, but am wondering if anyone here has significant knowledge of Romania, first hand or otherwise, and the differences between it and Poland. I am strongly considering moving to Poland, but a potential business opportunity in Romania has opened up (near Timisoara).

The people and their attitudes to anything and everything, the government, future national prospects? Any other topics

I've been there before, and think it's a beautiful country, especially in the north and middle. Like the food, and the people seem friendly enough. Not that I have much against them personally and I actually appreciate some of their values, but when I say the people I'm talking about non-Romani Romanians, since from my experience there the gypsies are in large part living in a separate society from the rest. The government struck me as a little more corrupt and 'backward' than Poland, but that could just be my imagination. And the people, in my extremely limited experience there, to be not quite as friendly or easy for me to relate to, meaning having as much cultural common ground and shared cultural/pop-cultural knowledge, as Polish people.

I know this topic could span volumes, but just a brief thought. Basically, if you were in a bar and had to make a comment or two about any differences between the countries, what would they be?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
17 Dec 2015 #2
mostly Slavic

Err...Romanians aren't Slavic.
OP roade85 4 | 21
17 Dec 2015 #3
I used to think that, but then saw that they come from Dacians, who seem like a Slavic group who later adopted a Latin language for practicality or whatever other reason. Then there are also some Turkic and Hungarian ethnic influences there. Same language thing happened with Celtic groups in France, Spain, and other parts of Western Europe.
mafketis 25 | 9,270
17 Dec 2015 #4
Random observations from a few visits (more Bucuresti, Timisoara might be different)

Romania is a lot behind Poland in terms of infrastructure. It was damaged more by communism and afterwards was preyed upon by a real oligarch class (not the puny simulation of same in Poland). So it's poorer with worse infrastructure. The quality of construction in housing is clearly worse than Poland and a lot of could be /would be nice areas are neglected.

Knowledge of English is similar though not the same (IME Romanians lapse into Romanian a lot when trying to speak English though very fluent speakers can be found as well).

Food is really interesting, like a combination of Hungarian and Turco-Bulgarian (kind of equidistant to both.)

Romanians are mostly pretty friendly and open (more so than Polish) but small scale scams are more widespread keep your wits about you and learn the numbers in Romanian and you'll be fine.

The gypsy population is larger than in Poland and full of typical Romani pathology.

If you know a Romance language well you'll start to understand bits and pieces of Romanian very quickly and Romanians are very nice about providing good language models.

Romanians culivate their folk culture esp music, unlike Poles who are embarassed by and alienated from theirs.
dolnoslask
17 Dec 2015 #5
I worked on setting up a petrochem business I Romania And having experience of living in both , I can only say Romania still has some time before it catches up with Poland, I must admit I would never go and live there, funny tho , House, knodding donkey, house knodding donkey, how can people live like that (knodding donkey = oil pump).

The roads are frightening compared to Poland , the wicked wild east for sure, oh and the packs of wild dogs that roam the capital, great fun NOT.
mafketis 25 | 9,270
17 Dec 2015 #6
the packs of wild dogs that roam the capital, great fun NOT.

IME they leave you alone if you leave them alone (and many are partly adopted by people or businesses that regularly feed/water them).

The packs apparently were created in the poorest times of the 1990s when people couldn't afford their pets and abandoned them.
dolnoslask
17 Dec 2015 #7
mafketis thanks for the explanation, I definitely left them alone.
Crow 146 | 9,254
17 Dec 2015 #8
Romans did the job in Romania entirely. Those Slavs (Sarmats) who survived onslaughts there got their blood line and spirituality changed. In Poland was different. Romans managed to affect spirituality. Blood line remained.
Wulkan - | 3,249
17 Dec 2015 #9
Err...Romanians aren't Slavic.

Err... wrong as usual, Romanians are mostly Slavic only Romanized their language 3 centuries ago.
Braveheart16 18 | 281
17 Dec 2015 #10
Are you wanting more information on Romania to help you decide on whether to undertake your business opportunity? Not sure why it is necessary to know the difference between Poland and Romania? It may be worth speaking with people already in business in Romania in order to get a perspective on whether you feel that Romania is the right place for you to do business. Perhaps try speaking to a business action group or consult with ex pats already in business there. Have you tried speaking with a Romanian forum web site for help. Hope this helps.
Wroclaw1010 3 | 91
17 Dec 2015 #11
I having lived in Romania for 3 years and now into my second year in Poland, I would strongly recommend Poland. I spent 3 years in Bucharest and I happen to visit other cities as well.

What I didn't like in Romania is the public transport and the roads. The trams are like artifacts in a sixteenth centuary museum. You wait for a bus or tram without any idea when it's going to arrive. The smell in the buses and trams are disgusting.

Women; I will chose Romanian girls :). I find them more attractive than Polish girls.

Romanian music is one of the best in Europe. i love the language and the music.

they leave you alone if you leave them alone

I don't remember exactly but somewhere around 2012 or 2013 the stray dogs killed a boy an a Japanese tourist. They are nuisance to major cities of Romania.

Romanians are mostly pretty friendly and open (more so than Polish)

I see Polish as being more friendly than Romanians. It could be a personal experience though.

In clubs guys are dressed in suits like they are there to attend business meetings.

The rate of corruption is very high in Romania. There is a huge gap between the rich and the poor in Romania. I guess the middle class is very thin.
mafketis 25 | 9,270
17 Dec 2015 #12
I don't remember exactly but somewhere around 2012 or 2013 the stray dogs killed a boy an a Japanese tourist.

What I was told was that most attacks were against children who were trying to play with them - it's a bad idea to play with street dogs.

What I didn't like in Romania is the public transport

The Bucuresti metro is very, very weird, especially the narrow platforms where your back is to the wall and the train seems like 20 centimeters away.
dolnoslask
17 Dec 2015 #13
" huge gap between the rich and the poor in Romania" this didn't sit well with me I got out as fast as I could, I wasn't helping.
Crow 146 | 9,254
18 Dec 2015 #14
One is for sure, most people in both countries- Poland and Romania would choose Intermarium rather then EU. If asked
Peter59 4 | 35
18 Dec 2015 #15
folk culture esp music, unlike Poles who are embarassed by and alienated from theirs.

At the risk of going off topic, Why do you think Poles carry this embarrassment of their Folk Culture??
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
18 Dec 2015 #16
I wonder if it's not embarrassment, but rather the fact that the culture is incredibly diverse and so there's not such a thing as "Polish" folk culture - but rather hyper-regionalised culture.

It also doesn't help that the most prominent example of it - the Górale - have an incredibly negative opinion among many Poles, such as with the forcing of horses to climb up to Morskie Oko in Zakopane.
mafketis 25 | 9,270
18 Dec 2015 #17
I wonder if it's not embarrassment, but rather the fact that the culture is incredibly diverse and so there's not such a thing as "Polish" folk culture - but rather hyper-regionalised culture.

Well in terms of music what very often happens is that music from one particular region becomes the generic folk music for the whole country, such as Andalusia in Spain or Appalachia in the US or (a region whose name I forget) in Bulgaria.

Withe the górale one problem is that there just aren't enough of them to be a good model and on the other hand they're spread over a couple of countries.

There's also the idea (according to a paper in ethnology I translated years ago) that in a lot of Poland urbanization happened more suddenly and differently than in some countries and there wasn't time enough for an idealized vision of life away from the city to develop of the type needed for a folk music to talk hold in an urban environment. Instead rural life was all too close and they wanted to distance themselves from it.

A frustrating aspect of Polish arts for me is that many people don't know what they like, they want to like what other people (esp UK US) like.
OP roade85 4 | 21
20 Dec 2015 #18
Thanks for the replies. In Poland currently, and leaning strongly towards staying. It's just something I've been mulling over the last month.

I speak fluent Spanish, so Romanian would be far easier for me to learn quickly. However, if it's a permanent relocation, an extra year of language learning is not that big in the scheme of things. And I'm not a native Romance speaker, so I don't have a huge advantage towards eventual mastery than with a Slavic language (English has some Latin influences, but more just with the vocabulary, so really just a matter of memorization).

Thought English level was better overall in Poland, although, like in Poland, there is a small but significant percentage in Romania who speak extremely good English.

Didn't notice any oil wells. Must be a southern thing (spent more time in north/central), or maybe a thing of the past?

Public transport isn't a big issue for me since I usually drive if I can't walk. Although the suits in bars thing is not really my style.

I'm planning a start-up company that's mostly just me with some long-term, freelance IT help needed. I have a good connection for that in Romania, but can almost certainly achieve about the same outcome in Poland on my own. Taxes and wages are slightly lower in Romania, and IT talent may be a little higher, which is a business plus, but it's not a huge difference in any of those respects. I'm comparing the two countries because I have the legal ability to live in both, and am basing this as much or more on living considerations than business considerations.

I don't mind the stray dog thing. More stray animals tends to equate to a more wild, freer, and laid-back environment. I usually carry something I could kill/fight them off with, know how to avoid them, and not really a likely target anyway since animals tend to attack kids, small/weak adults, or elderly anyway.

To be honest, in many respects, the 'far behind' thing is a plus. I think most Americans were better off when they weren't as wealthy. It's a never-ending trap of running on a hamster wheel and keeping up with the Joneses, and lately turning a blind eye to everything and anything we do to the rest of the world if it means protecting one's wealth and comfortable life. Then you have many people in America won't have or severely delay having kids because they say they don't have enough money. It's all BS. People 50 or 75 years ago had kids with far less money, they just did it and made work, and the kids turned out far better than most kids today. People today are too cautious, too selfish. Much of Western culture is rotting, and there are far poorer nations out there that are much richer in non-monetary ways. I'm sure it sounds hypocritical coming from a 'Westerner' who has enjoyed the higher material wealth, but I believe it's true.
Jardinero 1 | 405
22 Dec 2015 #19
Knowledge of English is similar

From my experience, I would strongly disagree.
Romanians speak English a lot better than Poles do.

Much of Western culture is rotting, and there are far poorer nations out there that are much richer in non-monetary ways.

So much for theory. Back to reality - have you ever thought of living in one of them "richer in non-monetary ways" places? Which countries would make it to the top of your list - just wondering...
reunion123
25 Dec 2015 #20
Roade85 : Not that they apparently have anything in common other than being mostly Slavic, former Warsaw Pact nations

Well, see Romania is a Balkan country and Balkans are a very specific region with a strong Turkish Influence and heritage, besides the Romanians are not Slavic though their language was heavily influenced by some Slavic languages and they are mostly orthodox Christians as far as I know .
Levi 12 | 450
27 Dec 2015 #21
Romania is poorer than Brazil, which is poorer than Uruguay, which is poorer than Poland.

Those are my 2 cents for that comparison.

Well, see Romania is a Balkan country and Balkans are a very specific region with a strong Turkish Influence and heritage

Nop. Romanians have much more latin influence than turkish.

Actually, if they take some sun tan they even look like us, Latins.

Correction: Apparently now Romania have 5 dollars more of annual per capita wealth than Brazil (8807 Vs 8802), so i change what i said:

Instead of Miserable, they are just very poor.
Librarius - | 91
27 Dec 2015 #22
their language was heavily influenced by some Slavic languages and they are mostly orthodox Christians as far as I know .

Romanina is a Romance language like French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese.

From Wikepedia:

The lexical similarity of Romanian with Italian has been estimated at 77%, followed by French at 75%, Sardinian 74%, Catalan 73%, Portuguese and Rhaeto-Romance 72%, Spanish 71%. In modern times Romanian vocabulary has been strongly influenced by French, Italian and other languages.

Romanian language

While most of Romanian grammar and morphology are based on Latin, there are some features that are shared only with other languages of the Balkans and not found in other Romance languages. Nonetheless, Romanian together with Greek and Romani present the lowest "factor of Balkanization" among the languages commonly included in the Balkan sprachbund.
Crow 146 | 9,254
27 Dec 2015 #23
Romania, same as Hungary, Moldavia, Baltic states or Greece (and some other countries) belong to Slavic cultural area and what is most important, all these countries, with wise policy could be seduced to join in Slavic conglomerates such is Intermarium project, for example.
Librarius - | 91
27 Dec 2015 #24
they are just very poor.

By what standard of measurement and according to whom?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
27 Dec 2015 #25
English a lot better than Poles do

And theri knowledge of French far exceeds that of Poles.

Slavic group

In the most general of terms, Romanians are Romance-speaking Slavs. Bulgarians are Slavic-speaking Turks.
Lyzko 29 | 7,340
27 Dec 2015 #26
I can't confirm such regarding English, at least in my experience, however, Romanians have a decided advantage over Poles concerning French skill, since both are Romance languages. Romanian merely has a strong Slavic overlay, that's all. Furthermore, unlike French, Romanian has both retained all of Latin's five cases (plus requisite endings!) as well as a system of clitics, also common among many other Balkan languages, together with the four Germanic Scandinavian tongues:-)

The Romanians I've encountered in New York speak English almost as poorly as the average Polish high school graduateLOL
mafketis 25 | 9,270
27 Dec 2015 #27
In the most general of terms, Romanians are Romance-speaking Slavs

They don't look like slavs at street level, the Latin look definitely prevails (though body language is more slavic than latin)

IIRC in genetic terms modern Hungarians are mostly Magyarized Slavs (with some Germanic admixture).

Bulgarians are Slavic-speaking Turks.

Yeah, that's mostly the case though Bulgarian's oddball grammar (which I really like) is far more balkan than slavic, IIIRC it's the most Balkan of the Balkan languages.
Lyzko 29 | 7,340
28 Dec 2015 #28
A further difference between Poland and Romania, apart from language at least, is that post-War Romania endured the Ceausescu Era, making the regime of Comrade Władek seem almost "bearable"!

Indeed Polish communism was no romp in £ażienki Park, Romania though survived the most brutal of the post-Faschist dictatorships in Europe, not to mention, one of the most anti-Semitic:-) Some of Ceaucescu's tactics of having opponents executed by hanging them up on meat hooks as torture, resemble accounts of the German Volksgerichtshof or "People's Court" presided over by Chief ("Hanging") Justice Freisler under the Nazis.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
28 Dec 2015 #29
A further difference

Ceauşescu's Romania also succeeded in all but destroying religion, whilst Poland could boast the Soviet bloc's most flourishing Catholic faith.
mafketis 25 | 9,270
28 Dec 2015 #30
Romania also succeeded in all but destroying religion

In Bucuresti, churches tend to be small (and dwarfed by high rises surrounding them). But the religion is alive and well (not sure about how many but those going seem to be happy with it).

Poland could boast the Soviet bloc's most flourishing Catholic faith

Ancient history. Younger people now are far less devoted to the church than they were before compulsory religious education was introduced. The church has pushed many away in the last twenty years or so.

Also... a surprising (to me) number of students are turning to various types of protestantism (a small minority, but more than I would have guessed would go for it).

There are a lot of US backed missionary groups that don't hink of catholics as "real" Christians because they worship the Pope and Mary and not Jesus (unfair stereotype from my home region in the US). But the groups are here and getting some followers.


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