Talk:Romani language

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Why Romany instead of Gypsy?[edit]

Why is the language called Romany? Is it to do with Romania, where they settled for thousands of years? Scott Gall 03:40, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

No, the language is called Romany because these people call themselves "Roma". It has nothing to do with Romania, that's mere coincidence. In fact, a related people living in the Middle East call themselves "Dhom", which seems to be the original name. As for the name Gypsy, that word is increasingly seen as offensive, based as it is on a misunderstanding of their origins, as the English believed they were from Egypt, when in reality they migrated from India. Also, the Roma haven't lived in Romania for "thousands of years"; they only reached the Balkans around the beginning of the second millennium AD. CRCulver 04:13, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
Also bear in mind that at the time the Roma left Anatolia, ca. 1000 AD, "Roman" meant "Byzantine Roman", since the Eastern Roman Empire survived (gradually disintegrating and fragmenting) for a thousand years after the "classical" Roman Empire fell. -- Craig Goodrich (talk) 05:18, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

I am Rromani. I am Romani born and bred and not some so-called scholar discussing my people through books they have read. Not all of us use the word "Rroma" as a group name. Rroma is just one branch of Rromane (Romani using plural grammar at end). There are also Kale, Sinte & Romanichal and none of these use the term "rroma" for themselves. Please get it correct. Rromane is the only word we as a group international use for ourselves i.e. Rromane Dzene = Romani People. We all however recognise the term Rom (husband / married respectable man) & Romni (his wife) and we also all recognise the term Romani (and the masculine eqiverlent "Romano"). The word Rrom meaning husband / married man is obviously from the Sanskrit word Raman meaning the same. To support this is the word Romano / Romani / Romane which are all variants on the word "Roman". Obviously the word Raman. In addition to this we also have the word "Piramno / Piramni meaning 'Loved one' which when broken up by scholars of Sanskrit will be Pi (love) & Raman(o/i) Husband / wife. The same way the Hindi word Piyar is from Pi (love) and Yar (friend).

As for the Dom (Dhom as someone has spelt it in an attempt to make it sound more like Rrom) do not speak a language from the same Indian origin as Rromani so it is evident that we definetely did not leave India as a common group. This is undisputable. Firstly Romani uses Rajasthani grammar (masculine 'o' on end of words. It also is greatly made up of Rajasthani & Panjabi regional words unlike Domari which is more Hindi based and uses Hindi 'a' at the end of masculine words. The Domari have stories amongst themselves suggesting they were musicians brought into Persia, who were loyal and aided to the Persian king and were sentenced to hardships from Mohammed (obviously when Islam invaded). Romani do not have these same stories. Tsigano (talk) 09:18, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Jumping in - Actually the spelling in English should be Rommany and not Romany to get the correct pronouciation as it comes from the word Rom and not Rome. The name Romania comes from Rome / Roman. As for Gypsy this is simple as we do not come from Egypt. To us Gypsy means 'Egyptian'. The term Gypsy is an insult.

I agree. If we are going to write using English grammar then the word would be Rommany. From what I have been told, the English spelling of Romany with a 'y' at the end originally comes from the old English writer George Burrow. I'm told that in his original writing he actually wrote it as "Rommany" which would make sense considerring how the word is correctly spoken. Tsigano (talk) 09:18, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Majority of Europeans call this language Gypsy, Tsigan, Gitan, Sinthi etc. New gypsy educated persons do not agree these names and proposed a lot of brand new names: Roma, Romany, Flax, Anglix, Vlax, Corpax etc. They want to change historical names. This is why they invented new names new history, new languages and new classification. According to these data there are several names for the same language and following this, the number of gypsy people is multiplied with number of invented languages (see Romany language. All these data are not official. The only names accepted in ISO standards is Romany for English with Gitane for FrenchReadder (talk) 09:17, 7 February 2011 (UTC).[user Readder, 2011]

That is simply incorrect. RashersTierney (talk) 14:42, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

"these people call themselves 'Roma' "[edit]

In answer to CR Culver, the Romany/Gypsy/Cikán pepole of the Czech Republic (and probably most of Central and Eastern Europe) tend to see "Roma" as a new-fangled "politically correct" term. As far as they are concerned, they're Gypsies (Cikáni) and proud of it.

Maybe some are proud, but most not, do you have some statistics or something else to prove your sayings? Desiphral-देसीफ्राल talk-फेन मा 10:00, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Also, the term Gypsies is not really equivalent to Cikáni. That would be equivalent to the Polish Cygan and the German Zigeuner--both having an initial sound of Ts, followed by a short i sound--and other European words for the people. The term Gypsy stems from the mistaken notion that they came from Egypt. The Wikipedia article Romani people suggests a couple of derivations for that word. 17:14, 2 July 2007 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

Tsigane is an accepted word which is used but 'Gypsy' is not. Roma / Rroma is a Romani word as it uses Romani grammar. In English it should be 'Roms'. Even amongst English travellers who have been coming into contact with European romani families they refer to them as 'Roms'. If correct grammar is used when writing for English written articles people wouldn't put "the Roms people" as they would have a better understanding of the word and would see it is silly. Why would you use Romani grammar when writing in English?

Neologisms note[edit]

I have moved this comment from the article to here:

Note - Misal and Bijli are not derived from Sanskrit. Misal is derived from Persian.

Do what you like with this info. —Zalktis (talk) 17:51, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Misal is borrowed into Persian from Arabic /miθal/ which is the singular form of "example." Metonyme (talk) 09:49, 7 May 2009 (UTC)metonyme


Perhaps it would be good to have an article on Para-Romani languages? This term appears a few places in WP articles on various Romani languages/dialects, but is IMO not properly explained. Furthermore, in some instances Angloromani is described as a mixed language, whereas in the article mixed language, AR is named as an example of what a mixed language is not. An article on Para-Romani might clarify this issue. What do the more linguistically knowledgeable amongst you say? —Zalktis (talk) 08:23, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

This seems like a good idea to me, but I don't know who can work on it, since there are more important issues right now that are being resolved quite slowly. AKoan (talk) 10:07, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Done. For now it's safe to list them as (probably) mixed languages, it kind of depends on the amount of lexical admixture (i.e. whether it's a roughly equal mix or if one language just contributes a handful of words). As it doesn't look like anyone has done a count so far, calling them mixed for now seems fine to me. Portmanteau is not a descriptor I've heard for an entire language, I rather doubt that's correct. Akerbeltz (talk) 09:50, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Official status in Sweden[edit]

The article states that Romani isn't official in any country in the world, though the article about Sweden clearly says that Romani is one of its minority languages. Is there any reason that this article claims the opposite? HannesP (talk—Preceding undated comment was added at 22:38, 22 January 2009 (UTC).

That is definitely wrong, Romani is one of its minority languages in Romania, too. And other places. AKoan (talk) 10:09, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem is with the definitions, legal or otherwise, of what constitutes an official language, and what status a recognised minority language has. For example, in Finland, Swedish—the language of one minority group—has the status of an official language for historical and cultural reasons, whereas Romani, the language spoken by another minority group is "only" a recognised minority language: even though there is some state support for the use of Finnish Romani in some contexts, such as in native language education, one cannot, for example, demand that correspondence one receives from the Finnish government be written in Romani, as is the case with Swedish. As for Sweden, we have the bizarre situation where there are currently 5 recognised minority languages (Sámi, Finnish, Meänkieli, Yiddish, and Romani), but there is no legally defined official language at all (though the proposed law on languages will for the first time legally define Swedish as the de jure official language in Sweden). —Zalktis (talk) 10:39, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
You might be right. I think we should avoid this information, since its not clear how each state defines its own "official language" and "minority language". AKoan (talk) 10:01, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Instead of avoiding, let's clearify: in Sweden Romani is a recognized minority language (one of five as correctly stated above) and as such this should be listed in the fact box. When it comes to definitions of official languages I think we have to go by what each nation states in legislation. (And since July 1st 2009 Swedish is the official language of Sweden, along side with 5 recognized minority languages with official status.) Stajn (talk) 22:26, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Request to move to Romani languages[edit]

[1] has it as several languages. I suggest a move. Sarcelles (talk) 12:18, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

That it would be quite a major change. Usually Romani is presented as a language with many dialects, though there are people that consider it as a family of related languages. But the "language with many dialects" view is prevalent. Kenshin (talk) 08:20, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
In The Gospel in Many Tongues there are bible texts in Romani of Southern and Northern Germany, that are very different. Sarcelles (talk) 08:33, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Rromani Ehkipe[edit]

Any good?

[URL=][IMG][/IMG][/URL] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:40, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

I've reverted a number of edits which appear to reflect a user's opinion and original research (he/she even used the phrase "in my opinion") rather than verifiable sources. See my comments on the user's talk page. --rossb (talk) 05:45, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

I think that was a correct decision. Would be glad if the posting editor engaged here though; there may be reliable 3rd party sources to back up their thesis. RashersTierney (talk) 06:17, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Baltic Romani Language link[edit]

There's a problem: the link to Baltic Romani Language on this page redirects to this very same page. That should be fixed and an article made on the Baltic Romani Language. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:50, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

There are a lot of links like that in the Romani articles - I'll try and create some stubs for the main groupings at the very least so it doesn't happen anymore. Akerbeltz (talk) 09:55, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Linguistic links[edit]

Right, been looking through the page and I'm tempted to delete the stuff about the relationship to Divehi and Sinhalese. Since Romani is Indo-European, it is de-fact related to ALL Indo-European languages and there's no need to state individual ones. The reason I'm asking on the talk page first is because I'm not a Romanist and just wondering if there is a particular reason to single those two out? Akerbeltz (talk) 09:54, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm afraid my expertise is not in this area, but I too would be interested in hearing specific reasons, if they exist. RashersTierney (talk) 11:14, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, lexicostatistics apparently, which have never struck me as a particularly great reason. Shared nontrivial innovations in phonology (sound laws) and morphology are considered the best evidence. Of course, the question is not what Romani is related to, but which language or group it is most closely related to, as it is only clear that Romani is Indo-Aryan, not what its specific affiliations within Indo-Aryan are. I, too, am tempted to simply delete it. Sure, the Sinhalese connection is cited using the Gray/Atkinson paper, but few linguists would consider it a good source to settle issues of subgrouping. The Divehi connection isn't even properly sourced – and as Sinhalese and Divehi are so closely related, it is a fairly redundant connection to mention: If Romani is closely related to Sinhalese, it is automatically also closely related to Divehi. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:31, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Examples and Wordlist[edit]

Been pondering that list at the end for a while now and I've come to the conclusion it's not that appropriate; looking around, that kind of thing is discouraged except for extremely poorly documented languages (which Romani is not).

A section for phrases is more common but the spelling needs sorting and - don't take this the wrong way cause it's not meant negatively - how come we ended up with Gujarati contrasting examples rather than, say, Sanskrit or Hindi? Akerbeltz (talk) 09:44, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Confusion with Romani Language and Romanian Language[edit]

Some people get confused between Romani Language and Romanian language, or Romani Language and Romansh language, so at the top, it should say:

Not to be confused with Romanian language or Romansh language. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:56, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I've reverted same. Please show evidence of such confusion documented at a reliable source, and if this is the case, should the Romanian language article not also include a similarly worded hatnote? RashersTierney (talk) 18:22, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Page moves[edit]

There has been a rash, well, so far 2, undiscussed page moves by User:Nergaal who moved Romano-Greek language to Hellenoromani language and Romano-Serbian language to Serbian Romani language, with an edit summary citing remove confusion. Now on Hellenoromani I could be swayed if this indeed has primacy over Romano-Greek but the other edit to my mind increases the confusion because it suggests it's a sub-branch of Romani rather than Serbian with Romani admix. That aside, Serbian Romani seems a made up term to me. What are your views? I'm leaning towards asking an admin to revert both moves and request proper move debates if there is a case for moving either. Left a note for Nergaal but (s)he seems uninclined to consider the point. Akerbeltz (talk) 15:22, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

@Akerbeltz: Reverted, apparently shortly after the move, by Kwamikagami, who knows what they're doing with regard to languages. Hellenoromani language and Serbian Romani language are now redirects to Romano-Greek language and Romano-Serbian language respectively. --Thnidu (talk) 01:04, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

Romani Dictionary[edit]

I would like to bring to the attention of Romani-focused wikipedia editors the recent publication of "Learn Romani" author Ronald Lee's "Romani Dictionary: Kalderash - English":

Excerpts from the book may be found online here:

Hopefully it will prove to be a useful resource for information on this sometimes elusive topic.

--Magoriabooks (talk) 06:47, 23 January 2011 (UTC)


I change the Distribution beacause they arent true. I see it in the surce and I just changed it. The same one thats there. Ah and sorry I dont speek very good English. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm trying hard to understand exactly what your concerns are. Does this report, The Status of Romani in Europe go any way towards addressing them? RashersTierney (talk) 11:29, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

The table that contains distribution of the Romani speakers clearly contains wrong information. For example it says that there are 3000 Romani speakers in Finland and that those make 90% of total Romani population. tells that there's a Romani population of 10000 - 15000 in Finland. I'll remove the table. Olot (talk) 13:21, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Linguistic description?[edit]

While this article is fairly informative, it seems to be lacking much of the information I came here to find, namely a linguistic description such as we have on other language articles like Russian language or German language. Although I am not qualified to add them, there should be sections on phonology, grammar, etc. William Thweatt Talk | Contribs 00:53, 19 June 2011 (UTC)


states in the artilce that Romani was an oral, unwritten language and then started using latin script, but in ancient times, there has been evidence of the Sinti using sanskript style scripts like Devanagari (which modern Hindi/Sindhi uses) or Nagari, then during migration them adapted to oral traditions or Latin script — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:52, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

If you'll provide reliable sources, maybe you or someone else can incorporate this into the article. Otherwise, no. --Thnidu (talk) 00:12, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

Contact languages[edit]

The article uses this term in a confusing, ambiguous way. The primary sense of contact language (also contact variety or contact vernacular) is, as far as my understanding goes, a distinctive language variety arosen through (intense) language contact, specifically a mixed language, pidgin or creole language, but also foreigner talk and interlanguages. This sense (specifically referring to Para-Romani varieties, which are sometimes described as mixed, but clearly not pidgins or creoles) is apparently also meant at the beginning of the section "Dialects". Unfortunately, Contact language simply redirects to Pidgin and is thus very misleading. Even more unfortunately, there is a second meaning specific to studies about geographically widespread minority languages such as Romani or Yiddish (or Jewish languages in general), namely "the language of the majority in a certain region that the discussed language variety is strongly influenced by", for example German in the case of Sinti. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:46, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Identifying reliable sources[edit]

not appliable infoboxes as flag galleries goes against Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. flags like Norway and [[Sweeden]] Sweden are not corroborated with the dialect. --MCCartneyfo (talk) 15:39, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Corrected misspelling, which redirects to Sweeden, Kentucky. (And "corroborated" almost certainly should be "correlated".) --Thnidu (talk) 01:10, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

Authentic Loanword?[edit]

I think 'bewer', as described in the 'Romani loanwords in English' section, is actually a loanword from either Shelta or Gaelic (Though I don't claim to know which), because I know it's understood to mean 'woman' among Pavees/ Irish Travellers. It's rarely if ever used by English Romanies, as 'woman' in that language is juvvi/džuvi, or some variant thereof, and is also sometimes 'mawt' in the Angloromani dialect. Then rakli, chay or romni/ rawni to denote girls, young women, married women and posh gadjo women, respectively. Bewer could well be a word from another dialect of Romani, but are there any definite sources? It's not a big deal, but otherwise I think it needs moving to a loanwords category on the Shelta page. (Xamurrochokas (talk) 14:19, 25 September 2012 (UTC))

I've removed the uncited reference to bewer as a Romani loanword. Since I don't know it's actual origin I won't move it to the Shelta or Gaelic pages personally, but it's free game to anyone who fancies determining its origin. For the sake of whomever might want to copy/ paste it in that case, the sentence was, "... and bewer (woman) in Yorkshire in England, also seen as beor in Corkonian slang within Hiberno-English." (Xamurrochokas (talk) 08:48, 28 September 2012 (UTC))
Pretty sure the word, and spelling variants thereof, are of Shelta origin; not directly Irish in any case. Leland appears to support this (see search). It is already included at Shelta#Orthography. RashersTierney (talk) 12:48, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Loanword: Nark?[edit]

I'm fairly certain "nark" comes from "narcotics", as in a narcotics agent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:31, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

See here for an explanation – note the earliest date of attestation. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:08, 1 May 2013 (UTC)


The claim " well as paani (water) in Yorkshire in England" is dubious. I have never heard or seen reference to this as a Yorkshire dialect word (I live in Yorkshire) and the "aa" sound would almost certainly be expressed as "ar". -- Q Chris (talk) 09:09, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Lived in Yorkshire and never heard this either. I took that whole sentence out. — Lfdder (talk) 12:25, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

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Romani Wikipedia?[edit]

Is Wikipedia had a Romani language?-- (talk) 11:00, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

yes,, though has far fewer articles than the Engish one. -- Q Chris (talk) 12:18, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

ćhib or čhib?[edit]

The lede begins

Romani (... Romani: romani ćhib) is any of several languages of the Romani people belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family

with an acute accent over the c: ć. The next section, Name, opens with

Speakers of the Romani language usually refer to the language as řomani čhib "the Romani language" or řomanes "in a Rom way".

where the c has a caron, or haček. The (incomplete) list of spellings in § Alphabet,

... [romaɲi tʃʰib], which means "Romani Language" in all the dialects, can be written as románi szib, románi čib, romani tschib, románi tschiwi, romani tšiw, romeni tšiv, romanitschub, rromani čhib, romani chib, rhomani chib, romaji šjib and so on.

includes čhib but not ćhib, appearing to support the caron spelling.

So which is it? Apparently both and neither, as there is no single official or universally accepted orthography, the Romani being a people with many diverse dialects and no government of their own. But for consistency in the article I'm changing the lede mention to čhib. --Thnidu (talk) 01:29, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

And the infobox. --Thnidu (talk) 01:33, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

Suspicious etymologies[edit]

Connecting "grubo" ('fat') with Georgian "kʰoni (ქონი)" sounds doubtful at the best. "Grubo" sounds nothing like "kʰoni" but quite like Polish "gruby" which, surprisingly, means "fat". So, it is much more likely to be a Slavic loan. Of course, the whole "Lexicon" section provides no source whatsoever so I'd be very suspicious concerning its etymological grounds. --Oop (talk) 00:47, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Also, the whole article should be overviewed with some consistence in mind. E.g., it starts by declaring Romani "is any of several languages" and continues later as if describing a single language. --Oop (talk) 00:59, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

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