09 July 2012

Learning to speak the Roma Language

Each weekday at Amala School we will have Roma language lessons in addition to solo and group music tutors.

If I think learning music by ear along with new fingering and scales will be a good challenge, the Roma language lessons probably will eclipse everything.

The following text and alphabet were copied from a great website, http://www.omniglot.com/writing/romany.htm. I personally lay no claim to the information since I am totally ignorant about the language of the Serbian/Romani (Gypsy) people. However, Amala School, Veljevo, Serbia, should take care of that.

Romany, or Romani, is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 5-6 million Roma people throughtout Europe and the USA. The largest concetration of Roma people live in Romania. In English these people are often called Gypsies. The language is closely related to the languages of northern India, particularly Punjabi, and the Roma are thought to have originally come from that region. Some people consider Romany to be a group of dialects while others think there are several, closely-related Romany languages.

The Muslim invasions of the northern part of the Indian subcontinent around 1000 AD resulted in massive movements of populations, probably including the ancestors of the Roma, who are thought to have moved into Anatolia. In 1300, after the Mongolian invasion of Europe, the Roma moved west into Europe and took up a mainly nomadic lifestyle.

Romany alphabet (Romani šib)
This is the official standard alphabet for Romany. It was standardized in 1990 at the Fourth World Romani Congress in Serock, Poland. This alphabet is used by all the Romany languages/dialects except Carpathian Romany and Finnish Romany.


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