[[[Portal:Rmc|rmc]]] Activate new language: Carpathian Romani - ''romaňi čhib''

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I can probably add it.

Are there any other websites in this language?

Is it distinct from the language at https://rmy.wikipedia.org ?

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)12:31, 30 November 2020
  • Vlax Romani [rmy] is another Romani language, spoken more to the South (mainly in the Balkans and some Southern parts of Hungary and Southwest Romania or Moldavia, or Macedonia and Northern Greece). It is the most spoken Romani language. It is usually written in the Latin script (rarely with the Cyrillic script except in Macedonia, or the Greek script except in Northern Greece).
  • It is distinguished from Central Romani or Carpathian Romani [rmc], spoken more to the North (mainly in the Northern parts of Hungary, and in Slovakia, Poland and most parts of Bulgaria and Romania and Western Ukraine; its southernmost area is in Serbia). It is most frequently written with the Latin script, but may be written with the Cyrillic script in Servia, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

It is not clear which Romani language is used in Wikipedia, it is very likely that it is effectively the Vlax variant as it is the most developed one with a written tradition.

Central Romani however has suffered from the split of scripts used in its area. Today, both languages are in contact and probably mixed/confused in Hungary where this Indo-European language is very distant from the dominant Finno-Uralic language Hungarian (but with some better proximity with Slavic languages: Slovenian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Polish). Some contacts are also in Romania.

Central Romani (like all Romani languages) has made lots of borrowings (lexically and grammatically) from the domaininat languages they were in contact with, but with many more differences for Central Romani because there's big differences between domainant languages in its area; Central Romani has also been a lot influenced by Turkish (during the Ottoman Empire), but less than Vlax Romani.

However the main distinction between the two languages is their date of migrations: Central Romani is more ancient and borrowed more words from Persian, and some older borrowings from Armenian and Georgian, then later from Turkish, whereas Vlax Romani has been influenced by Turkish for a more longer time.

The two Romani languages have clear phonetic differences from their very different times of migrations (and with contacts with different old empires). Today however they are now a lot influenced by the dominant language. And in Hungary it is sufficiently dictinct to have kept its original distinction than everywhere else in the Latin-Romanic, Germanic, and Slavic areas.

Both languages were not written at all for centuries, and most efforts for writing them and develop an orthography first occured in the former Yugoslavia and in Bulgaria and Ukraine (during the USSR regime) only in the XXth century (after WW1 and the collapse of the former Ottoman Empire), so they were written in the Cyrillic script (for a short time). Today most efforts are using the Latin script (but there's still not been any attempt to develop a common orthography, orthographies being mostly driven by conventions used for the dominant languages): Hungarian and Polish use very different systems for the Latin script, so do the orthographies of Central Romani.

For Vlax Romani it is simpler. because there's some good degree of agreement between Croatian, Slovenian, Latin-Serbian, Slovakian, along with German and Italian during the former Austro-Hungarian empire (Macedonian and Albanian or Turkish did not contribute a lot and there was a strong resistance with the former Turkish empire; Romani people have migrated a lot to escape the ruling of former empires when they were too much brutal against minorities, and as their languages were no written, the tradition were kept orally and Romanis have always been very protectful for their oral culture and keeping united; this is still true today in every country where they live now, in well-defined communities but without clear borders).

So Central Romani / Carpathian Romani (rmc] still has no real support in Wikipedia like Vlax Romani. Its development as a written language is very recent, since the democratisation of Eastern Europe and notably in Romania at end of the 1990's. Vlax Romani was less threatened since longer time in Italy, Switzerland, France and Spain, along the Mediterranean Sea coasts where Vlax Romani people were constantly relocating (and in Germany and Austria only after WW2, some now being travelling as well into Egypt and even in America).

Getting access to litteracy has been long for all Romanis, and it is still difficult for them to get good education in schools not well prepared to receive people constant travelling across countries. However the internet and mobile networks are changing things radically for them: they can now communicate more easily and get some support internationally to preserve their culture in the written form.

Given all this, [rmc] merits its own development, distinctly from Vlax Romani [rmy]. However [rmc] may need to be supported in two scripts: Latin and Cyrillic (for use in Bulgaria, and possibly Ukraine). For religious use however the Latin script is favored (most Romanis are fervent Roman Catholic today, rather than Orthodox Christians, and the Bible has been the best written reference for them, beside oral celebrations).

Verdy p (talk)03:59, 1 December 2020

I don't have such linguistic knowledge as Verdy p, but working and communicating with Romanis from Slovakia, I can tell that they do not understand vlax romani. An other important point is the recent strong influence of the majority language in the romani language which of course differs from every country. In Slovakia and Czechia, romani use a Czechoslovak standardized writing which is different from the international one, unknown by romani except by few specialist. Spoken with several people, we choose to use the Czechoslovak standard to Start the wikipedia project to be understood by the largest northern central romani people and get the latest audience as possible. As reference there is the today's most complete Slovak-Romani dictionary (isbn 978-80-970999-0-9). But in the future, I would be good to support the two Latin scripts Czechoslovak and international.

Adehertogh (talk)21:50, 2 December 2020

Note that independantly of the ISO 639 classifgication of Romani languages, they are **independant** ofd their written forms which vary greatly: Traditionally these languages have been used orally, witgh strong enough differences in their oral forms to be encoded separately. Its classification however complicates a lot if you take the written forms, because they have *no* standard. As well the oral languages are constantly adapted locally with the dominant language with which they coexist, so much that there are many things borrowed unformally: these broowing may be lexical (and often persist in their tradition) but also grammatical (these are much less persistant, and the same people may change these depending on where they are or travel: so beside the "pure" language spoken by the community themselsves in their own families, when they travel and communicate with others, they constantly adpt their language to other speakers, including with the various gipsy or travellers communities). It should be noted that Romanis people are very frequently multilingual, because they travel a lot across countries (that's why it is often hard for them to adopt a nationality in Europe, and why they are also often discriminated, for not adopting any national standard; still there are some Romani communities that have been settled and have stopped migrating: these settled non-migrant communities are most common in South-Eastern Europe (notably in Romania and Bulgaria, but as well in some other places much further, such as Egypt and US, where they have more or less adopted some national standards, and then started to develop a strong local dialect very influenced by the local language such as English and Arabic).

In the United Kingdom, the Romani travelers have largely settled and their inherited familial language has then adopted the local English language so much that their language initially forming a very distinct dialect has become a minority language then threatened: Welsh Romani for example is now considered almost extinct: it iinitially adopted a local form based on the regional Welsh language, but as Welsh itself was threatened and remlaced by English, the Welsh Romani has disappeared, and there remains just English with some Romani terminology more or less adapted. Angloromani also has almost disappeared as well. Now Ropmani travelers may come to Britain, but most of them are Vlax Romani or Central Romani people which may cross the English Channel only for a few months, or for temporary familial or festive or religious events (they will often come from France, Belgium or Germany).

Anyway this topic is about [rmc] (Central/Carpathian Romani): yes it is very distinct from Vlax Romani [rmy]. But it's almost impossible to assert which language it is precisely in the writtern form. As well most Romani peopl use the Latin script, but this= is not universal: the Cyrillic and Greek scripts are used as well (there was an attempt done in Russia, Belarussia and Ukraine) to develop a standard based on Cyrillic, and sometimes iot may be used for a few Romani languages: this Cyrrilic form may have been used during the USSR, where Romani people were isolated from Western Europe, but now they are in contact again with other Romani people in Romania and Turkey, and now throughout the European Union where they can travel freely: the Cyrillic script is now almost no longer used except in Western Russia where there is a significant Romani community settled since long.

(I don't know if Romani people settled in Egypt use now the Arabic script; but it is very likely to occur if they have converted from Christianism to Islam).

Verdy p (talk)07:06, 3 December 2020

Trying again:

Are there any other websites in this language? :)

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)11:29, 4 December 2020

A few page written in Carpathian Romani on the internet:

Adehertogh (talk)22:30, 4 December 2020

OK, thanks.

Here's what I'm wondering about. We already have the Vlax Romani language (code rmy), and in the list of langauges it's called "romani čhib". In the links that you sent me, I can see that the language is called "romanes" or "romaňi čhib". The name "romaňi čhib" is not identical, but very similar to "romani čhib". Is there perhaps a name that I can give it, so that it will be easily distinguishable from "romani čhib" for people who will see both in the same list? Would the name "romanes" be acceptable, or is it also ambiguous?

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)13:59, 6 December 2020

Note that even if the languages are different, the pople using them may still colloquiially call it often the same way as they have somme common origin and they may forget to give the distinction. However the term "Romanes" is, apparently only used to refer to the people (ethnonym) as a group (where as "Rom" or "Ram" refers to an individual man or women) , not to the language or culture. In "romani čhib" the important term to see is "čhib" which explicitly says this is a language, but nothing else.

So for Vlax Romani, the translation as "romani čhib" does not designates explicitly it is the Vlax variant, it could be used as well for any other Romani language. And it you look at [Portal:Rom], refering to the macrolanguage "Romani", you'll see that it also has "romani čhib".

We then still need a better translation for "Vlax Romani" (than "romani čhib" which is jsut a short convenient designation used by people in their own community only, but probably not when they speak with other Romani communities and want to better identify their own language; however most Romani people are multilingual already and constantly adapt their language to their other locutors and where they live or go, so probably they also adapt their own Romani language as well to the other variants, and the simple idea of making these distinctions may seem "strange" for some of them, notably for those that are used to travel frequently across borders several times a year, and whose children go to schools in various countries with various official/national languages they are forced to learn too instead of Romani which remains a strong language in their family and that resists because, unlike the major languages they're forced to use in each country, thir familial language remains stable across their frequent travels).

And today there are less restrictions forbidding them to travel, and in Europe there are many laws forcing municipalities to create suitable meeing points and camping sites for travelers (Romani or not): there are also lot of other European natives that need to travel for their work, notably lot working seasonally in agriculture/forestry, tourism, arts, or building industry; as well they have families and must have access to schools for their children, which may then become multilingual if they travel across national borders (very frequent now in Europe whose internal borders are still wide open, even with the temporary restrictions related to COVID-19.).

Romani languages is then more threatened for settled Romanis, than it is for nomadic Romanis which can naturally preserve their language in well-defined familial communities, independantly of national borders.

So we still need better, more stinctive native names for Romani languages. For now [rom] (Romani "macrolanguage") and Vlax Romani share the same ambiguous name. I think that only the current translation for [rom] is correct. We need better native names for all the listed variants (notablyt because they are in fact not really mutually intelligible: different Romanu people using them will interact partly but most often using another non-Romani language, such as one of the major languages for the place where they are currently, or where they send their children to local schools: they can speak German, French, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian or Russian in their meetings, and will just learn a few words from other Romanes they meet and use them temporarily...).

Verdy p (talk)16:06, 6 December 2020

"romani čhib" and "romaňi čhib" both means "romani language" (rom) without specification within the romani languages. The population use to say they speak Romani without any specification even if they do not, for have difficulties to understand other Romani. For Carpathian Romani, it's possible to translate "Carpathian Romani language" by "Karpatcko romaňi čhib". It's certainly not often used and long but native speakers will understand that it's the "Eastern Slovak and around Romani". Romanes as wrote Verdy p is not correct and also ambiguous. Maybe, I should try to ask at the Romani for Romani studies at the university of Prešov which term they use.

Adehertogh (talk)18:56, 8 December 2020

Thank you. Are there any websites or books that use "Karpatcko romaňi čhib"? I'd love to see an example of how it's used.

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)10:25, 14 December 2020

Hi, I'm back after exchanging information with Viktor Elšík specialist of the romani dialects at the Charles University in Prague https://ling.ff.cuni.cz/en/viktor-elsik/ about how to name the romani language used. If the ISO code is the right one to use for this particular romani language/dialect, the question of the name is much more complicated and he had no clear answer. The term romaňi čhib is the one that north central romani uses when south central uses romani čhib (the same as the Vlax Romani uses. Of course, not only the north central romani uses romaňi čhib. The romani language used is the standardized romani language form 2008 in Slovakia and Czechia based on the most widespread dialect of the central romani: the East Slovak Romani. This standardized East Slovak Romani is used by governmental communication, national medias...

In the scientific publication, the term north central romani language is used, in English, Slovak, but is not yet translated in romani. The term carpathian romani is not used any more by the scientific community and had never been used by the romani speakers.

If you ask a Romani speakers with language he speaks he will always answer Romaň/ni čhib no matter the dialect he speaks. To differentiate they will add the name of the country Slovakian Romani vs Romanian Romani, Spiš Romani vs Abov Romani (Spiš and Abov are traditional regions in Slovakia) no matter the dialect they speak. In Slovakia about 85% of Romani speakers speak Central Romani mainly North central Romani but the Vlax Romani speaker (10% of romani speakers) will also answer Slovak Romani even if they will hardly understand each other.

In conclusion, a translation of North Central Romani or East Slovak Romani would be maybe the best but not used at the present time in romani communities. Where North Central Romani cover the all area but is an academic term and East Slovak Romani is reducing the language area which is larger than only East Slovakia but a bit less academic and identify the variety of North Central Romani used for standardisation.

A last question is the max possible length of the language name North Central Romani in Romani is about 30 characters.

Adehertogh (talk)12:25, 31 January 2021


I fully enabled the language here on translatewiki to avoid further delays. (I also added a list of useful things to translate to your talk page, and I hope it's useful.)

I did it with the name "romaňi čhib", which appears to be the most useful at the moment. However, it's quite similar to other varieties of "Romani", and this may be confusing when they appear in one list of languages. I guess that it doesn't often happen within one country; for example, when people work with websites or documents in Slovakia, people probably choose from a short list that includes Slovak, Hungarian, and Romani, and then it's clear which variety of Romani it is. However, on translatewiki and on Wikipedia and other related projects, many more languages appear, and this includes other varieties of Romani, and then it may get difficult. So please try to think of a better name that won't be confusing, and let me know if you come up with something nice. I am reluctant about adding country names like "romaňi čhib (Slovakia)", but if other websites commonly do something like this, then maybe we can consider of something like that here, too.

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)09:38, 22 February 2021