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How to get started with the "gypsy" languages?

Posted: 2018-11-10, 6:17
by langmon
I am wondering how to get started with the "gypsy" languages.

And as for using the quotation marks, I intentionally did so, because I am not sure what really is implied by this word.

In German, for example, one wouldn't call them "Zigeuner" that easily, because it means something like "[herum-]ziehende Gauner", i.e. something like "moving gangsters" even.

This question is solely being asked because of the desire of being able to communicate with others in their native language, at least at a very basic level.

Re: How to get started with the "gypsy" languages?

Posted: 2019-02-24, 19:06
by SamoSamNina
You're right to put it in quotes because there's a lot of contention around the G-word. While I presume you have maybe looked into it, here's a good launching pad on why a number of people don't appreciate its usage in English.

As per the language itself, there are some key things to keep in mind. One of the key thing is that there is no standardization, and there are a fair few variants. Not that there aren't patterns, but there are definite dialectic differences, as can be assumed based on this map

Relatedly, the aren't always standardizations for the variants in specific countries, even. Romani tends to interact a great deal with local languages. Resources are also ridiculously hard to find. One of the only things I've seen so far in print include resources by Ian Hancock and Ronald Lee, but those are with their limitations too. If you have specific communities in mind with which you'd want to communicate, you'd probably be better off trying to learn from someone in that community who speaks it. Here in Macedonia there are some 6-7 dialects and only a small handful of resources, so most of my learning is from those few resources (specific to stuff here) and having a tutor who is a native speaker, and people with whom I can practice.

It's an awesome language, but there just aren't many resources. Good luck!