19th Edition

Romani, Vlax


A language of Romania

Alternate Names
Danubian, Gypsy, Rom, Roma, Romanese, Tsigene, Vlax Romany

238,000 in Romania (2003 UNSD). 6,000,000 to 11,000,000 Gypsies in the world (1987 I. Hancock). Total users in all countries: 476,180.



Language Status

6b (Threatened). Recognized language (2001, Local Public Administration Law No. 215, Article 40(7), others).


Sedentary Romanian, Kalderash (Coppersmith, Kalderari, Kelderashícko), Ukraine-Moldavia, Eastern Vlax Romani (Bisa), Churari (Churarícko, Sievemakers), Lovari (Lovarícko), Machvano (Machvanmcko), North Albanian, South Albanian, Serbo-Bosnian, Zagundzi, Sedentary Bulgarian, Ghagar, Grekurja (Greco), Gabor. Kalderash, Ursari, and Churari are occupational ethnonyms; Machvano is a geographical one. Other names are ‘Argintari’, silversmith and ‘Lingurari’, spoonmakers. Machvano and Serbian Kalderash have south Slavic superstratum; Russian Kalderash influenced by east Slavic, mainly Russian [rus]; Lovari influenced by Hungarian [hun]; Grekurja is probably Turkish [tur] influenced, distinct from Greek Romani dialect of Balkan Romani [rmn]. All 20 or more Vlax dialects are inherently intelligible; differences are mainly lexical and sociolinguistic (I. Hancock). A member of macrolanguage Romany [rom].

Language Use

Some children are not learning the language.

Language Development
Grammar. NT: 1984–1995.

Cyrillic script [Cyrl], used for Kalderash dialect. Latin script [Latn].

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