Romani, Vlax


A language of Romania

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

246,000 in Romania (2014 UNSD). 6,000,000 to 11,000,000 Roma worldwide (1987 I. Hancock). Total users in all countries: 538,480.


Caras-Severin and Dolj counties: largest concentrations; scattered elsewhere south and southeast.

Language Status

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


Sedentar Romani, Kalderash (Coppersmith, Kalderari, Kelderash, Kelderashícko), Ukraine-Moldavia, Eastern Vlax Romani (Bisa), Churari (Churarícko, Sievemakers), Lovari (Lovarícko), Machvano (Machvanmcko), Serbo-Bosnian, Zagundzi, Sedentary Bulgarian, Ghagar, Gabor, Vallachian. Kalderash 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; Lovari influenced by Hungarian [hun]. 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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