A Glossary of Romani Terms
The following is a glossary of words occurring in the essays in this volume, plus a number of others directly or indirectly relevant to the topics dealt with. Where they represent usage in different dialects, this has been indicated.
Romani orthography, and indeed the Romani language itself, is only now in the process of being standardized. The spelling used here has been regularized according to the system outlined in Ian F. Hancock, A Handbook of Vlax Romani (Slavica Publishers, Columbia, Ohio, 1995). Briefly, the letters and letter combinations have the following values in Kalderash Vlax: [j] is like English “y, ” [c] like “ts, ” [s] like “sh, ” [c] and [tj] both like “ch, ” [z] like “s” in “pleasure, ” [dz] like [z] with the tongue curled back, [ch] like [s] with the tongue curled back, [dj] like English “j, ” [r] a flapped or trilled “r” as in Scottish English, [rr] a throat “r” as in French, [x] like “ch” in German “Achtung. ” [v] sounds like “w” for many speakers. The stressbearing vowel is marked with a grave accent.
[Throughout this volume no effort has been made to standardize the spelling of Romani words. Thus, variations in spelling occasionally occur, depending on the preferences of the individual contributors. Ed.]