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Rom?

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  • Tony Long
    Sabina asked: Would someone which expression is better - Romany (also Romani) x Roma pro Rom, romsky? I presume the better translates as politically
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 1960
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      Sabina asked:

      'Would someone which expression is better - Romany (also Romani) x Roma pro
      Rom, romsky?'

      I presume the 'better' translates as 'politically correct and reflecting
      well on the translator' rather than what's actually used in Britain by
      people who are, or live with/around, Romany people.

      It's tricky: a classic case of usage/style ignoring and replacing 'correct'
      grammar. For example, if we stay with the Romany language, 'Rom' should be
      the masculine singular - one man; plural 'Roma'. Romani with an 'i' derives
      from the feminine and plural of 'Romano' in the Romany (note 'y') language.
      Romanes is what some linguists call the language. All this lies in that
      dangerous no-man's-land between the language 'they' speak and the one 'we'
      use.

      Google and its self-perpetuating errors apart, It might be interesting to
      note the names of a couple of organisations, both of which would probably be
      happy to give you completely different answers to your question. The one
      most engaged with fighting for Romany legal rights in the Czech Republic is
      the ERRC, the European Roma Rights Centre, and its handouts are in awful
      English (adding poignantly to the dreadful info they convey, day in, day
      out, year after year...). The Federation of European Roma is also out there,
      battling on.

      From the recent handouts of both

      'Torture] had treated 59 Cz Roma'
      '[the abuse of] Roma women'
      'Romani families [usually consist of...]'
      'treatment of Romas'
      'The Roma people'

      At a rough count based on their last twenty or so releases [what's in the
      in-box], both organisations seem to favour 'Roma' as plural and adjective,
      with 'Rom' as singular, language as 'Rom' or 'Romany'. Looking back on my
      own contributions (to the Constitutional Court, the Home Office, the Brit
      press, etc) I find that, on the whole, I do the same.

      What my Rom mates in Kent, Sussex and Brno have to say about the matter
      doesn't bear printing. But that's another story. Let us know if you get a
      definitive answer from someone credible - we're all very interested in what
      we should call each other....


      Best

      Tony
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