- Sabina asked:
'Would someone which expression is better - Romany (also Romani) x Roma pro
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'
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,
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....