The following are a few sample texts, predominantly Anglo-Romani.


Extract from Romeo and Juliet translated by Donald Kendrick, quoted in 1.56/57

Romeo: Ach! Savo dud si andi kaja filiastra?

O oriento si thai Juliet si o kham.

Usti lacho kham kai mudarel o chomut,

Nasvalo thai parno si o chomut thai na mangel ke tu - leski

Kanduni - si po-lachi lestar.

Lesko uribe si zeleno thai nasvalo

Sade o dinile uraven pes andre, chude le.


A rough literal translation of this would be:

Romeo: Oh! What Light is in that window?

It is the east and Juliet is the sun.

Arise good [nice] sun and kill the moon

Sick and white is the moon that doesn't want you

Its servant is more beautiful than it

Its clothing is green [blue] and sick

Only fools dress themselves like that, throw them out.


This continues:

Na tromav. Na kerel mange duma.

Dui lache cerhaia ando bodlipen

Si len buti averthane - mangen lake jakha

Te dudaren ando lengo than

Zi kai aven palpale


I do not dare. She is not speaking to me.

Two good [nice] stars in cloudy places [the cloudiness]

They have work [jobs] elsewhere - they want her eyes

To give light in their place

Until they come back


Next, an extract from a Romani story:

The Ghosts (13.107)

So me tumenge 'kana rospxenava ada zhivd'ape varikicy Romenge. Me somas ishche tykny chxajori bersha efta-oxto. Ame samas terde kakesa Pxuroronkosa ade smolensko vesh. Tele b'el'v'el bolype azurestar sa butydyr I butydyr kerd'ape molyvitko. Syge lyja tetamas'ol i syr kontrast sa pashidyr i pashidyr jek jekxeste jagune zygzagi p'erechshingirde bolype. Pe bax, ame chxavore, zalyzhijam kashta xoc' pe kurko, pxenesas, variso zhakiri.


What I am going to tell you now has been experienced by many Gypsies. I was only a little girl of seven or eight. We camped with our uncle Pxuroronko in the forest of Smolensk. Towards evening the blue sky gradually assumed a lead colour. Soon it grew dark and as a contrast the zigzags of fire cut across the sky close to each other. Fortunately, we children had gathered such a heap of firewood that it would have been sufficient for a whole week - maybe we had a presentiment.


The following is an Anglo-Romani extract from the bible (7/Romani entry):

There was a rich mush with kushti-dicking purple togs. Every divvus his hobben was kushti. By his jigger suttied a poor mush called Lazarus. Lazarus dicked wafedi, riffly as a juk. He was ready to scran anything he could get his vasters on or kur it from the rich mush's table.

Mush -man; Kushti - good; Dicking - looking; Divvus - day; Hobben - food; Jigger - door; Sutty - sleep; Wafedi - bad; Riffly - dirty; Juk - dog; Scran - eat; Vasters - hands; Kur - steal


And another one (Luke 15.3-6) quoted in (10.17):

Jesus pukkered them this parable: "Suppose tutti's got a hundred bokros and yek of them's nasherdi. Is there a mush among the lot of you as would not muk the waver ninety-nine in the bokro-puv and jel after the nasherdi bokro till he latchers it? Karna he's latchered it he riggers it on his dummer, well-pleased he is. Karna he jels home he pukkers his friends and all the foki around: "Be happy with mandi, because I've found my nasherdi bokro.

Pukkered - told; Tutti - you; Bokro - sheep; Nasherdi - Lost (run away?); Bokro-puv - Wilderness; Jel - go; Latcher - Find; Riggers - Lays; Dummer - Shoulder; Karna - When; Foki - neighbours; Mandi - me


Finally, a poem from the Berwick Advertiser, 1910 (quoted in 11.167), indicating some of the Romani words in the Lowland Scots dialect (my mother tongue):

A 'gadgie' when he is a 'chor'

A 'jugal' always fears

For 'jugals' as a rule are kept

By 'gadgies' with big 'keirs'

(gadgie:man, chor:thief, jugal:dog, keir:house)


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This page owned, developed and maintained by Fergus Smith. Mail me with any comments, corrections, suggestions, additional information, etc. Page created 1st March 1998. Last updated 01 March 1998.