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.
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.