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English to Romani Translation

Ronald lee is an accredited specialist in the written translation of the International Vlach-Romani dialect from English to Romani which is used officially by the European Rights Centre, The EU, the UN. the International Romani Union and many other official organizations and NGOs. as well as by RomArchives blog and many universities. Ronald Lee’s major translations include Concordia University web site, Montreal, Hate Can Kill for the Toronto Hate Crimes Division of Toronto Municipal Police, the International Poetry book Like Water, an anthology of Romani women’s poetry, numerous translations for the Roma Community Centre and RomArchives blog, a site which promotes Romani art and Romani artists. Ronald Lee is the author of Learn Romani, published by Hertfordshire UP and Romani Alavari, a Romani-English and English-Romani two volume dictionary of the Vlach-Romani dialect.


“… After decades of meticulous work, and based on his combined first-hand experience as a fluent speaker, translator and interpreter, Mr. Lee recently completed the bilingual Kalderash Romani and English dictionary. I cannot stress enough the importance of this dictionary…”

Deborah Folaron
Associate Professor, Translation Studies
Concordia University
Montréal, Québec, Canada


“… a comprehensive modern dictionary of the internationalised dialect, which will serve the emerging literary and administrative language needs of the growing Romani intelligentisa…”

Professor Thomas A. Acton, M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon.), F.R.S.A., O.B.E.
Professor of Romani Studies, University of Greenwich


 

Gypsy Law – Romani Legal Traditions and Culture, ed. Walter O. Weyrauch

Approximately one thousand years ago the ancestors of the Roma left their native India. Today Roma can be found throughout the world, their distinct culture still intact in spite of the intense persecution they have endured. This authoritative collection brings together leading Romani and non-Romani scholars to examine the Romani legal system, an autonomous body of law based on an oral tradition and existing alongside dominant national legal networks.

For centuries the Roma have survived by using defensive strategies, especially the absolute exclusion of gadje (non-Roma) from their private lives, their values, and information about Romani language and social institutions. Sexuality, gender, and the body are fundamental to Gypsy law, with rules that govern being pure (vujo) or impure (marime). Women play an important role in maintaining legal customs, having the power to sanction and to contaminate, but they are not directly involved in legal proceedings.

These essays offer a comparative perspective on Romani legal procedures and identity, including topics such as the United States’ criminalization of many aspects of Gypsy law, parallels between Jewish and Gypsy law, and legal distinctions between Romani communities. The contributors raise broad theoretical questions that transcend the specific Gypsy context and offer important insights into understanding oral legal traditions. Together they suggest a theoretical framework for explaining the coexistence of formal and informal law within a single legal system. They also highlight the ethical dilemmas encountered in comparative law research and definitions of “human rights.”

The editor, Walter O. Weyrauch, is Distinguished Professor and Stephen C. O’Connell Chair of the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

This book includes the article “The Rom-Vlach Gypsies and the Kris Romani,” by Ronald Lee, as well as articles by Thomas Acton, Maureen Anne Bell, Susan Caffrey, Calum Carmichael, Angus Fraser, Martti Grönfors, Ian Hancock, Gary Mundy, Anne Sutherland and Walter O. Weyrauch, and a foreword by Angela P. Harris.

“Gypsies” in European Literature and Culture, ed. Valentina Glajar, Domnica Radulescu

published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2008

This collection investigates portrayals of “Gypsies” across British, French, Italian, German, Finish, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, and Russian cultures in canonical and nationally aclaimed texts, Holocaust survivor literature, films, and other accounts. This book exposes tensions between imagined “Gypsies” and real Romanies and uncovers a kaleidoscope of Romjani images that speak of alterity, exoticization, and idalization, as well as enmity, presecution, and human rights violations.

The collection includes an introduction by Ronald Lee entitled “Roma in Europe: ‘Gypsy’ Myth and Romani Reality – New Evidence for Romani History”, and articles by Philip Landon, Agnieszka Nance, Marilyn Schwinn Smith, Abby Bardi, Valentina Glajar, Ferdâ Asya, Lucia Cherciu, Ian Hancock, Domnica Radulescu, Aimee Kilbane and Dina Iordanova.

Romani Dictionary: Kalderash – English

“… a comprehensive modern dictionary of the internationalised dialect, which will serve the emerging literary and administrative language needs of the growing Romani intelligentsia….”

— Professor Thomas A. Acton, M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon.), F.R.S.A., O.B.E Professor of Romani Studies, University of Greenwich

As Ian Hancock notes in the introduction, this dictionary has been years in the making, and its early drafts have been in circulation among a select few for at least three decades. It should come as no surprise then that this Kalderash dictionary, by Learn Romani author Ronald Lee, is fundamentally different from many previously published Romani dictionaries: Firstly, it is compiled by a native Romani speaker; secondly, it covers and, where appropriate, differentiates European and North-American Kalderash terms; and thirdly, it is a decidedly academic quality work that does not shy away from Romani grammar. Prefaced by a grammatical primer, containing over 12,000 lexical items, and filled with countless real world examples of idiomatic usage, this book is an indispensable resource for anyone looking to learn or work with Kalderash Romani.

This dictionary must be used in conjunction with its companion volume Romani Dictionary: English – Kalderash by those learning or relearning the language in order to understand the exact meaning of many of the entries which have multiple glosses. It will also assist in translating written material from Romani to English. is designed to be compatible with the author’s previously-published Learn Romani (2005, Hatfield, University of Hertfordshire Press) and uses the same English-based phonetic alphabet. The grammatical synopsis included in this dictionary is there for quick reference. The comprehensive grammar must be studied in Learn Romani which also has 18 lessons for those learning this dialect. Both dictionaries will be combined in a bi-directional hardcover edition which is planned for 2014. This will also contain a large number of additions of neologisms and other terms needed in today’s rapidly-changing technology.

Romani Dictionary: English – Kalderash

“… a comprehensive modern dictionary of the internationalised dialect, which will serve the emerging literary and administrative language needs of the growing Romani intelligentsia….”

— Professor Thomas A. Acton, M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon.), F.R.S.A., O.B.E Professor of Romani Studies, University of Greenwich

This English-Kalderash Romani dictionary is the companion volume to the previously published Romani Dictionary: Kalderash-English. It is more copious in that it contains modernisms adapted by Romani speakers which are coming into use as native speakers communicate internationally over the Internet. On the other hand, because of the delicate shades of meaning and nuances, those learning or relearning the language need to refer back and forth between the English-Romani and the Romani-English dictionaries in order to understand the exact meaning of the entries because in many cases, multiple glosses are listed in both dictionaries.

Along with the Kalderash-English dictionary, this volume is designed to be compatible with the author’s previously-published Learn Romani (2005, Hatfield, University of Hertfordshire Press) and uses the same English-based phonetic alphabet. The grammatical synopsis included in this dictionary is there for quick reference. The comprehensive grammar must be studied in Learn Romani which also has 18 lessons for those learning this dialect. Both dictionaries will be combined in a bi-directional hardcover edition which is planned for 2014. This will also contain a large number of additions of neologisms and other terms needed in today’s rapidly-changing technology.

Lyrics for Songs on Homage to Kali Sara CD

Song lyrics and English translation for the songs on the Homage to Kali Sara CD, are available here in PDF format. Guitar chords are included for some of the songs. Click on the following link to view, print or save the lyrics file.


Get Lyrics

Note:   Depending on your computer setup the lyrics file may open in your browser or in a separate program. If you don’t have a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader or another free PDF reader installed on your computer or as a browser plugin, you will need to install one in order to open the file.

Homage to Kali Sara Sound Clips

(1) Voliv Tut Ages / Basso

Traditional folk song & dance (Canada/USA)

(2) Palechino

Traditional Romani Song (Canada/USA)

(3) La Romniasa Me Te Lav

Traditional Romani Song (South Balkans)

(4) Sara Kali

Composition by Nina B. Lee © 1998

(5) Hederlezi

Traditional Romani Song (Balkans)

(6) Rumelaj

Traditional Rumanian dance

(7) Marinella

Traditional Greek-Romani Melody

(8) Me Sim Rom

Traditional Russian-Romani Song

(9) Chiro Bezax Te Avel

Traditional Romani folk song (Canada/USA)

(10) Lenko

Traditional Romani folk song (Canada/USA)

(11) Nai Ande Wulitsa / Tumbalalaika

Traditional Romani folk song (Canada/USA)

(12) Fantaisie Andalouse / Herencia Gitana

Flamenco de Arabe arrangement by Ronald Lee

(13) Opre Roma

Original Composition by Stephan Eli Lee © 2000

(14) Djelem, Djelem (Romani Anthem)

The National Anthem of the Romani People.
Words by Zarko Jovanovic, © 1969.
Offically adopted as the Romani Anthem
at the First World Romani Congress
in London, England on April 8, 1971.
Melody traditional Serbian-Romani.

Homage to Kali Sara CD

Homage to Kali Sara is a collection of Romani Folk songs from around the world including the traditional music of the North American Roma in the Romani language and two original compositions, “Opre Roma” by Stephan Lee and “Sara Kali” by Nina B. Lee.

There are no more copies of the Homage to Kali Sara CD available. We would like to make the CD available on iTunes, but we do not know when we will be able to make this happen. In the meantime, you can listen to sound clips and download the lyrics sheets.

Some of the songs in this collection appear as examples in the book Learn Romani.

Song lyrics, along with English translations, for the songs on the Homage to Kali Sara CD, are available in PDF format. Guitar chords are included for some of the songs. You can view, print or download the lyrics from this site.

Ronald Lee: Vocals, Spanish Guitar, Bouzouki, Oudaluta and Percussion. Stephan Eli Lee: Vocals, Electric Guitar, Darbuka, Synthesizer and Percussion. Nina B. Lee: Narration in “Sara Kali”.

Kali Sara is the focus of the annual Romani pilgrimage to Les Saintes Maries de la Mer in France her statue resides in the crypt of the church. An article on the history and possible origins of the Kali Sara festival is available on this site.

“No tambourines, dancing bears or golden earrings: A Snapshot of Life in Today’s Romania” – Valeriu Nicolae

©Valeriu Nicolae, 2002, all rights reserved. Published in The Romani Diaspora in Canada: History, Culture & Equity Issues, Editor Ronald Lee et al., 2003, Canadian Scholars Institute Press, Toronto, Canada. Required Course Reading for Spring Seminar, NEW 343HI, University of Toronto.

This is what real life is about for the majority of Romanian Roma, a life most of our politicians don’t care or don’t know about.

Where ever I go people ask me where I am from. The answer is always complicated because I have to explain that although I am from Romania I am a Gypsy (Roma doesn’t say anything to most of them). In Europe, when I give this answer, people look at me like I am crazy. Gypsies are the people no one wants around: the thieves and the beggars who cheat everybody and live rich and carefree lives. But I was the manager of a respectable company with partners all over the continent. I did not prominently display any big gold rings or chains; in fact, I seemed to be absolutely normal. In North America the reaction when I say I am a Gypsy is usually “cool!” They think I must be a free spirit with some mystical ability to read their future in their palms, even though I work as a programmer. None of them know or want to know that life for the majority of Roma in Romania is a daily struggle for survival and nothing else.

Continue reading “No tambourines, dancing bears or golden earrings: A Snapshot of Life in Today’s Romania” – Valeriu Nicolae

“Roma in Romania” – Valeriu Nicolae

© Valeriu Nicolae, 2002, all rights reserved. Published in The Romani Diaspora in Canada: History, Culture & Equity Issues, Editor, Ronald Lee et al., 2003, Canadian Scholars Institute Press, Toronto, Canada. Required Course Reading for Spring Seminar, NEW 343H1, University of Toronto.

How long before we kick the whole lot out? ran the headline of a 2000 article in the UK paper The Sun, on the topic of Romanian Gypsy beggars in London. Romania is the country with the largest Gypsy population in Europe. An unbelievable 84% of Romanians declare adversity towards Gypsies in polls conducted by the European Union.

A few days ago an EU politician asked me what more could Europe do to solve the “Gypsy problem”. I answered with the following joke, to point out that so far Europe has done almost nothing to solve the problem:

Continue reading “Roma in Romania” – Valeriu Nicolae