Following 18 carefully structured lessons, this Romani language primer explores the vocabulary and grammar of the Kalderash Roma in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Designed for beginner students, this course reference begins with the basic verbs and nouns and builds through to the subtler grammatical necessities of reading and speaking the language. Quotations from native speakers, poems, songs, proverbs, and folktales add to the cultural and historical understanding of the language.
This course of Romani language lessons is intended both for Romani people who wish to re-learn their ancestral language in its modern form and for non-Roma who want to learn Romani. Romani has many dialects and no standard written form; this course is based on the Romani language as spoken by the Kalderash Roma in Europe, the US, Canada, and Latin America – a native speaker of a particular Kalderash dialect can usually converse fluently with any other Kalderash speaker. Kalderash-Romani belongs to the Vlax-Romani group of dialects which evolved in central Europe before spreading all over the world. Speakers of Vlax-Romani dialects far outnumber speakers of any other Romani dialect worldwide. The phonetic system used is based on English and is designed to be understood by English speakers, and any grammatical and linguistic terms are clearly explained.
Eighteen lessons take the student from the basic declensions of verbs and nouns, gradually building up vocabulary and grammar, through to the later lessons which fill in the subtler points of this rich language. Romani is a living language, borrowing vigorously from the languages of the countries where its native speakers find themselves. Quotations from native speakers are printed throughout the book to give a flavour of authenticity, as are poems, songs, proverbs and folk tales which the student will gradually be able to understand.
Bibliographer Edward Proctor has provided a comprehensive list of source materials for further study of Kalderash and related dialects for the interested student.