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.