Articles on Romani Language

The Roma represent one of the major ethnic minorities in a large number of European countries. It is Europe’s largest transnational minority, a “non-territorial nation” of Europe. According to Guy (2003, p. 48), there are approximately between seven and eight and a half million Gypsies or Roma living in Europe, which makes them the largest European ethnic minority without a nation-state or anything that even resembles a homeland. Almost two thirds of all Roma live in the former Communist and Socialist countries of Eastern and Central Europe, including Serbia, and everywhere they live, they make up the most stigmatized and marginalized segment of the population. Due to this fact, the Roma have had very limited success in gaining national or international affirmation in Europe. As Guy (2003) puts it, one small success was in 1993, when the Council of Europe declared the Roma the true European minority.”3 It is believed that the first references to the Roma as Gypsies or Egyptians 4 go back to the 10th or 11th centuries as various medieval chronicles from the Byzantium, and later on from the Ottoman Empire mention their presence in the Balkan peninsula: allowing scholars to reconstruct an outwards migration from the Balkans beginning in the  fourteenth century, and reaching northern and western Europe in the fifteenth century” (Matras, 2002,  p. 2).

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Filipović, Jelena, Julijana Vučo, and Ljiljana Djurić. 2010. From Language Barriers to Social Capital: Serbian as the Language of Education for Romani Children. In Selected Proceedings of the 2008 Second Language Research Forum, ed. by Matthew T. Prior et al., pp. 261-275. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. Available at:


Author: Roma Center

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