Romani/Gypsy: Comparison with Indian languages

SofiaB

Senior Member
English Asia
I am posting some words and phrases in Romanes. I would like to know how similar they are to North Indian languages. Are they recognisable?

I= Me/men/man you= tu you plural= tume we= ame he/she= voy they= von
Numbers: yek, duy, trin, shtar, panj, shov, yefta, okhto, inya, desh,/11 deshu yek,12 deshu duy .20 bish, 21bish tay yek,22 bish tay duy.30 tranda,31 tranda tay yek,40 shtar var desh, 41,shtar var desh tay yek..,50 panj var desh…..
Greeting= droboy tu , sar san tu? How are you? Mishto sim nayis tuke=fine thank you
I love you= me kamav tu. Del,Devel=God, ja devlesa=go with God, jav tumesa I am going with you. Big= baro, small= cino, black=kaloh,white=parnoh
 
  • DrLindenbrock

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I am posting some words and phrases in Romanes. I would like to know how similar they are to North Indian languages. Are they recognisable?

    I= Me/men/man you= tu you plural= tume we= ame he/she= voy they= von
    Numbers: yek, duy, trin, shtar, panj, shov, yefta, okhto, inya, desh,/11 deshu yek,12 deshu duy .20 bish, 21bish tay yek,22 bish tay duy.30 tranda,31 tranda tay yek,40 shtar var desh, 41,shtar var desh tay yek..,50 panj var desh…..
    Greeting= droboy tu , sar san tu? How are you? Mishto sim nayis tuke=fine thank you
    I love you= me kamav tu. Del,Devel=God, ja devlesa=go with God, jav tumesa I am going with you. Big= baro, small= cino, black=kaloh,white=parnoh

    I can make some comparison with Persian (the one spoken in Iran), which is strongly linked to Northern Indian languages (I won't write down all the story, it would be out of the scope of this thread ;) ).

    So, their seems to be a strong resemblance in:
    I = man
    You (singular) = to (informal)
    We = mâ
    Numbers in Persian
    1 Yek
    2 Do
    3 Se
    4 Chahâr
    5 Panj
    6 Shesh (or Shash, maybe both forms exist?)
    7 Haft
    8 Hasht
    9 No
    10 Da
    11 Yâzda
    12 Davâzda
    ...
    20 Bist
    21 Bist o yek (o = and, normally it would be "va" but in many cases it becomes "o")

    The similarities seem quite a bit to just be a coincidence, but the rest of the vocabulary and sentence structure seems quite different.
     

    SofiaB

    Senior Member
    English Asia
    DrLindenbrock, Yes they are very much like Persian.

    Here are more words some are like Indic languages

    Luvu/loveh- money – lovara a tribe’s name
    Churi-knife-churara a tribe’s name

    Chor-steal/thief :
    Choom/chooma- kiss
    Jib- tonge jib -live jan- know man chi janav- I do not know
    Lon- salt pani- water

    Pukkar -say,tell pen –sister ,prala-brother
    Divus-day dekh-look gav- town o sap-the snake
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    Loon is salt in panjabi. A rustic word in my opinion so I am suprised to see the connection with Romani. I wonder how their pronunciation is. And do they write with devanagri?
     

    SofiaB

    Senior Member
    English Asia
    Loon is salt in panjabi. A rustic word in my opinion so I am suprised to see the connection with Romani. I wonder how their pronunciation is. And do they write with devanagri?
    lon=loon pronunciation. It has no writing system until recently and even still many Rom were/are illiterate.Those who can write use the alphabet of the country they are in, French,Russian,etc.
    Is that the only word that you recognise? What about the numbers? I know that chor is also Hindi. Romanes has many Slovic words as well.
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    That word stood out me especially because of its relation to a village Panjabi term. There were plenty others that stood out to me. When I get around to it, I'll post a more thorough post on those words and the Hindi for them.
     

    Arianton

    New Member
    Basque Country/Belgium Basque
    My granfather is Roma, but he was adopted by a romanian couple thus he never learned to speak Romani. He did however study some when he was older. But I say that there is of course going to be a relationship between Romani words and words from Indic languages since the Roma came from that part of the world! The dialects of Romani are so different...I mean the Roma are mostly in the east and north and then there are the gitanos!
     

    karuna

    Senior Member
    Latvian, Latvia
    There recently was an article in Latvian media about Roma people celebrating their autumn festival called "Šarad". And I know that šarad means "autumn" in Sanskrit or Hindi.
     

    dekkoman

    New Member
    hindi, india
    Wow,
    this is pretty amazing.
    Yeah, there seems to be more than a casual connection between 'ROMANI' and NI languages such as HINDI but particularly BHOJPURI and MARWARI.

    How, two sets of languages separated by 4K miles can be this similar is beyond me; but it shows that we're all the same.

    AnimeshG
    Tulsa, OK
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    क्या आप ज़रा उदाहरण दे सकते हैं कि भोजपुरी और मारवारी में कौनसे शब्द सामान हैं?
     

    dekkoman

    New Member
    hindi, india
    क्या आप ज़रा उदाहरण दे सकते हैं कि भोजपुरी और मारवारी में कौनसे शब्द सामान हैं?

    mein maafi chahata hoon.
    I'm not a linguist or even an interested amateur; and was generally surfing when I chanced upon this forum.

    Reading some posts, i had a random thought that marwari, bhojpuri had some words similar to the roma language.

    To be honest I'd be hardpressed to remember any marwari words...:)
    ciao..
     

    MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    Some comparisons I have seen. The Farsi numbers are closer .
    Hindi numbers Ek,do,tin,char,panch,che,sat,okht,nau,das 1-2,20 bis
    Tu and tum for you man=I barra=big black=kala Romani baro and kalo
    Manush is man in Romani and manukh in Punjabi and manus in Hindi
    Sinti a Romani group the name is supposed to com from Sindhi in Pakistan
    There are more words similar to Romani from Sindhi.
     

    dekkoman

    New Member
    hindi, india
    For starters, i'd be very interested to know the Romani/Farsi equivalents for the following words. So go ahead if you have a few minutes

    Old (Vridha)
    Tree (Vriksha)--
    Year (Varsh)--
    God (Bhagwan/Khuda)--
    Time (samay)---
    South (Dakshin)
    North (Uttar)



    I read somewhere that there was a word called 'Kshetra' in persian and was pretty surprised?
     

    dev12jan

    New Member
    India - Hindi & English
    I= Me/men/man - Main (Hindi)

    you= tu - Tu (Surprisingly same even pronunciation in Hindi) - Same is spanish too

    you plural= tume - Tumhe (Hindi)

    we= ame - Hame (Hindi)

    he/she= voy -

    they= von - Voh (Hindi)

    Numbers:
    Ek
    Do
    Teen
    Char
    Paanch
    che
    saat
    aath
    noo
    das - 10
    gyarah - 11
    bis - 20
    ekis - 21
    this - 30
    ektis - 31

    Greeting= droboy tu , sar san tu? How are you? - Kaise hay?

    Mishto sim nayis tuke=fine thank you - Bahut aache, Dhanyawad


    I love you= me kamav tu.

    Del,Devel=God, - Bhagwan, Ishwar, Devta (Male), Devi (Female)

    ja devlesa=go with God,

    jav tumesa I am going with you. - Main tumhare saath jaaounga


    Big= baro, - Bara

    small= cino, - Chota

    black=kaloh, - Kala (Negro - Spanish)

    white=parnoh
    [/QUOTE] - Safed (Blanco - Spanish)



    एक वचन के संज्ञावाची शब्द जो हिन्दी मे आकारांत होते हैं, राजस्थानी भाषा में ये शब्द ओकारांत हो जाते हैं। जैसे, कुत्ता (हिन्दी) - कुत्तो (राजस्थानी), पोमचा (हिन्दी) - पोमचो (राजस्थानी).

    I am surprised to see the similarity of current/ recent marwari words which we use in our day to day life being part of Romany language. This is giving me an additional impetus to research my native language and grammer and apply it to learn something different.

    Few instances quoted by me to illustrate:
    čirikli - the bird Hindi – Chiriya, Marwari – Chirkali, Sanskrit – Pakshi, Vihag, Khag

    2. Mas – Flesh – MAAS in hindi
    3. Bal – Hair – BAL in Hindi
    4. Rat – Blood – RAKT in Hindi (Rudhir in Sanskrit)
    5. Nakh – Nose – Nak in Hindi (Nasika in Sanskrit)
    6. jakh – Eye – Aakh in Hindi (chakshu in Sanskrit)
    7. čhib – Tongue – Jhib in Hindi (Jihvaa in Sanskrit)
    8. Dand – Tooth – Dant in Hindi (Dantaa in Sanskrit)
    9. naj – Fingernail – Nakh in Hindi
    10. jílo – Heart – Hiye/ hiya in Marwari – dil in Hindi – Hridaya in Sanskrit


    I am posting some words and phrases in Romanes. I would like to know how similar they are to North Indian languages. Are they recognisable?




    I= Me/men/man you= tu you plural= tume we= ame he/she= voy they= von
    Numbers: yek, duy, trin, shtar, panj, shov, yefta, okhto, inya, desh,/11 deshu yek,12 deshu duy .20 bish, 21bish tay yek,22 bish tay duy.30 tranda,31 tranda tay yek,40 shtar var desh, 41,shtar var desh tay yek..,50 panj var desh…..
    Greeting= droboy tu , sar san tu? How are you? Mishto sim nayis tuke=fine thank you
    I love you= me kamav tu. Del,Devel=God, ja devlesa=go with God, jav tumesa I am going with you. Big= baro, small= cino, black=kaloh,white=parnoh
     

    samarth01

    New Member
    Hindi&English&Braj
    Hi i am from north india...to be specific slight northwest of delhi....i can understand everything!!!! well apart from few that is

    the way its said in my region
    braj/rajasthani

    big=baro
    small=choto/chotu/cino
    white=goroh
    god=dev
    go=jav/(in hindi-jao)
    with you-tumesa (in hindi-tumhare saath)
    i love you is not exactly spoken as "me kamav tu" now in my region but i do understand it me=i kamav=(may derive from kama=love/sex) tu=you
    greeting is one which i cant really understand although mishto sim sounds like "sweet me" which in a sense may be interpreted as i am well.
    i=me/men/main
    you=tu
    plural you=tum log/tume
    we=ame/ami
    he/she does not match any language i know :p
     

    Epilio

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    I can add some words and expressions from the Caló, which is a creole language derived from mixing amongst Romani (or some dialect thereof) and the Iberian languages of Latin origin (mainly Spanish). It is, or rather was, spoken by the Spaniard Gypsies.

    Unfortunately the book I have doesn't offer many explanations; the author merely scribbled the words as he heard them.

    I - man, mangue, menda (this one is a dative form according to the Spanish Dictionary).
    You - tucué, tué
    He - ó, ondolé
    It - andayó
    We - amangue, mú
    You - sangué
    They - junós

    Man - gachó
    Woman - gachí, rumí
    Boy - chabó
    Girl - chabí
    White - parnó, plasnó
    Black - gayardó, gresnó, gelfe

    Tooth - dans, daní
    Tongue - chipí
    Nose - napia, ñaclé
    Foot - pinré
    Leg - pachimachí, jeriá
    Arm - murciá

    God - Batimují, Debel, Ondebel

    Grande - baró, baré (masc.), barí (fem.)
    Pequeño - chimó, nebaró

    To go - najar, chalar.
    To be - sinar
    To like - molar
    To love - camelar

    Good morning - lachós chibeses
    Good afternoon - lachís tasatás
    Good night - lachís tarachís
    Thank you - garapatís
    Thank you very much - baribustris garapatís

    One - Yequé
    Two - Duís
    Three - Trin
    Four - Ostar, sistar, star
    Five - Panché
    Six - Jobe, jol, zoy
    Seven - Eftá, ester, esñá
    Eight - Jorbe, otor
    Nine - Esniá, nebel
    Ten - Esdén, deque, azará
    Eleven - yesdeque
    Twelve - Duideque
    Twenty - Bin
    Thirty - Trianda
    Forty - Ostardí
    Fifty - Panchardí
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Romany is an Indo-Aryan languages, but the Gypsies borrowed a lot of words from the countries through which they passed, including Persian, Greek, Slavic languages etc.

    The language spoken by the Gypsies in Spain is not Romany. In its grammar it is Spanish, but it uses lots of Romany words.
     

    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Moderator note:

    Please discuss grammatical issues and word usages when comparing languages and avoid lists which are not allowed in the forum.

    All posts detailing mere lists shall be deleted from now on!
     

    Jafri

    New Member
    Urdu
    I am posting some words and phrases in Romanes. I would like to know how similar they are to North Indian languages. Are they recognisable?

    I= Me/men/man you= tu you plural= tume we= ame he/she= voy they= von
    Numbers: yek, duy, trin, shtar, panj, shov, yefta, okhto, inya, desh,/11 deshu yek,12 deshu duy .20 bish, 21bish tay yek,22 bish tay duy.30 tranda,31 tranda tay yek,40 shtar var desh, 41,shtar var desh tay yek..,50 panj var desh…..
    Greeting= droboy tu , sar san tu? How are you? Mishto sim nayis tuke=fine thank you

    I love you= me kamav tu. Del,Devel=God, ja devlesa=go with God, jav tumesa I am going with you. Big= baro, small= cino, black=kaloh,white=parnoh
    Interesting to see 22 = "bish tay duy".
    The word 'tay' obviously means 'and'.

    But 'and' is translated as 'aur' in Urdu/Hindi. There are only two South Asian languages I know which translate 'and' as 'tay'. Punjabi or Seraiki.

    It looks like Romani people were originally Punjabi/ Seraiki nomads, and not Urdu/Hindi speakers.
     

    cHr0mChIk

    Member
    Serbian (maternal); Slovak (paternal)
    For starters, i'd be very interested to know the Romani/Farsi equivalents for the following words. So go ahead if you have a few minutes

    Old (Vridha)
    Tree (Vriksha)--
    Year (Varsh)--
    God (Bhagwan/Khuda)--
    Time (samay)---
    South (Dakshin)
    North (Uttar)



    I read somewhere that there was a word called 'Kshetra' in persian and was pretty surprised?

    I know this post is 14 years ago but it hasn't been answered yet 😅

    In Romani, it's the following:

    Old: phuro (animate); purano (inanimate)
    Tree: rukh
    Year: bersh
    God: Devel
    Time: vakto
    South: sudo
    North: nordo
     
    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Dib

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Interesting to see 22 = "bish tay duy".
    The word 'tay' obviously means 'and'.
    This is very likely "bisht a duy", bisht for Persian bist and 'ay' for 'a' and duy for Persian 'do'.

    In Iran 22 and 65 can be pronounced : bist o/e/a do, shasht o/e/a panj where, depending on the accent, o/e/a stands for 'and'.
     
    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Dib

    cHr0mChIk

    Member
    Serbian (maternal); Slovak (paternal)
    This is very likely "bisht a duy", bisht for Persian bist and 'ay' for 'a' and duy for Persian 'do'.

    In Iran 22 and 65 can be pronounced : bist o/e/a do, shasht o/e/a panj where, depending on the accent, o/e/a stands for 'and'.

    In my dialect of Romani we say "bish-u-duy", but other dialects say "bish thay duy" (which is literally "twenty and two")

    "Bish" (just like "duy") is a common Indo-Iranian word. Romani is an Indic language after all.
    In Urdu/Hindi it's "bis" but in Bengali it's "bish" which is closer to Romani.
     
    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Dib

    cHr0mChIk

    Member
    Serbian (maternal); Slovak (paternal)
    Just to make sure, are you saying 'thay' means 'and' in that dialect?

    Also what is 25 and 28 in your & other dialect please?

    Yes "thay" means "and" in almost all Romani dialects, but my dialect says "hem" (this word comes originally from Persian, through Ottoman Turkish).

    25 = bish-u-panj / bish thay panj
    28 = bish-u-ofto / bish thay oxto
     
    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Dib

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Thanks for this.
    Eight in both dialects sounds closer to Greek oct than the Persian Hash. But ‘u’ is very close to Persian o/u for ‘and’.

    Yes "thay" means "and" in almost all Romani dialects, but my dialect says "hem" (this word comes originally from Persian, through Ottoman Turkish).
    I am not familiar with “hem” as a Persian word for ‘and’, are sure about this?
     
    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Dib

    cHr0mChIk

    Member
    Serbian (maternal); Slovak (paternal)
    Thanks for this.
    Eight in both dialects sounds closer to Greek oct than the Persian Hash. But ‘u’ is very close to Persian o/u for ‘and’.

    I am not familiar with “hem” as a Persian word for ‘and’, are sure about this?

    Yes numbers 7, 8, 9, 30, 40, 50 and 1000 were borrowed from Greek language. The rest of the numbers match Indo-Iranian ones.

    The word "hem" comes from Persian هم ("also")
     
    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Dib

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    The word "hem" comes from Persian هم ("also")
    Interesting so ‘twenty also five’, semantically it makes sense, but why use a different word, almost as if it was decided we don’t like ‘and’ let’s use ‘also’ here.
     

    cHr0mChIk

    Member
    Serbian (maternal); Slovak (paternal)
    Interesting so ‘twenty also five’, semantically it makes sense, but why use a different word, almost as if it was decided we don’t like ‘and’ let’s use ‘also’ here.

    No, for us, the word "hem" doesn't mean "also". It means "and", but in Persian it meant "also".

    But we don't say bish hem panj, nobody says this - we say bishu-panj.

    But for the word "and" we use "hem".
     
    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Dib

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    Old: phuro (animate); purano (inanimate)

    What's the etymology of phuro? The aspirated ph makes me suspect it's Indo-Aryan, but I can't pinpoint a cognate. Words like HU buuRhaa (<- Skt vṛddha) and Skt prauḍha seem roughly in the ballpark, but I don't see a clear path of sound changes from either of those to phuro.
     
    • Thank you!
    Reactions: Dib

    cHr0mChIk

    Member
    Serbian (maternal); Slovak (paternal)
    What's the etymology of phuro? The aspirated ph makes me suspect it's Indo-Aryan, but I can't pinpoint a cognate. Words like HU buuRhaa (<- Skt vṛddha) and Skt prauḍha seem roughly in the ballpark, but I don't see a clear path of sound changes from either of those to phuro.
    Yes it is from buRha. Its actually very regular. In Romani, aspiration shifts to the first syllable, for example to ask is "phuč-"
    And also Romani doesn't have breathy voice, it always devoices it:
    House: kher (from ghar)
    Tongue: čhib (from jibh)
    Milk: thud (from dudh)
     

    Pvitr

    Member
    Panjabi
    Fascinating topic. With regards to similarities with Panjabi:
    - There seem to be many similar nouns - I wonder if this is because nouns tend to change less over time? Or are nouns just more easily accepted from other languages? (From my experience many Farsi nouns in Panjabi are common but there are far fewer eg adjectives/adverbs/verbs).

    - many 'small'/common words are similar (ṅ is nasal, c = ch sound):
    I= Me/men/man > maiṅ, the word 'man' means mind (as in consciousness) and so refers to the self
    you= tu > tuṅ
    21bish tay yek > if 'tay' means 'and' then that is the same in Panjabi

    - Numbers very similar from 1-5, after this they are different. Also the format of numbers from 11 onwards is different.

    - Greeting > Not the same at all, but there is a hint of familiarity, perhaps relating to an older greeting rather than the religion-specific greetings that are commonly used now: ja devlesa=go with God, jav tumesa > go is 'jaa' in Panjabi

    I wonder if any Romani speakers could answer a few Q's:
    1. Is there grammatical gender in Romani? North Indic languages do
    2. How do you say 'zero' in Romani?
    3. Do verb infinitives have a standard ending?
     

    cHr0mChIk

    Member
    Serbian (maternal); Slovak (paternal)
    Sorry for not responding earlier! And yes, Romani has a lot of similarities with Punjabi. However, Romani actually has similarities with most indo-Iranian languages, from various different sub-groups, and that is also one of the main reasons why it's so difficult to classify Romani. This just shows that Roma were nomadic even during the period when they were still in the subcontinent.

    I wonder if any Romani speakers could answer a few Q's:
    1. Is there grammatical gender in Romani? North Indic languages do
    2. How do you say 'zero' in Romani?
    3. Do verb infinitives have a standard ending?

    1. Is there grammatical gender in Romani?

    - Yes Romani has masculine and feminine grammatical gender.

    Each word has its gender and Romani even has definite articles (which is a feature they borrowed from European languages). For example, the word "rat" (night) is masculine, and "the night" = "o rat". "The boy" is "o raklo"; "the girl" = "i rakli".

    Also, adjectives in particular are very similar to Western Indo-Aryan languages (such as Gujarati and Marwari) because the masculine suffix is "-o" and not "-a". For example "black" is "kalo" (masculine) "kali" (feminine) - unlike Hindi and Punjabi "kala" and "kali".

    The big boy = o baro raklo
    The big girl = i bari rakli

    2. How do you say 'zero' in Romani?

    - We don't really have a native word for "zero" in Romani. Some dialects may use the word "khanchi" (which means "nothing" and is distantly related to the Indic "kuch nahi").

    Other dialects borrow European words such as "nula" (related to English "null") or the word "zero".

    3. Do verb infinitives have a standard ending?

    - There is no infinitive in Romani. Romani grammar was very much influenced by European languages since they were in Europe for pretty much a thousand years.

    The grammar of Romani is in some aspects quite comparable to English.

    "I want to see you." = "Me mangav te dikhav tut."
    It is literally word by word like English
    Me = I
    Mangav = want (1st person singular present tense) - this verb is related to Hindi/Punjabi "mangna".
    Te = tu
    Dikhav = see (1st p. sg. pres.) - related to "dekhna".
    Tut = you (oblique case).

    You want to see me = Tu manges te dikhes man.
     

    Pvitr

    Member
    Panjabi
    Thank you so much - the more I learn about this the more I want to know! Can you recommend any resources for learning Romani (hope this doesnt break forum rules)
     

    cHr0mChIk

    Member
    Serbian (maternal); Slovak (paternal)
    Thank you so much - the more I learn about this the more I want to know! Can you recommend any resources for learning Romani (hope this doesnt break forum rules)

    You're welcome!

    Romani language is spoken all throughout Europe (and beyond) and it has a huge number of dialects. It all depends on what kind of dialect you'd want to learn, there is plenty of different resources for various different dialects. If you want, you can DM me and we can talk and I can recommend or send you some stuff.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Anything from Juan de Dios Ramírez Heredia, who also wrote popular anthropology books on the situation of gypsies and the caló in Spain.
    This was several decades ago, so it might be a little dated.

    In the Wikipedia page there is a link to a short grammar summary, which answers your qiestiom regarding noun genders.
     

    cHr0mChIk

    Member
    Serbian (maternal); Slovak (paternal)
    Anything from Juan de Dios Ramírez Heredia, who also wrote popular anthropology books on the situation of gypsies and the caló in Spain.
    This was several decades ago, so it might be a little dated.

    In the Wikipedia page there is a link to a short grammar summary, which answers your qiestiom regarding noun genders.

    At a first glance this appears to be the Kalderash dialect which is significantly different from mine.
     
    Top