Romani (Gypsy): devla

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by DickHavana, May 19, 2008.

  1. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    Does anybody knows what's the meaning of the Romani/Gypsy word devla?

    An example: Me sam devla romani.
    I suppose that it means: I'm a .... Gypsy.

    Thank you very much
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  2. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Siempre he escuchado que romani tiene raíces en sánscrito, y aunque no sé sánscrito, reconozco la palabra "dev" que significa "dios." Quizá diosa.

    Sólo un intento. A ver que dicen los demás.
  3. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    Hola, Panjabigator:

    It's curious. I saw that there is a resemblance between devla and words as devil, diablo, etc. If dev means "god" in sanscrit, I suppose all these words could be related. Curiously, you know that in the christian cultures, all this words (devil, diablo, diavolo...) refer a kind of god of evil.

    Pareciera como si el cristianismo, en su ansia por demostrar hasta qué punto era "la fe verdadera", hubiera adoptado la palabra con la que otros señalaban a un dios para indicar que en realidad era el demonio.

  4. OldAvatar Senior Member

    Devla means God in Rromales.
  5. DickHavana Senior Member

    Nafarroa - Euskal Herria (Pays Basque)
    Euskalherria - Spanish, Basque (a little)
    OK, thanks :)
    Then, the phrase "Me sam devla romani"? It's the title of a song.
  6. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member


    What about a ressemblance then between the name of God in latin languages : Latin : Deus; Français: Dieu and Dev, etc... these words have a real connection with Indian languages (& Rromani), while the etymology of Devil is accidental (it is diable, diabolo, etc... in Romance languages. According to this site :

  7. OldAvatar Senior Member

    I'm not an expert in gipsie's language, but I guess it means „I am a gipsy god” or something like that.
  8. dudasd

    dudasd Senior Member

    In their songs, Gipsy people often address to God and insert vocative "Devla"; I am not sure about the very form of "romani" (, for the language varies from area to area, but the meaning of "devla" here I can illustrate by another verses, from another songs:

    "Putar devla ći kali kapija" - Open, my God, these black gates...

    "Ćer man devla čiriklji" - God, if you make me a bird...

    "Kaj sem devla chororo"... For/When I am, my God, a poor man...

    So as much as I understand, "Me sam devla romani" most likely means something like: "Oh God, I am a man/Gipsy". Though I am still confused by the "romani" form, it's just not nominative of singular. Though just now I realized that it can be genitive case (rromani, I know it in that form); "belonging to Gipsies" or "of Gipsies". So it could be also "Oh God, I am one of Gipsies" or "Oh God, I am a man too". But I grasped just a bit of the language thanks to my friends, so my assumings shouldn't be taken as "professional".
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  9. OldAvatar Senior Member

    It's a Goran Bregovic song. It's got to have a proper translation somewhere, perhaps on some Serbian sites...
  10. Gypsyguy New Member

    Romanes / Gypsy
    I am 100% Full Blooded Rom and fluent in the language (Lovari Dialect).

    Devla - Like your calling upon God.

    Del - God

    Sunto Del - Holy God

    Me sim devla romani - God I am a woman.. or God I am a Gypsy. Romani is inturpreted usually as a female, but in this case goran bregovic and his singers usually have the Slavic Gypsies Perform and sing so they use the word Romani sometimes in a different way. But I can tell you that it is one of the two meanings for sure.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  11. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Thanks Gypsyguy!

    Welcome to the forum
  12. MarcB Senior Member

    US English
    Upon departure people say ja devlesa go with God.
  13. Gypsykid New Member

    Devla means God or Lord. So the sentence you typed mean "I am lord of the gypsy".
  14. Gypsykid New Member

    I mean Gypsies*
  15. JosephLeo New Member

    I was led to this post on google, so forgive me for bumping an ancient thread, but it's one of the first results and I feel I should correct something.

    Devla, or Del means "God" in the Romani language. It comes from the word "Deva" in Sanskrit which means diety. Sometimes there will be words prefixed or affixed to Devla or Del to amplify the meaning. For example "O Del" would be used to mean "THE God", or "Devla Bado" or "Devla Baro" would be used to say "Grand God" transliterated, or in proper context would describe a "God of Gods".

    Another word you might hear is "Devles" or "Devleski" which is just how you would say something possessive in the context of God, for example "I am child of God" would translate to something like "Me san/sam o shav ando Devles" But, that leaves room for a bit of confusion. For example if Jesus said he is the son of God then he would say "Me sam o shav a Devles" which translates to "I am the son of god" rather than "I am a child of god"

    Gazda is the word used to describe a "Lord". For example, someone you rent an apartment from (aka land lord) would simply be referred to as "O Gozda" or "the Lord". Gazda is also incorrectly used synonymously for someone who is a boss, or leader. The proper word in the Romani language for a leader or boss is "Rai" or "Raia".

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