Sinte Romani

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Sinte Romani
Sinte, Sinti, Sintí, Sinte-Manuš, Romani, Romany, European Romany, Rommanes, Romanes, Manuche, Manouche, Manush, Manuš, Tsigane, Zigeuner, Ziguener
Native to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Netherlands, Serbia, Croatia
Ethnicity Sinti
Native speakers
195,200 (2000–2014)[1]
Dialects Abbruzzesi, Eftawagaria, Estracharia, Gadschkene, Kranaria, Krantiki, Lallere, Manouche (Manuche, Manush, Manuš), Piedmont Sintí, Praistiki, Serbian Romani.Slovenian-Croatian, Venetian Sinti
Language codes
ISO 639-3 rmo
Glottolog sint1235[2]

Sinte Romani (also known as Sintenghero Tschib(en), Sintitikes, Manuš or Romanes /ˈrɒmənɪs/[3]) is the variety of Romani spoken by the Sinti people in Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, some parts of Northern Italy and other adjacent regions. Sinte Romani is characterized by significant German influence and is not mutually intelligible with other forms of Romani.[4] The language is written in the Latin script.


The name Romani derives from řom, the historical self-designation of speakers of the Romani language group. Romani is sometimes written as Romany (often in English), but native speaking people use the word Romani for the language. Historically, Romani people have been known for being nomadic, but today only a small percentage of Romani people are unsettled due to forced assimilation and government interventions.[5]

Sinte Romani is a dialect of Romani and belongs to the Northwestern Romani dialect group, which also includes a dialect spoken by Romani in Finland.[6] Sinti is the self-designation of a large Romani population that began leaving the Balkans early on in the dispersion of the Romani language group, from the end of the 14th century on, and migrated to German-speaking territory.[7][8] Sinti in France typically also speak Sinte Romani but refer to themselves as Manuš or Manouche.[8][9]

Today Sinte is mainly spoken in Germany, France, Northern Italy, Switzerland, Serbia, and Croatia, with smaller numbers of speakers in Austria, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.[4][6][7] Sinti form the largest sub-group of Romani people in Germany, and Germany, in turn, is home to the largest number of Sinte Romani speakers.[7][8] Nearly all Sinte Romani speakers speak multiple languages, the dominant language of the country they live in being the most common.[7][10]


Sinte Romani is a non-tonal language with 25 consonants, 6 vowels, and 4 diphthongs.[7]


Example vocabulary for Sinte Romani is given below, based on samples from Austria, Italy, and Romania collected in the Romani Morpho-Syntax Database (RMS) hosted by the University of Manchester. Words that show the influence of historical German vocabulary are marked with an asterisk ( * ).

Sinte Romani Vocabulary[11]
Austria Italy Romania
Nouns Sinti/Roma sinto sinti gipter / sinto
non-Roma gadžo gadžo xujle
friend mal mal māl
father dad dat dād
grandmother mami nonna** mami
horse graj graj graj
dog džukel / džuklo džukal džuklo
hedgehog borso niglo* niglo*
fur hauta* xauta* hauta*
hand vast vas vas
leg heri xeri pīru
stomach buko stomako** magaker muj
heart zi zi zi
time ciro siro ciro
weather wetra* siro ciro
moon čon luna** montu*
month enja/čon monato* čon
cabbage šax kavolo** šax
egg jāro jaro jāro
butter khil kil butro**
Verbs speak rakar- rakarava rakr-
call khar- karava ker- pen
live dživ- vita** dži-
love kam- kamava kam-
Adverbs today kau dives kava divas kaldis
tomorrow tajsa tejsa tajsa
yesterday tajsa u war divas vāverdis
a little je bisla* ja pisal* pisa*
enough dosta doal doha
Adjective long laung** lungo** dur

* Words influenced by historical German

** Words influenced by the modern dominant languages (i.e., German, Italian, or Romanian)

See also


  1. ^ Sinte Romani at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Sinte Romani". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ "Romanes" entry in Collins English Dictionary.
  4. ^ a b "International Encyclopedia of Linguistics: AAVE - Esperanto". Oxford University Press. 14 March 2018 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Bakkar, Peter (2000). What is the Romani Language?. University of Hertfordshire Press.
  6. ^ a b "Varieties, Dialects, and Classification". Romani Project. University of Graz (Austria). Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Romani, Sinte". Ethnologue, Languages of the World. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Margalit, Gilad; Matras, Yaron (2007). Stauber, Roni; Vago, Raphael (eds.). Gypsies in Germany- German Gypsies? Identity and Politics of Sinti and Roma in German (PDF). The Roma : a minority in Europe : historical, political and social perspectives. Budapest: Central European University Press. pp. 103–116. ISBN 9781429462532. OCLC 191940451.
  9. ^ "Romani Dialects". ROMLEX (Romani Lexicon). University of Gratz. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  10. ^ Engbring-Romang, Udo (December 2016). "Romani, the Language of the Sinti and Roma: Preferably, Only Spoken". Das Goethe. Goethe-Institut. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  11. ^ "ROMANI Project - Manchester". Retrieved 2019-03-27.


  • Daniel Holzinger, Das Romanes. Grammatik und Diskursanalyse der Sprache der Sinte, Innsbruck 1993
  • Norbert Boretzky/Birgit Igla, Kommentierter Dialektatlas des Romani, Teil 1, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2004

Further reading

  • Acton, T. A., & Mundy, G. (1997). Romani culture and Gypsy identity. Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire.
  • Bakker, P., & Kuchukov, K. (2000). What is the Romani language? Paris: Centre de recherches tsiganes.
  • Gilbert, J. (2014). Nomadic peoples and human rights. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Guy, W. (2001). Between past and future: The Roma of Central and Eastern Europe. Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press.
  • Matras, Y. (1999). "Writing Romani: The pragmatics of codification in a stateless language". Applied Linguistics. 20 (4): 481–502. doi:10.1093/applin/20.4.481.
  • Matras, Y. (2002). Romani: A linguistic introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Matras, Y. (2010). Romani in Britain: The afterlife of a language. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Saul, N., & Tebbutt, S. (2004). The role of the Romanies: Images and counter-images of "Gypsies"/Romanies in European cultures. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
  • Smith, T. (1997). "Recognising Difference: The Romani 'Gypsy' Child Socialisation and Education Process. British". Journal of Sociology of Education. 18 (2): 243–256. doi:10.1080/0142569970180207. JSTOR 1393193.
  • Wells, R. S.; Yuldasheva, N.; Ruzibakiev, R.; et al. (August 2001). "The Eurasian heartland: a continental perspective on Y-chromosome diversity". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 98: 10244–49. doi:10.1073/pnas.171305098. PMC 56946. PMID 11526236.

External links

  • A brief overview (in German)
  • A 1903 textbook in Sinti by F. N. Finck, (in German), at the Internet Archive: [1]
  • Biblical Recording in Sinte Romani
  • ROMLEX: Romani Lexicon
  • RMS: Romani Morpho-Syntax Database
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