Romani language

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Romani or Romany, Gypsy or Gipsy[1] (Romani: rromani ćhib) is any of several languages of the Romani people. They are Indic, sometimes classified in the "Central" or "Northwestern" zone, and sometimes treated as a branch of their own.

According to Ethnologue, seven varieties of Romany are divergent enough to be considered languages of their own. The largest of these are Vlax Romany (about 900,000 speakers)[2], Balkan Romany (700,000)[3], Carpathian Romany (500,000)[4] and Sinte Romany (300,000)[5].

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Classification and status

Analysis of the Romani language has shown that it is closely related to those spoken in central and northern India. This linguistic relationship is believed to indicate the geographical origins of the Romani people (Roma, Sinti, etc.). Loanwords in Romani make it possible to trace the pattern of their migration westwards. They came originally from the Indian subcontinent or what is now northern India and parts of Pakistan. The Romani language is usually included in the Central Indo-Aryan languages (together with Western Hindi, Bhili, Marathi, Gujarati, Khandeshi, Rajasthani, etc.).

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