Are you in Rajasthan, India? Do you understand Romani/Gypsy language? Could we check this together?

The Romani / Gispy population in Europe counts 9 000 000 people. Where did they come from? Please check my answer for details in order to make a vocabulary comparison.

Now the details:

Some claim that Gypsies / Romani people (don’t confuse them with Romanians) in Europe originate from Rajasthan, India. Could we check that theory? I’ll provide you with some gipsy words and kindly ask you to check if they share similarities with your language:

The digits:

1 – ekh

2 – duj

3 – trin

4 – štar

5 – pandž

6 – šov

7 – ifta

8 – oxto

9 – inja

10 – deš

20 – biš

100 – šel

Some words:

1. mas /flesh/

2. bal /hair/

3. rat /blood/

4. nakh /nose/

5. jakh /eye/

6. čhib /tongue/

7. dand /tooth/

8. naj /fingernail/

9. jílo /heart/

10. me kamav tu /I love you/

11. jav tumesa /I am going with you/

12. baro /big/

13. cino /small/

14. kaloh /black/

15. parnoh /white/

16. te pašľol /to lie/

17. men /me/

18. tu /you/

19. tume /you plural/

20. ame /we/

21. von /they/

22. manush /man/

23. pani /water/

24. maro /bread/

25. tato /warm/

26. laʒ /shame/

27. ćhuri /knife/

28. gad /shirt/

29. ačh /stop/

30. kham /sun/

31. phuv /earth/

32. pućhel /to ask/

33. phral /brother/

34. phen /sister/

35. daj /mother/

36. nila phiras kozarenge /In the summer we go on mushrooms/

37. čhavo /boy/

38. lačho dives /good day/

39. loki rat /good night/

40. mišto aljan /welcome/

41. sar si to alav /what’s your name/

42. mo alav si /my name is/

43. akhiarav /understand/

44. sar sinjan /how are you/

45. lačhes, lašo /good/

46. so kerdan /what are you doing/

47. dži dikhibnaste /goodbye/

48. kergjom /to do/

49. akana /now/

50. barvalo /rich/

51. cidrel /he pulls/

52. čačo /true/

53. dorjav /river/

54. džukel /dog/

55. ertimos /forgiveness/

56. foros /town/

57. harmasari /stallion/

58. ičarel /he crushes/

59. jag /fire/

60. kaj /where/

61. khamesko /sunny/

62. manuš /man/

63. nav /name/

64. phabaj /apple/

65. rakli /girl/

66. sunakaj /gold/

67. taxtaj /cup/

68. them /land/

69. uš /lip/

70. voro /cousin/

71. xarano /wise/

72. te šunel /to hear/

73. te dikhel /to see/

74. te kerel /to do/

75. te džal /to go/

76. te asal /to laugh/

77. te paťal /to believe/

78. te hal /to eat/

79. te sikhľol /to learn/

80. te labol /to burn/

81. to marďol /to be beaten/

82. bakro /male sheep/

83. bakri /female sheep/

84. angushtri /ring/

85. anrro /egg/

86. guruv /male cow/

87. ryat /night/

Some gipsy texts:

Sine jekh thagar, isi-de odolke thagares trin raklje thaj trin raklja. Alo vakti te merel. Prokletija mukljas pe čhavenge: ko ka mangel e phenjen, te den len, te na poerinen. Pelo o thagar mulo. O trin phrala phende: “Hati ikalas pe jekhe grastes, tha t’ikljovas ovi ame, gurbečelekjeste”. O cikno phral phengjas: “Te prandenas amare phenjen, tha togaj t’ikljovas”. Alo e phuredere phenjake jekh ruv. O phureder phral phengjas: “Me na dav la!” O streno phral phengjas: “Me-da na dav la!” O cikneder phral phengjas: “Phralalen-be, mo dad prokletija mukljas, me naj erinav la.” O cikneder dinjas pe phenja.

Davkha alavari nanaj xramosardo sar lil (ašal i škola). O autori e lileskoro džanel, kaj o manuša keren davkha so si čačuno, dendo ande leste. Ake soske ka resel o avgunutne te sikaven e dujtonen. Salke autorijeske ka ovel po-lačšes o sikle leskere te meren ko dies kana agorjaren i sikavni soske ol ka našalgjoven ando dživipe. Ame na sinjam dekhi trušale rateske ta ake soske na dinjam niamija. Katka-okote sade čšipota vakerasas, katar o istorikano thaj amaro zumavdipe, so kerde – thaj so ašti te keren – o manuša kana mangen te oven manuša.

Did you understand something? If yes to what extent?

Thank you for sorting out this question.

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:

Thank you for the A2A.

Though I’m technically not a Rajasthani, I do understand a little bit of their dialect, thanks to my love for their culture and a deep inexplicable link I have with the state. My native language is Malayalam, a language from the south of India. Malayalam is heavily derived from Sanskrit and Tamil. The Sanskrit elements, along with my knowledge of basic Hindi, did throw some light onto the words you have mentioned.

I’ve tried to bring out the Hindi words for the ones you have mentioned…

The digits:

1 – ekh – ek

2 – duj – do

3 – trin – teen

4 – štar – chaar

5 – pandž – paanch

6 – šov – chey

7 – ifta – saath

8 – oxto – aaTh

9 – inja – nau

10 – deš – das

20 – biš – bees

100 – šel – sau

Some words:

1. mas /flesh/ maa(n)s – The ’n’ is phonetic and almost silent. This is the pure Hindi/Sanskrit word for flesh. In Malayalam, it is called maamsam.

2. bal /hair/ baal

3. rat /blood/ rakt. Again, this is the pure Hindi version for ‘blood’. In Malayalam, the word is raktam.

4. nakh /nose/ naakh

5. jakh /eye/ aankh

6. čhib /tongue/ jihva. This is an archaic word for tongue and is mainly seen in ancient Sanskrit prayers and chants. There is also a less used Hindi version for this word…jibh. 🙂

7. dand /tooth/ daanth

8. naj /fingernail/ nakh

9. jílo /heart/ dil

10. me kamav tu /I love you/ me (mai(n)) kamav (kama=love/lust) tu (tu). This is just the word-to-word translation. Kama is largely associated these days with lust and is seldom used as an initial proposition of love.

11. jav tumesa /I am going with you/ jav (jaaoo(n)) tumesa (tumhaare saath) It just looks like a colloquial form of the same phrase, though grammatically it would sound better in Hindi if arranged as ‘tumhaare saath jaaoon

12. baro /big/ bara or bada

13. cino /small/ chotta. Interestingly, the Tamil word for ‘small’ is chinna

14. kaloh /black/ kaala

15. parnoh /white/ safaid There is Sanskrit word ‘parna’ which relates to ‘leaves’

16. te pašľol /to lie/

17. men /me/ mai(n)

18. tu /you/ tu

19. tume /you plural/ tum

20. ame /we/ hum

21. von /they/ woh

22. manush /man/ manushy(a)

23. pani /water/ paani

24. maro /bread/ aahaar (possible derivation). Aahaar is also a Sanskrit word that translates to ‘food’. In Malayalam, we call it aahaaram.

25. tato /warm/ taap (possible derivation)

26. laʒ /shame/ laaj

27. ćhuri /knife/ churi

28. gad /shirt/ kameez. The Sanskrit word is yutaka. It is interesting to note that the Romanian word for shirt is ‘cămaşă’ 🙂

29. ačh /stop/ rook. The Sanskrit prefix for something immovable is acha. As in achal…the immovable.

30. kham /sun/ kham is the pure Sanskrit word for sun. The more common colloquial word is surya.

31. phuv /earth/ bhu is the exact Sanskrit word for earth. The more commonly used word bhumi is derived from bhu.

32. pućhel /to ask/ poocho

33. phral /brother/ bhraata The common word for brother now is bhaai

34. phen /sister/ behen

35. daj /mother/ Maata The Tamil word for mother is thaai which sounds more like daj

36. nila phiras kozarenge /In the summer we go on mushrooms/ (?) Can’t see any similarity there! Kozarenge though sounds a lot like ‘ko jaayenge’ which means ‘will go’

37. čhavo /boy/ chhora This is a local dialect word for ‘boy’. The bookish word is ladka.

38. lačho dives /good day/ lacho (lakshana) dives (divas) The word lakshana means ‘auspicious’ and divas means ‘day’. So basically it translates to ‘have an auspicious day’.

39. loki rat /good night/ loki(?) rat (raat)

40. mišto aljan /welcome/

41. sar si to alav /what’s your name/

42. mo alav si /my name is/

43. akhiarav /understand/

44. sar sinjan /how are you/

45. lačhes, lašo /good/

46. so kerdan /what are you doing/ kya karte ho?

47. dži dikhibnaste /goodbye/

48. kergjom /to do/ karnaa

49. akana /now/ ab

50. barvalo /rich/ bahumoolya

51. cidrel /he pulls/

52. čačo /true/ sach

53. dorjav /river/ dariyaa

54. džukel /dog/ kuttha

55. ertimos /forgiveness/ kshama

56. foros /town/ pura (possible derivation). Pura is the ancient Sanskrit suffix for city or settlement. It can be seen in the names of many cities of yore…Hastinapura, Kundapura, Kanakapura, etc.

57. harmasari /stallion/ ashwa

58. ičarel /he crushes/

59. jag /fire/ aag

60. kaj /where/ kahaan

61. khamesko /sunny/ ‘kham’ means sun.

62. manuš /man/ manushy(a)

63. nav /name/ naam

64. phabaj /apple/ looks like an amalgamation of two words – phal (fruit) & seb (apple)

65. rakli /girl/ ladki

66. sunakaj /gold/ sona

67. taxtaj /cup/ chashak Old Sanskrit

68. them /land/

69. uš /lip/ honth or the more primeval oshth

70. voro /cousin/

71. xarano /wise/ gnaanpurna

72. te šunel /to hear/ sun-na

73. te dikhel /to see/ dekh-na

74. te kerel /to do/ kar-na

75. te džal /to go/ jaa-na

76. te asal /to laugh/ ha(n)s-na

77. te paťal /to believe/ patiyaa-na This isn’t much used now. The commonly used form is maan-na

78. te hal /to eat/ khaa-na

79. te sikhľol /to learn/ seekh-na

80. te labol /to burn/ jal-na

81. to marďol /to be beaten/ maar-na In Malayalam, the likeness is closer…mardikkyaa

82. bakro /male sheep/ bakraa

83. bakri /female sheep/ bakri

84. angushtri /ring/ angoothi

85. anrro /egg/ andda

86. guruv /male cow/ Besides the usual meaning of ‘preceptor’ for the word Guru, it is also another archaic meaning for something that is large, clumsy and heavy. Fits the description of a bull in all ways 😀

87. ryat /night/ raat

I am myself astonished at the similarities. I’m sure there would be more if we delve deeper. I didn’t try to translate the paragraph as there would be grammar at play there and my interpretations would alter the meanings substantially. This was an eye-opener enough I guess 😀

Are you in Rajasthan, India? Do you understand Romani/Gypsy language? Could we check this together?


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