13 thoughts on “Language quiz

  1. Sounds like a variant of Portuguese. As far as I remember, close relatives of Portuguese are Galego/Galician, Galician-Asturian and Fala.

  2. This is Carpathian Romani, or Lovari language. Here and there I even understand words in it: o chacho drom = the true way. I’ve learned the language only from Kalyi Jag song lyrics, so I don’t understand very much, but recognize it well.
    Yes, cl, it is related to Spanish. Just like English… 🙂
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_language

  3. Romani, like LAttilaD said, except I think it’s lašo drom = the good way and thus not Carpathian, where it would be ‘lačho’. It’s a religious text, a sermon or something like that, the first few words refer to the Bible and Jesus.

  4. Both are present in the text, the speaker says: „lašo drom – o čačo drom”. I don’t know which dialect it is exactly, but in Romani songs known in Hungary, lašo is used, not lačho.

  5. Yes, it’s definitely Romani, but I’m not sure what dialect it is, either! I can understand some of what he’s saying (it begins with “E Bìbla ramol sode sas o Žezukrist lašo le manušensa kana,” then two syllables I didn’t recognize, then “p’e phuv”. That means ‘The Bible writes how good Jesus Christ was to the people when (unrecognized, presumably something like “he arrived”?) on the Earth’).

    At first, I was so thrown off by the unfamiliar prosody that I was tempted to say something like Kalderash spoken in Italy! Then I realized, “Wait a minute…’Žezukrist’, with ‘u’ realized as a front vowel? Is this some Vlax variety spoken in France?”

    By the way, about “š” – in some varieties, the equivalent of “čh” sounds a bit like “š,” but it’s not quite the same sound; it’s retroflex, unlike š. At least in the Romanian Kalderash I’m familiar with, and probably some other varieties! But this guy really seems to use š for čh, which is interesting (I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before…). But AFAIK, in all of these varieties, čh is very much distinct from č.

    I think it’s either French Kalderash or French Lovari. Probably French Lovari?

  6. “Mainly in Romania” yes, but this particular recording is bound to be from France. It really doesn’t sound like Romanian Kalderash!

  7. Vijay John, isn’t it manušenca [manuʃentsa]? In the Hungarian dialect, this form means „with people” (manush = man).

  8. LAttilaD, I think both spellings are acceptable: manušenca or manušensa. The “c”-spelling might be more phonetically accurate (in this recording, for example!), but I see the “s”-spelling all the time, too 😉

  9. You’re welcome! 🙂

    I just noticed something interesting about the link Simon provided: This recording comes from Track 2, which I think is French Kalderash, but Track 4 on the same page is in a different variety of Kalderash (I think American Kalderash). Notice that Track 4 has something like “Baibl” instead of the “Bibla” in Track 2, and the “l”s also sound darker (closer to what I normally hear in many varieties of Romani). The recordings on http://globalrecordings.net/en/program/C18990 seem to be Swedish Kalderash (“Švedo” is mentioned at least a few times), and I think http://globalrecordings.net/en/program/C80225 is Greek Kalderash (“Jesus Hristos” instead of the “Žezükrist” we heard here).

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