Caló is a mixed Iberian-Romani language that combines Romani vocabulary with grammar from Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Galician. It is spoken by about 460,000 people, mainly in Brazil, and also in Spain, France, Portugal and Colombia.

There are about 400,000 speakers of Caló in Brazil, mainly in the north and northeast of the country. In Spain there are about 40,000 speakers, and there are about 15,000 speakers in the Occitania region of southern France, 5,000 speakers in Portugal, and 5,000 in Colombia.

The name Caló means "the language spoken by the calé", and calé is what the Romani people of Iberia call themselves. They are also known as ciganos or gitanos.

Other names for Caló include Caló Romani, Gitano, Hispanoromani, Iberian Romani, Romanó, Chibi, Roma, Romanó or Zincaló. Dialects include Spanish Caló, Portuguese Calão, Catalonian Caló and Brazilian Calão.

Some words from Caló are also used in colloquial Spanish in Spain and Latin America.

Caló alphabet and pronunciation

Caló alphabet and pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Caló (Excel)

Information about written Caló supplied by Wolfram Siegel (PDF)

Sample texts in Caló (The Lord's Prayer - Luke 11: 2-4)

  1. Y les penó: Pur manguelareis, penelad: Amaro Dada, oté andré o Tarpe, majarificable sinele tun nao. Abillele tun chim. Sinele querdi tun pesquital andré a jolili, sasta andré o Tarpe.
  2. Diñamangue achibes amaro manro de cada chibes.
  3. Y amangue ertina amarias visabas, andiar sasta mu ertinamos á os sares, sos debisarelen amangue buchi. Y na enseeles amangue andré o chungalo y choro.

Source: Embéo e Majaró Lucas 1837 (Caló)

  1. Y les penó: Pur manguelareis, penelad: Batu nonrro, sos sabocas oté andré o Tarpe, majarificable sinele tiro nao. Abillele tiro clajita. Sinele querdi tiro pesquital opré yi pu, sasta andré o Tarpe.
  2. Diñamangue cata chibes o manro de que terelamos brajáta.
  3. Ta estomanos nonrres crejete, andiar sasta estomamos á nonrres bisaores. Ta na lanelanos andré pajanbo; tama listrabanos de saro bastardo.

Source: Criscote e Majaró Lucas 1872 (Caló)

Translation (Carpathian Romani)

  1. Ov lenge phenďa: “Sar pes modľinen, phenen: ‘Dado [amaro, savo sal andro ňebos], mi el pošvecimen tiro nav, mi avel tiro kraľišagos, [mi ačhel pes tiri voľa, avke sar andro ňebos, avke the pre phuv!]
  2. De amen adadžives o maro, so amenge kampel sako džives!
  3. Odmuk amenge amare bini avke, sar the amen odmukas olenge, ko kerel bini pre amende. A ma domuk, hoj te avas cirdle andro binos, [ale le amendar le nalačhes].’ ”

Source: Global Bible

Translation (Spanish)

  1. Él les dijo: —Cuando oréis, decid: »Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre. Venga tu Reino. Hágase tu voluntad, como en el cielo, así también en la tierra.
  2. El pan nuestro de cada día, dánoslo hoy.
  3. Perdónanos nuestros pecados, porque también nosotros perdonamos a todos los que nos deben. Y no nos metas en tentación, mas líbranos del mal.«

Source: Bible Gateway

Translation (English)

  1. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
  2. Give us day by day our daily bread.
  3. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Source: Bible Gateway

Sample videos in and about Caló

Information about Caló | Numbers


Information about Calóó_languageó

Romani languages

Caló, Domari, Erromintxela, Finnish Kalo, Kalderash, Lovari, Romani

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 03.06.21. Last modified: 05.07.23


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