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August 11, 2022



Czech university launches website with dictionaries of the Romanes language and orthography

21.2.2022 7:00
PhDr. Jan Červenka, Ph.D. (2016) (PHOTO: Renata Berkyová)
PhDr. Jan Červenka, Ph.D. (2016) (PHOTO: Renata Berkyová)

The Romani Studies Seminar at the Department of Central European Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague has launched a new version of its website in support of the Romanes language according to Jan Červenka, the main author of the newest dictionary and explanation of the Romanes rules of spelling, who announced the launch to the news server. "The online Dictionary of Neologisms in Romanes that are being used by authors and translators has been in development by the Prague Romani Studies Seminar since 2010, with several interruptions, and in 2021 it was enriched with a total of 947 new entries, Romanes dialect variations and examples," he said in a press release. 

"An innovation has also been launched that significantly increases the dictionary's utility value. Previously, there was just one example given of each expression in Romanes," the author explained. 

"This enabled us to develop the set of translation variants more rapidly for teachers and translators, and given the way the previous website had been organized, it was also clearer. On the other hand, the dictionary did not explain the prevalence or popularity of the terms, i.e., whether the term had been used in the years 1991-2018 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia by just a single translator, or had been regularly used by 10 different authors," said the press release. 

"In 2021, the authors of the dictionary began to add more examples of usage, whether from other authors, other media outlets, or in other years, and they intend to continue this trend," Červenka said in the press release. Those interested will find the Dictionary of Neologisms in Romanes and the Dictionary of Olašské [Vlax] Romanes there as well as a new, popularizing interpretation of the Orthography of Romanes which is available again online after a two-year absence.

"The Orthography has been reworked textually, in a new typographic version, and 12 new chapters on the subject of segmentation or word division have been added to the existing 22 chapters, which are presented at various levels in terms of difficulty," Červenka said. According to the press release, the development of the new dictionary and interpretation of orthography was mostly supported by grants from the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic and its Council for National Minorities under the grant program "Support for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages", but in some years it was created without any financial support and the main author regularly spends part of his vacation time working on it. 

"Statistics have been added to the updated webpage, so we now know that the Dictionary of Neologisms in Romanes has had more than 13 500 unique visits since 2011 and contains over 4 500 sample sentences of usage for more than 4 200 Romanes terms," the press release explained. "The online Orthography of Romanes has received upward of 2 500 unique visits, despite having existed for such a brief time with several interruptions."

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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