Translating the world of the Romani

Despite sharing a common cultural origin, after being dispersed throughout many countries across the centuries, different Romani ("Gypsy") communities speak different dialects and communication between them is not always easy.

And yet, the world of translation is relatively unknown to them.

In fact, until recently, there was no Romani language lexicon for use in translation and translation studies! Debbie Folaron, research professor of translation studies in the Department of French Studies at Concordia University, wanted to create ties between Romani culture and the field of translation, by exploring Romani oral tradition, theatre, sacred texts, literature and websites.

The researcher has created the first website about the translation of Romani.

This is the first attempt to conceptualize "the world of the Romani", meaning its languages and its various literary and non-literary cultures, in the areas of translation, terminology, interpreting and technologyIn particular, the researcher has created the first website ( about the translation of Romani and the many other languages used in Romani communities. The site provides content relating to several areas of interest.

In the field of linguistics, the basic concepts of translation and translation studies are presented in ten languages. In literary studies, an inventory of Romani works shows the evolution of a transnational literary tradition in translation. In sociology, the site presents a collection of interviews, testimonials and data from Romani translators and interpreters.

Debbie Folaron has also authored a chapter on the subject for the collective work Hybridité discursive et culturelle, published by Editions L'Harmattan in 2010.