Romany as Official Language in Spain?

27. 9. 2005

Today the Catalonian republican party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) proposes to the Spanish Parliament to adopt Romany as one of the official language of Spain.

ERC bases its proposal on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of 1992. The Charter has been ratified by 19 of 46 members of the Council of Europe, including Spain. The document aims to protect and promote regional and minority languages as a threatened aspect of Europe's cultural heritage and to enable speakers of a regional or minority language to use it in private and public life.

In Spain there are about 700,000 Roma and, in spite of the strong assimilation policy, some of them continue to speak Cale, a dialect of the Romany language. Spain already recognize Catalan, Galician and Basque as co-official languages in the regions where they are spoken.

Romany is nowadays the language of milions citizens of the EU and the number of Romany speakers might grow after the next enlargement.

However, according Dzeno's information Romany has not been considered as official language by any EU member state yet. Romany remained unoticed also on Sptember 26 established as European Day of Languages. (Dzeno Association)

I wonder whether anyone has actually asked the Gitanos (Cale) as to whether they want their Romano Calo Chib become an official language of Spain. Because the pitfall of that would be that all and sundries, including payos, would be able, under the law, to learn the language in schools and such and demand a right to learn that language whether or not the Gitanos would want this to happen or not. This issue is being discussed right now in a similar manner in Germany and the majority of tatcho Sinti are vehemently opposed to the Sintitikes language being available, by rights of law, to Chale (non-Romani).