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Sinti culture, language & the origin of the name Django

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  • edited September 2014 Posts: 2,910
    I'm starting to see this thread become even less clear as we seem to be veering towards developing theories around linguistics and language use and development but using the medium of writing to illustrate these thoughts and ideas.

    Less clear? I don't think so.
    That's exactly, the linguistics and language use, what forms the starting point of Dennis' research, does it not?

    The part of the article "the provenance of the name, Django" has this statement in it's very beginning:
    dennis wrote: »
    Let’s start with the easy part first; yes, django does mean I awake. However, it depends on how you pronounce it.

    He repeats the issue of the pronunciations just a few posts back at the top of the page.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
    edited September 2014 Posts: 757
    Well it must be me then but I still find it's becoming confusing and often don;t know what point is being made. However I am obviously in a minority of one so I'll withdraw to let others contribute to this debate
    .
    always learning
  • kevingcoxkevingcox Nova Scotia✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    edited September 2014 Posts: 298
    I think the point being made is about the ambiguity of the whole "debate". Since it is about a name then language (spoken, written, used, confused, amused, and abused) is necessarily at the centre of it.

    The reason I put "debate" in quotes is because I think there can't really be one: the more we know the less solid our positions become.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,116
    greeetings!!! just came back from 2 weeks in europe, and learned so much more !!! i am now much much much more confident about all the theories from my article!

    In Germany, I stayed with a Sinti family, in an area where pretty much only gypsies live.. My only means of communication with some of them was only romanes and my limited German, it was a very big learning experience!

    i was also in holland at the gerwen gipsy camp (where stochelo grew up and where paulus schafer lives) and i was also in the middle of france, staying ith a friend whose family was largely manouche. So I get to experience lots of regional differences and everything that i am so much more sure about everything i wrote in the article

    namely that the language is intrinsically tied to their culture. A lot of the regional variations are simplification due to lack of education (especially in france) and also due to the fact that the language is strictly passed down orally. Furthermore, some families are ashamed of their heritage so they don't pass down the language to their children. This was in France...

    In Germany, and Holland, where I was, it didn't seem like the language was on the verge of disappearing, everyone was speaking in Romanes, even the little kids. For some of them, they are not aware of language issues, and it is pretty much the only language that know at this point in their lives, that they think everyone speaks Romanes, so they addressed me in their language.

    With all these differences and especially with some of the major simplification in certain regions in france, whether one speaks "correct" romanes or not is irrelevent. As long as they are understood , it is correct. Therefore, to try to catalogue the language, is next to impossible. One would have to travel not only to every country, but to study the language with just about every major family as differences can occur between families as well!

    My own romanes is a weird mix of everything, and i have found myself having to make certain modifications depending on who i'm talking to...

    My recent trip also confirms what i said about words being borrowed from host countries when words are forgotten or didn't exist in the first place. For example in france, they use the word "mero" to designate the sea. This word is borrowed from "la mer" in French. In Germany, I was staying in southern German, by Lake Constance and so the Gypsies kept refering to the "zeelo" which is borrowed from the german "see".

    I was given lots of documents to study (including cartoons dubbed in romanes and bootleg worship recordings dating from 1958!!).. I'll be studying all of these in the months to come!

    Jazzaferri
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,116
    one last important detail, i forgot to mention!! since i was only able to communicate in romanes with certain people, i got to hear the famous word many times -:=> How long have you been AWAKE?

    they used the word django! but not pronounced django, it was closer to djungo (like juice)... "har ra hal djungelo?" (how long have u been awake) . "sowal mischto?" har ra sowal?" (did you sleep well? how long did you sleep?"), etc...
    Jazzaferri
  • edited October 2014 Posts: 3,707
    Cool insights Dennis
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    edited October 2014 Posts: 1,251
    dennis wrote: »

    ... A lot of the regional variations are simplification

    ... and also due to the fact that the language is strictly passed down orally.

    ... one last important detail, i forgot to mention!! since i was only able to communicate in romanes with certain people, i got to hear the famous word many times -:=> How long have you been AWAKE?

    they used the word django! but not pronounced django, it was closer to djungo (like juice)... "har ra hal djungelo?" (how long have u been awake) . "sowal mischto?" har ra sowal?" (did you sleep well? how long did you sleep?"), etc...

    Hmmm... that's cool.

    It seems like most of the Romanes speakers I've met tend to say something that sounds like: "Zhawn-goh" or "Dzjungo. I just assumed it was the accent of their European language affecting their pronunciation of a Romanes word, but it could very well be the result of a solely verbal language changing over time and travel. It's almost like the acceptable variability inherent in saying "hello". Most people know and use the word hello, but pronunciation is different depending on the country/language of the speaker. Yet, it's easy to recognize "hello" in its many instantiations and I've never heard anyone correct another person's pronunciation of "hello". It's correct no matter how you say it, because it's the meaning and sentiment that count.

    Language is fun, I may have to take another crack at French. Those Michel Thomas CDs must be around here somewhere...
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • Fun comment Ted
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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