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speaker 195,200
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2


ISO 639-3


Sintitikes is a variety of Romani spoken by the members of the Sinti or Manouches in German-speaking countries, the Netherlands , France and northern Italy .

Language designation

The common language name among Sinti is romanes / romenes , which can also refer generally to the language of the Roma.

Sintitikes as the name of the language of the Sinti is assigned by linguists in particular to members of this group in or from Austria, who form a minority within the Roma in this area. In view of the clear demarcation between the Sinti and other Roma groups, it can serve to create a sharper demarcation.

Alternative names to sintitikes are Sintengeri / o Rakepen or the seldom occurring Sintikanes / Sintikenes (see also Gadškenes for "German" (actually: language of the gadže , non- Roma ')). It is also customary to simply speak of mari / o Rakepen ('our language') as a distinction to non-Inti .

In the linguistic literature, it has become common for the Roma language different from the language of the Sinti generally the adjectival form Romani to use while there for the variety of the Sinti since the 1990s Sintitikes is added, but other names such as Sinti Romanes , Sinti-Romani , Sinte-Romani and - in English - simply the short form "(in) Sinti" are common.

Language becomes taboo

Many members of the minority object to the research and transmission of their language by and to non-Inti, because, unlike other Roma groups, any communication with non-Inti via their language is taboo for traditionalist Sinti. It is considered protection. This can include observing the taboo when speaking the group name and the language name, so that when communicating with members of the majority population it is preferred to call yourself a " gypsy " who speaks "the gypsy language". An essential motive for distance is the experience of the abuse of language skills in the recording, persecution and destruction during National Socialism, but also in the older history of persecution. The language taboo gives rise to difficulties in implementing the European Language Charter . According to the interest groups of the Sinti, only Sinti teachers should be allowed to teach the primary language of the Sinti.

To illustrate the pronunciation

There is no uniform spelling in Romani. All pronunciations of the letters used in this article to illustrate the Romanes that do not match German are explained here:

  • Ă like [ ə ]
  • C like Z / ts /
  • Č like Tsch
  • Đ, Dž like dsch [ d͡ʒ ]
  • E behaves like in German most of the time.
  • H alone like / h /. After voiceless plosives (t, p, k) the H stands for an aspiration of this.
  • K always unaspirated
  • P always unaspirated
  • Š how beautiful
  • T always unaspirated
  • X like ch / x /


The long and strong influence of the surrounding language, i.e. above all German, is reflected in the deviations of Sintitite from other Romanes variants. These include:

  • "The gradual displacement ... of the hereditary vocabulary by Lehngut", so z. B. in the case of hereditary words for important family names, insofar as they concern the family in law ( švigătoxtră , švigăsōno ). In the Romany of other groups, only gaps in the lexicon are filled by taking over from the contact language.
  • The future tense has largely disappeared under the influence of colloquial German. As there, the present tense is used.
  • There are Präfixverba taken or with their own forms combined ( Me Đậu out , I go ').
  • While feminine hereditary words have the ending -i / -j ( Romni 'woman', Č aj , Sinti girl ', Rakli ' non-Inti girl '), the ending in feminine loan words is -a / ă ( Blu (ă) ma / ă 'flower', Berga / ă 'mountain'). This also speaks for a younger age of the ethnonyms Sinteca or Sinto (which "have nothing to do with the Indian province of Sindh").
  • Some prepositions from German are used. Ko hi fo o tata (Instead of Ko hi o tateske. "Fo" comes from the German "Für"); Me hunti šafrap / butikrap um drej (Instead of Me hunti šafrap / butikrap a trēnenge. "Um drej" means "At three").
  • The final sound is continuous (jek lāb - duj laven / laben).


Numbers: singular and plural

Genera: masculine and feminine

Case: Primary cases are rectus (= nominative), obliquus (and vocative ).

The obliquus serves as an accusative . Its ending is masculine mostly -es , feminine mostly -a or -ja , in the plural mostly -en or -jen .

By adding endings to the obliquus, further cases are formed:

The genitive ending is actually an adjective and inflected like the word it refers to.

Cases (especially the obliquus accusative) are mostly only used in animals and humans. But in the plural they will often be heard on objects, plants, etc.

This case system is very similar to that of the Indo-Aryan languages , especially that of Gujarati (which, however, also has a neuter).

The vocative is rarely used (Prāla !, Čaja!).

The instrumental sociative

Plural mit Obliquus - [Tabelle]
Masculine Feminine
ēa jā / jāa

Me džau o čukl ēa . (I walk the dog.)

Me džu o rom jā (a) . (I'm going with the woman.)

Plural mit Obliquus -sa

Me džau a čukl en sa . (I go with the dogs.)

Me džau a rom jen sa . (I go with the women.)


  • Norbert Boretzky , Birgit Igla: Annotated Dialect Atlas of Romani. Part 1. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2004, ISBN 3-447-05073-X , also in: [4]
  • Viktor Elšík, Yaron Matras : Markedness and language change: the Romani sample. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 2006, ISBN 3-11-018452-4 . (= Empirical approaches to language typology, 32), also in: [5]
  • Christiane Fennesz-Juhasz, Dieter W. Halwachs, Mozes F. Heinschink: Language and music of the Austrian Roma and Sinti. In: Graz Linguistic Studies. 46 (Herbst 1996), pp. 61–110, here: p. 74, also in: [6]
  • Daniel Holzinger: The Romanes. Grammar and discourse analysis of the Sinte language. Innsbruck 1993.
  • Yaron Matras: Romani: a linguistic introduction. Cambridge UP, Cambridge et al. a. 2002, ISBN 0-521-63165-3
  • Rosita Rindler Schjerve, Peter H. Nelde (eds.): Austria's contribution to a European culture of difference: linguistic minorities and migration under the microscope. Asgard, St. Augustin 2003, ISBN 3-537-86428-0 . (= Plurilingua, 26), also in: [7]

Web links

  • With a brief overview: [8]
  • FN Finck: Textbook of the dialect of the German gypsies (1903). ( Internet Archive ): [9] (PDF file; 2.99 MB)

Individual evidence

  1. Peter Bakker et al. a .: What is the Romani language? Center de Recherches Tsiganes u. a., Paris 2001, ISBN 1-902806-06-9 , p. 58.
  2. Barbara Schrammel (Ed.): General and applied Romani linguistics: proceedings from the 6th International Conference on Romani Linguistic. Lincom EUROPA, Munich 2005 (= LINCOM studies in Indo-European linguistics. Volume 29), ISBN 3-89586-741-1 , p. 23; Norbert Boretzky, Birgit Igla: Annotated Dialect Atlas of Romani. Part 1. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2004, ISBN 3-447-05073-X , p. 18.
  3. Vekerdi József, Cigány nyelvjárási népmesék , Kossuth Lajos Tudományegyetem, Debrecen 1985 (= Folklór és etnográfia, 19), p. 46, reports on Hungarian Roma who immigrated from Austria after the First World War: "They sharplyi differentiate their language 'We speak only sintetikes (...)'. "
  4. See e.g. E.g .: documents see e.g. B .: Archived copy ( memento from June 20, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file; 1.10 MB) or [1] or from: Ulrich Friedrich Opfermann , A letter from Wittgenstein in Romanes in 1838, in: Siegener Contributions. Yearbook for regional history, 2 (1997), vol. 2, pp. 88-92, revised in Yanko Weiss-Reinhardt: To our judges because of Romani lessons. In: forumromanum. [2] . It is a community in the environment of the Sinti Alliance .
  5. See e.g. For example: [3] , archived copy ( memento from June 20, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file; 1.10 MB).
  6. Avoidance and taboo systems among Roma and Sinti groups
  7. ^ For example, by the Racial Hygiene and Population Biology Research Center under its director Robert Ritter . See: BdWi : Sinti memories of Nazi women . Wolf sees here a peculiarity of the way the Sinti dealt with their language, which did not exist before 1933: Siegmund A. Wolf, Large Dictionary of the Gypsy Language (romani tšiw), Hamburg 1993 (ND of the 2nd edition 1987), p. 31 .
  8. Yaron Matras, The language of the Roma: A historical outline, in: Yaron Matras / Hans Winterberg / Michael Zimmermann, Sinti, Roma, Gypsies. Language - History - Present, Berlin 2003, pp. 231–261, here: p. 233.
  9. Christiane Fennesz-Juhasz / Dieter W. Halwachs / Mozes F. Heinschink, Language and Music of the Austrian Roma and Sinti, in: Grazer Linguistische Studien 46 (autumn 1996), pp. 61–110, here: p. 74, also in : Archived copy ( memento of July 6, 2011 in the Internet Archive ).
  10. ^ [Romani] Project: Morphology. Retrieved September 8, 2019 .