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Romani is the only Indo-Aryan language that has been spoken exclusively in Europe since the middle ages and whose vocabulary and grammar are related to Sanskrit. It is part of the phenomenon of Indic diaspora languages spoken by travelling communities of Indian origin outside India. The name Rom or Řom has related cognates in the names employed by other travelling (peripatetic) communities that speak Indic languages or use a special vocabulary derived from Indic: the Lom of the Caucasus and Anatolia insert Indic vocabulary into Lomavren, their variety of Armenian. The Dom of the Near East, originally metalworkers and entertainers, speak Domari, one of the most conservative modern Indo-Aryan languages. In the Hunza valley in the north of Pakistan, the population called the Dum, who are also metalworkers and musicians, speak a central Indic.

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As their name suggests, Roma (Gypsies) were initially believed to have come from Egypt. If we take into account the Gypsies' true ancestors, however, they were a group of people who left
India in the tenth or eleventh century AD.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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