Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

"Roman" - The language of the Romani people of Burgenland

Applicant: Barbara Schrammel i.V. Verein [spi:k] und Emmerich Gärtner-Horvath i.V. Verein Roma Service
Province: Burgenland
Domain: Oral Traditions
Year of inclusion: 2011

“Roman” is a variety of the Romani language, specific to the Romani people living in Burgenland and exclusively spoken in Austria. The history of the language Roman reaches back over 500 years and is still used in the prevalent media of the Romani people of Burgenland. It is mainly spoken in the intimate circle of the family, but also amongst friends and other members of the ethnic group.

The transmission of Roman principally takes place outside the family in the shape of language courses for the various ages. Since little esteem is carried by the language and minimal interest is shown by the majority of the Austrian population, many Romani people in Burgenland have become accustomed to using the majority language of German as well as the minority languages of Croatian and Hungarian.