Exploring ties between Romani culture and the field of translation

Translation Romani has decided to maintain use of the word Romani in all language versions of this website, inclusively and in reference both to the language and people of all the diverse ethnic communities throughout the world, i.e. Roma, Sinti, Manuš, Calé, Romanichal, Kalé, and many others. Please read the important notes from our translators for explanations and other translations currently in use locally, nationally or regionally.

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<center>About <i>Translation Romani</i></center>
About Translation Romani

First and foremost, I would like to express my profound gratitude and thanks to all the people who have contributed to this project: "without your interest, assistance, commitment, and acute sense of professionalism, this website would not have materialized". I am deeply grateful to Simon Vézina of Tribal Solutions for designing and customizing a content management system and website of the most perfect fit. Creating and managing a dynamic multilingual website brings on infinite challenges, and yet, the skillful ease, ingenuity, resourcefulness and creativity with which this site was developed has made the entire experience an extremely gratifying and enjoyable one: "the benefits of your work will be felt and appreciated by many well into the future." Likewise, I am immensely appreciative of the magnificent professionalism and impressive, critical reading and translating skills of my translation team: "without you, this crucial visibility in multiple languages worldwide would never have seen the light of day." I cannot thank you enough: Silvia Abbiati (Italian), Kitti Baracsi (Hungarian), Efe Çakmak (Turkish), Joanna Filgueiras (Brazilian Portuguese), Catherine Landreville (French), Ronald Lee (Romani), Miriam Perales-Handley (Spanish), Ixchel Cervantes (Spanish-R-RS), Melody Zayas-Peña (Spanish-R-TS), Petr Syrucek (Czech), and Mario Zeltwanger (German); Claudia Gagnon (TR database).

I am also greatly indebted to the support provided to me by the Établissement nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs grant from the Fonds Québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), whose funding has allowed me to construct the base of a research project that will continue to evolve for decades to come. Indeed, this site is a mise en place, a setting-into-place of information intended to serve as a foundation for helping us to begin to understand more accurately the dynamics and challenges of translation and interpreting to and from myriad Romani language dialects, with all the unique specificities they embrace. For the purposes of this site, "Romani" is used as a broad term to designate many diverse ethnic communities: Roma, Sinti, Manuš, Calé, Romanichal, Kalé, etc. As such, it does not include travelers and many others associated at times with ethnic Romani. Although the term "Romani" is not current in all languages, I have opted to retain it in the translations from English. The Romani language itself is presently undergoing standardization and modernization through various initiatives. Still, dialects are often transcribed using the national language alphabet and orthography with which they are closest in contact. The Romani translation of this site is principally English language-based; thus, for example, č, š, ž are rendered as "ch", "sh" and "zh". More information on these spelling and pronunciation guides can be found here.

The website contains numerous hyperlinks and areas to navigate for further resources. Wikipedia links have been provided, when possible or relevant, for general information. Finally, although the basic content provided here in multiple languages will remain the same, many other sections of this website will be updated on a regular basis. These include the Romani-related resources found in the selected bibliographical references of each Romani Spectrum page and the Community section, and the translation-related resources found in the Translation Spectrum pages. Dynamic sections of the website will also evolve as time goes on. They include the TR Database, blog, essays, interviews, "Voices from the Field", and reviews. Throughout the site, users will find functionalities available for them to submit suggestions and recommendations; multilingual submissions and translations are always welcome.

Translators and interpreters are often the first to bear witness to languages coping and adapting to new realities, as is the case of hundreds of languages primarily used orally today. In the face of globalization and rapidly developing technologies, this fact alone warrants serious research. However, perhaps more pressing is the compelling need for societies to understand more clearly the roles of translators and interpreters in our daily lives. Technologies, migration, travel and many other factors have forced encounters with others more frequently than ever before. Translation is often the voice that mediates for a more just and equitable place of citizens in our global world. Translation Studies, along with many other areas of academic research, provide us with the vocabulary and conceptual paradigms with which to describe and reflect on the heterogeneity, diversity and mobility that constitute identity in our contemporary lives. This site aspires, in all modesty, to present its guests with two worlds of knowledge, Romani and Translation, in relation to one another and to other languages and cultures of the world.

---Debbie Folaron