Criminal jargon

Caló (Spanish Romani)

Caló (originally Zincaló) or Spanish Romani is a dialect spoken by the Gitanos or Zincarli (also calés, "dark ones") originating from Spain: Caló blends native Romani vocabulary with Spanish grammar, as Spanish Romanies lost the full use of their ancestral language. Gitanos used Caló to communicate discreetly in their internal dealings.

In spite of this secrecy, some Caló words have entered common Spanish language through Flamenco lyrics, Andalusian Spanish and criminal jargon.

Examples are gachó ("man", from gadjo), chaval ("boy", originally "son", a cognate of English chav), parné ("money"), currelar or currar ("to work"), fetén ("excellent"), pinreles ("feet"), biruji ("cold") and churumbel ("baby"). Words can change their meaning: camelar can mean in colloquial Spanish "to seduce, to deceive by adulation", but in Caló it shares the meanings of Spanish querer, "to want" and "to love". Its original meaning is found in Sanskrit kāma, "love, desire".

There is a growing awareness and appreciation for Caló: "...until the recent work by Luisa Rojo, in the Autonomous University of Madrid, not even the linguistics community recognized the significance and problems of Caló and its world. Its world includes songs, poetry, and flamenco. According to Ethnologue, Caló is related to another nomadic group's language, Quinqui. Given that Gitanos lost Romany and that Caló may also be disappearing, the Spanish politician Juan de Dios Ramírez-Heredia promotes Romanò-Kalò, a variant of international Romany with the extant Caló words inserted back, aiming to both the Gitano tradition and communication with other Roma people.

Sample

Y sasta se hubiese catanado sueti baribustri, baribustri, y abillasen solictos á ó de los fores, os penó por parabola: Manu chaló abri á chibar desqueri simiente: y al chibarle, yeque aricata peró sunparal al drun, y sinaba hollada, y la jamáron as patrias e Charos. Y aver peró opré bar: y pur se ardiñó, se secó presas na terelaba humedad. Y aver peró andré jarres, y as jarres, sos ardiñáron sat siró, la mulabáron. Y aver peró andré pu lachi: y ardiñó, y diñó mibao á ciento por yeque. Penado ocono, se chibó á penar á goles: Coin terela canes de junelar, junele.
Parable of the Sower, Luke, 8, 4-8, as published by George Borrow in 1838
Compare with a Spanish version:
Cuando una gran multitud se reunió y personas de cada ciudad fueron donde Jesús, Él les habló con una parábola. «Un campesino salió a sembrar su semilla. Al sembrar algunas cayeron en la carretera; fueron pisoteadas y se las comieron los pájaros del cielo. Otras semillas cayeron encima de la roca, tan pronto como crecieron se secaron porque no tenían humedad. Otras cayeron entre los espinos, y los espinos crecieron con estas y las sofocaron. Otras cayeron en tierra buena; crecieron y dieron fruto, cien veces mas.» Después de decir estas cosas gritó, «¡Aquel que tiene oídos para escuchar, que escuche!»
You can compare with Ruth Modrow's 1984 Romany translation

See also

References

External links

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