The Roma (Roma in Romany; Romi, Rromi or Ţigani in Romanian) constitute one of the major minorities in Romania. According to the 2002 census, they number 535,250 people or 2.5% of the total population, being the second-largest ethnic minority in Romania after Hungarians.
In Romany, the native language of the Roma, the word for people is (phonemically) /roma/ or /ʀoma/ depending on dialect (/rom/ or /ʀom/ in the singular). Starting from the 1990s, the word has also been used in the Romanian language. There are two spellings of the word in Romanian: "rom" (plural "romi"), and "rrom" (plural "rromi"). The first spelling is preferred by the majority of Roma NGOs. The two forms reflect the fact that for some speakers of Romany there are two different "r-like" phonemes: /r/ and /ʀ/ . In the government-sponsored (Courthiade) writing system /ʀ/ is spelt "rr". The final "i" in "rromi" is the Romanian plural. Irrespective of spelling, the word is a loan word in Romanian and as such might be pronounced according to either the original or Romanian rules .
The traditional and colloquial Romanian name for Roma, also widely used by the press, is "ţigani" (cognate with Hungarian cigány, Greek ατσίγγανοι (atsinganoi), French gitans, Spanish gitanos, Portuguese ciganos, Dutch zigeuner, German zigan) The term is considered derogatory by Roma NGOs.