Definitions of the words “Roma” and “Gypsy,” modified

Marius Sala, director of the Romanian Academy’s Linguistics Institute, stated for Mediafax that a new Romanian language dictionary has been published early this year, one in which several changes negotiated with the representatives of the Roma community were made. He did not point out what the changes actually consist of. Nevertheless, the ‘Impreuna’ Community Development Agency states that the new dictionary changes the definitions of 30 words that directly or indirectly refer to Roma ethnics.  “The Linguistics Institute has eliminated or has clearly explained the discriminatory or tendentious definitions that were promoting negative stereotypes about the Roma minority,” the Agency’s communiqué reads. Thus, the new definition of the “Roma” substantive is the following: “term through which the members of an ethnic group originating from India and being found particularly in Southern and South-East Europe identify themselves, replacing the name Gypsy which is considered pejorative.”According to the ‘Impreuna’ Agency, three previous editions of the Romanian language dictionary included the following definition of the substantive “Roma,” among others: “epithet given to a person with bad habits.” In 2011 several NGOs asked the Romanian Academy’s Linguistics Institute to be sanctioned and for the definition to be changed.

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