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CHAT: Vlach (was: Roumania...)

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Sunday, April 18, 1999, 18:02
At 10:59 pm -0700 17/4/99, Danny Wier wrote:
>Quoth Ray: > >>I mean the group which comprises the Aruminian or Vlach (also called >>Macedo-Romanian) dialects spoken in parts of Albania, Bulgaria, > >Vlach is a form of Romanian? I thought it was a dialect of Romany...
A Romance language related to Romanian would be a stricter description, I think. It is now spoken in 'linguistic islands' in Albania, Macedonia & north west Greece. The term is now dying out and 'Aruminian' or 'Arumanian' is now the more common term. The Megleno-Romanian dialects of the Salonika region and southern Mecadonia have also been called Vlach. The word itself Slavic (taking that form Czech; the Polish is 'Wloch') and there are cognate forms in Russian & other Slavlangs. The word was used of any Romance speaker whether of the Romanian or Italian dialects. The name turns up in one of the former Romanian principalities: Wal(l)achia. But it is not in origin a Slav word but was borrowed from Germanic and is cognate with modern German 'welsch' and English 'Welsh' both meaning "Roman" whether Latin speaking, as in southern Europe, or Celtic-speaking as in the case of Romano-Brits. The word also BTW has fond its way into Hungarian as 'Olasz'. Whether somewhere, somewhen any Slav speakers also applied the term to Romanies, I don't know; but I guess it's not improbable. Ray.