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Estimated Roma population and Roma speakers in some EU Member States

Estimated Roma population and Roma speakers in some EU Member States

Estimated Roma population and Roma speakers in some EU Member States

The fate of Romani and its dialects is uncertain. Its native-speaking population is estimated at about 4.6 million in Europe, ranging from 1 % of the Roma in Spain to 90 % in Greece (see Figure 1). Its linguistic survival faces different odds, depending on the country and that country’s historical background. It is recognised as a minority language in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden. However, even though the majority of Member States recognise Romani in the list of RMLs, this fact is not sufficiently reflected in their implementation strategies. In 2015, on International Romani Language Day (5 November), the Committee of Experts of the ECRML adopted a statement calling for better protection and promotion of the language, particularly in education and cultural life, bringing attention to the vulnerability of Romani as a result of its transitional situation. Romani has undergone a major change from being solely an oral tradition for private use, to being standardised in written form and used formally in public.

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