Page MenuHomePhabricator

Change fallback language of (Romani) from Romanian to English
Open, Needs TriagePublic


Hello. Sorry if this is not the appropiate type of request to do or the appropiate place to publish it. I am new to Phabricator and I don't understand well how does this project work.

The Romani Wikipedia ( currently uses Romanian as its fallback language. I've taken a look at the graph of fallback languages ( and I've noticed two reasons why a language may be chosen as the fallback language of a project in another one.

First is linguistic similarity (as in Romanian [ro], Aromanian [rup] and Megleno-Romanian [ruq]). The Romani and Romanian languages have almost no similarity between each other. They are Indo-European languages and that's it, and so are several other hundreds of languages. The Romanian language is Indo-European --> Italic --> Romance, while Romani is Indo-European --> Indo-Iranian --> Indo-Aryan (Northern India). There are tons of languages more similar to Romani than Romanian.

The second is that a language is mostly spoken in a country with another native language, which may not be necessarily related, but is chosen as the fallback language for the project of the first language because most of its speakers are assumed to know the second one (for example, Russian [ru] and many of the minority languages of the country). This is also not the case with the Romanis and Romania. According to English Wikipedia (, there are some countries with more Romanis than Romania, and they are up to 20 million people anyway, with the highest estimate of Romanis in a single country being only 2,750,000 (Turkey).

The choice of Romanian as the fallback language of Romani Wikipedia is thus not ideal. The languages are not similar and most Romanis live outside of Romania. A Romani from Spain, Bulgaria, Hungary or Serbia isn't going to understand Romanian. If we use the higher demographic estimates for the Romanis out there, the Romani population in the world is of 20,000,000, of which 1,850,000 live in Romania. Romanian is only useful for 9.25% of Romanis in the world. Why use a language that 91.75% of the population of a certain ethnic group can't understand?

Due to all of this, I propose to change the fallback language to another language that could be more appropriate. Most other countries with high Romani populations do not have languages similar to Romani nor do they have a substantial concentration of the Romani population, so using the native languages of these countries is also not ideal. That is why I propose English to be chosen as the new fallback language for Romani Wikipedia.

I hope my request is attended. Regards.

Event Timeline

Aklapper renamed this task from Suggesting a change of the fallback language of (Romani Wikipedia) to Change fallback language of (Romani) from Romanian to English.Sep 18 2021, 2:22 PM

Please note Romani is not one single language, but a group of languages; the code [rmy] is for Vlax Romani only.

Has this been discussed on wiki? Last I remember,tthere was *some* community around that project.

@Super_Dromaeosaurus: Could you please answer the last comment? Thanks in advance!