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Languages of the Travellers

Here are some samples of the various languages used by THE TRAVELLING PEOPLE: Romany speakers from Southern England: from Kent, Sussex and Dorset,and from N.Wales, two brothers, members of the famous WOOD family. Then there are tinkers from the south of Ireland, recorded in Belfast in 1952, who provide vocabulary, phrases and some conversation. These are compared with Romany from a gipsy from Southern England. Lastly: Scots songs using cant words from street-singers, Jimmy Mc Beath, Davie Stewart and Jeannie Robertson.

ENGLISH ROMANY rec by Peter Kennedy, near Laughton, Lewes, Sussex, 1952:

1. English Romany rhyme & explanation: CAN YOU PUKA ROMANES? - Wally Fuller - 0'34"

2. Words for clothing & different parts of the body - 1'04"

3. Various phrases explained - 1'57"

4. Conversation between Jack Fuller & Jimmy Smith (explan aft) - 3'25"

ENGLISH ROMANY rec by Peter Kennedy, Chartham Hatch, nr. Canterbury, Kent 1954:

5. THE ATCHING TAN SONG (Sung partly in English Romany) -Charlie Scamp (talk bef) - 2'55"

6. Conversation: Charlie & his brother, Ted Scamp, (explan aft by Charlie) - 1'51"

7-9. Further conversations with explanations - 1'30" - 0'59" - 0'58"

10. MANDI WENT TO POOV THE GRAI (English Romany Song) - Carolyne HUGHES rec by Peter Kennedy, nr Blandford, Dorset, 1968 - 0'48"

WELSH ROMANY rec by Peter Kennedy, Penybontfawr, nr Oswestry, Shropsh, 1954:-

11. Conversation between Hywel Wood and his brother, Manfri - 4'19"

12. Explanation of conversation by Hywel - 2'07"

13. Vocabulary by Hywel interviewed by Peter Kennedy - 2'55"

14. Song: KANU DI KANTU (Did you ever see?) (Sung, explained & sung again by Hywel with talk aft) - 1'26"

IRISH GAMMON & ENGLISH ROMANY with interview by Sean O Boyle, rec by Peter Kennedy, Dan O Neil's Loanen, Belfast, N.Ireland, 1952:-

15. Paddy RYAN (of Tipperary) talking about Irish "Gammon" (Tinker Cant) - 4'51"

16. Conversation: Paddy DORAN (of New Ross, Co. Wexford) & Paddy RYAN - 3'18"

17. Vocabulary: Gammon & English Romany by Paddy RYAN & Willie SMITH - 2'51"

18. Parts of the body & Clothing in Gammon with Paddy RYAN - 0'52"

19. As above in English Romany with Willie SMITH - 0'43"

20. Conversation in Gammon between Mary CONNORS & Kate DORAN (of Wexford) explan by Paddy RYAN - 3'32"

21. Animal names in English Romany by Willie SMITH - 0'35"


22. THE NEXT PUDDEN KEN (Scots Tinker Song) - Jimmy Mc BEATH, of Banffsh., rec. by Peter Kennedy 1953 (talk bef & aft) - 5'55"

23. I BINGED AVREE Davie STEWART (sung with accordion/ talk bef) rec. by Peter Kennedy, Dundee, Angus, 1956 - 4'05"

24. NAE MAIR I'LL BING A-CHORING Jeannie ROBERTSON, of Aberdeen, rec by Peter Kennedy, London - 1'13"

Recorded & edited by Peter Kennedy and first published on Folktrax cassettes 1987.

#11. The following transcription of the WELSH ROMANY conversation from Hywel and Manfri Wood, and the song, was kindly supplied by John Brune:

- Kai shanas dives? (kerivash) (Where were you today?)
- Pre o paani (On the water)
- So tildan ? (What did you catch?)
- Tildom kushi matchi (I caught some fine fish)
- Bare eks? (Big ones?)
- Awa (Yes)
- Bikendan len? (Did you sell them?)
- Bikendom len soar (Sure I sold them)
- Gian are o kutshiima? (Did you go to the pub?)
- Doi shomas yekar kerivas (I was there once today)
- Yan lo'ena doi? (You drank beer didn't you?)
- Awa, dosta (Yes enough)
- Matu evyan (You got drunk)
- Sapinesa (I was soaped/ snaked in). Matu evyan
- Ka o matu thefs (Where the drunk soaks)
- Matu shan tu (You are drunk)
- Piyava ma kek lo'ena (I don't drink beer)
- Kerikom tut/ ke dikem tut (I saw you)
- Kai, kai dikan man? (Where, where did you see me?)
- Dre o Paano Kutshiima (In the White Lion)
- Baro chocona (Big Liar)
- Madegodli (maa panshi) dinilo shan (Be quiet (?) you are a fool)
- Dikem tu dre o Paane Kutshiima (I saw you in the pub)
- Te na shi Chocaben (Isn't it a lie)
- Doi shanas ta rakerosas ku rakli (You were there talking to the girl)
- Miner runkeni rakli shas? (Isn't she a nice girl?)
- Minasa ti pirana dinna (minna) (She is your sweetheart, isn't she)
- Raker ke mandi, junava me (Tell me, I know)
- O, kamava me (O, I like her)
- Ja kiyai papalee (Go there again)
- Renkernii ranee shi (She's a nice lady)
- Dina av akai (Fool come here)
- Ja ko beng (Go to the devil)
- Awa, pira ter mui (Right, fuck your face)
- Marava akana sig (You can drop dead presently)
- Awa junava (Yes, I know)
- Junava tumen (I know you)
- Kushku shan tu (You are nice)
- Awa shtu fisawa tumen kenna
- Kai shi hobben? (Where is the feed?)
- Ja dre o stariben (nesta) kana sig (You go to the prison presently)
- Jas tu mansa, tai? (and) (You're going with me, aren't you?)
- Ja me kek tusa (I am not going with you)
- Kai shi maila? (Where is the donkey?)
- Pre o drom (x2) (On the road)
- Ja te la les, ker sig (Go and get it quickly)
- U gaja shi kai, lasa me (The gorgios are here, leave me alone)
- Akava kai (This here)
- Push-ta i ledaben (Ask about the lodgings)
- Ab u gorjo mang las (Go and ask the gentleman)
- O derde, putsh puri gaane (O heck, ask for an old hen)
- Shi tu puri gaane ? (Have you an old hen?)
- Shi amen desta pus? (Have we got enough straw?)
- Nai les kek (There isn't any)
- Nai les kek? (There isn't any?)
- Nai les kek (There isn't any)
- Na, so kerava? (Well, what shall we do?)
- Ja ta suta aro o puv kela tu kek? (Go and sleep in the field and make do, can't you?)
- Ja tew tshin kushe ranya mange (Go and cut some good sticks for me)
- Nai man kek tshuri (I have a knife)
- So kerdan i tshuryeske ? (What did you do with the knife?)
- Nasherdom les (I lost it)
- Nasherdan les tu shereo, tai? (You lost your head, didn't you?)
- Awa (Yes)
- Ka tu era dai jala dite? (Is your watch going?)
- Awa (Yes) - Shi man kushki era tai? (I have a good watch, haven't I?)
- Nai man kek (I have none)
- Na mang les (Don't ask for it)
- Awa, feth (Yes, faith)
- Awa, raperaseth, o bare dinile shom la (Yes, I recall, there is a big fool here)
- Dinile, shan, awa (You are a fool, yes)
- Dita tuki o musere avela (The policeman is coming for you)
- Chin top leste (Shit on him)
- Dik o gaje kai dikena top tute (Look at the gorgios who are looking at you here)
- O prasteramangero avela pala tute (The policeman is coming for you)
- Isa akem sar akai di te (He is coming to see you)
- Awa, dikela trusho kesera me baj ki gajende (Yes, these gentlemen look hot and thirsty, I don't care)
- Chineav me top lende (I will shit on them)
- Bishavela man top o drom kana sig (He is sending me onto the road)
- Awa (Yes)
- Top o drom basatui atai tu iv tu baro iv avree (On the road things are bad for you now there's snow, there's deep snow anyway)
- Na te kalo mui leste
- Awa tu shan deva
- Awa, y dosta (Yes, and enough) - Jal i desta mal i gon panjee
Tsherdan man puri tshiocha mange? (Didn't you steal some old boots from me?)
Nai man kek, les akala (I haven't any, take these)
Nai man kek gad (I haven't any shirt)
Ai derde, les akavah (O dear, take this one)
Awa (Yes)
Te davalas kana sig
Ta dalas aveh akavah
That's it, nai el kek akana
Te mang puri tshiocha mange (Ask for old coats (or coat?) for me
Putsh i gaje kai dela tut (Ask the gorgio and he will give you)
Akava kai (This one here)
Kamle gaje (Nice gorgios)
Muk o rai, gadya (Leave the gentleman alone)

#14. KANU DI KANTU (Song in Romany):
Daisy's chai across y dora (There is Daisy's girl across (with) the string/ thread)
Tardi avel are komera (Drawing, (or knitting) coming through the room)
Atch o rai avel adai (Come where the gentleman is staying
Puk y das, av akai (Says the Old Woan, come here)
Kana dikan tu? (Did you ever see?)
Mankyu 'vel o baro dives (Such consoling coming in broad daylight)

Further recordings by Hywel & Manfri Wood are on FT-053

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