Vlach language in Serbia
The Vlach language (Serbian: Влашки/Vlaški), known by the endonym limba română or ľimba rumâńască (literally "Romanian language"), is used to designate the Daco-Romanian varieties spoken by the Vlach community of eastern Serbia.
Serbian statistics list Vlach and Romanian languages separately depending of what people declared in census. This however, does not mean that Serbian government have official position whether Vlach and Romanian are separate languages. ISO hadn't assigned it a separate language code in the ISO 639 standard. In the 2002 census, 40,054 people in Serbia declared themselves ethnic Vlachs and 54,818 people declared themselves native speakers of the Vlach language.
The Vlach language does not have any official status and it is not standardized, thus some members of Vlach community ask for official usage of standard Romanian in the areas inhabited by Vlachs until the standardization of the Vlach language.
For historical reasons connected with the multicultural region of Vojvodina, Romanian is listed as a separate language in latest Serbian census, the number of its speakers was 34,515, while 34,576 people declared themselves as ethnic Romanians. The declared Vlach speakers are mostly concentrated in eastern Serbia, mainly in the Timočka Krajina region and adjacent areas, while declared Romanian speakers are mostly concentrated in Vojvodina.
According to some sources in the media, Serbia recognised "Romanian" as the native language of the Vlach community, through the act of confirmation of the National Council of the Vlach (Roumanian) National Minority in August 2007; the organization had listed Romanian as the native language of the community in their statute.
The speakers have been isolated from Romania and their speech did not keep up with the neologisms (for some abstract notions, as well as technological, political and scientific concepts) borrowed by the Romanian speakers on the other shore of the Danube from French and Italian and as such, they're using Serbian counterparts instead, as Serbian has been the language of education for nearly two centuries.
The term "Vlach" is the English transcription of the Serbian term used to describe this language (vlaški), while "Romanian" or "Roumanian" is the English transcription of its Vlach/Romanian counterpart (român/rumân).
Further on, the Vlach Democratic Party of Serbia is called "Partidul Democrat al Rumânilor din Sârbia" and "Vlaška Demokratska Stranka" (Влашка демократска странка) in Serbian. This happens also with the others institutions of the Vlach minority.
Usage in media
The Romanian linguistic area
The extension of the Banatian dialect in Central Serbia
- Website of the Federaţia Rumânilor din Serbie
- Petru Neiescu, Eugen Beltechi, Nicolae Mocanu, Atlas lingvistic al regiunii Valea Timocului – Contribuţii la atlasul lingvistic al graiurilor româneşti dintre Morava, Dunăre şi Timoc, Cluj-Napoca, 2006
- Slavoljub Gacović, Od Rimljana i latinskog do Rumuna Timočana i rumunskog, Nacionalni savet vlaške nacionalne manjine, Bor, 2008
- Danas "Svedeni smo na vlaško kolo", 19 March 2007
- "Vlachs of Serbia recognised as a national minority" ("Vlahii din Serbia recunoscuţi ca minoritate naţională"), published by BBC on 17 August 2007: "Vlachs were finally recognised as a national minority and the Romanian language was accepted as their native language"
- Ştirile ProTV: "Romanian language recognised as native language in Serbia" ("Limba română recunoscută drept limbă maternă în Serbia"], news report made by Ştirile ProTV on 19 August 2007
- "Serbia recognised that the Vlachs of Timoc speak Romanian" ("Serbia a recunoscut că «vlahii» din Timoc vorbesc româneşte"), published in Gardianul, 3 August 2007
- Interview with Predrag Balašević, president of the Romanian/Vlach Democratic Party of Serbia: "We all know that we call ourselves in Romanian Romanians and in Serbian Vlachs."